After more than a dozen years as an entity, Expo’76 rolls on — impossibly fresh in each performance, their reputation as the Chicago area’s most reliably potent and unpredictable cover band firmly established. Their secret all along has simply been remaining true to themselves, playing the music they want to play. Their set list is a far-flung assortment of hits, forgotten classics and deep cuts, that careens effortlessly across all genres and politely sidesteps old warhorses.
When singer/guitarist Dag Juhlin (Poi Dog Pondering, Sunshine Boys) put out a call to his longtime friends, keyboardist Kenny Goodman (The Service, New Duncan Imperials) drummer John Carpender (Outronaut, The Real Pretenders) and bassist Ralph Baumel (The Real Pretenders) in 2009, his only guideline was that the band just focused on being great, and that the rest would take care of itself. It worked. Expo’76 began their monthly residency at Simon’s Tavern in Chicago in early 2010, and within a few months the room was packed out and they were on the cover of The Chicago Sun Times arts section.
Along the way, they’ve played hundreds of gigs beyond that residency: street fairs, dances, weddings, private parties, swanky fundraisers and more, in every possible setting. They’ve been joined onstage by notable singers and assorted show folk like Robert Cornelius, Kelly Hogan, Joel Murray, Syd Straw, Frank Orrall, Michael McDermott, Jack McGee, and an up and coming singer from Evanston named Eddie Vedder.
Being bolstered by the ferocious and rightly in-demand Total Pro Horns means the Expo’76 catalog has even more depth and power, and the Pros wholly share the band’s irreverent but musically razor-sharp approach to performance.
A night of Expo’76 is an unforgettable experience: songs that unlock memories or invite further exploration, performances that dazzle, and overflowing good vibes, delivered with a generous serving of world class banter. There’s no one else like them.