On Thursday, June 16th, The Accord hosted a trio of local bands to help make Champaigners ready to face their Friday and kick off their weekend. The night was relaxing, and the lineup felt carefully crafted; each band’s style seemed to leave off just at the right spot for the next one to pick up and carry on the mood of the evening.


Kicking off the night were The Bashful Youngens. A fun blend of folk and alternative country, the band’s strength shined each time singers Carrie Chandler-Harrison and Aaron Short brought their voices together, creating a unique and heart-filled harmony.

Next up was Penny Horses, bringing an upbeat country rock’n roll mix to the stage, much to the delight of the crowd. Tempo kicking up a notch, the band never missed a beat even when singer Bryce Brown busted a string on his guitar very early in their set, leading him to apologize to the fans in case the rest of the songs sounded like crap (which they did not).

Capping off the night was the one and only Fiona Kimble, as courteous as her voice is beautiful, taking time to thank everyone from The Accord to the crowd to even her grandparents that were in attendance. Powerful lyrics that touted both feminine self-reliance and a deep heart, combined with artful guitar playing and a smooth voice brought forth the energy from the very center of her soul to keep the crowd cheering- not to mention calling for more once her set was done.

Overall it was a well planned, well-executed night, leaving attendees with more energy than when they arrived. For a schedule of upcoming shows, make sure to check The Accord's website or Facebook page.

About the author: Stephen N. Kemp

Stephen is an IT manager for the University of Illinois and has been a photographer for Smile Politely since 2015. Find his photography on Facebook, the web, or contact him directly via email.