December 5, 2015

Special Saturday night event: harmonica-driven blues from Calvin Conway and cinematic folk pop from The Astronomer. Sound by Jon Monteverde. 

Says Calvin Conway: “I was drawn to music at an early age. As part of a long lineage of musicians and farmers, of healers and teachers, my parents got me singing and playing the violin as soon as I was able. Those days set the stage for a lifelong immersion in sound. Music has been a faithful companion and driving force through every part of my journey.

I began to play the harmonica in the alleys and streets of Chicago. I had a dream about the sound as a kid. I took to the harp, loved playing it, then started writing songs with it. I play some lap steel, guitar and love to harmonize with people. That’s the good stuff.

I’ve been recording in Chicago for years. I often travel to play music and I use the inspiration from the road, or rails, to write songs. The new album, "Dark Horse Deluxe,” delivers what I’ve been working on for quite a while. I’ve stood by this album through thick and thin and am very proud to share these songs with the world.

Check out my website at for more information.

For this Transistor set, Calvin Conway was joined on bass and backing vocals by “Peoria” Mike Stumpo.

Charles Kim has played with bands and aritsts such as Pinetop Seven, Sinister Luck Ensemble, Will Oldham, Boxhead Ensemble, Ken Vandermark, Pan American, Fruit Bats, and Chris Mills. He’s also a film, television and theater composer, working for Showtime, Chicago’s Redmoon Theatre, and author Joe Meno.

His band The Astronomer plays rootsy, floaty, creaking, chamber pop/rock about the things you misplaced and the things you’re about to find. Their recently completed second disc, “You Could Be Something When You Disappear,” evokes the song construction and lyricism of The Band and mid-period Kinks, while sonically akin to releases by Brian Eno and Brian Wilson.

For this Transistor show Charles Kim performed with Debbie Kaczynski on piano/vocals. The Astronomer just finished the LP release of “You Could Be Something When You Disappear” and the accompanying cover EP “Thank You.”

Visit the Astronomer’s website.


Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Find more live music archived on our Recordings page.