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Lonesome Organist Returns To The Empty Bottle

By Sarah Cobarrubias on May 14, 2010 5:40PM

Image via the Lonesome Organist’s site
Jeremy Jacobsen has been performing around Chicago as the Lonesome Organist since ’96, but he’s still sort of a little-known local secret. And, as his name suggests, he’s still true to the traditional concept of the one-man band. The Lonesome Organist takes the stage solo, skillfully playing up to four instruments at once, including guitar, harmonica, accordion, toy piano, steel drum, singing saw, vibraphone, organ and whatever else he can get his hands on. His musical stylings are inherently eclectic, moving between genres such as rock, blues, vaudeville and even yodeling as he switches arrangements and instruments throughout his set. And in a time when music is largely automated, Jacobsen does it all without electronics.

Tonight, he’ll be performing at the Empty Bottle for the first time in nearly four years since the record release party for his last album, Forms and Follies. But Jacobsen hasn’t just been slumming around the city these past few years. He’s been part of acts such as post-rock collective 5ive Style and Chicago’s Complaints Choir, and he currently serves as an organist and choir director at a Unitarian church. But tonight’s show won’t be the type of thing you see at Sunday mass. There’s a strong theatrical element to his performance as it relies on a sort of frantic spontaneity, and you can look forward to some drumstick twirling, tap dancing and, of course, watching one guy juggle a whole slew of instruments. Local pop trio Sonoi and experimental act David Daniell open.

The Lonesome Organist plays tonight, Friday, May 13 at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 10 p.m., $8, 21+