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May 18, 2011
Chicago, IL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: uncommon ground celebrates 20 years of business at its flagship location in Lakeview, Chicago.

uncommon ground proudly celebrates its 20-year anniversary with 20 consecutive days of performances and special events from July 1 through July 20, 2011. These 20 days and nights will feature an array of selected artists who started their careers with uncommon ground and have since cultivated a successful following outside of Chicago.

In November of 1990, uncommon ground began as the first espresso bar operation in Chicago and in July of 1991 quickly moved into its first cafe space in Lakeview. uncommon ground has expanded twice in its current location and in 2007, a second location opened in Edgewater, Chicago.

In its 20th year in business in Lakeview, owners Helen and Michael Cameron have successfully cultivated a full service restaurant, bar, art gallery, and music venue while embracing local and organic food, beer and spirits with a mission to operate a green business. Both uncommon ground locations have received 3 star certification from the Green Restaurant Association. In the same year of their 20th anniversary, the Cameron's are also the proud, new owners of the actual building the business resides in. Once again, construction is currently underway to expand the dining and music rooms.

uncommon ground has avidly supported the arts community since opening in 1991. Both locations feature music 7 nights a week while uncommon ground, Lakeview is one of the first music venues in Chicago to host acts such as Jeff Buckley, Glen Hansard and David Gray. Weekly residencies including Chicago's Best Open Mic Competition draw talent from all across the country. uncommon ground Shure sponsored open mic winner Crystal Bowersox went on to be the final runner up on American Idol.

uncommon ground Official 20-Year Anniversary Events:  July 1 to July 20, 2011:
Sponsored in part by Goose Island, Casa Noble, and Rain Organic Vodka.

Friday, July 1st:
An Evening with Nora O'Connor: 10pm, $5 suggested donation benefiting Rock For Kids
She sings with Neko Case and on the new Mavis Staples/Wilco record, she sung and played guitar as a member of Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, was a doe-eyed Rose Red to Gina Black's Snow White with Bloodshot Records' glam-country outfit The Blacks, and has recorded and performed with just about everybody else-including The New Pornographers, Archer Prewitt, Jon Wesley Harding, The Aluminum Group, Otis Clay, Chris Mills, Janet Bean, Frisbee, and Justin Roberts. O'Connor has also contributed tracks to Bloodshot Records' fifth anniversary release "Down to the Promised Land," their Knitters tribute "Poor Little Knitter on the Road," the Wanda Jackson tribute "Hard Headed Woman" and their acclaimed kids CD "The Bottle Let Me Down." RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Saturday, July 2:
An Acoustic Evening with Ode: 10pm, $5 suggested donations benefiting Rock for Kids
Ode began in Chicago after brothers Davor and Robert Palos left Bosnia. The siblings fittingly dubbed their band Ode, meaning ?to leave? in their native Bosnian tongue. While playing music in the city Robert befriended pianist and accordion player Adis Sirbubalo. Soon after, drummer Daniel Crane and bassist Skender Makota joined the ensemble to complete the brooding Balkan roots sound. Ode's sound is a mixture of rock, folk, and world music. Certain pieces of the puzzle are indigenous to their Eastern European homeland but richly layered with heavy rhythmic elements and punctuated with deliberate pauses. The ensuing fusion is a trailblazing, energetic brand of rock music. Front man Davor?s harmoniously roaring yet graceful voice cuts like anguish through a room. He has the ability to move an audience through haunting melodies and beautifully complicated, piercing lyrics. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Sunday, July 3:
An Evening with Martha's Trouble: Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm, $5 suggested donation
Five years ago, Martha's Trouble, an Americana folk/rock duo, released a nationally, critically acclaimed album, ?Forget October.? Since, the duo has all but been quiet, touring the country, writing and recording, preparing for the next leg of their epic adventure. On Feb. 1, 2011, Martha?s Trouble released the much-anticipated Anchor Tattoo, the duo's tenth self-released album.
RESERVATIONS ONLY:  773-929-3680

Monday, July 4th:
No music- Happy Independence Day.

