Last night [December 17th, 1999], I had the pleasure of enjoying a double billing of Margo Jean and the Rubes [actually with guest Rubes--EVEN3] and EVEN3 featuring Joel Simpson. For those of you that are not familiar with these two groups you are in for a treat. Margo Jean and Joel are brother and sister. Both have their own bands and are featured artists on Randomisity Records. Margo Jean and the Rubes are a Tuscon based band that are billed as Rockabilly. However, when you hear their unique songs you will find roots in blues, rock, and pop as well. EVEN3 is a Chicago based trio that combines a unique blend of rock, blues, jazz, and pop to form a distinct sound all their own. Joel Simpson has written or co-written all of their material and the songs are rich with meaningful words as well as musical interest.

The EVEN3 line-up of Paul [drums & back-up vocals], Kevin [bass & back-up vocals], and Joel [guitar and lead vocals].

     The show started with Margo Jean's music and it was an awesome performance--even more so when you consider that this was the very first time this band has ever been assembled. Margo Jean's voice is hard driving yet with a sweet edge. She joked with the crowd and kept their interest peaked. The entire first set was devoted to her bands material.
     EVEN3 performed as a trio for the balance of the evening. They played material from their Randomisity Records release "Placid Adolescent Worms" as well as material from a CD soon to be released. They also did a few covers of songs that they like. They added the EVEN3 stamp to each of these. Joel Simpson is a very accomplished guitarist and provides the lead vocals as well. With Kevin on bass and Paul on drums they are syncopated to perfection. I appreciate the technical difficulties of playing complex parts and EVEN3 never takes the easy route yet their performance appears to be effortless!
     If you haven't had the opportunity to hear these two great bands, you woe it to yourself to pick up their releases. Both are a available through You may never get a chance to hear them both on the same billing at Tracey's again but you never know. At least you can see one of these great acts if you are so lucky as to live in the Chicago or Tuscon area or get the chance to travel there during their performance schedules. Listen up as soon as you can--and enjoy these two bands! - Steve Ekblad.

See more Margo Jean and the Rubes and EVEN3 photos here!

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