Former Gold Coast hotel bellman turned Chicago indie rocker Ike Reilly is set to release his seventh studio album "Crooked Love" via Rock Ridge Music on May 18. Next week's release will be on CD and digital formats, with a vinyl format to come later.
Reilly and his band, The Assassination, have a series of 8 p.m. shows scheduled this month at The Old Town School of Folk Music (4545 N. Lincoln Ave.) in Chicago. Catch them there this evening (with special guest Michael McDermott) and again on May 17 (with songwriter Gia Margaret), May 24 (with Half Gringo) and May 31 (with comedian/actor David Pasquesi of HBO's "Veep"). Tickets are $20 for all performances. Hoosiers can catch them on this side of the state line for a 9 p.m. 18 and older show Friday in Fort Wayne at The B-Side of One Lucky Guitar (1301 Lafayette St.). Tickets are $15.
Since his major label debut, the groundbreaking "Salesmen and Racists," Reilly has been making punk/folk/blues influenced rock ’n’ roll records that lean heavily on stories of outsiders that insinuate a crack in the American dream. The new release is produced by Reilly and Phil Karnats.
"Crooked Love" captures a timeless quality, the kind records that stand the test of time evoke. “I’ve been trying to get that timeless sense all along, but I think this record actually does do that,” reflected Reilly. “I’ve fallen into the trap a couple of times in my recordings and with some of my lyrics maybe being a little too in the moment at times, but I hope I’ve been able to achieve something else with the direction and attitude of this one. Chasing that timeless feel in a time like 2018 can be a tall order but we did it. It’s authentic. I never made a record before that sounds like this.” Keep up with the artist at: ikereilly.net.
• An Americana original -- songwriter, guitarist, bluesman, interpreter and performer for more than 50 years, Chris Smither -- performs an 8 p.m. gig tonight at SPACE (1245 Chicago Ave.) in Evanston, Illinois. The gig promotes "Call Me Lucky," his first new album of original music in over six years, on which he reinvented Chuck Berry's "Maybelline," playing it in a minor key with a menacing result. Tickets $20-$35. More: 847-492-8860.
• Big band standards and jazz classics are on the menu tonight at Region Ale (1080 U.S. 41) in Schererville as the 15-piece Calumet Ridge Jazz Ensemble performs at 7 p.m. with guest vocalists Steve Martinez and Kelly Bourget. Reservations are strongly advised at 219-322-2337. At 8 p.m. Friday, The Janal Peers Trio performs a mixed bag of musical styles and genres, followed by a night of good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll with The Muddsharks on Saturday at 8 p.m. More: regionaletaphouse.com.
• Things will be groovin' tonight to the rhythmic sounds of TimePeace Unplugged at The White Rhino (101 Joliet St.) in Dyer. The trio fronted by Robby Celestin and featuring Greg Guidotti and Jesse Hernandez takes the stage at 8 p.m. More: 219-864-9200 or whiterhinoonline.com.
• Journeyman region music maker Cousin Dave Neeley will be picking out folk, blues and country rock classics with the help of comrades Mitch Bright and Keith Kolecki under the banner of The No Brakes Band from 7-11 p.m. at The Town Pub (214 E. Commercial Ave.) in Lowell. More: 219-690-1947.
• Wildrose Brewing Company (1104 E. Main St.) in Griffith celebrates its third anniversary with a solid line-up of four live music acts this Saturday -- Justin King, The Gerry Hundt Project, The Nomad Planets and Upsidedown & Backwards -- who will perform for this all ages free event. More: 219-595-5054 or wildrosebrewing.com.
• Rocker Dave Alamillo breaks out his guitar for a night of songs at 8 p.m. Friday at The Pivot Lounge (11217 Whitcomb St.) in Crown Point. Then on Saturday, singer/songwriter Michael "Nevada" Young makes his debut performance at the venue with an 8:30 p.m. solo performance. More: 219- 323-3689.
• Mr. Crawpuppy himself -- Chad Clifford -- performs a solo show of covers and originals Saturday at Tavern On Main (136 S. Main St.) in Crown Point from 9:30 to midnight. More:(219-779-9377 or tavernonmaincp.com.
• Americana duo Patti & Dave do an 8 p.m. unplugged concert for all ages on Friday at Front Porch Music (505 E. Lincolnway) in Valparaiso. More: frontporchmusic.com or 219-464-4700.
• Singer/songwriter/TV personality Ralph Covert of the veteran Chicago rock band The Bad Examples and the namesake of the internationally famous children's musical show/group "Ralph's World," will spend the entire month of June in libraries, performing a series of over 40 shows across Minnesota for the toddler set. Keep up with his various projects at facebook.com/ralphcovert and facebook.com/Ralphsworld.
• It's almost time for the annual Joe B. Memorial Benefit Ride & Concert. Now in its 13th year, the family of the late Hammond Police officer Joe Betustak Jr. are moving the location of the May 19 event from the Wolf Lake Pavilion to The Knights of Columbus Hall (3916 173rd St.) in Hammond. Details are still forthcoming, but performances are confirmed by Beaver & Friends, Dreamz and Hail Mary. More: 219-616-2224.
• Reggae and ska music will be heard Friday on 89.1-FM Lakeshore Public Radio's noon to 2 p.m. program "Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges," as Northwest Indiana author and longtime Northwest Indiana Times correspondent Heather Augustyn of Chesterton guests in-studio to talk about her latest book "Alpha Boys School: Cradle of Jamaican Music." Stream live at: lakeshorepublicradio.org.