Anne Hills

Anne Hills

Provided

Front Porch Music, (505 E. Lincolnway) in Valparaiso, is offering the Region's music fans a real gift in presenting the amazing Anne Hill at its lower level coffeehouse.

Hill will perform at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15. As at all Front Porch events, all ages are welcome. More: frontporchmusic.com or 219- 464-4700.

Hill is the daughter of educational missionaries born in Moradabad, India, raised in Michigan, and spent her adult life in Chicago. Although Hill sang in a big band project and formed her first folk trio while in Michigan, it was after moving to Chicago in 1976, that Hills' star began to rise and her talents began to be noticed by fellow artists. Her first three solo albums in the early 1980s came via her own Hogeye Records label, which later was absorbed by Flying Fish Records. Hill helped co-found the folklore center Hogeye Music, which remains a pivotal force in the Chicago folk music scene today.

As her reputation grew, Hill began touring as part of a trio project with international folk luminaries Tom Paxton and Bob Gibson, which lead to recording collaborations with other notable names, including Livingston Taylor, John Hartford, Peter Erskine (of Weather Report/Yellowjackets fame), Cindy Mangsen, Priscilla Herdman and others.

Not only a beautiful vocalist and delightful live performer, Hill has a penchant for writing heartfelt songs, a trilogy of qualities that have made her a favorite with National Public Radio hosts and listeners. She is one of the more prominent members of today's contemporary American folk scene.

MUSIC NOTES

• Those looking for something a little different on the musical menu this weekend might find the exotic flavorings of The Bon Bon Plot of interest, as they blend Bossa Nova, Latin jazz, modern French jazz, new takes on American songbook favorites, and some original compositions with an indie twist. The St. Louis-based trio, featuring vocalist/stand up bassist Janet Buchanan, performs Friday at The Uncommon Ground (1401 W. Devon Ave.) in Chicago with special guest Brad Brubaker & The Crowd Goes Wild. Showtime 8 p.m. Admission: $10. More: 773-465-9801 or thebonbonplot.com.

• The Portage Township Live Entertainment Association (PTLEA) presents "Scott Kirby's Mainstreet Souvenirs" program at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Portage High School East Auditorium (6450 U.S. 6) in Portage). The presentation celebrates the American Heartland through live piano music, spoken narrative and a video presentation.

The first half spans 150 years of American pop, jazz and folk music, including tunes by Scott Joplin, Stephen Foster, John Philip Sousa, continuing up to the present. The second half features Kirby’s original compositions for piano while he talks about the history of the American Great Plains and prairies. Admission: $15 for adults/students free with ID. More: 219-762-5025 or portagemusic.com.

• Guitar-driven classic rock from Region band Whiskey Biscuit can be enjoyed on Saturday at Gators Bar & Grill (9021 E. 109th Ave.) in Crown Point. The band features acoustic guitarist/lead vocalist Dave Varella of Marrakesh Express fame, along with guitarist Jimmy K, bassist Bill Wheat and drummer Steve Saricos. More: 219-662-0103.

Leroy's Hot Stuff (333 West U.S. 20) in Porter welcomes the blues rock of Steepwater Band at 8 p.m. Friday. This gig is the first local performance by the Northwest Indiana-rooted blues quartet since having returned last week from the second leg of an extended six-week tour of Europe. Then on Saturday, Leroy's will get the sawdust shuffling with a night of country music by The High Noon Band at 9 p.m. More: leroyshotstuff.com or 219- 926-6211.

• Texas blues singer Charley Crockett, a descendant of American folk hero Davy Crockett, performs at 8 p.m. tonight at FitzGerald’s (6615 W. Roosevelt Road) in Berwyn. Tickets are $8. A promising new artist, Crockett's musical style as heard on his two albums -- "A Stolen Jewel" (2015) and "Into the Night" (2016) -- is a fusion of Delta blues, Texas honky-tonk, and Cajun jazz. More: fitzgeraldsnightclub.com or 708- 788-2118.

• Tickets go on sale today for the Dec. 16 "Rockin' for Region Animals" fundraising concert at Memorial Opera House (104 E. Indiana Ave.) in Valparaiso by former Region native Kenny James. James' "Tribute To Buddy Holly" has been presented across the country with long residencies in both Las Vegas, Nevada and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Tickets: $20 advance with group rates available. The concert also features The Rave On Band and special guest Tim Dudley as "Elvis." Proceeds benefit The Humane Society of NWI. More: 219-548-9137 or memorialoperahouse.com.

• Tickets are reportedly going quickly from all reports for the "LIV ON" concert on Oct. 14 in The Belushi Performance Hall at The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage (425 Fawell Boulevard) in Glen Ellyn, Illinois featuring international superstar and multiple Grammy Award-winner Olivia Newton-John, Grammy nominee Beth Nielsen Chapman and SOCAN Award-winner Amy Sky. "LIV ON" is an inspiring new project that grew from the trio’s personal experiences triumphing over adversity. This labor of love celebrates new-found meaning, hope and strength through music and stories. More: 630-942-4000 or atthemac.org.

Lakeshore Public Radio's weekly program "Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges" is helping progressive rock music fans celebrate the Prog-tober Fest concert weekend on Oct. 21-23 at Reggie's Rock Club (2109 S. State St.) in Chicago. The radio show will welcome guests Joe Deninzon of the international group Stratosheerius and Leslie Hunt of the Chicago-based national band District 97 to the Region airwaves Friday from noon to 2 p.m. An "American Idol" finalist on 2007's "Season Six," Hunt has released three solo albums and three with District 97.

West Coast R&B singer Shawna Stewart guests in-studio for the "Midwest BEAT" evening edition (7 to 8 p.m.) Oct. 10 along with her musical collaborator Gene Stewart. Stream Lakeshore programs live at lakeshorepublicmedia.org.

Opinions are solely those of the writer. Reach him at beatboss@aol.com.

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