South City Revival : The Story Behind the Curators of Country Music in Chicago.


In a town full of so much music how do you find your people? For South City Revival, it started with two friends, a craigslist ad, all set on the Southside of Chicago!

Chicago southern rock band South City Revival opened up for Lee Brice at Joe’s Live in Rosemont and man did they make an impression!

Like any good band, there has to be good music, and that comes from a great connection. The band made up of front man Joe Pecelli, guitar player John Quinn, bass player Mike Fitz, Steele guitar expert Brendan Linnane and talented drummer Pino Perez all make up this band have used the power of music to create a one of a kind country community in Chicago.

Growing up as childhood friends in Evergreen Park, Brendan and John always remember being around music. “ Brendan started playing guitar before me and then I started playing guitar and I got really into it. So we started kind of jamming.

Years later we played in a band in Texas. Brendan got to know each other. After a while we moved back home and we met these guys.”

In a town full of so much music how do youour people? For South City rRevival, it started with two friends, a craigslist ad, all set on the Southside of Chicago! three piece over band. Playing a lot at Bub City. They needed a drummer to help be a dummy band and test the system. They contacted me through a friend and then bass player, Mike Fitz, who is also now our bass player. Mike and I had been doing stuff on the side and then had a Whiskey Jam on the south side at Callahans and that's where we all met”

But the boys still needed a front man. Local crooner Joe Pecelli was the final piece to this Chicago puzzle. “I met Joe through a Craigslist add,” John remembers. “Which is weird because we're from the same neighborhood and you were going to be in a band with some other guy. However that never panned out.”

“So they boys just said hey, let’s start at band,” Brendan recalls.



And the rest is history. Since forming in 2016 and true to their blue-collar nature, South City Revival has spent much of their time gigging around the midwest — headlining small clubs throughout the region and supporting bands.


More importantly, the guys have helped curate a country community in Chicago for fellow artists and fans alike. “Because country is not a super strong scene in terms of bands up here, that scarcity has forced all the bands to really band together," says guitar player John Quinn.

It’s no doubt that the guys of South City Revival have become local favorites, opening up for big national acts like Riley Green and Lee Brice among others.


Lead singer Joe told me that all the support and local recognition can get overwhelming. “Even if it all ended after the show, it's a pinch myself moment. We've been doing it a while and it's cool. We've made strides. So it's a little bit validating.”

I think the guys are being pretty humble. When I moved to the city after college, I craved a country music community and failed to find one. I know I owe the boys a lot and I know others feel the same.

Bass player Mike Fitz feels lucky to break through some of the noise here in Chicago. “Chicago was about the cover band scene. For us, we have carved out what we think is our own path in writing original music. We are really dedicated about our craft. For me, I’m just happy to play."

If there is one thing the guys have in common is their love of their music and their community. It was clear in both our conversation and in their killer performance.

The boys rocked the stage for over an hour at Joe’s Live in Rosemont. For me, it was fun to see the bands hard work pay off. Hearing people next to me in the crowd asking who they were. Between the oohs and ahh of the Bub City crowd the band created a community among the fans, which I think is the bands true goal.

To make good music, and create a community for it to live in.


Make sure you check out South City Revival and their album "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire”.


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