Josh Caterer The Hideout Sessions

Release date:
April 9, 2021
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Welcome to The Hideout Sessions. On its own, the album stands as a highly listenable document of Smoking Popes frontman Josh Caterer stretching out with a new band of accomplished players. For this one-night-only, live-to-tape recording, Caterer, along with John San Juan (Hushdrops) and John Perrin (NRBQ), rocked out 21st century versions of songs my grandparents used to dance to back in the day at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom. They covered a few Popes songs, too. It was an inspired night of music. But that's not the whole story. Due to the pandemic, the session had to be done Covid-style. The recording took place on stage at the Hideout in Chicago -- a great place to see live music and hang out with like-minded, unpretentious music fans. Because of Covid the Hideout's doors had been closed to the public for several months and the room had to be empty for this performance (insert cheap local band joke here). Life under the pandemic forced many in the creative community to find ways of innovating around it. As Josh and his band recorded the album, they video-streamed the entire thing as a ticketed virtual event from the Hideout. It was good for the band. It was good for the venue. It was great for us fans. On October 28, 2020, I sat in front of my computer, speakers cranked, as I watched the show unfold. I didn't know what the set list would be -- it was a brand new band, how could I? That unpredictability, that sense of anything could happen, is what I've always loved about live music. Sure, nothing beats being there in a small club, watching your favorite artist bang out the songs that define you. But there was something really special about this experience. After close to eight months of live music privation, we got to watch a high-quality show that was raw, sweet, honest, and cathartic.

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