Chicago's Whitney livestreams a performance of their indie-folk songs Friday, April 9. // Courtesy of Colin Matsui

Sound check: Whitney, Ike Reilly and livestream fundraisers

The stars are coming out for Backline’s “Set Break” benefit show for mental health awareness; also Whitney, Ike Reilly, a Nichols Concert Hall chamber series streaming this week.

Whitney online

Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich take to the internet with songs from their band Whitney’s 2020 release “Candid,” a loving tribute to some of their favorite songs recorded cover-style. The Chicago indie folk duo’s performance Friday from Portland, Oregon, will feature some of those songs along with a live Q&A session. Northern Ireland singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton — widely known as Jealous of the Birds — will join the livestreaming show. 8 p.m. Friday, April 9; streaming with a BandsInTown Plus subscription at

Mental health fundraiser

The stars are coming out to support Backline — a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping musicians and industry professionals with mental health and wellness services and support groups — and its first online fundraiser this weekend. Libertyville’s Tom Morello, Alanis Morissette, Leon Bridges, Dawes, Wyclef Jean, Black Pumas, Sara Bareilles, Bob Weir & Wolf Bros, Ben Folds, Oteil Burbridge, Los Lobos, Michael Franti, K. Flay, Galactic, American Authors, Larkin Poe, Deer Tick, DJ Millie and many others will perform at the “Set Break” concert — streaming on Twitch Saturday — to bring attention to the plight of artists dealing with mental health issues. Funds raised during the event will benefit Backline as well as Crew Nation, Live Nation’s assistance for the behind-the-scenes crews, and Sweet Relief’s Mental Health Fund, which provides funds for artists struggling to access mental health and wellness services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 3 p.m. Saturday, April 10; streaming for free — but donations are welcome — at Visit to see the full lineup, seek further information and to make a donation.

Ike and fam

Last spring, Libertyville folk-rocker Ike Reilly hit the livestreaming scene for what he planned to be a one-off performance. (Oh, how naive we all were.) This weekend, the Ike Reilly Family Quarantine Hour marks a full year of his regular and eclectic livestream series, playing shows, telling stories, and welcoming family members and special guests to his home stage for an anniversary show. 8 p.m. Saturday, April 10; streaming on

Chamber series streaming

The Music Institute of Chicago brings its “Live From Nichols Concert Hall” chamber music series to your browser of choice starting this Sunday and running through early May in an attempt to broaden music appreciation, regardless of location. Broadcast from Evanston’s Nichols Concert Hall, the series features weekly performances starting with the Chen String Quartet performing selections from Beethoven. The series continues with Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem playing Schubert and Liszt on Sunday, April 18; Third Coast Percussion performing selections from Clarice Assad, Devonté Hynes, Gemma Peacocke and Jlin on Sunday, April 25; and the Chen String Quartet playing more works of Beethoven on Sunday, May 2. 3 p.m. Sundays, April 11 through May 2; free at

City Winery’s ‘Best of …’

City Winery founder Michael Dorf heads up a version of the venue’s annual “The Music Of … ” tribute shows with a livestreaming performance of “Michael Dorf Presents: Best of The Music of … 2004-2020” next week. Proceeds from tickets for the star-packed event — featuring artists drawn from across the musical spectrum such as Glen Hansard, Patti Smith, Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top), Keb’ Mo’, Rosanne Cash, The Mountain Goats, Marc Cohn, Shawn Colvin, Raul Malo, Nicole Atkins, Marc Roberge (of O.A.R.), Oliver Wood (from The Wood Brothers), Deva Mahal, Martin Sexton, Joseph Arthur, Bettye Lavette, Ron Pope and Son Little — will benefit music education organizations such as the Grammy Foundation, Young Audiences New York, Center for Arts Education, Little Kids Rock, Sonic Arts For All, VH1 Save the Music Foundation and others. Various VIP packages (with add-ons and merchandise) are also available. 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15; tickets start at $25 at

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).

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