Sound check: New music, Park West show with Magic City Hippies

  • Magic City Hippies, featuring Buffalo Grove drummer Pat Howard, right, brings tropical funk-infused vibes and a new album to Chicago's Park West this weekend.

    Magic City Hippies, featuring Buffalo Grove drummer Pat Howard, right, brings tropical funk-infused vibes and a new album to Chicago's Park West this weekend. Courtesy of Fro Rojas

Posted1/26/2022 6:00 AM

The Hippies are coming!

Buffalo Grove drummer Pat Howard and his psych-pop band Magic City Hippies followed up a recent string of single and video releases with the new album "Water Your Garden," the band's third studio LP. Written and recorded remotely with the band members quarantining in three different home bases across the country, the new LP explores Howard, Robby Hunter and John Coughlin focusing inward as the COVID pandemic dragged on.


"I think, haphazardly, we all realized how important self-care was, and how necessary it was to help us get through this thing," Hunter said. "Without knowing, we began to write about our life experiences -- and the songs started flowing. With the life transitions everyone in the band was going through, we were all starting to water our own gardens and take care of ourselves and our families for the first time."

Fans of the collection of funk-infused tropical beats can see the Magic City Hippies when they are joined by L.A. indie-pop band courtship. at the Park West this weekend.

9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago. $20. (773) 929-1322 or

The return of Hey Nonny

After hitting pause last month in light of rising omicron numbers, Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights is opening back up this weekend. Celebrate its return with two shows this weekend -- The Chicago Soul Jazz Collective's hard-grooving tunes on Friday and the eclectic classics of Expo '76 on Saturday.

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Chicago Soul Jazz Collective at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28; $12-$30. Expo '76 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29; $12-$30. Hey Nonny is at 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights, (224) 202-0750 or

Burgers, brews and John Primer's blues

The Venue hosts its new Burgers, Blues & Brews series with the legendary John Primer & The Real Deal Band this weekend. Primer, who has shared the spotlight with the likes of Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr. and many others, puts his fiery blues on the Aurora stage Saturday. Gillerson's Grubbery Food Truck will be on hand offering dinner to go with the show.

8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at The Venue, 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $17 for general admission, $20 for premium table or bar seating (tickets increase by $5 at the door). (331) 212-8490 or

In other news

• Lucinda Williams announced this week her Feb. 18 show at Unity Temple has been postponed to Monday, April 11, for safety concerns. Also, due to demand, a second show has been added on Tuesday, April 12. For ticket info, visit


• Warrenville's Jamie Riani of post-punk rock band 13-Monsters recently expanded his Leo Graphics print company's services to include a new division -- Music Graphics Chicago -- catering to artists, venues and other musical interests. Get the full scoop on the Logan Square shop's services at

• We recently reported on early-bird ticket sales for Chicago's Windy City Smokeout. As of this week, the full lineup is out and single-day tickets have hit the box office. The Aug. 4-7 country music festival will feature headliners Willie Nelson & Family, Turnpike Troubadors, Tim McGraw, Sam Hunt and Miranda Lambert, along with a full lineup of hot country artists. See the schedule and get tickets at

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck). He also keeps tabs on the Chicago music scene at

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