South City Revival
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South City Revival

Chicago, IL | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Chicago, IL
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Americana Country




"In a field of impressive bands, South City Revival does South Side proud"

Since forming about two years ago, South City Revival won a battle of the bands, released an EP with a well-known producer and steadily built a roster of gigs from the South Side to beyond Illinois.

The quartet of South Siders is a nod to the growing roots rock scene here.

"It's bizarre to me the number of good bands on the South Side," said South City Revival guitarist John Quinn, a 2009 Mount Carmel High School graduate who teaches English at Kennedy High School. "A lot of bands are country or roots infused. We can pair perfectly with four other bands from the South Side."

South City Revival started out when Quinn and vocalist/guitarist Joe Pacelli, a Fenwick High School graduate and country music buff who recently moved to Beverly, were playing with the cover band Over the Side and discussed writing their own material.

Quinn said fellow Evergreen Park native Brendan Linnane, a Brother Rice High School graduate who plays pedal steel guitar, was a natural addition to the original band.

"Brendan is my brother's age and was always around our house," he said. "We were in a Texas band a few years ago together.

"We'd be asked to play Pat Green songs and we didn't know who he was," he said about the 45-year-old country singer from Texas whose hits include "Wave on Wave" and "While I Was Away."

"But just living there in Texas we absorbed the culture and history and music," said Quinn, a longtime fan of Jackson Browne, the Eagles and the Band who also finds inspiration from such current artists as Chris Stapleton, Jon Pardi, Reckless Kelly, the Texan trio Midland and Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke.

The trio performed at Barney Callaghan's Pub on Western Avenue, which has since become the quintet's unofficial home base, and shortly thereafter recruited Mike Fitzgerald, a pipefitter who graduated from Richards High School, on bass, and Jose Perez, a carpenter apprentice from Chicago's Mount Greenwood neighborhood, on drums.

"Things moved along quickly since we were all looking for a main band to put our attention to," Quinn said. "Within six or seven months we narrowed down our songs for an EP."

While Quinn and Pacelli wrote the songs, the process was a team effort, he said.

"Once you bring them to the band songs evolve a lot," he said. "There was a lot of collaboration in the studio."

The eponymous EP released in August was recorded in Chicago with engineer-producer Mike Hagler (Wilco, Waco Brothers, Jon Langford).

The five songs are somewhat semiautobiographical. "Lazarus of Beverly," for example, is inspired by Chicago's Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods.

"It's not about any particular place, but a summation of the years hanging out on Western Avenue and the people you meet," said Quinn, noting his band's mix of original country and roots rock often draws comparisons to the "red dirt music" of the Southwest and such artists as Brooks & Dunn, the Randy Rogers Band and Josh Abbott Band.

In addition to the EP, South City Revival beefed up its presence by winning the battle of the bands last summer at the Beverly Arts Center (BAC) in Chicago, where they return Jan. 13 to headline a concert with support from Motel Breakfast, the runners-up.

"The Beverly Arts Center's Battle of the Bands was a great success with a wide variety of musical styles, and the two top bands were huge hits," said BAC Artistic Director Shellee Frazee. "South City Revival is an outstanding local band with a great following, and we're proud to support them and other talented local musicians."

The band also has upcoming gigs at Chicago's Elbo Room, Bub City and Firewater Saloon as well as in Tinley Park, Coal City, Rosemont, Terre Haute, Ind., and Iowa City, Iowa.

"A big part of our approach is breaking into new music venues in Chicago, but using the South Side as our home base," Quinn said. "Up north, we use the success from our South Side as a springboard. Definitely on the South Side it's more about your reputation and repertoire with the establishments. We've been working to build a reputation as a band that'll bring people out and have fun." - Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown (Vicky Snow Jurkowski)

"Listen to the premiere of South City Revival"

From South Chicago came the big surprise of the month, one from South City Revival, formed in 2016 and which debuted with both feet at the door. The EP "South City Revival" is short, 21 minutes, but every second is a must, every note, every word sung is sensational.

Composed by musicians Joe Pacelli (vocal, guitar), John Quinn (guitar), Mike Fitzgerald (bass), Jose Perez (drums) and Brendan Linnane (pedal steel), the band's sound is a blend of Country and Roots Rock from the best I've heard. The instrumental part is great, but nothing equals the vocals of Joe Pacelli, the guy destroys, especially in the exciting "Savannah" , where he gives himself totally. "Savannah" was the track that most impressed me, but what about Smokiana (I invented this now, is a reference to Blackberry Smoke) "Lazarus of Beverly" , the fun "It's Alright" , the traditional "Caroline" and the sticky "Colleen" ?

What a wonderful debut and what a wonderful surprise! - Southern Rock Brasil


South City Revival



With their upcoming release, "Singer In a Country Band", South City Revival continues to refine what the band is referring to as "Chicago Country". The new single is a quintessential blend of country and rock and roll that demonstrates their diverse influences: from Red Dirt artists such as Reckless Kelly and Randy Rogers Band to Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne.

The quintet met in the parking lot of a Western Ave. bar and quickly realized they wanted to pursue music together. A handful of songs and a few shows later, SCR teamed up with Mike Hagler (WilcoMy Morning Jacket, Waco Brothers) to record their self-titled, debut EP. The 5 song release features a captivating blend of story driven songwriting and high energy studio performances.

Band Members