Weinland and Nik Freitas at Daytrotter

It just keeps coming. After one of the greatest music experiences of my life last night (chronicled in detail here) at the REM show in Chicago, I took the trip out to Rock Island today to visit Daytrotter.

It’s a wonderful experience to drive through the rolling farmland, arrive in Rock Island, trek up the 3 flights of stairs (well, that part isn’t so great, especially today when it was like 10 billion degrees), and head to the control room of the studio. This is because every time I’ve done this, I end up hearing some of the best and most vibrant music going on anywhere; it’s cool that it’s going on in Rock Island. This trip was no exception.

I don’t think I could love the band Weinland any more. You simply must check them out. While what they do is right up in my wheelhouse in that it’s literate, acoustic music, expertly played…they’re doing it as well as it gets done. If you like, for instance, Iron & Wine, do check them out. If you’ve never heard of Iron & Wine, but you like music…ya know, generally…check them out.


Equally impressive is Nik Freitas. I was literally stunned by the beauty of Mr. Freitas’ songs and piano playing as I listened to the session. A number of people were comparing him to Paul Simon. I suppose I can hear that, but there’s also a bit of M. Ward and Nick Drake going down to. Great songwriting.


Both of these artists played great sets at the intimate venue right under the Daytrotter studios.

These sessions will appear on the Daytrotter site in the near future. In the meantime, may I recommend a Daytrotter session from one of the opening bands at the REM show in Chicago last night, The National. While I (along with everyone in the world) like their albums, I don’t think I fully “got” them until I saw them last night. They commanded the stage, and the grandeur of their songs rang through. Neither easy things to do as an opening act.

Check out the National on Daytrotter HERE.

So…all in all, a pretty amazing two days of music. I saw, REM, one of the greatest bands of all time, at the top of their game, turn a massive venue into an intimate club one night, and then saw two emerging artists make an intimate club seem like the best place in the world.


[Disclosure: I do some work with Daytrotter]

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