Live Music events, Public Event

Hugh DeNeal headlines first Songwriter Showcase at The Varsity

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Date(s) - 05/18/2017
7:00 pm

The Varsity Center


Hugh DeNeal headlines first Songwriter Showcase in The Varsity Balcony

CARBONDALE – Hugh DeNeal will be the headliner at the first Songwriter Showcase in The Balcony at The Varsity Center.

The Varsity Center has nearly completed the renovation of The Balcony space, where the showcase will be featured. The room has state-of-the-art sound and light systems, a new stage, and crescent-shaped audience seating, making it a unique listening and performance space.

DeNeal will be joined by Tim Crosby and Katie Foley at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 18. Tickets are $10 or $5 for students at the door. Doors open at 6:15, and the Varsity Bar will be open.

DeNeal is known mostly as a singer and songwriter for the Trashcan Americana band Woodbox Gang. He now leads a new band, The People vs. Hugh DeNeal, which is recording its first album. DeNeal’s songs run in a dark but humorous vein, finding the absurd and, sometimes, humanity in the strangest of places.

In 2012, DeNeal was the subject of a documentary film, “Confidence Man: The Hugh DeNeal Story,” which chronicled the thrills of touring with a band – and the consequences of reckless behavior. During a sabbatical from performing music, DeNeal drafted a novel based on those adventures.

Crosby will be filling the middle position in the two-hour show and will emcee. Crosby is a songwriter living on a farm in Dongola. He heads up Tim Crosby & the Lightning Strikes, an all-original, Americana/country rock band based in Southern Illinois. The group released its first album, “Resurrection Mule Farm,” in April. His influences include Steve Earle, Tom Petty, Chris Knight and Todd Snider.

Katie Foley will be the evening’s opening performer. Katie grew up in Southern Illinois and has been playing the ukulele and performing locally since 2013. She has been influenced by her surroundings, and her music is rooted in blues and folk with an Americana influence. Katie is part of the duo “Honey and Tar” and you can download their single “Walk Away” on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play.

The Varsity Center is at 418 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. For more information, go to