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Not My Dad, a Homewood cover band, will perform at Thornton Distilling Co.

A well-known local band, Not My Dad, will be helping the community celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a show Friday, March 17, at Thornton Distilling Co.

Not My Dad, a 7-piece cover band, performs hit songs from the 1960s to current day, with special rock song covers from the ‘80s and early ‘90s. The band includes but isn’t limited to playing keyboards, drums and electric guitar. 

Not My Dad performs at Homewood Fall Fest in 2022. (Chronicle file photo)

Band members Jon Elfner, Terence Smith and Ted Venegas, teach at H-F High School. Lara Elfner, Matt Epperson, Krista Venegas and Billy Villarreal are the other four members of Not My Dad. 

Before forming the band eight years ago, they were already friends. They all had kids who were students at Infant Jesus of Prague School in Flossmoor. Jon Elfner and Lara Elfner are married, as well as Ted Venegas and Krista Venegas.


“When we started, our children were embarrassed that we were going to be performing. We named it Not My Dad so when someone said, ‘Who’s that band?” our kids could honestly say ‘Not My Dad,’” Jon Elfner said. “But at this point, ‘NMD’ gets said just as much.”

“I recruited my friends to form a band so we could spend more time hanging out together and playing together. This was a band that started as a good hangout and has grown since then and become something bigger than I ever expected,” Elfner added.

While the rest of the band had years of musical experience, members Lara Elfner and Terrence Smith didn’t. They learned to play drums and bass while jamming with the band.

“When people hear a song, it could bring back a good memory. It could enliven something in them. It brings back good feelings,” Lara Elfner said, explaining why NMD performs cover songs.

“We are playing to our generation by and large. But ‘80s songs are so great, everybody loves them,” Jon Elfner said.

“We play music that everybody knows. We play the hits,” Ted Venegas said. “We play music that is fun, that is danceable, that gets people out of their seats to move around a little bit.”

The songs performed by NMD are tailored to the event, Lara Elfner said. This is why at their upcoming St. Patrick’s Day show at Thornton Distilling Co., they’ll play a few “fun Irish songs” in addition to the rest of their setlist, she said.

Currently, more than 150 people have RSVP’d to the show on Facebook.

While this performer hasn’t been booked yet, NMD plans to have a bagpiper with them at the St. Patrick’s Day show.

“If I have to dress in a kilt and do it myself, we will have a bagpiper,” said Carly Smith, event organizer at Thornton Distilling Co.

She said they’ll serve green beer, a rare Irish red ale, corn beef, cabbage and mini Reuben sliders. The event also will have beads and boot-shaped shot glasses with Irish Cream.

“We’re all going to be dressed up in very elaborate, fun dress – all green everything,” Smith said, speaking of distillery staff. “I made tutus for a couple of the guys. So, let’s see if they actually wear them.”

Thornton Distilling Co. is one of the oldest breweries in Illinois, dating back to 1857. It’s at 400 E. Margaret St. in Thornton.

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