Tuesday, July 5th:
An Evening with PurgAtory Hill (Pat mAcdonald and melaniejane): Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm, $10 suggested donation
Since his 1987 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (Timbuk3), pat mAcdonald has continued to write, perform and reinvent himself releasing 7 critically acclaimed albums--5 with worldwide distribution. The evolution of his solo acoustic works such as Pat MacDonald Sleeps With His Guitar, Begging Her Graces, Degrees of Gone, and Strange Love: PM does DM led to his more amplified sound found on In the Red Room and Troubadour of Stomp which some describe as ?Gothic Americana Swamp Rock Blues.? RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Wednesday, July 6:
A celebration of Jeff Buckley with Todd Kessler and Spencer Michaud: Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm. $5 suggested donation
Todd Kessler is a local Chicago artist and has been singing since a young age and playing guitar since the age of twelve; he began composing soon after. Playing in bands in high school and college, Todd found his sound as a solo artist playing the local clubs and bars in Chicago and the surrounding area.  Spencer Michaud draws upon the ghosts of motown, tin-pan alley and the folk tradition to create a sound that is both theatrical and sincere. Michaud is a regular performer at the Jeff Buckley Tribute concerts held annually at Uncommon Ground. He currently teaches guitar and songwriting in the Ann Arbor area. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680. Enjoy the seasonal 3-course Guest Appreciation Dinner every Wednesday.

Thursday, July 7:
An Evening with Story Club 8-10pm, FREE
Story Club is the long-standing, monthly residency at uncommon ground, mixing the spontaneity of an open mic with the experience of live theater, creating a forum for writers/performers to display their storytelling prowess, be it fiction or nonfiction, read from the page or memorized. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Art Opening and Reception: Shannon Favia, 6-8pm
Shannon was raised in Lima, Ohio where she developed a love for making art in the 3rd grade at St. Charles Elementary School. Like her life right now, her artwork is simple, complex, fun, serious, sleep deprived, caffeinated, peaceful, chaotic, and somehow perfectly balanced.

Friday, July 8:
Very special guest to be announced.

Saturday, July 9:
Twang Bang Family Performance: 3-4pm, FREE
"Frank Zappa meets Gene Krupa meets Dr. Seuss." A veritable 2-person Rock & Roll orchestra of percussion, guitar and singing. Whacked out, sharp-witted original songs and crazy pots-and-pans musicianship combine with early Jazz and Blues, Rock-a-billy, Surf, Opera, Punk, R&B, and Folk Music. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

An Evening with Jason Narducy: 10pm, $10 suggested donations. Portion of proceeds to benefit Rock for Kids
Jason Narducy is a Chicago musician who is currently a member of the Seattle band Telekinesis (Merge Records) and is also known as the former singer / songwriter / guitarist for Epic Recording artists Verbow. He has toured America and Europe as bassist for Bob Mould as well as Robert Pollard. Jason once sang the National Anthem at a Bulls game. He also sang a duet with Patricia Barber on her Blue Note Records debut, "Companion". RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680.

Sunday, July 10:
An Evening with Liam Davis: 7pm dinner, 8pm show $5 suggested donation
After ten years as a songwriter, guitarist and singer with critically-acclaimed Chicago power pop outfit Frisbie, Liam Davis brings his sensibilities to bear on the acoustic, man-with-a-guitar context. Oft referred to as one of Chicago's finest vocalists, Davis combines a unique instrument with a penchant for personal storytelling and an enthusiastic respect for song craft. His first solo album, The Dread Knot Awaits, is in production. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Monday, July 11:
Shure Sponsored Open Mic hosted by Wes Lambert of Nelken: 7pm sign-up
Open Mic at Uncommon Ground is one of the best in the city, proudly celebrating 20 years of exclusive sponsorship from Shure Microphones.  Enjoy the Exclusive $15 Music Monday menu.

Tuesday, July 12:
An Evening with Brad Peterson: Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm. $5 suggested donations benefit Rock for Kids
As a founding member of critically acclaimed, college radio darlings "Peatmoss" in the mid-90s, Brad has toured and played with Jeff Buckley, Cake, The Wallflowers, Alanis Morrisette and The Dave Matthews Band and has performed is settings ranging from solo acoustic to full band, Brad has cultivated a loyal grass roots following, from LA's Viper Room to New York's CBGB's and many points in between. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Wednesday, July 13:
Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP) Benefit 6-8pm. $35 3-course seasonal meu TBA
CROP founder and Uncommon Ground Rooftop Farm Coordinator Dave Snyder is working in conjunction with the City of Chicago and the architecture firm Altamanu to bring the first ever fruit orchard to Logan Square in Chicago at the corner of Milwaukee Ave and Logan Blvd. Mix and mingle, support community, and learn more about CROP initiatives while enjoying the Uncommon round Agripolitan Cocktail,  $6 Rain organic vodka and seasonal ingredients served martini style. Proceeds from every Agripolitan sold are donated to CROP. Over 5,000 have been sold since January, 2010.

