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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Musical Ditch-Digging: Potbelly at Adams and Wacker, Chicago IL

The ultimate musical ditch-digging gig in Chicago is playing at a Potbelly restaurant. Potbelly is a chain of sub shops with a cutesy decor and "quasi-cool" demeanor. One of the touches - live music in most stores, usually a singer-guitar banger. Most of the folks that take these gigs are young, mediocre wannabees. For the past few months, I have been buying my lunch at the Potbelly shop at Adams and Wacker. It is a 2 story joint, and the musican's nook is on the second floor balcony. When I came in for my turkey sandwich today, I was startled - I heard good music from pouring out of the poor soul that was in that tiny nook on the balcony!!

Imagine this - you have a passion for music. You are a young, attractive female. You have a lovely voice, somewhere in the alto/soprano range. You are a decent acoustic guitar player and do a great job of backing up your own vocals. You have been breaking your ass writing songs and hoping to get attention from somebody, anybody. And you are playing a 3 hour solo gig for peanuts on the second floor of a sandwich shop and NO ONE is listening!!! Yes, my friends, this is called Musical Ditch Digging.

The artist at my local Potbelly was Starina Catchatoorian. I heard her play a few tunes, including a very emotional and sincere cover of the Beatles tune, "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away." This is a talented musician. She said that she was a bit tired because she was up until 3AM last night recording songs.

So if you like female singer-songwriters, check out Starina. Here is a link to some of her music. Think good thoughts about this striving, talented person.


Anonymous said...

Mr.G (or Chris if I may)

Simply: Thank you.

Your writing is like you blues: you are a true story teller about our daily treasure; life itself. I have had the pleasure to see you play at Kenny Z's club in Harlem and I have followed your blog since you so wonderfully posted about dear Chico, 2 (?) years ago; about this time if I recal correctly...te point for me is get off the sie line and step up and say thanks; for what you write, what you play...and by all accounts from FB; you are a blessed person and you take the time to share that (your) story with others....bless you and happy holidays.

Laurance Glasser aka "LG"

Mr. G said...

Thank you LG, and have a terrific holiday season.


M said...

Solid quick story. STARINA's photo alone is worth the trip to your excellent blog. She is 1 of ours. & now yours. Thumbs up, STARINA & G. MIKE ADAJIAN. Wednesday.

STARINA said...

Wow. Wow. Thanks so much Mr G for such kind words...i just now randomly found this blog.
My new record, "The Snow Years"
(Which I was up till 3am recording the night before) is now available on Itunes and can be heard at

Thank you for listening and liking my music!!

Mr. G said...

Hi Starina - I heard that you have left Chicago for NYC. Hope your career is taking off in the Apple.
Keep singing!


STARINA said...

Yes, I am here right now (NYC) ...its been a tough transition, happy I am here, and miss Chicago and it's people!
PS: Potbellys opened up in NYC...the summer I moved here!! Ha!
The ditch diggin' continues in NYC!!

Mr. G said...

Starina, there are always ditches to dig when you are an independent musician. Keep on keepin' on!