Category Archives: Announcements

Song Ideas for February 5th

Michael Costanza and several others have suggested that we share some ideas in advance of the singalongs so that singers can get familiar with the melodies and players can learn the chords.

I figured I’d set up a page for each month, and you can either submit ideas in the comments or email me to and I’ll add them to this post.

If you have links to lyrics, chords, videos or what-have-you please include those.

We will still go around the circle in turn on the night of the gathering, and people should still feel free to suggest or lead other songs as the spirit moves them that night, but this may help us enjoy the ones we identify early a little bit more.

I’d also like to find a volunteer to start keeping track of the songs we play at each gathering from start to finish. That way we can begin to create our own “repertoire” of memorable songs that we especially like. Please let me know if you’re interested in helping with that.

Here’s a link to an Evernote note that has lyrics and chords for everything suggested so far. Here’s a YouTube Playlist of the songs.

Here’s a song I’d like to sing: Joe Hill, by Phil Ochs.
Lyrics and Chords
Note: I don’t capo this – just play it in C.
YouTube Video: Joe Hill by Billy Bragg
The song tells the true story of IWW member Joe Hill, who was executed by the State of Utah one hundred years ago. Phil wrote the lyrics to the tune of Woody Guthrie’s song Tom Joad, which Guthrie wrote to the tune of a traditional West Virginia Folk song John Hardy.

From Hannah: I Have Made Mistakes, by The Oh Hellos
Lyrics and Chords:

Here’s another from Brian: The Preacher and the Slave, by Joe Hill
Lyrics, chords and sound file are on Wikipedia.

From Anne: Bottle of Wine and Shall We Gather at the River, both of which are in Rise Up Singing

From Brother Jesse: Ripple by the Grateful Dead – Here are the lyrics and chords.

From JC: The TitanicHere’s the PDF.

Need some help learning to strum?

Matthew Grimm in Kankakee November 22nd

Matthew Grimm

One of my favorite Cowpunk singers is coming to town.

Matthew Grimm

7 PM Saturday 22 November 2014

Feed Arts and Cultural Center

Downtown Kankakee

Matthew messaged me on Facebook awhile back to say that he was hitting the road for a “low key acoustic tour.” Kankakee will be the first stop as he travels south from his home base in Madison.

Matthew first came to my attention during the Wisconsin Rising, with his sublime anthem One Big Union. His music ranges from the overtly political to wry and wistful reflections on life and love in the 21st Century.

Come join us for an evening of fun and inspiration with one of the most original voices of his generation.

Reserve your ticket now on Feed’s Website.

David Rovics in Kankakee September 30th

Singer/Songwriter David Rovics will make a stop in Kankakee on Tuesday night, September 30th, 2014 as part of his “Spies Are Reading My Blog” Fall Tour of the United States and Canada.

His concert benefits Feed Arts Center, and will be held at Feed commencing at 7 PM.

Come join us for an evening of songs of social significance with one of the great Folkies of our time. A donation of $10 per ticket will be accepted at the door, and seats are limited, so get there early!


Next Singalong June 5th

Greetings from Singalong Central.

Our next Key City Singalong will be held on Thursday evening, June 5th, from 7 to 9 PM up at Feed.

We plan to have a special segment of kids’ songs this month, plus revisit some requests from last time that we weren’t able to sing then.

There will also be plenty of time for new requests and jamming, so bring your lyrics sheets or songbooks.


Open Mic June 11th at Feed

Feed Arts Center – Downtown Kankakee


One of the principles of our singalongs is participation. We want them to be events where everyone takes part, and the division between “musician” and “audience” is thrown out the window.

Yet, there is some music that doesn’t lend itself well to a singalong. Songs that are a bit more complex and unfamiliar don’t always work with a large group that hasn’t rehearsed.

In the interest of exploring the Folk tradition further in a format that allows for “performance” as well as group singing, on the evening of June 11th, we’ll be hosting an open mic. This will be an opportunity for budding musicians to get some more experience playing publicly in an environment that is welcoming and supportive. It’ll also allow “old hands” to share some of their favorite songs, try out new ones and generally get together and jam. As with our singalongs, the notion that music can be non-commercial will be paramount.

We’ll also devote some time to the spoken word, welcoming poets, thespians and orators to the stage to share readings or original works.

Join us at 7 PM on June 11th for an evening of acoustic music and words of the people.

First Singalong – May Day 2014

Save the date!

The First
Key City Folk Music Singalong

7 PM to 9 PM

May 1st, 2014

FEED Arts and Cultural Center
259 S. Schuyler Avenue in Kankakee

Come join us for a night of music, fun and fellowship.

Thanks to FEED Arts Center and the Kankakee Public Library for their support.