elizaBeth Simpson

elizaBeth SimpsonFrom New England to Berkeley and back, elizaBeth Simpson has a history of singing on the street. Her sets feature jazz-spiked, indie-folk originals and are sprinkled with a cappella treats ranging from irish street ballads to contemporary protest songs (she has made police cry at blockades). elizaBeth makes music to celebrate what it’s like to be alive, and invites you to join her.


Saturday, November 1st, 11:45am-12:45pm
Landmark Hotel Ballroom

Mayhew the Traitor

Mayhew the TraitorFor nearly 10 years, Matthew Hobler has been making fantastic music as the lead singer and songwriter of the group Mayhew the Traitor. Their music is melodic rock, with deep textures and flowing melodies.  Matt and his wife Jeni have taken their music beyond the region, at one point moving to Nashville and touring nationally, and have recently returned to Urbana as a duo while the band was on hiatus, bringing a softer acoustic singer-songwriter folk sound to their music.  A typical Matt and Jeni “Mayhew” show will feature a mix of new original music and classic songs by Townes Van Zandt, Elliott Smith, Gram Parsons, Neil Young and more.  The duo is currently re-forming the band, which will return to the scene before the year’s end.

Friday, November 1st, 10:45pm-11:15pm
Independent Media Center
Wristband or cover

Nightjar Promotions Presents Mike Reeb, with Jeff Arrigo, A Metropolitan Guide, and Eva Hunter

Jeff Arrigo2:00pm-2:40pm: Jeff Arrigo
In three short years since moving to Champaign from his homeland area of the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, Jeff Arrigo has gained a steady legion of fans appreciative of his homespun stories and songcraft.  Co-founder of the Champaign/Urbana Singer-Songwriter Collective, Jeff has also been instrumental in uniting many of the fantastic songwriters in the area, sharing music and friendship at monthly meetings at the Clark Bar.  Jeff’s incredible songs touch on stories of family, social issues, and an occasional fictional-based story song.

Brian Davis - A Metropolitian Guide2:45pm-3:25pm: A Metropolitan Guide
A Metropolitan Guide is the project of Peoria, Illinois-based singer/songwriter, Brian Davis. Over the past 4 years, Brian has developed into a fantastic songwriter of note, and has travelled throughout the country as the leader of the band Something With Trees.  A Metropolitan Guide represents his first solo recordings, a style he categorizes as “nerdy folk-rock.”

Eva Hunter3:30pm-4:10pm: Eva Hunter
Admirers say it’s the immediacy in her eyes, honesty of her voice, and her hauntingly poignant songs which make Eva Hunter a truly unique and powerful performer. They describe her as having the raw emotion of Janis Joplin, the growl of Melissa Etheridge, and yet the tenderness of K.D. Lang. Hunter fuses elements of country, folk, light jazz and orchestrated rock as her alluring voice glides from a… raspy whisper to a gospel-like boom. In fifteen years of touring, Eva has performed with many acclaimed artists, toured with popular Nashville band The Floating Men, and formed a live band of top artists from her hometown producing a total of five album releases.

Mike Reeb4:15pm-5:00pm: Mike Reeb
Mike Reeb is a full-time touring musician from the Midwest. Throughout the country, he has opened for several notable musicians, including Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Pug, Sleeping at Last, Bill Mallonee, Denison Witmer, Jeremy Messersmith, Gabby Moreno, Elsinore, Kink Ador, Honey Trees, Derek Webb, Company of Thieves, and Jason Webley at venues like Schubas Tavern (Chicago), Hotel Cafe (Los Angeles), The Listening Room Cafe (Nashville), Rockwood Music Hall (New York City), Mike & Molly’s (Champaign, IL), Duffy’s Tavern (Lincoln, NE), Czar Bar (Kansas City), Lindbergs (Springfield, MO), The Frequency (Madison, WI), Rumba Cafe (Columbus, OH). In 2010, one of Mike’s original songs was also featured in the movie Janie Jones, starring Abigail Breslin.

Nightjar Promotions


Saturday, November 2nd, 2:00pm-5:00pm
Iron Post

Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen

Rebecca RegoRebecca Rego grew up on a small farm in southeastern Wisconsin. “I was always in love with the guitar.” explains Rego. Her mother, a former concert cellist, encouraged her to study and play classical guitar and that’s what she did for most of her adolescence. Falling in love with singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, and Bruce Springsteen, she longed to write songs of her own. Then, sometime in the middle of teenage angst, she wrote her first song. In 2006 she moved to Chicago and recorded her first EP. Cutting her teeth in the fertile Chicago open mic scene, she slowly began to gain a voice and a following. There is now no mistaking her unique vocal range and finger picking style, reminiscent of her classical training.

Rebecca has now teamed up with three young men from the heartland of Illinois; childhood friends who grew up in and around Kankakee, Illinois. Cory Ponton (guitar, banjo), Matt Yeates (drums), and Eric Fitts (bass, mandolin) comprise The Trainmen. The group recorded their debut album this summer at Earth Analog Studio in Tolono, IL and are prepping for a Spring 2014 release.

Friday, November 1st, 8:45pm-10:00pm
Rose Bowl
Wristband or cover

Flower Jax

Flower JaxThe Flower Jax, Kenna Mae Reiss and Chris Strand, bring an intricate weaving of mandolin and guitar melodies, strong vocal harmonies, and heartfelt songwriting that give this duo its organic acoustic sound.



Saturday, November 2nd, 11:15am-12:15pm
Strawberry Fields

Paul Kotheimer

Paul KotheimerPaul Kotheimer has been writing, recording, and releasing DIY acoustic music since the days of the cassette tape. He is quite possibly one of the finest songwriters you’ve never heard of, period. He got his start as an Urbana local music legend at the Red Herring Coffee House in the early 1990s, had a near-miss brush with major label attention later that decade, and has kept plugging away since then, in his home recording studio and at cozy little venues, putting out a total of eleven (yes, ELEVEN) solo albums on his own label, which is actually literally called “The Hand-Made Record Label.” This fall, Paul celebrates 20 years of living and making music in Urbana, Illinois.

Saturday, November 2nd, 10:00am-11:00am
Strawberry Fields

Keith Harden

Keith HardenKeith Harden is a singer-songwriter guitarist who plays folk-blues-americana, and so on. Originally a central Illinois native, Keith perfored in the Midwest and  opened for legends like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and others. Keith played countless gigs as a solo acoustic performer, with several different duo partners, and with his electric blues band. After that, Keith lived and performed in upstate New York for several years where he opened for Bobby Blue Bland, Jorma Kaukonen and others before moving to Nashville, Tennessee to focus on writing, recording, and performing. His latest recording is a seven song EP titled “Calico Girl.”

Saturday, November 2nd, 10:30pm-11:45pm
Wristband or cover

Ben Bedford

Ben BedfordSpringfield artist Ben Bedford refers to his style as “American portrait songwriting,” drawing upon history for inspiration and presenting songs with a strong sense of time and place. With three albums to his credit, Bedford’s music has received extensive airplay on folk and roots radio in the U.S. and Europe. Fellow singer-songwriter Diana Jones has described his work as “beautiful and unusual songs that take the listener to the heart of the matter.”

Saturday, November 2nd, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Urbana Free Library, Busey-Mills Reading Room

Saturday, November 2nd, 7:15pm-8:30pm
Heartland Gallery
Wristband or cover