At Shenanigan’s their menu strength is consistency and variety. People who frequent either location understand they are walking into a business that truly is… what all the corporate fern bars have always aspired to be. The Neighborhood Bar & Grill. Kind of like Cheers.
Our own neighborhood watering hole serves a broad selection of tasty bar fare including great burgers and wings, which guests are likely to consider “comfort food.” I know I did. I also hear a rumor that they will cook up your fresh catch if you ask! Wait-staff at their Westside location (in the Park Sheridan Plaza) is energetic and friendly. Likely to call you honey, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.
Mitch Herrick & the Homegrown Sinners are also consistently pleasing in their execution of a wide range of covers by artists that also appealed to a wide range of fans. Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, Matchbox 20, Pink Floyd, Dave Matthews and more graced their first set. Their musicianship was beyond competent, and though they had a new keyboard player, they all seemed at ease working with one another. They were having fun, and the crowd feeds on that.
Herrick, who used to co-lead the local original, Americana band Sosos, is now fronting a band that plays a really fun selection of everyone’s favorites. The mix is eclectic, certainly not just “classic rock.”
I sat down with Mitch to chat a bit when they finished the first set. We talked about a LOT of different topics. Here’s a sampling.
JJ: So, you left Sosos where you were creating a lot of original music, and also as a band, creating some buzz those last few years. I know you wanted to “get off the road” to spend more time with family, what else has appealed to you about this transition?
Mitch: When I decided to take the business end of playing music every bit as seriously as the creative end, a few things happened. One, of course, was my excitement about the opportunity to be close to home with my new bride and young child. This desire to stay close to home lead me to start creating a large network of local musicians, that I had never had really cultivated previously.
JJ: And what was the end-goal of creating this pool of talent on “speed-dial?”
Mitch: To be able to plow through the local scene and gig 6 nights a week, you need to know a LOT of covers. There is not too much room for originals if you’re attempting to be a full-time working musician here. I needed to grow my pool of talented players for two reasons. Learning SO much new material and only have access to a few players…all the time limits your ability to change your sound from tune to tune. It limits your scope of influence.
Also, at the stage of life, I and most of my fellow band-mates find ourselves in, it’s nearly impossible to just put together a “band of brothers” like you would in college. Everyone has their own lives. Work, family and possibly other bands they play with. Therefore I wanted 20 or 30 guys who were good musicians, nice to be around and could learn a few sets of material with minimal rehearsal time. So, I needed this “band” to not just be 4 or 5 guys. It needed to be much bigger. It’s been a blast playing with so many new musicians.
JJ: Your keyboard player was also holding down the “bass line” I see…
Mitch: Perfect example. Our bass player had to cancel pretty late in the week for tonight. I knew we had an amazing keyboard player that was sitting in with us anyway, and he said the bass line was no problem. This permitted me to just let go of the stress of finding a last minute fill in, who I had likely not rehearsed with before. Phew.
JJ: What inspires your creativity and music these days? Do you still write?
Mitch: I’m still writing, though not as much. But when I do, my inspiration is always my wife and child. They mean the world to me.
JJ: And has being in recovery had any noticeable impact on your creativity?
Mitch: Well, one thing I’ve learned from being in recovery is true gratitude. I love and appreciate every moment, every day. Therefore I’m usually pretty happy! For me, that really puts a curb on a lot of my previous writing muse, as I can’t write so well from a “happy place.” You know?
JJ: I do, certainly. We look at the great song writers, painters, authors of history and so many were/are tortured souls. That’s the muse for most.
Mitch, thanks for sharing your music and your time with me!
Mitch: Thank you! Hope to see you soon.
If you want to check out Mitch’s future dates visit www.mitchherrick.com
For future live music at Shenanigans, visit https://shenaniganssportspub.com/
Email [email protected] if you have a local band you’d like us to check out!