Folk Musician Lou Shields continues the tradition of American music with a solo-performance that pulls in folk styles of days-gone-by. Using his National Resonator Guitar or Banjo accompanied by a unique front porch style of foot percussion and harmonica, he uses his voice as an extension of the past. Lou carries a full sound during live performances while sharing stories, thoughts and experiences with the audience. He has toured throughout the United States and Europe for over 8 years and has released 4 full-length albums and 13 EP’s.
Lou grew up in Chicago, living downtown or in the South Suburbs his entire life. While downtown he owned an art gallery in Pilsen at 18th and Halsted. Lou often creates his art from experiences on the road. He will take a picture of an old home in Mississippi and then draw it later. He exhibits his art in Gallery shows or sells prints out of his merch box. He often blends his art and music by creating album art and show posters for himself and other musicians. In addition to being an artist, Lou is also a Professor of Art at a college in the Chicago-area. He enjoys teaching young students about art appreciation and art history a few days a week.
In 2015, Lou purchased 15 acres and a salvaged wood cabin in the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin (near Viroqua) where he is setting up an off-grid homestead. Lou loves working with wood and reclaimed materials due to his deep connection to the past. The homestead is filled with antiques he found on the road from stopping at roadside estate sales and thrift stores. In addition to the cabin, Lou has built many amazing reclaimed buildings and hired the Amish to build a barn on his homestead for woodworking and eventually to have community music gatherings. Lou’s current projects are to rebuild a 1880’s hand-hewn log home, a tiny house for guests to visit his property and share in the enjoyment of the outdoors and get his well working or spring pump to create running water on the homestead. Lou enjoys playing his banjo and vintage 1931 National Resonator guitar on the front porch of his Kickapoo River Valley Homestead.
Spontaneous. Surprising. Weird. Energetic. Boozy. These are just some of the words that have been used to describe Milwaukee dark roots band Steering Ships With Empty Bottles. With an eclectic mix of traditional roots sounds, fast-paced punk and rock riffs, and soulful lyrics it's no wonder they've set themselves apart in an expansive musical landscape. With songs to get your feet stomping and your heart weeping, there truly is something for everyone in their craft. This has offered them the fortunate opportunitie to spread their sound both all across the United States and abroad.
With four full-length albums, multiple split EPs, and tracks on a slew of samplers across the globe, you can always be sure that there's something new on the way.
The tides may change, but the ship with always sail.