Great Songs, great live show that can play to diverse crowds, winning a country contest and headlining a punk club in the same week. Far more than the typical alt-country band.


The Siderunners didn't grow up in the country. They don't ride horses, wrangle cattle, and don't pretend to. But ask any member of the group to describe the band, and you’ll be faced with the dreaded “C” word. Country music. The Siderunners play Country music and are damn proud of it. Or do they...?

After all, how many country bands can play to a house packed with punks and walk away unscathed, much less having swelled their fan base?

How many punk bands could enter a battle of the bands filled with Chicago's country elite and walk away the grand champions, having beat 27 competitors over 12 months?

It could be that the Siderunners don't give a damn who you are...Gutter Punk or Cow Poke, they demand your attention.

The Siderunners started in the early months of 2000 in Chicago Il. when guitarist Nate VanAllen and front man Sappy, seeking a justifiable reason for decadent Tuesday Nights, started getting together and playing whatever country songs they knew from memory. However, with the list of “remembered” songs growing longer, the band was also compelled to write their own material. Assembling a complete lineup of local players, a handful of originals, and an arsenal of standards, The Siderunners started playing weekly as the house band in several Chicago dives, often playing 2-3 sets a night. These woodshed sessions made apparent the need for the band to assemble a lineup of players who could not only handle the quantity of material the band required, but would allow them to stand out amongst the slew of Chicago Alt-Country bands making the rounds.

Laughing in the face of an increasingly indie-centric Chicago music scene, the band added ex-Tosser and fiddle player extraordinaire Jason Loveall to the mix, followed by Jazz (!) virtouso Todd Hill on Upright Bass. Far from lightening the bands punk-rock overtones, the addition of these traditionally low-key elements has made the band more fierce than ever. The Siderunners recently added country/punk super drummer Andy Abrisz after the departure of long time drummer Pat Buckley.

On June 4, 2002 The Siderunners released their first album, “Ain’t Inventin’ The Wheel.” Recorded by Webb Brothers producer and drummer Neal Ostrovsky, “Ain’t Inventin’ The Wheel” is the culmination of the bands years of neurotic fascination with good old country music, metal, punk, and rock excess.

To see the Siderunners live is a lesson in grit, determination, and above all STAMINA. Anarchists with a healthy respect for tradition, this unconventional lineup gladly tests the boundaries of country music, then mows them over with a crazed rock fury. Fragile guitar tones give way to blistering Fiddle runs, propelled by a rhythm section that would make George Bush dance like Michael Flatley. Lyrics that make you want to drown in your beer or throw it, delivered with a voice that makes either action seem like a perfectly natural response. The mood shifts constantly, from melancholy confessionals to raucous throw-downs. An emotional swing this pronounced would make most groups seem insincere, if not fall apart completely. But this is The Siderunners world. Honest yet wry. Fun-loving yet cold-hearted. The way Country music was and should be. The Siderunners play Country Music? Damn Straight…

The Siderunners demand your attention. And believe me, you’ll gladly give it to them.


June 2002 - LP - Ain't Inventin The Wheel
Fall 2003 - EP - TBD

KSUA FM Top 10

Set List

Changes Nightly - Typical Songs include
Countin' Threes
Kick In The Caboose
Kansas City Weekend
Just Nuts
You'll be the Death of Me
Deep Enough
Cook County Blue
Halo to a Noose
Due South
Avalon Rag
What The Matter Now?
My Pistol, My Love
Hate To See You Go
Madly Badly
Somethings Burning