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Guest Post: Our City Radio brings you the Best of Babes, Broads and Bitches Songwriters' Showcase

Friday, July 11, 2014 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Not even the sporadic downpours that raced through downtown Chicago could dampen the spirits of the indie music lovers that packed the downstairs main venue of the Elbo Room.  As show time approached, the room filled with people, some with wet clothing and water dripping from the rain that caught them as they raced to the venue.  They were there to celebrate the accomplishments of four women songwriters.  And celebrate they did.




The event was the Best of Babes, Broads, and Bitches Women’s Songwriters’ Showcase Anniversary Show presented by Chicago.OurCity Radio.  This show featured four of the top female songwriters in Chicago.  Each artist was an alumna from one of the monthly BB&B showcases over the past year, where they played an acoustic set in the more intimate upstairs lounge.  Tonight each artist played a 45 minute set fronting their full band, followed by a ten minute artist interview with OurCityRadio.  The artists: Donna Polydoros (fronting Beat Drun Juel); Sadie Rogers (Sadie and the Stark); Joanna Rutzky (FUE); and Natalie Duke (Natalie Duke and the Reckless Revival), did not disappoint.  In response, the enthusiastic applause and cheers showed the audience appreciated their effort.




The Babes, Broads and Bitches Women’s Songwriters’ Showcase is the brainchild of Natalie Duke, a Chicago-based singer/songwriter.  She came up with the idea after talking with fellow musicians about the under-representation of women in the music industry.  She began inviting other acts to join her during her monthly performance at Elbo Room, naming the event Babes, Broads, and Bitches.  “I’ve gotten a lot of flack for the name,” says Duke.  “People either love it or hate it, which to me probably means it’s good.”  Duke has a pretty simple goal for the showcase:  “Hey, women are here in Chicago, and we rock, so pay attention to us.  (Duke’s Babes, Broads, and Bitches Songwriter Showcase was featured in an OurCityRadio article, dated March 11, 2014).






While the monthly showcase provides a quality opportunity for women songwriters to share their music with a new and knowledgeable audience, the Anniversary Show gave them an opportunity to shine.  Each of the four artists rocked the stage, strutting their stuff, fronting their full band and then talk about their music during a brief interview with OurCityRadio.  “I’m honored to have been part of Natalie’s showcase and then be asked to be part of the anniversary show,” said Joanna Rutzky, lead singer/keyboards for the indie band FUE.  “Each of the women I shared the stage with during the monthly showcases and tonight are not only great songwriters but outstanding performers.  Tonight, we shared new original music from our just released CD, Gray Matters.  As a songwriter, you put your heart and soul into your songs.  When you are part of an event like this, you know the audience understands what you are sharing with them from the stage.”

Chicago Station manager Louis Vasseur helped produce the event and served as emcee for the evening.  “We were really excited to team up with Natalie to make this anniversary show happen,” said Vasseur.  “Our mission at OurCityRadio is to support indie artists.  What better way to support indie music than to promote a showcase with some of the best female songwriters in Chicago?  They don’t get much better than Donna, Sadie, Joanna, and Natalie.  What they did tonight was truly amazing” 




The entire event was recorded for later broadcast on the OurCityRadio network. In addition a compilation CD, featuring 3-4 songs from each of the four artists, will be put together by Dancing Pony Productions and will be available through each artists’ social media sites.  When asked when the next event will be, Natalie smiled broadly and replied “Soon.”

A portion of the door proceeds was donated to Girls Rock! Chicago.  The next monthly Babes, Broads, and Bitches Songwriter Showcase will be Friday, August 1.  To learn more about broadcast dates and time, and the availability of the compilation CD, visit www.facebook.com/BBBCHI or www.natalieduke.com.

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