September 27th-29th, 2002

In the City of Big Shoulders

There it sat, massive and muscled at the foot of Lake Michigan, the Second City.

Our visit to Chicago was precipitated by an invitation from Rich Warren to appear on Folkstage, his live radio broadcast on WFMT. This much anticipated gig was linked with an appearance at the Two Way Street, a long running and well-supported folk club in Downers Grove.

The Grove was far from a downer, the club being packed to capacity with others waiting in the hall to get in. It was a venue for performing, a listening and singing crowd, and very welcoming. Dave and I had an excellent time in that church basement, enjoying the crowd and the room itself. The club has been running for many years and we were feeling fortunate to be a part of its continuance. We owe Dave Humphreys, the man in charge, a great debt of gratitude for helping us overcome a malingering visa problem. His efforts secured us the work permit in time. This is no small feat in the present climate.

The radio show in Chicago was a different scene, an excellent studio with a live audience and a live broadcast. This always adds a certain urgency to the situation, as well as some healthy excitement. Fortunately for us we were on solid ground here, on a well-known and appreciated show with an unflappable host. I liked to think of the radio audience listening in as we went through the set. There is still a somewhat magical aspect to radio for me. The studio audience was encouraging and enthusiastic throughout. The anticipation I was feeling about this gig was not misplaced.

We managed a trip into the city on the El train, taking pictures of tourists taking pictures of wedding parties down by the water and the wall of buildings that make up Michigan Avenue. Our billet with Peter and Nancy Clark was an added benefit, and we thank them very much for their hospitality. I am already looking forward to our return in the coming year. I saw enough to know I would like to see more. There are a few more El trains to take, a few more excursions into those urban canyons.

back home

photos by David

Part of the Two Way audience

David and Dave, Folkstage