Craig Gerdes

Fri Oct 14 2022

9:30 PM

Carol's Pub

4659 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60640

$5.00 - $16.67

Ages 21+

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Steeped in the white lines, black tar and diesel smoke of the American highway, Tough As Nails—the latest LP from Craig Gerdes—is raw and real, a document of a road-tested band fast on the rise. Ever since the central-Illinois songwriter released his lauded 2018 debut LP, Smokin’ Drinkin’ & Gamblin’, he’s been on tour almost constantly, playing upwards of 150 shows per year, including opening slots and festival support for top country and Americana artists from Tyler Childers and Paul Cauthen to Jamey Johnson and Cody Jinks, as well as a lengthy run with hard-rocker-turned-country-star Aaron Lewis.

For Tough As Nails, Gerdes and his road band—lead guitarist Jake Baxter, bassist Britton Wood and drummer Randy Noy—hit St. Louis’ Native Sound Studio revved up and ready to go, with producer/engineer David Beeman at the helm. Beeman had also worked with Gerdes on 2019 single “Tailgate n’ Tallboys,” a theme song commissioned by the festival of the same name, a six-day, 30+ band country concert, held annually in Peoria, Ill. “Tough as Nails was the first time that I was able to be like, ‘Alright, boys, we’re pulling off the highway and going into the studio for a week,’” Gerdes says. “Capturing the energy of our live performances was crucial to me. So we just went in fresh off the road and banged out the meat and potatoes of it in three days.”

The resulting LP—spruced up by Robby "Man of Steel" Turner on steel guitar—reeks of spilled Jack Daniels, truckstops, pool halls and tobacco-stained green rooms. Its second track, a hi-octane, four-on-the-floor cover of Roger Alan Wade’s “If Guitars Were Guns,” acts as a manifesto for Tough As Nails, a record that packs more grit and wallop than most of its country contemporaries: “I play country music in my little cabin home in the hood, I play rock & roll because it makes me feel good / I play them ol’ blues to take a load off my mind, I play what I please, out of tune and out of time.”

Sit with him for five minutes and you’ll know that Gerdes is a natural-born storyteller. Really, Tough as Nails is a documentary in album form. It deals with real people, real places and real struggles, collected along the Interstate as Gerdes and his band play an endless parade of one-night stands. The record is about family, community, honesty, tragedy, travel, the fleeting nature of existence, even silent visitations from the ghosts of our loved ones. Above all, though, Tough as Nails confronts the elusiveness of the American Dream in the 21st century, giving voice to the plight of the working poor, brought to life by an ex-steel worker from Pennsylvania, an out-of-work coal miner from Alabama, a suicidal veteran wrestling with PTSD in rural Ohio, and a teenage girl from god knows where trying to shake herself free from the grip of heroin. Track after track, it’s a testament to fighting for your ideals, taking your blows and doing your damnedest to press on in the face of adversity.

“All the stories in these songs are true,” Gerdes says. “It’s about the people. I wanted the album to speak directly to them, to things they’ve gone through. In my mindset, country music has got to be real.”

 

Carol's Pub
Craig Gerdes

  • Craig Gerdes

    Craig Gerdes

    Country

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limit 10 per person
Reserved Table
Includes cover and reserved table seating for up to four (4) people. Please arrive 30 minutes before show time.
Four-Top Table 1
$15.00
Four-Top Table 2
$15.00
Reserved Booth
Includes cover and reserved table seating for up to six (6) people. Please arrive 30 minutes before show time.
Six-Top Booth
$16.67
General Admission

$5.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

Reserved Table purchase includes entrance to the show and a reserved table for designated number of people. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime to claim your table. If your party has not arrived by that time, your table may be subject to be given away to another group and we will do our best to facilitate your group upon your arrival, however a table is no longer guaranteed.
Carol's Pub

Craig Gerdes

Fri Oct 14 2022 9:30 PM

Carol's Pub Chicago IL
Craig Gerdes

$5.00 - $16.67 Ages 21+

Steeped in the white lines, black tar and diesel smoke of the American highway, Tough As Nails—the latest LP from Craig Gerdes—is raw and real, a document of a road-tested band fast on the rise. Ever since the central-Illinois songwriter released his lauded 2018 debut LP, Smokin’ Drinkin’ & Gamblin’, he’s been on tour almost constantly, playing upwards of 150 shows per year, including opening slots and festival support for top country and Americana artists from Tyler Childers and Paul Cauthen to Jamey Johnson and Cody Jinks, as well as a lengthy run with hard-rocker-turned-country-star Aaron Lewis.

For Tough As Nails, Gerdes and his road band—lead guitarist Jake Baxter, bassist Britton Wood and drummer Randy Noy—hit St. Louis’ Native Sound Studio revved up and ready to go, with producer/engineer David Beeman at the helm. Beeman had also worked with Gerdes on 2019 single “Tailgate n’ Tallboys,” a theme song commissioned by the festival of the same name, a six-day, 30+ band country concert, held annually in Peoria, Ill. “Tough as Nails was the first time that I was able to be like, ‘Alright, boys, we’re pulling off the highway and going into the studio for a week,’” Gerdes says. “Capturing the energy of our live performances was crucial to me. So we just went in fresh off the road and banged out the meat and potatoes of it in three days.”

The resulting LP—spruced up by Robby "Man of Steel" Turner on steel guitar—reeks of spilled Jack Daniels, truckstops, pool halls and tobacco-stained green rooms. Its second track, a hi-octane, four-on-the-floor cover of Roger Alan Wade’s “If Guitars Were Guns,” acts as a manifesto for Tough As Nails, a record that packs more grit and wallop than most of its country contemporaries: “I play country music in my little cabin home in the hood, I play rock & roll because it makes me feel good / I play them ol’ blues to take a load off my mind, I play what I please, out of tune and out of time.”

Sit with him for five minutes and you’ll know that Gerdes is a natural-born storyteller. Really, Tough as Nails is a documentary in album form. It deals with real people, real places and real struggles, collected along the Interstate as Gerdes and his band play an endless parade of one-night stands. The record is about family, community, honesty, tragedy, travel, the fleeting nature of existence, even silent visitations from the ghosts of our loved ones. Above all, though, Tough as Nails confronts the elusiveness of the American Dream in the 21st century, giving voice to the plight of the working poor, brought to life by an ex-steel worker from Pennsylvania, an out-of-work coal miner from Alabama, a suicidal veteran wrestling with PTSD in rural Ohio, and a teenage girl from god knows where trying to shake herself free from the grip of heroin. Track after track, it’s a testament to fighting for your ideals, taking your blows and doing your damnedest to press on in the face of adversity.

“All the stories in these songs are true,” Gerdes says. “It’s about the people. I wanted the album to speak directly to them, to things they’ve gone through. In my mindset, country music has got to be real.”

 
Craig Gerdes

Craig Gerdes

Country

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 21+
limit 10 per person
Reserved Table
Includes cover and reserved table seating for up to four (4) people. Please arrive 30 minutes before show time.
Four-Top Table 1
$15.00
Four-Top Table 2
$15.00
Reserved Booth
Includes cover and reserved table seating for up to six (6) people. Please arrive 30 minutes before show time.
Six-Top Booth
$16.67
General Admission
$5.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Fees & Charges

Order Fee
$0.00 An order fee applies.

Terms & Conditions

This event is 21 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 21 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund. Reserved Table purchase includes entrance to the show and a reserved table for designated number of people. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime to claim your table. If your party has not arrived by that time, your table may be subject to be given away to another group and we will do our best to facilitate your group upon your arrival, however a table is no longer guaranteed.