Whether you're looking for great food, music or simply a few new friends to complain about the Cubs to, put summertime in Chicago on your bucket-list. Just make sure you check your weather app before you pack.
Seeing Allen Toussaint perform twice in the space of about 60 days -- in drastically different circumstances each time -- reminded me of why a love for musical roots can seemingly never run out of ways to discover and rediscover the beginnings of American popular music.
I caught up with Ed Burns at Chicago's City Winery before he took the stage for his "Evening of Wine and Film." In his charming way, he discussed how the evening came to fruition and working again with his good friend Connie Britton.
As though headlining the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, Dr. Stanley was both the bandleader and narrator for the night, momentarily converting City Winery into a 21st Century urban vaudeville stage.
Back in 1981, Marshall Crenshaw's single "Something's Gonna Happen" was released on Shake Records, initiating his string of critically acclaimed classic albums and 45s. Now Marshall, celebrating 30 years of music-making, sits down to talk.
There is the Dan Bern you must listen to; the storming riffs and tender shifts of progression that bed captivating melodies. Then there is the one upon the stage, swaying and strumming as the quintessential portrait of a wandering troubadour.