Archivists from Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk have compiled 127 of the best performances from their 50+ year history—from the likes of Andrew Bird, Jeff Tweedy, Donovan, Joan Baez and many more—to bring us Live From the Old Town School, which will be released December 13th.
Archivists sorted through over 10,000 songs, many of which were locked away in storage and have never been heard by the public. With such an embarrassment of riches to choose from, lead archivist Colby Maddox says the 127 songs are just the tip of the iceberg, but together represent the thriving Chicago folk scene, with the Old Town School at the center of it.
“You can feel the immense energy in the concerts and what we’re presenting,” explains Maddox. “Take Andrew Bird’s show. He was called in as an opening act on short notice, and he put together a band last minute. All these great musicians ran in to play with him, and you can really feel the spontaneity and excitement of that show in the recording.”
Not only will Live From the Old Town School present the rarest of gems to a wide audience, the proceeds from the massive release will funnel back into the school’s educational work with children and adults. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Watch Mark Dvorak perform at the Old Town School of Folk’s 50th Anniversary concert: