Trail Mix will host 3 shows in April, including Nellie McKay and Phoebe Hunt concerts

Trail Mix Productions is hosting three concerts at three different locations in April. Nellie McKay will play at Thornton Distilling Co. on April 26. Phoebe Hunt will return to Trail Mix to perform at The Rock Shop on April 18, the first Trail Mix show at this location.

Trail Mix is also returning to its roots with four local bands — Butterfield Creek, Doug Raffety, the Uh Ohs and the Six of Spades — performing at Izaak Walton nature preserve in Homewood on April 5.

At the April 5 show with local musicians, all profits will be donated to Izaak Walton, event director Steve Ploum said. For the other two shows in April with the national acts, any profits will fund Trail Mix’s endeavors.

“Any money we have over at the end of the year will basically help us secure artists the following year,” Ploum said.

Nellie McKay (Provided photo)

Ploum described the Nellie McKay show on April 26 as the “primary one” in April because she’s a nationally renowned musician who’s never played Trail Mix. The other two shows are more geared toward local fans and returning Trail Mix attendees.

Nellie McKay is set to play at Cooper’s Hall at Thornton Distilling, 400 E. Margaret St., with the Molly Rose Trio, a jazz fusion band from Frankfort, as the opening act.


“Nellie McKay is genre-bending. She’s sort of jazzy, sort of indie-pop. She plays piano and ukelele,” Ploum said. “She’s been on Broadway. She has reviews in the Los Angeles Times, Billboards, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.”

This will be the second Trail Mix at Thornton Distilling but the first at Cooper’s Hall, an upstairs area larger than Distiller’s Hall, where the Feb. 10 Trail Mix concert was performed. Ploum said he expects Cooper’s Hall to better fit Trail Mix’s “listening room” vibe because it’s further away from the main bar downstairs.

“I think that Cooper’s Hall is going to be a nice environment for us,” Ploum said. “People will come in there and really be able to listen to the music, hear the music. And they’ll be able to listen to every word and listen to every note played.”

Ploum said Phoebe Hunt contacted them about returning to Trail Mix when she was in town for a larger show in Joliet. She asked to do “a house concert or something like that” so they booked her at The Rock Shop, 18109 Dixie Highway, a smaller and more intimate setting than other Trail Mix venues, Ploum said.

“It was outdoors at Izaak Walton,” Ploum said, recalling the first time Phoebe Hunt played Trail Mix. “Right during her intermission, there was a meteor shower. So, it was beautiful that way. And she put on a spectacular show.”

Ploum described Phoebe Hunt as a top-notch fiddle player and singer.

“We’re excited about having so many shows. They’ll each be different in their way,” talent manager Kristin Ryan said about the three shows in April. “There’s going to be something that everyone can find that they like.”

Tickets for the April 18 and April 26 shows can be pre-ordered on trailmixmusic.org and entrance to the April 5 show can be purchased on site. Trail recently started offering a Super Fan Pass which provides a concertgoer with two tickets of their choice to three shows in 2024.

New boost

News by email

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Free weekly newsletter

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Most read stories this week