Chicago blues isn’t dead, but it’s aging while the contemporary music scene is exploding. The professional 20-somethings in this town don’t want a quiet bar with a dusty stage and a glass of whiskey. They want music they can shake to with a $2 PBR and a shot.
They want music that celebrates what makes them such a fast paced unstoppable force that, like the amazing and diverse Reels Green band, can’t be categorized.
Reels Green is comprised of six Chicago musicians: Andrew Furth (lead vocals and assorted percussion), Alec Lehrman (guitar), Ben Hoffman (keys), Chresten Hyde (drums), Josh Fink (bass), and Eric Seligman(trumpet and assorted percussion). Together, they make up a group that won’t be easily described.
I made the mistake of asking them what category of music Reels Green falls into and their written response was “F*%k genres.” Question answered.
Their occupations vary as greatly as their style with jobs ranging from working at a Wicker Park pizza place to working at Digitas, the digital agency that famously landed the $1.1 billion Sprint-Nextel account earlier this year.
Band embraces social media benefits
As they represent the digital generation that is taking over some of the hottest music spots in Chicago, you better believe they take advantage of what social media can do for them.
Frontman, Andrew Furth, is marketing the band using his skills as a Digitas’ senior associate of marketing.
“We’re finding the audience where they spend their time. It used to be that almost all the ears in America were tuned into AM/FM radio, and MTV. That’s just not the case anymore,” says Furth.
“Attention is divided and attention spans are shorter. Within each of these environments, we’re having different conversations than bands used to have” Furth says of their attempts to increase their fan base through social.
When asked his take on the wide variety of music providers that allow listeners to access music for free from anywhere in the world, he says, “It stands to make sense that, in different places, there are different kind of folks listening.
“But the outcome of each conversation with a fan should be the same: we want them to understand that we stand behind our message of love, respect, and ambition. And that we love making music for everyone, no matter how they access it.”
For a great Reels Green preview, download their free EP, “Live at Double Door”.
To catch them live, and you should – they have residency at Lincoln Park music venue and bar Alive One, where they will perform with a few special guests the third Wednesday of every month, starting Oct. 17.
If you want to know what makes Chicago such a great music scene and what that scene sounds like, go to your Facebook, like the Reels Green page, get yourself to the next amazing Chicago venue they are playing at, buy a beer and stay on your feet.
Sean Graves is ARU Chicago’s Social Media and Marketing Coordinator. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries, news, hot shows, or just your favorite Chicago band. If you like ‘em, he wants to know.