6-9:00/on the patio


Craig Gerdes is a singer whose voice is steadied by the legion of angels he believes watch over him. He tells stories at a Southern pace, with a soft voice and slow drawl. His new album Smokin, Drinkin, and Gamblin is full of outlaw country rug cutters, and ballads about strong heads and weak hearts. Fueled by nostalgia, his songwriting talent turns old habits into dependable crutches, and nurses the phantom pain of missing lovers.

Though he hails from rural Illinois, his sound is four-on-the-floor, old-school, San Marcos, Texas-style honky tonk. His work is reminiscent of greats like Leon Payne, George Strait, Jim Lauderdale and James McMurtry. As great songwriters often do, he spent time as a writer in Nashville, where he had some success, and learned that his songs were too country for the cosmopolitan elite.