Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Performances Announced at Mayne Stage, Tickets On Sale Friday

Mayne Stage continues to boast an impressive performance lineup with the addition of Tommy McCracken and the Force of Habit Band September 25, Super Jamzz III September 30, Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra October 15, UME October 17 and Sam Friend October 21. Tickets for the shows are available at or (773) 381-4554.

Tommy McCracken & the Force of Habit Band, September 25
Veteran Chicago Blues artist Tommy McCracken brings his high energy, gospel sounds with his “Force of Habit” band to Mayne Stage Saturday, September 25 at 8 p.m.

In his early years, McCracken traveled extensively with his grandparents as a featured gospel soloist, and began singing professionally in 1974, forming “Force of Habit” a year later. McCracken has been committed to the Blues since the early 80s and has since become one of Chicago’s top Blues vocalists and entertainers.

McCracken’s singing has brought him to forty American states and several countries, performing at many of the top Blues venues in the U.S. and the world. McCracken has performed alongside other internationally recognized Blues entertainers including B.B. King, Shirley King, Chicago Beau, Jimmy Dawkins, Deitra Farr, Katherine Davis and the Blues Ice Band from Iceland. He is fortunate to have worked with or shared the stage with such talented artists and draws strength from the fact that as a young man, he had the opportunity to share the stage with Mahalia Jackson and Gospel and Blues icon Otis Clay.

Listen to McCracken and the multi-talented “Force of Habit” band led by Chicago entertainer, Bob Johnson on September 25. Tickets for the show are $10 and on sale at or (773) 381-4554.

Super Jamzz III, September 30
Mayne Stage hosts Super Jamzz III Thursday, September 30 at 8:30 p.m. featuring Bill McFarland & The Chicago Horns, plus Vince Willis, Mike Manson, Clyde Davis and other special guests.

The third installment of the largest jam session in Chicago features Bill McFarland and The Chicago Horns, Chicago’s premiere jazz band. McFarland, who plays trombone, and the sextet group have been one of the most prolific horn sections in blues and jazz for the last 10 years. Trumpet player Kenny Anderson is a long standing professional who is well known and one of the leading salsa performers from the Chicago music scene. Hank Ford, on saxophone, has played with many of the great performers of blues and jazz including Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield, and has played on the "Wiz" and Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Ladies" stage shows. Band leader and founder McFarland has played on the late, great Albert Collin's Frostbite album, and on Fenton Robinson's and Lonnie Brooks' albums. McFarland has also played live with Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Otis Clay, just to name a few.

McFarland and the Chicago Horns are joined by other Chicago jazz artists including Vince Willis, Mike Manson, Clyde Davis and others for Super Jamzz III on September 30. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at or (773) 381-4554.

Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra Concert, October 15
Hear original rock and funk at Mayne Stage with the Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra Friday, October 15 at 8 p.m.

Formed in 1982, the first incarnation of Nicholas Tremulis was described as “punk jazz,” drawing on early punk music, as well as James Brown funk, and the harmonic jazz movement of Ornette Coleman. By 1985, the band had morphed into a large modern funk/soul unit releasing two records in the late 80s: Nicholas Tremulis, produced by Craig Williams, and More Than the Truth, with guest artists Maceo Parker (James Brown) and Bonnie Raitt, produced by Rob Fraboni (Stones, Dylan, The Band).

The band released several records in the late 90s with Black Vinyl Records and QRS Records. From 2000 to 2004 the Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra, along with WXRT, The Metro and Jam Productions, hosted a charity concert for Neon Street for Homeless Youth titled “The Waltz”, inspired by The Band’s filmed farewell concert “The Last Waltz.” NTO was featured as the backing band to guest artists from across the American musical landscape.

Nicholas and the band have performed with such artists as Rick Danko, Billy Corgan, Alejandro Escovedo, David Amram, Ian Hunter, Blondie Chaplin, Lonnie Brooks, Jeff Tweedy, Gary Louris, Steve Earl, Graham Parker and more. In 2006 and 2007, NTO embarked on a yearlong digital musical journey entitled “52 Reasons,” in which the band wrote and recorded a song each week for an entire year available for download by the masses. The music debuted on The Eclectic Company on WXRT radio.

Listen to the Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra play Mayne Stage October 15. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at or (773) 381-4554.

Ume, October 17
Ume brings its “snarling guitars” and “catchy melodies” to Mayne Stage Sunday, October 17 at 8 p.m.

The Texas-based Ume (pronounced ooo-may), is a trio with an explosive, yet sweet aesthetic that catches folks off-guard—in a very good way. Their sound has been described as balancing “pop hooks and sweet female vocals with crazy, heavy riffing” and “powerful and charming.” Ume’s 2009 self-released EP Sunshower received four stars from the Austin Chronicle and Irish Times.

Ume (Eric Larson, bass; Jeff Barrera, drums; and Lauren Larson, guitar, vocals, keys) has self-booked more than 300 shows and participated in three national tours, including dates with Polvo, The Meat Puppets and Cymbals Eat Guitars. Learn more at

Check out Ume at Mayne Stage October 17. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and on sale Friday, September 24 at or (773) 381-4554.

Sam Friend, October 21
Sam Friend brings his atmospheric folk style to Mayne Stage Thursday, October 21 at 8:30 p.m.

Born and bred in what he calls “Unincorporated Dade County” (meaning Kendall and Pinecrest), singer/songwriter Friend is quickly making a name for his young self among Miami music junkies. Maintaining structural integrity through Hurricane Andrew, Friend has since fessed up to the elements. Friend and his eponymous band, which also includes Emily Westman (keys, percussion, vocals), Ashley Miller (flute, vocals), Ben Lindell (bass), Josh Sheinman (guitar), released an EP titled Sam Friend in the summer of 2007. Recently, the band completed its first album.

During the day, the University of Miami School of Music graduate teaches music to elementary school children in Little Haiti, letting loose come sunset at consistent gigs around Miami. Friend, whose manner is between The Little Prince and Art Garfunkel, has something to sing and say, and is slowly, surely coming into a voice of his own.

Catch Sam Friend and his band make their Mayne Stage debut October 21. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and on sale Friday, September 24 at 10 a.m. at or (773) 381-4554.

Supporting Acts Announced
Alexendar Webb opens for B1GT1ME Wednesday, October 6. Webb offers an acoustic blend of classic motown and modern rock, soulful melodies wrapped around fearless words. Learn more at Tickets are $10 at or (773) 381-4554.

Chicago based acts Suns and The Thin Man open for Old Canes Saturday, October 16. Learn more at and Tickets are $10 at or (773) 381-4554.

The Part Five opens for Two Hours Traffic Wednesday, November 10. The Part Five is Chris Brantley, Brett Barton and Gary Pyskacek. Learn more at Tickets are $8 in advance, or $10 at the door at or (773) 381-4554.

About Mayne Stage
Mayne Stage is located at 1328 W. Morse Ave. in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Mayne Stage showcases emerging and established local and national musical acts, theatrical performances, comedy and more. It is the ideal location for a variety of private events. For more information, or to see a list of upcoming shows, call (773) 381-4554 or visit “Like” Mayne Stage on Facebook at and follow Mayne Stage on Twitter at @MayneStage

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