With a new album and release show, an upcoming art experiment and the recent signing to a label, Chicago's Trickshooter Social Club has some big moves in its sights.

With a new album and release show, an upcoming art experiment and the recent signing to a label, Chicago's Trickshooter Social Club has some big moves in its sights. Courtesy of Trickshooter Social Club

Trickshooter Social Club is making some fancy moves with new rock album, upcoming shows

It’s great to see when good things happen to genuine people. So it’s even better to see it happen in threes for Trickshooter Social Club.

The Chicago-area rock band recently signed to a label, is dropping a new album with a release show Friday, July 12, at Silvie’s Lounge, and has an intriguing night of art in the works with Steppenwolf Theatre later this summer.

The new album, “American Experiment,” serves up 12 vibrant and lively roots-rock songs steeped in traditional Chicago blues but dripping with classic rock and country influences. While each song tweaks the vibe in a different way, the collection as a whole speaks to the overall point of the album.

“We have a lot of genres that pulse through us,” said Steve Simoncic, who co-wrote the album with fellow band member Larry Liss. “Once we had a vibe going, I tried to think through the lyrics and think about the story of the song. We always try to tell a story. The album is all about brush strokes or little chapters. We wanted to write about our time and place. Thinking of America as an experiment, as an idea, as complicated and messy and violent and ugly and beautiful and sublime as it is. We’re living in really interesting, volatile times.”

Simoncic and Liss, who’ve played together in bands prior to Trickshooter Social Club, already had a shorthand in place when it came time to write the band’s third album.

“There was a lot of trust going on in the room,” Liss said. “We’d never kill anything. That’s not our style. But things just rose to the top for us. With this album, I think we finally honed in on our sound and enjoyed the process, seeing how we could experiment more in the studio.”


“We wanted everything to relate to and contribute to the conversation that is the experiment that is our country now,” Simoncic added.

“Experiment” is the name of the game for Trickshooter. The band has been around since 2012’s “Everything That Rises,” when Liss and Simoncic wrote a bunch of songs and then gathered friends together to play them. The current incarnation — including James McNaughton, Chris Bartley, Chris Ellison, Maggie Mitchell, Beltran Del Campo and Ruth Margraff — solidified about two years ago.

“We’ve evolved to a really solid core,” Simoncic said, “but we still bring in some guests and interesting people from time to time. We look forward to always keeping a seat open in the Social Club. The culture of the band is really generous, really positive … The core is open to exploration rather than resetting the band every time we want to try something new.”

Trickshooter Social Club's new album, dropping Friday, July 12, is a 12-song collection relating to the "American Experiment."
Trickshooter Social Club’s new album, dropping Friday, July 12, is a 12-song collection relating to the “American Experiment.” – Courtesy of Trickshooter Social Club

That organic nature of the band’s flexible sound is part of why the band’s new partnership with Jynnji Records — an independent record label based in London and Cornwall, England — was so appealing.

“Jynnji’s been great because they say ‘We like exactly what you’re doing. We want to help you promote it,'” Simoncic said.

“London is awesome because they have much more of a global outreach and point of view,” he said. “We love Chicago, and we know Chicago, but we don’t know the rest of the world. Those guys will give us access to a much wider audience.”

In the spirit of reaching a wider audience, Trickshooter is also participating in Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut Series on Thursday, Aug. 15.

“We’ll be playing the album, but it’ll be more of a theatrical show,” Simoncic said. “Local writers we know and respect are going to do some spoken-word pieces between songs, a local filmmaker is doing some short films integrated into the night, dancers will be doing a movement piece to one of our songs. It’ll be a really fully formed, interesting show.”

Proceeds from the show will benefit Boys Hope Girls Hope, a local organization dedicated to helping at-risk kids.

“It’ll be an interesting night that started with the album but expanded into some other art forms to make it an awesome evening,” Simoncic said.

“Call it yet another experiment for us,” Liss added.

• • •

Trickshooter Social Club album release with Liz & the Baguettes, Architects of Beauty and William Sides Atari Party

When: 8 p.m. Friday, July 12

Where: Silvie’s Lounge, 1902 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago

Tickets: $10; (773) 871-6239 or silvieslounge.com

• • •

LookOut Series

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15

Where: 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Tickets: $15; (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org