Sound check: JDR & the Broadcast drop new release at Aurora's The Venue

JDR's 'Winning' release show

Straight out of the gate, JDR & the Broadcast showcases all the hallmarks of a strong Americana band with the opening song on its new release, “No Winning Hands.” But by the time the title track (and the band's lead single) hits, listeners are warmed up for the band's solid rock chops. What follows is a string of fun songs that spotlight the band's collective skills as well as lead John Rowland's homegrown and charmingly engaging vocals. JDR & the Broadcast is celebrating the release with a show at The Venue in the band's hometown of Aurora. Pop-rock duo Vinyl Pop, whose recent single, “This Time,” folds bluesy grooves into the duo's singer-songwriter blend, joins the band on the lineup.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at The Venue, 1 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $10-$15. (331) 212-8490 or

Take the Reins headlines an ALS benefit show at BrauerHouse in Lombard Saturday, Feb. 1, with Bumsy and the Moochers, Lights Over Bridgeport and Attic Salt. Courtesy of Alex Zarek

In memory of Kim Shattuck

When Kim Shattuck of The Muffs and The Pandoras died last fall after a two-year struggle with ALS, it sparked Naperville's Caitlin Edwards to create a benefit show in her memory. “She's a big inspiration of mine and one of my favorite songwriters/musicians,” Edwards said. “I've also known some people and their families who have been affected by ALS ... so I thought this time would be a great opportunity to raise money for this disease that is super costly to treat ...” Proceeds from the 21-and-older show - featuring performances from Take The Reins, Edward's band Bumsy and the Moochers, Lights Over Bridgeport and Attic Salt this weekend at Lombard's BrauerHouse - will benefit The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter. The show will also include a raffle table, with proceeds going to the charity.

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $8-$10. (630) 495-2141 or

Bitter Jester submissions

Hey, Chicago-area musicians! Highland Park's Bitter Jester Music Festival opens submissions at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Feb 1, for this summer's battle of the bands. The monthlong musical contest has nearly tripled its cash prizes for its 15th anniversary season, which features four preliminary rounds Fridays in June and the grand finale concert Saturday, July 4, directly preceding Highland Park's fireworks display. Applications and information are available at

<i> Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck). Brian also keeps tabs on the Chicago-area music scene at</i>

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