Nora O'Connor may very well be the quintessential Chicagoan. A widely loved musician, bartender, midwife assistant and ordained reverend—seriously, she wears all of these hats—this first generation Irish-American has made her mark in more than one Chicago community circle.
Since becoming a mom twice over, O'Connor has less time to hit the stage but that hasn't stopped her from putting together one incredibly impressive resume. She first made a name for herself as a member of local country act The Blacks but also released a solo album through Chicago-based Bloodshot Records in 2004. Those are just the basics though. She's also shared recording spaces and stages with some serious music legends (and fellow Chicago folks) like Andrew Bird, Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples.
Weekly Residency at The Hideout
While she seems up to her neck in responsibilities, we're glad to see she's decided to kick off her 2014 on a musical note. O'Connor will be playing a weekly residency at the Hideout Tuesdays this February along with a heaping handful of her local musicians friends. She's no stranger to the Hideout. She used to keep bar at the Bucktown venue and performed on stage with Kelly Hogan at the 2012 A.V. Fest/Hideout Block Party.
On February 4, she and current Mount Pilot singer and guitarist Matt Weber will team up to reform Cantina, a duo that played regularly at the Hideout over a decade ago. On Feb. 11, she returns with a full band to perform the 1973 Buckingham/Nicks album, a true classic that eventually lead to Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joining Fleetwood Mac. February 18 brings a rare appearance from The Flat Five, an occasional collaboration between O'Connor, Kelly Hogan, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough and Alex Hall. Finally, O'Connor wraps up the month playing with Precious Blood featuring her former bandmate Danny Black (from The Blacks) and Kevin McDonough of The Drapes.
If you're looking to get a wholesome look at Nora O'Connor's various musical ventures in Chicago, this February residency is the perfect time to do it. It might be a while until she has so many local shows on the books again. She'll never slip from our personal spotlight though.