GENEVA – Now signed to a label and the reigning winner of last summer's Independent Arts & Music Festival's Battle of the Bands at House of Blues in Chicago, Eddy Birth is returning to perform at the beer garden at Chianti's during Swedish Days in Geneva with his Straight Skinny duo.
Chianti's is a familiar spot for Birth, 24, who grew up in St. Charles. While attending Marmion Academy and then DePaul University's college of business, he worked as a busboy and server at the Italian restaurant from age 16 to 22. As his music took off, he's returned for several years to play the festival, and this summer will appear from 2 to 5 p.m. June 23.
"It's definitely a mix between alternative indie rock and independent hip-hop," said Birth, who writes all his lyrics and music.
He will perform on ukulele, harmonica and keyboard/synthesizer, joined by his cousin, Sean Birth, an innovative percussionist who grew up in Woodridge.
Eddy Birth said they will play a half electric and half acoustic show, a mix of original music and covers, adding they usually perform at downtown Chicago venues including an upcoming Aug. 25 appearance at House of Blues. He said he's excited to return to Chianti's, which he calls a great Italian restaurant.
The two cousins are on the Stonecutter Records label, and expect their first album, called "Speak," to be released prior to a Cubby Bear performance July 6. At Chianti's, fans will be able to pick up Eddy Birth's solo EP recording titled "The Same Way."
His songs deliver the Straight Skinny – slang for inside scoop – as Eddy Birth blends catchy melodies with thoughtful, incisive lyrics, deftly navigating multiple genres.
To view the band's NPR contest submission on YouTube, visit shawurl.com/39k4.
“Eddy Birth is the real deal … diverse original talent, a captivating performer and prolific songwriter,” wrote Stonecutter Records owner Chris Steinmetz, who is producing the band's album.
If you go
WHAT: Straight Skinny featuring Eddy Birth and Sean Birth
WHEN: 2 to 5 p.m. June 23
WHERE: Chianti's beer garden for Swedish Days, 201 S. Third St., Geneva
COST: Free admission for daytime shows