Yes Face pre-orders available now. Right now.

Yes Face pre-orders available now. Right now.

From our label, uvulittle: We are now accepting pre-orders for Yes Face, the second CD by Chicago's The Crooked Mouth.

All pre-orders will ship by Nov 25. Digital ships instantly and we're including the mp3 version for all pre-order orders. Yes Face picks up where their debut ended. A little less country, perhaps.. First, though, the recording is lovely. Simple, complex, beautiful... It breathes. Deeply. As expected, the vocal arrangements are well conceived and executed flawlessly by people with an obvious passion for such perfections. The instrumentation is tasteful - bringing banjo and bluegrass sounds to folky show tune-y (almost) rock numbers. There's a nod to the blues in there, too. Fun, serious, sad and furious. Actually, quite transcendent.

Treat yourself to some songs (there's 20 of 'em on there!) by one of Chicago's most creative musical outfits.

The official release party is on December 7 at Links Hall. See our Gigs page for more info.

Likely the rockingest Tuesday evening DeKalb has ever seen.

Likely the rockingest Tuesday evening DeKalb has ever seen.

Tuesday, Oct 8th at 8:00pm

The show is something of a reunion because 35 years ago Andrew Calhoun, Folksinger, met Beau O’Reilly across the street at the legendary JUICY JOHN PINKS where Beau was doing the booking.

Andrew is touring to support his new album and Beau will be playing with his band The Crooked Mouth who are just about to release their new cd, YES FACE, on uvulittle records. Beau, known somewhat for his theater and radio work on This American Life, has been working musically, for about 5 years with the multi instrumentalist Matt Test, the ethereal voiced Troy Martin on guitar and uke, the bass-playing fine harmonizer Vicki Walden and the eponymous lead singer and drummer Jenny Magnus, with whom Beau shared the drivers seat in Maestro Subgum and The Whole. If any of this rings a bell and you like well-made songs written by people who care about stuff and have a sense of humor, come out and hear us on Tuesday October 8th at 8 o'clock at the House Cafe in DeKalb.

have a listen to a song off the new record

have a listen to a song off the new record

If it's a dorkish thing to drive around listening constantly to your own band's CD, then I am the biggest dork there is. I can't get enough of this record that we are so very close to completing. It's called Yes Face and that is, in fact, the face I am making behind the wheel of my car as the songs go round and round. I hope that you all will like it as much as I do. Soon, my pets, soon a November or December release date will be confirmed on these very web pages. In the meantime, for your listening pleasure, here is the version of Spite that appears. 


Roots Fest IV: Untoward Sward

Roots Fest IV: Untoward Sward

We could not be happier to join Mistress of Ceremonies Jamie O'Reilly at her fourth annual Roots Fest this weekend. There are a host of talented O'Reillys and their cohorts on the musical bill, and no finer backyard venue in which to see them.

Click on that lil' linky up there for more info. We toast you with a frosty beverage in advance. 

Working weekend

The Crooked Mouth had an epic weekend of recording, with its petty trials, travails, and yes, triumphs. Looks like the next record is going to have 20 tracks on it. That's a lot o' material to get through, but we have succeeded in recording nearly everything. It is onto the mixing now. We're cautiously hopeful that all will be finished for a May time Beau/Jenny birthday bash release.

Cautious. Hopeful. Appropriate for February in Chicago.

Rhino ending switcharoo, Feb 17

Rhino ending switcharoo, Feb 17

The Crooked Mouth waves goodbye to Rhino 2013 on Sunday, February 17th at 7:00pm, not the previously boasted about Sunday afternoon.

What does that mean? The show's at 7.

When is it? It's at 7:00!!!

Is John Starrs still in the afternoon? Why yes he is, he just starts a little later, around three thirty.

Will Scott Vehill be with John? Why yes he will.

When's The Crooked Mouth? IT'S AT SEVEN.

Can I do everything on Sunday, the closing day, that I want to do? Why yes you can, I think you can, I hope you can.

Did the rhino brain trust cause this schedule flux on purpose just to test my commitment to the project? No, they didn't. They are working night and day, using all the tools god gave them to make it work out for you and yours.

Can I trust the accuracy of this news? Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

Will they play anything special for me? We think they will, we know they say we all.

The Rhinoceros Theatre Festival continues

The Rhinoceros Theatre Festival continues Now through February 17, the Rhino thunders on at the Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston.

The Crooked Mouth is involved on many levels: Beau and Jenny revisit the Madras Parables with "All the Ways to the Hidey Hole" on Friday and Saturday nights; Matt provides music for Sue Cargill's "Lizzie Borden is Smashing"; Troy is in the latest work from The Billy Goat Experiment, "Breath Boxes"; and Vicki is part of the staged reading of Barrie Cole's new play, "Clumsy Sublime" and curated the Rhino-inspired art show in the lobby.

As ever, the Rhino is chock full of excellent fringe theater. Go to the website for details!

Double Door with Elvisbride!

elvisbride Double Door with Elvisbride!

