Forty-something Illinois songwriter Ike Reilly owns a fascinating backstory. He kicked around the Chicago bar-band circuit in the '80s and early '90s before falling out of the music scene and working as a hotel doorman and a gravedigger. He was rediscovered in his late thirties, signed to (and then dropped by) a major label, and responsible for songs such as "They Really Put the Cunt Back Into Country" (in response to Toby Keith-style jingoism). But none of this would really matter if his music sucked and he wasn't a magnetic live performer -- but it doesn't, and he is. Reilly and his band of assassins rip heartily through darkly witty, bluesy roots-rock songs of sin, redemption and grace. These underbelly tales from the road between Losertown and Desperationville call to mind Dylan, Springsteen, Westerberg and Strummer -- and even occasionally get a mite Beckish.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.