Smile Politely

The Overture: January 31–February 6

WHAT: Carrie Rodriguez, Kelly Joe Phelps, Pieta Brown

WHERE: The Highdive ($15)

WHEN: Wednesday, February 1st at 7 p.m.

This year’s version of the An Acoustic Café Evening Tour features these three singer-songwriters. Each evening of the tour is hosted by Carrie Rodriguez who explains the evening and how it will flow. In what is certain to have a variety of collaborations on stage thorughout the event, multi-instrumentalist Rodriguez and the rest of the talent on this bill is enough to convince acoustic lovers to show up.


WHAT: Pressed And, Evil Tents, Dr. Responsible

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, February 2nd at 9 p.m.

This duo is currently on a long stretch of dates throughout the midwest and makes a stop through C-U just a few days before their Daytrotter session. They indulge in a variety of genres, but will fit in nicely with the more ambient tones of Evil Tents and guitar-looping Dr. Responsible.

WHAT: The Great Divide, The Duke of Uke,
Black Coffee Fridays

WHERE: The Highdive (Free)

WHEN: Thursday, February 2nd at 10:30 p.m.

Following the acoustic filled evening at the Highdive featured above, there’s a slight shift towards a more folk-rock infused evening with these three bands. Although The Duke of Uke might have the most well-known reputation of the blues/folk-rock bands around town, all three hail from right here in C-U.

WHAT: Robots Counterfeiting Money, Hospital Garden, Midstress, Mutts

WHERE: Mike ‘N Mollys ($5)

WHEN: Friday, February 3rd at 9 p.m.

Urbana natives Robots Counterfeiting Money (hopefully) bring their ridiculous hot dog outfit (pictured above) and band back onto a local bill with punk staple Midstress and a couple of Chicago acts to round it out.  Head-thrashing music is not an option at this one. It’s a requirement.


WHAT: Blind Pilot, The Barr Brothers

WHERE: Canopy Club ($13 advance/$15 door)

WHEN: Saturday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Hailing from the great north west, Blind Pilot invade Canopy Club on the early bill on the coattails of their new record We Are the Tide, released just a few months back. This now six-piece ensemble is joined by duo The Barr Brothers out of Quebec to keep the Canopy Club busy all night, as Joe Pug takes the stage for the late night bill.

WHAT: Joe Pug

WHERE: Canopy Club ($12 advance/$15 door)

WHEN: Saturday, February 4th at 10:30 p.m.

In what is becoming a regular routine for Pug, he makes his stop through town bringing his soulful guitar and harmonica back to a venue which is typically a warm place to perform for him. Although Pug has been a bit quiet as far as recordings go, he has the solid 2010 Messenger LP to his name, along with a slew of other solid shorter EPs worth checking out before you look into to this one. I’d be on the lookout for new material around the corner from this guy.


WHAT: Davina and the Vagabonds, Threebird

WHERE: The Highdive ($8)

WHEN: Monday, February 6th at 7:30 p.m

In what they self-dub “new spin on an old sound,” feisty and bluey Davina and her crew make their way down from the Twin Cities. Nothing like some New Orleans flavor from all the way up in Minnesota.

Executive Editor

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