You likely know this already, but Matt and Troy have another band, a band that was a show and is now a band, Elvisbride. Their music is as excellent as the people involved: smart, funny, entertaining, and tight. We are delighted to be opening for them (with Darcy Lynn and Belmondos) as they headline Double Door on Tuesday, Feb 5 at 8pm. There will be staff manning the water stations keeping Troy and Matt liberally supplied with energy gel squeezy packets as they navigate two shows in one night.

Only 7 bucks!

The Other Side of the Elephant

Image Opening this Friday, The Other Side of the Elephant: Short Plays by Curious Writers features contributions from all of our band members. Vicki, Matt, and Troy are on the Friday night bill, with Summer of '76 and Birthday Boy (respectively written by Vicki and Matt with Chris Bower). Beau and Jenny have written/are directing and performing on the Sunday bill, with Advanced Placement, Crowns, and Rhino Tails: New Work by SAIC Students.

See the link above for more details and a full schedule. All shows are at Prop Thtr, and tickets are $15 or pay what you can. Running through June 10. There is a lot of energetic new work present here—don't miss it.

Us, and King Pignacious

We really did have an excellent time playing at the Ace Bar last week. What a treat to have an actual sound guy, and let Matt be banjo/piano/accordion player without the added burden of engineering. He is a man of many talents. Jenny recorded us on the ipad balanced atop her drum kit, so maybe we'll be posting some of it if sound quality merits.

But on to the future! Saturday night, we are playing with our good friends, King Pignacious at Center Portion. It's an early May Day fundraising effort for the Occupy Chicago Defense Fund. We honor their commitment to the 99%, and are glad to show our support. This should be an excellent, excellent time, so we hope you can join us.

Tickets are $15 or pay what you can. 8:00pm!

2850 W. Fullerton, Chicago

Spring shows at Center Portion et al

Spring is sprunging all over the place, and we are playing all over the place. We are so pleased about our special guests this go round—it behooves you, you, to come and see. The first three gigs listed here are at Center Portion, and the last is at Ace Bar. Exciting.

 Saturday, March 31 — 8:00pm with Chris Schoen

Sunday, April 1 — 7:00pm with Jeff Weisfeld and Friends

MAY DAY WEEKEND Saturday, April 28 — 8:00pm with King Pignacious A Benefit for Occupy Chicago Defense Fund

MAY BAND BIRTHDAYS Saturday, May 19 — 8:00pm with Ed Reardon and Sunny Fun Sisters

2850 1/2 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago Tickets: $15 or pay what you can 773.904.4310

ADDITIONAL SHOW—AT A REAL BAR EVEN! Friday, April 13 — 7:30pm with Wooden Rings and Rachael Sage Ace Bar
 1505 W. Fullerton Ave. 312-970-1505

Beau and Troy in The Boho Dance

The Crooked Mouth's own Beau O'Reilly and Troy Martin (with the lovely and talented John Starrs) will perform The Boho Dance at The Poetry Foundation, March 10 & 11. The Boho Dance imagines a conversation between Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg. With poet John Starrs as Whitman and playwright Beau O’Reilly as Ginsberg, comedy and entertainment ensue.

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, and I contain multitudes,” bellows Whitman, ingniting a humorous exchange in which the actors call-and-respond, sometimes surprising one another with their poetic replies. A particularly funny section of Leaves of Grass leads to “A Supermarket in California”; and a deeply anti-war passage from Leaves leads to the angry “Hum Bom!” The performance takes place with minimal props, and Troy Martin provides musical accompaniment.

Beau O’Reilly is a founding member of the Curious Theater Branch, co-curator of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival, and a frequent contributor to This American Life. A professor of playwriting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he is the author of over 80 original plays.

John Starrs is a poet, actor, spoken-word performer and teacher. He has appeared in numerous Curious productions, including Still in Play, The Madelyn Trilogy, The Turtle at Play, Hit Me Like a Flower, and Discovery Tales.

Saturday, March 10 - 7:00pm Sunday, March 11 - 3:00pm

It's FREE! Make a reservation here:

Beau's upcoming gig

Saturday, February 25 —  8:00 PM Beau O’Reilly and Edward Reardon DEEP BALLADS AND ODD BLUES with Special Guest Willa Moore at Roots Salon 773.203.7661 or email

Private address call for reservation

“I am at my most joyful on stage, in a band, singin raw or sweet.” - Beau O'Reilly

Roots Salon presents a full evening of provocative and original music, at Jamie O'Reilly's house salon. Beau O’Reilly covers Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Greg Brown, and dances through his own dense and magical material, while poet-composer-improvisational artist Ed Reardon accompanies on piano and guitar.

Beau says "Jamie's place is the most cool and comfortable, a place where I can risk things old and new (me and Mr Reardon have never played in front of people before together), there's usually some coffee, cake and wine around, some soft couches full of smart people, so come and watch us take a stretch and work thequiet edge of things."

