“Songs” @ Chief O’Neill’s 5/22 & Raue Conter 6/22

Listen to Jamie’s WGN Radio Interview
June 3
11:05 PM
Jamie O’Reilly with Turi Ryder
Song excerpt Sister Clarissa by Michael Smith

“Understanding Catholicism Through Music”

Turi chats with Catholic artist and manager Jamie O’Reilly, who just a released a CD called Songs of a Catholic Childhood in which she expresses her love of having been a Catholic child.



CHICAGO, IL — “You don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy “Songs of a Catholic Childhood,” journalist Loraine Anderson says in a recent feature in the Traverse City Record-Eagle, referring to Chicago folk-duo Michael Smith and Jamie O’Reilly’s current musical collaboration as ‘Affectionaely Catholic’.

“You just have to let the lyrics and music take you back to ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s America — a time of large Catholic families, the era of John F. Kennedy’s election as the first Catholic American president before the folk Mass reforms of Vatican II.” Anderson continues.

Read the full article.  Exclusive to The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, MI

On Wednesday, May 22 at 8 PM, Michael and Jamie return to Chief O’Neill’s Pub on Chicago’s Northside with guitarist Peter Swenson as a special guest.  Swenson, a resident of Fox River Grove, IL first accompanied 13-year-old Jamie in a church concert at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Crystal Lake, and went on to lead the parish folk mass for several years. He was also a member of the Irish band Jamie O’Reilly and the Rogues in the 1980s and early 90s.  Swenson currently performs in an acoustic trio with O’Reilly and Smith. The trio was featured at the Poetry Foundation in February.

On June 22, Jamie and Michael appear as a duo at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.

Its content ever evolving, the “Songs” concerts on May 22 at Chief O’Neill’s and June 22 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake, will include popular songs, hymns and stories from the original program – which debuted as a benefit for St. Scholastica’s Girls Academy in fall 2011.  Smith and O’Reilly have added new songs and stories as well.

There is also a 20-song CD album, recorded live at Chief O’Neill’s pub in Chicago last spring, which will be available for purchase at both shows.

 “We keep it fresh by nodding to the Catholic tradition of celebrating seasons and feast days and work them into our stories.” says O’Reilly. “May was a  time known for its May Crownings and First Communions.

June was class picnics and the 8th grade graduation.  We got a chance to put our hair up and wear grown-up clothes instead of school uniforms.  We posed for pictures with classmates in front of the blooming trees in McCormick Park across from St. Thomas School.  There was a bitter-sweetness about graduation, too. Some kids would go on to the Catholic High School in neighboring Woodstock, and some (myself included) would attend the public high school in town.”

“In addition to sharing our own memories – Michael’s from post war New Jersey and mine from the Midwest – we also localize the stories, when in Chicago we talk about the parishes and the neighborhoods.  In the Michigan show we talked about summers and growing up near a lake.  In a recent radio interview where the host hailed from Pennsylvania coal country, Michael talked about his grandfather’s family of miners in Pittston, PA. “

With the June appearance at the Raue Center of the Arts in Crystal Lake, IL, O’Reilly returns to her hometown, performing on the stage in what was the movie theater when she was a kid. “We couldn’t afford to go to the movies much,” (O’Reilly is one of fourteen children.) “But I remember when I saw Sound of Music there in the 60s.  I didn’t want to be a nun but I sure wanted to be Julie Andrews.”


For more information about Songs of a Catholic Childhood see the performances pages at jamieoreilly.com


Songs of a Catholic Childhood Concert listings

Chicago, IL

Wed, May 22 at 8 PM
Chief O’Neill’s Pub Presents
Songs of a Catholic Childhood
with Michael Smith, Jamie O’Reilly
and Special Guest Guitarist Peter Swenson
3471 North Elston Ave Chicago, Il
Music cover is $20
Reserve by phone 773.203.7661; E: jamie@jamieoreilly.com

Voted one of the world’s ten best Irish pubs! Come for dinner, stay for the show.


Crystal Lake, IL
Songs of a Catholic Childhood
with Michael and Jamie O’Reilly
Saturday, June 22 at 8:00 PM
Raue Center for the Arts
26 N. Williams Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Tickets are $20 in advance $25 night of the show
Box Office: 815.356.9212; boxoffice@rauecenter.org
Direct link: http://www.rauecenter.org/wordpress/sample-page/20122013-event-schedule-2/lucys-music-cafe/