Justin Roberts and Friends Songwriters Circle: Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm. $5 suggested donations benefit Rock for Kids
Chicago's grammy nominated songwriter performs as part of a round robin songwriting circle. Special guests to be announced.  RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680. Enjoy the seasonal, 3-course Guest Appreciation Dinner every Wednesday.

Thursday, 7-14:
An Evening with Katie Todd: Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm. $5 suggested donation
Lauded by as having one of the "top buzz bands in the country", Katie claimed a spot as the website's "Artist of the Week", earning nearly 300,000 downloads of their single "Face Down". On her album: Make Some Time For Wasting, Katie's captivating voice and signature percussive keys-playing are showcased most boldly on her haunting single, "Leave," which tells a tale of woe that has radio and TV programmers hailing it as "one of the most perfect pop songs to come along in quite a while." RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Friday, 7-15:
An Evening with Dolly Varden: 10pm, $10 suggested donation
Chicago quintet Dolly Varden is built around the singing and songwriting of husband and wife duo Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen, along with Mark Balletto on guitar, Matt Thobe on drums and Mike Bradburn on bass. In 2009 and 2010 played just a handful of shows as Dawson focused on his second solo album, I Will Miss The Trumpets and the Drums, and Christiansen focused on a large art installation project, ?Notes To Nonself? with collaborator Shoshanna Utchenik. The band is currently writing and arranging new songs and will record and release a new album in 2011. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Saturday, 7-16:
A Michigan Songwriter Showcase featuring Sam Corbin and Jen Sygit: 10pm, $5 suggested donation
With heart, soul, and determination, Sam Corbin has traveled and performed for the last decade, with no signs of slowing down. Touring around the USA and just about everywhere within his home state of Michigan, he plays music with hints of Americana, Blues, and Folk. His songwriting is strong and honest drawing inspiration from personal experiences of love, loss, traveling, and Michigan, from its beautiful countryside to it's struggling economy. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Sunday, 7-17:
An Evening with Al Rose, Al Day and Victor Sanders: Dinner at 6pm, show at 7pm, $5 suggested donation
Al Rose is a striking songwriter and musician with a unique and powerful vision that continues to jell and focus on his 5th and latest release (2008), ?My First Posthumous Release?. His previous albums have received extensive airplay on AAA and Americana stations throughout the US along with a bevy of critical praise. He is a mesmerizing transformer when performing live as a solo or with any number of his band, The Transcendos, in any configuration. Al Day and Victor Sanders accompany. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Monday, 7-18:
Open Mic Semi-Final Competition, Grand Finale 7-20 Sponsored by Shure Microphones. Hosted by Wes Lambert of Nelken. 8-10pm, suggested donation
2 nights of finalists compete to make it to the Grand Finale on Wednesday, July 20th at uncommon ground, Devon. 1 song per performer. 4 finalists will be selected from each night of the semi-finals. 8 will go on to the final Grande Finale Competition at Devon on Wednesday, July 14th. 1 winner and 2 runner-ups will be determined by a cast of judges. Cash prizes and giveaways.  Tuesday 7/19 and 20: Uncommon Ground: 1401 West Devon Avenue

Tuesday, 7-19:
Uncommon Ground Employee Talent Night featuring Algebro, Steve Leaf of Go Long Mule, The Drummond Bros., Rachele Eve, and Chris Tobias of Alpha Stray
7:30pm, $5 suggested donation
The uncommon ground family gathers to share their musical talents. Featuring uncommon ground's very own Thom Cathcart and his folk noir band, Algebro. Other acts include a solo acoustic set by Chris Tobias, Steve Leaf from Go Long Mule, Rachele Eve and the Drummond Brothers.

Wed. 7-20:
An Acoustic Evening with Everest: Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm. $10 suggested donations benefit Rock For Kids
Straight off a national tour supporting My Morning Jacket, Everest plays an intimate night of acoustic music on the final night of Uncommon Ground's 20-year anniversary celebration in support of their latest Warner Bros release, On Approach. Their 2008 debut, Ghost Notes, drew strong critical marks and comparisons to Topanga Canyon, California country rock. However, none of this quite prepares one for On Approach, which finds the group in a full-tilt creative charge. RESERVATIONS ONLY: 773-929-3680

Additional info including interview requests and high res photos are available upon request:


Angie Mead, Programming/PR
uncommon ground
Celebrating the Country's First Certified Organic Rooftop Farm

1401 W. Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
Celebrating the Country's First Certified Organic Rooftop Farm

3800 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL  60613
Celebrating 20 Years in Lakeview, July 2011.