Willa Moore opens the evening with a set of original songs: highly theatrical compositions with brainy lyrics and surprising notions that provoke the listener, and stir the heart. With Ron Scoggin on guitar.

ps...Look for Beau's recent story in the January issue of Word Riot

Full Moon Vaudeville

We'll be helping to kickoff the 23rd Annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival at the Prop Thtr tonight -- 9:00pm until they throw us out. The Crooked Mouth will play a set in the second half and the rest of the evening will feature: Dmitri Peskov Matt Test and Troy Martin Jeff Sherfey Malynda Jackson Sunny Fun Sisters Diana Laffey Brad the Juggler  Flash Gorgeous

3502 N. Elston $15 or pay what you can
The festival itself starts at 7:00pm, with two excellent shows that it would behoove you to see. For more details, check out the festival calendar. Tonight is merely the beginning of five weeks of awesome.

Solstice-Hanukkah-Christmas-And-More Time

Beau wants you to know:

The Crooked Mouth is doing its third and final Holiday Concert at the Center Portion (2850 an a half W Fullerton).  Yup, it's Solstice-Hanukkah-Christmas-And-More Time on Saturday, December 17th at 8 o'clock. Maybe you think you have seen or heard everything by Jenny Magnus, Matt Test, Vicki Walden, Troy Martin, and Beau O'Reilly but think how they feel...they live with themselves year in and year out.

This is the end of this lovely time, so why don't you come and wassail us thru the shortest days of the year cause we are going to do songs you have never heard, in ways you never heard 'em. Our new CD is via UVULITTLE out of Madison (this is the last time i get to say it is our ''New ''CD, from now on it will be referred to as "Our" CD until it morphs into "The" CD, before bashfully accepting the "A" CD moniker). There are songs on it that would sound wild poring out of stockings or jumping out of boxes on Boxing Day!

We have got more special guests for this final show of 2011: Waterbug recording artist ANDREW CALHOUN, one of the tiny handful of master lyricists, singing with his guest CASEY CALHOUN. Our Center Portion hostess, Sheila, will do a Christmas Story, so if you got a Higher power walking with ya, or if you're an enthusiastic atheist who enjoys cold winter winds, or if you are prone to barefootin' no matter who's on the dance card, or if you are pretty darn sure that Santa Claus is still coming, we are the show for you!!! We will have things to drink and eat (Sheila makes this ginger tea that will make you reconsider all your health issues) and it is pay what you can. Kids are welcome.

December doings

We've got a busy two weeks in store. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we're remounting the Jenny Magnus opus, Still in Play: a performance of getting ready at Links Hall. The show was incredibly well-received at its MCA premiere in September, and translating it to the Links space (about 1/4 of the size of the MCA) has been a rewarding exploration of the value of flexibility. We're using every corner of Links Hall, a space that many of us have a long history with. Every one of those corners contains a memory for me personally, and I love working in there again. The past 20 years of my Chicago life have collapsed in on themselves this week—but in a good way. If you didn't catch the show at the MCA, come and see it now. If you did, come again. The change of venue makes new things pop. It's the same, yet different.


The Crooked Mouth is also playing its final show of 2011 at Center Portion on Saturday, December 17 at 8pm. We'll be joined by Chicago favorite Andrew Calhoun and his daughter Casey, and our hostess Sheila Donohue will offer another delicious piece of holiday-inspired writing. Bring the kids if you have a mind (and a stomach for colorful language)—the Thanksgiving audience was full of children, who continued to enjoy themselves long after they should've been in bed.

And if you're still looking for a copy of our CD, you can find it here or here, or come to the show!

Beau on the Thanksgiving show

The Crooked Mouth is doing its second Holiday Concert at the Center Portion 2850 and a half W. Fullerton.  Yup, it's Thanksgiving Time: Saturday, November 19th  at 8:00pm. Maybe you think you have seen or heard everything that Jenny Magnus, Matt Test, Vicki Walden, Troy Martin, and Beau O'Reilly have to offer 'cause you saw us preparing to perform Still in Play at the MCA, or the Elvisbride at Martyrs, dancin' it up, or those wild Dog shows from a few years ago, or those Maestro reunions where we only mumbled thru missed lyrics a few times...well, you're wrong...! Cause we are going to do songs you have never heard, in ways you never heard 'em. Plus, we will play two sets and give away CDs to audience members with the letter Z in their names. Our new CD is via the UVULITTLE label out of Madison and there are songs on there even we can't remember how to play! Plus we have got the special guests...first up, LA DINK! in a rare appearance. Equal parts Buster Keaton and the chain-smoking 1950's swimsuit model that lives next door, La Dink will help you bust a gut and refuse to help you sew it back together.

Plus the vocal duo of Giselle Greenberg and Lena Brun, putting the charm in charming and the kid in kidding, plus our Center Portion hostess Sheila Donohue will read us a new thanksgiving poem. So if your a friend of Bill's, a lover of the Rhino, or just too darn lonely to get thru another Thanksgiving on your own, come to this show! We will have things to drink and eat and it is pay what you can. Where o where are you going to find a cooler deal? We'll be selling our new CD and we will autograph them for you!  Yes we will.