Trick Shooter Social Club
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Trick Shooter Social Club

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Rock


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"This is Trick Shooter"

Liss is a founding member of Trick Shooter Social Club, a band which, as he tells it, “fuses Americana, Alt country, Blues, Pop and Rock with unflinchingly honest
storytelling in the reckless pursuit of achieving something like truth.”
While that may seem like a lot to take on, TSSC members work hard at their craft, melding a
“mix of romantic timelessness and gritty reality” in their performances and on their recent full-length release, “Everything That Rises,” available for download on the band’s website.
“‘Simo's Song’ weaves a tender story about fatherhood, while the solo tune ‘Whiskey On My Grave’ touches on country music's always-present sadness and humor,” states a press release. “Though armed with disarmingly charming B3 organ, banjo, violin and dobro, the band also smartly includes a few stripped-down, intimately recorded numbers, like the sweet closing number ‘Bottom of Our Souls.’”
For every bitter pill
There’s something beautiful that grows We know it in our hearts
And in the bottom of our souls
Trick Shooter Social Club started in a basement with a couple acoustic guitars, after a band to which some members had previously belonged broke up. From the beginning, Liss says, the band was “committed to making music that was organic and truthful without pretension or artifice. We also wanted to be good stewards of the roots tradition and hopefully in some small way honor our heroes like Cash, Steve Earl, Mike Ness and Springsteen.” Listening to the music confirms that stewardship. - The Bee

"Chicago American troupe TRICK SHOOTER SOCIAL CLUB ride high on recent album"

Though musically diverse, Chicago is a city with deep alt-country/Americana roots. Indie labels like Bloodshot and major bands like Wilco have proven that though hip-hop and rock are dominant here, there's still a need for earnest songwriting that looks to the past at times. And while area clan Trick Shooter Social Club hold the self-proclaimed "belief in the power of story and the sublime hip sway of a well-placed middle eight," they also work incredibly hard at their craft, a magical mix of romantic timelessness and gritty reality that has always been the blueprint to some of country music's most honest, relatable work.

The band's 2012 full-length Everything That Rises is a near encyclopedia of what makes good songs great, and raw performances seamless. "Simo's Song" weaves a tender story about fatherhood, while the solo tune "Whiskey On My Grave" touches on country music's always-present sadness and humor. Cuts like the jangly " Almost Innocent" and the should-be hit "Needle Drop" shine with unironic nostalgia, and rockers like the album-leading "Powder Blue" blister with a reckless abandon usually attached to acts like Lucero or The Bottle Rockets. Though armed with disarmingly charming B3 organ, banjo, violin and dobro, the band also smartly includes a few stripped-down, intimately recorded numbers, like the sweet closing number "Bottom of Our Souls" and the aforementioned "Whiskey," showing TSSC is a talented group with canyon-wide range who could fit on massive, straight-up country tours, alt-folk rave ups, or anywhere in between.
-- Jim Hanke - Jim Hanke

"Chicago's TRICK SHOOTER SOCIAL CLUB pulls the trigger on new album"

The platonic ideal of the "great American band" has always been as diverse as the country itself, pulling together rock, country, blues, soul, pop and folk music to form an electrifying, instantly-recognizable sonic gumbo. Trick Shooter Social Club are well-versed in the concept of the great American band, and their latest offering--the boozy, swaggering, surprisingly tender Generator--is an ode to the past and present with an eye to the future.

Opening with the rollicking keys and greasy steel guitar of "Holy City Zoo," the band sets the tone from the outset and doesn't disappoint. "Jericho" launches with a simple riff before exploding into a guitar-drenched tale of a woman who "walked a mile with a bible and a rifle," a character who wouldn't be out of place in the Drive-By Truckers' vast and sprawling mythos.

"Fireflies in Rain," the album's first ballad, features the tight vocal harmonies by Steve Simoncic and Adrienne Thomas easing back on power, showing instead a warm, gentle confidence, the two voice blending impossibly well over subdued acoustic guitar. The peaceful, easy feeling is quickly replaced by the ominous drive of "The Sweetest Skin," a dark and driving rocker with references to human stains, heroes dying too soon and preachers in bars--a dirty and sleazy blend of the sacred and the profane, the song embodies the word "unsavory" in all the best ways.

But at the rough midpoint of the album is the song that truly stands above the pack. "The Michigan Line" is described by the band as "an American Gothic tale about an existential journey across a bleak Midwestern landscape filled with possibilities and regrets." Densely layered with violin and accordion, the yearning melancholy of the verses explodes into a chorus of defiance. "I am not your sons and daughters / I am not your easy kill," insist Simoncic and Thomas as the band rages behind them. The song's surprising coda, however, is an uplifting reminder of the possibility of redemption through leaving the past behind.

The album's second half fares every bit as well as the first. "Watch 'Em Run" is a rowdy country tune with slice-of-life lyrics painting a surprisingly vivid picture of a number of characters--Momma ("waiting tables here since 1981 / She don't suffer fools") and Johnny ("Former Army Ranger, now he's doing 6 to 8")--in just a few lines. "Annie, Get Your Gun" opens with a muscular riff backed by a warbling gospel organ, telling the story of the titular character and what she does to make it through the world she was born into, and "I Know The Truth" flies high with Byrds-esque guitar jangle. The album's haunting closer, "Bones and Honey Blues," opens with an obvious lie ("She's doing alright") but unfolds into a testament to the power of strength, optimism, and the will to force change.

As an album, Generator is about the moment of creating something from nothing. It is about the first hum of a motor one hears in the distance after the crisis has subsided. It is about the start, the new start, the restart, the often greasy, oily, dirty business of getting going once again. Trick Shooter Social Club may not be the next great American band; but they know how to face hardship head-on, how to gather your strengths to leverage against the world that would pin you down, how to push until there's nothing left to lose--and then push some more. - Jim Hanke

""We Wanted It To Feel Like The Bones Of Rock-n-Roll""

A radio interview with WGN legend Nick Digilio. - WGN


Everything That Matters (2012)



The Trick Shooter Social Club is a place tucked just behind the beat. It’s a belief in the power of story and the sublime hip sway of a well placed middle eight. It’s cat gut, and pick guards and nods across the stage when it's time to go to the bridge. It’s acoustic, electric and reverent to its heroes. It’s artists, gypsies, showmen and shaman trying to get it right. It’s an invitation–to join.

Band Members