West Dundee inventors create app to find local musicians

Meet John Mayer and Mike Echlin, two West Dundee residents who have developed a computer app to introduce music lovers to regional musicians.

With the click of a mouse or a touch of a finger their free app, called Gigable, internet users of all ages can listen to Midwestern artists, searching for audiences.

“We deal only with American artists,” Mayer said. “We'll tell you the story of the artists, allow you to listen to their music, and tell you where they will be performing.”

The partners say their invention may take months or years off musicians' struggle for notoriety and lessen the time audiences' wait to be entertained.

“The music industry is not like 25 years ago when people heard about bands on the radio or through friends and waited to hear on the radio where they will perform,” Elchin said. “We use technology in promoting them.”

The website can be found at It already has a catalog of 1,000 artists and just as many followers. Its success is attributed to curious listeners searching for their next favorite song or musician and not wanting to travel far to see them perform.

“It's a great way to find new artists and different types of music,” Echlin said.

The business partners recently put their app to work and have teamed with Loren and Tina Anton, the owners of River Street Tavern in East Dundee as a setting for a series of shows.

By following the musicians, audience members knew how they would be entertained before they walked into the North River Street eatery. Since the app allows listeners to purchase tickets for the shows, music lovers did not have to worry about covering admission charges.

“The response was great. We sold out all the shows,” Mayer said. “The restaurant isn't big, but it was crowded the three nights of the shows.”

The three Sunday night shows at the restaurant included performances by Kevin Presbrey from the Chicago area; Watching the Foxes from Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the Zach Pietrini Band from Milwaukee.

The 80 people in the audience will, performers hope, tell their friends about the bands they heard and generate a larger following. Also, followers can use the app to learn about other performances for the artists.

More shows have been scheduled at River Street Tavern, including Pat McKinnon with special guest Dan Marquis on Sunday, May 20; and Belle of the Fall with special guest Mackenzie O'Brien on Sunday, June 30.

“We started this app four years ago because we both love music,” Mayer said. “We like promoting bands with Midwestern and American roots.”

They also like working together. Mayer and Echlin have known each other for 10 years. They are no strangers to Dundee Township. Mayer is a former West Dundee village trustee and is retired from the Hoffman Estates Fire Department.

Echlin has lived in Dundee Township for 20 years. He works as a software consultant.

“The Dundee area is becoming a recognized for a strong music presence,” Mayer said. “Our goal is to give artists the ability to reach more fans and play to crowded venues.”

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