Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival Offers Fun, A Good Cause, and a Way to Avoid Old High School Friends Slowly Trickling into Town Pre-Thanksgiving

It seems like there are more and more reasons to make a Chicago roadtrip this fall -- whether you're motivated by a fanatical obsession with late-’80s TGIF offering Perfect Strangers or because you live somewhere that isn't BUT SHOULD BE on the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds autumn tour. And now there's another great entertainment option unique to the Chicago area, with the added bonus of being for a good cause. This would be the indie one-day Chicago Bluegrass and Blues festival, occurring for the very first time this November 22.

Local stalwarts Alligator Records and Bloodshot Records will be repping their shared hood and contributing label stand-outs to the event, held at the Congress Theater. Founder and organizer Mike Raspatello promises a varied line-up, ranging from Waco Brothers side-project Dollar Store to the David Grisman Quintet to the Avett Brothers. A portion of proceeds from the $31 ticket price will go to the Saving Tiny Heart Society, a volunteer-ran organization founded to raise awareness and support research about congenital heart defects. Apart from the positive vibes, there's also a chance to perform alongside the 16 listed performers through the Last Banjo Standing Contest, an online voting-based contest that is not limited to blues or bluegrass genre-based music.

This is a good cause, and a good line-up, so I'm not gonna make the requisite Urkel joke that happens whenever I write a story related to Chicago -- or well, anything. Below you can find the artists involved, minus the TGIF line-up jokes -- for now.

The Avett Brothers, The David Grisman Quintet, Ha Ha Tonka, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Majors Junction, Billy Childers, Dollar Store, Blackdog, Blue Mother Tupelo, How Far to Austin, Mike Mangione, Cobalt & the Hired Guns, The Lindsay O'Brien Band, Jessica Lee, and Blue Room Hero

11.22.08 - Chicago, IL - Congress Theater

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