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Fort Atlantic w/ Owen & The Ghosts - 8pm | $10

  • Uncommon Ground (Edgewater) 1401 West Devon Avenue Chicago, IL, 60660 United States (map)


After eight years as a musician, Jon Black felt constrained working under his own name. His music had outgrown his singer-songwriter career, so he released an album of new material under the name FORT ATLANTIC. The debut surpassed every expectation: over 12M streams, and more than 6M views on YouTube. Black plotted his next steps.

A cross-country move took him from Birmingham to Portland. He put a band together, and went on tour. Soon they had new material, bigger and bolder still. Recorded in a secret location on the Oregon coast, SHADOW SHAKER, VOL. 1 tells of perseverance in the face of unrelenting trials. Crashing waves of cymbals and guitars frame lush forests of analog synths, mirroring the landscape of Black’s adopted home. Primal motifs in the lyrics (darkness, water, sunlight) evoke the anxieties of life in 21st-century America, themes that presaged the storms to come.

In 2015, the band was abruptly dropped from their label, the newly-completed record still unreleased. As old plans were scrapped and new plans hatched, Black’s pregnant wife went into emergency labor. They spent two long months in the NICU. Those songs of perseverance and hope, recorded for the rejected album just six months prior, were newly visceral.

The album was released on the band’s own Hot Garbage label in October 2017. The video for Bathed In Sunlight is an Official Selection in the 2018 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, and was submitted for a 2017 Grammy Nomination.

Owen and the Ghosts is the Chicago based alternative folk-rock project of Owen Hemming (guitar, vocals) Scott McGivern (bass, vocals), and Jamie Stephens). Their music is melodic but often with an energetic grit to it in the vein of Neil Young, Wilco, and the Rolling Stones.