Last rodeo for Country Calendar concert
Married couple Heather McAdams and Chris Ligon are the creators of the Country Calendar (honoring a vintage country star each month) and the calendar release concert parties at FitzGerald's. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar Show
9 p.m. Dec. 7 at FitzGerald’s Nightclub, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn
$20 at Ticketweb.com
(708) 788-2118; www.fitzgeraldsnightclub.com
To order the 2013 Country Calendar ($26 including shipping), email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated: December 6, 2012 3:24PM
Attention old-time country music lovers: If you’ve ever been a fan of artist Heather McAdams’ annual Country Calendar and its accompanying blowout concert parties, don’t miss this year’s release celebration.
It’s going to be the last one for the foreseeable future.
The 2013 Country Calendar Show — featuring 12 musical acts covering songs by the vintage country stars spotlighted each month in the calendar McAdams creates — will be presented Dec. 7 at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn.
“This one’s going to be a little bittersweet because it’s the last one for at least a little while,” said McAdams, who is preparing to take a break from the calendar she has created for the past 20 years. “But every fall winds up being entirely devoted to the calendar, so I decided it’s time to clear some space and try something different.
“It’s still going to be a heck of a party though. For me, it’s always seemed like a party that’s gone on for years, where you know you’re going to see some old friends, on stage and in the audience.”
There will definitely be some familiar faces on stage including Jon Langford (covering Johnny Cash), Scott Ligon (covering Skeeter Davis), and Robbie and Donna Fulks (covering the Johnson Mountain Boys) — all of them having performed in most, if not all, of the previous shows. Other performers and the artists they’ve been assigned to cover include The Modern Sounds (George Jones), The Fat Babies (Bob Wills), The Polkaholics (The Collins Kids), Matt Miller (Conway Twitty), Jane Baxter Miller & Kent Kessler (Freddie Fender), The Paulina Hollers (Bill Monroe), The Lawrence Peters Outfit (Randy Travis), The Possum Hollow Boys (Wanda Jackson), and Devil in a Woodpile (Billy Joe Shaver).
“All of the performers each year are our friends,” said McAdams’ husband Chris Ligon, a musician/composer who co-produces the show. “They’re all into country music, but their involvement in the show has more to do with friendship. All of these people have careers on their own, so the fact that some of them have continued to do the show year after year is a very loving thing on their part.”
Speaking of love, Ligon and McAdams each had an early interest in country, but it became more of a mutual passion after they met and moved to Chicago in the late-’80s, just at the time the city’s alt-country scene was beginning to develop. The Country Calendar and, a few years later, the annual release-party show, was a product of that passion.
Will the final (until further notice) show be even more of a blast than its predecessors?
“I think all of the shows have been great, mainly because of the level of talent on stage,” said Ligon, who described the events as a mix of educational opportunity and “a hoot and a honky-tonk drunken brawl.” Ligon added that this year’s show would be likely to run longer than the usual, fairly epic three-and-a-half to four hours, because of special guests and activities. “The energy level of the show is always very high though, because there’s very little downtime,” he said. “We present a live act and when they’re done, the screen comes down for a movie and the next act sets up behind it. So there’s no break in the action.”
At least, not until the party — particularly this year’s party — is over.~.