Extraordinarily Grateful!

Ideally, this is how the New Year has started off for you too.

Maybe not in a llama onesie, getting ready to plunge into the icy depths of Lake Michigan with 500 of your closest friends at the 44th Parallel on New Year’s Day, but nevertheless in a similar state of wild abandon.

In 2024, I feel especially grateful for music, friendship and creative community.   We just finished the first-ever “New Year’s Steve,” dreamed up by Marilyn Rea Beyer, host of WFMT’s Folkstage and The Midnight Special.

The deep dive into Steve Goodman’s songs was a revelation, and working with artists like John Abbey, Naomi Ashley, Robin Bienemann, James Curley, Dennis Leise, Stephen Schuch, Alton Smith and Jon Williams to bring them to life was a joy. You can listen to the replay on the Folkstage archive here.

I’ve said many times, the audience makes the show. We write the songs, sure; but the audience tells us what they mean. I hope you’ll come out for some very special shows in January. We’ve got new some new songs we can’t wait to share with you, along with classics and a few covers for good measure.

First up: this Tuesday, January 9 at 7 pm, the Singer Songwriter Circle at FitzGerald’s.  My special guests are Brandon Reisdorf and Blue Stevenson.

Then, Cary’s Lounge in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood on Saturday, January 13, 4-7 pm for the first-ever “Jenny Bienemann and People She Loves” show. Who’s my first guest? Robin Bienemann, of course! Mary Halm on bass and Matthew Pittman on guitar join us.

Then, on Sunday, January 21, 7:00 pm, we will be at The Lake County Folk Club, a group of incredible people that have been keeping Lake County a haven for those who love to listen to and make folk music in all of its glorious diversity. Must be experienced to be believed. JOIN US!

In February, we head to the great state of Wisconsin for shows with Katie Dahl, Julian Hagan, Jess Holland, and Jeanne Kuhns. In fact, we are bringing the party to the Friendly Music Community. Stay tuned for more on that!

It never ceases to amaze me how doing what you love puts you in the company of the most amazing people. My new year’s wish is that we will be in each other’s company more often in 2024.

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