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Welcome to my website! please click on the menu items for a list of upcoming shows, past venues I've played, photos, sample set list, bio and a few videos. I am available  for a variety of events, playing acoustic music on guitar, ukulele and dulcimer. I play hits spanning several decades and genres including my own original music and love to accommodate requests.

Latest News

New Year, great times ahead 

Just a little update.With the temporary pause in live music due to COVID I have spent that time writing and learning some recording basics. Always an adventure and never too old to learn some new tricks. I still enjoy playing local places, either solo or with my duo partner Eddie Bartley. Music has been a lifesaver during these stressful times. I appreciate every business who has let me bring my music and every friend who has stopped by to listen! Hope to see you soon at a show.

Strange Times 

It’s been a while since I’ve updated. When everything closed down back in March my first reaction was the inability to take a deep breath. My music was keeping me busy between the shows, hosting an open mic, rehearsals and writing and I loved every minute of it. To have it come to a complete stop was mind blowing. Then came the personal loss , the loss of some friends , family and neighbors , some related to a Covid, some not. I continued to work at home as I have for 6 years , managed to write 6 more songs and discovered live streaming as a way to still perform to friends and family. I never wasted a minute of time and have worked on the creative side of things to improve both vocally and instrumentality. Eventually as things have opened up I’ve been able to perform a few shows and look forward to the future and what opportunities and collaborations that might bring. Stay safe and healthy!

Happy New Year! 

Reflecting on this past year and what a thrill it has been to play many new venues and meet additional performers. I’m looking forward to what the New Year will bring. Our female band,Higher Ground went from learning 3 songs for an open mic to playing 3 hour shows with bookings in new locations Into 2020. I’m very proud of the work and growth we have all experienced! I have joined another female fronted band as well, more to come later on that as we are still auditioning members. I have shows booked with my duo partner Eddie Bartley, always a fun time when we play together. In my downtime I plan to focus on instrumentation, I’m currently working with guitar, Ukulele, dulcimer and have added mandolin and piano to the  list. Also in the works is getting some of my original songs recorded.

If that is not enough to keep me busy I’ve been cohosting a weekly open mic. Open mics will always have a place in my heart as that is where I got my inspiration and mentoring. People joke and have called me the open mic queen or open mic whore, lol, and I take no offense:). It is in that setting where you can network with other players, learn by example and perfect new material. I was especially inspired by the setting in Nashville, where the standards are high and the environment includes a listening room or area. I believe open mics should be fun but hosts and players should come prepared, stay sober and be supportive of each other. Nothing is more annoying than trying to play in a room and having a table in front of you with loud voices trying to scream over the music. We are fortunate at the Public House to create a Nashville like environment with a professional sound engineer, lights and stage monitors. Check it out and I promise you’ll love the way you sound!

One more thing...I’ve been asking my husband to accompany me on a few tunes on the piano. Check out our first venture in the video section. Wishing everyone peace in the new year!

Back to School 

Hi music friends! Loving the slightly cooler breezes and smell in the air. Reminds me it’s time to get back to work. I took most of August off to enjoy some family time, work on writing , rehearsal time and figuring out what I want to do when I grow up.

I’m excited to be cohosting a weekly open mic and would like to add a few more local venues to my schedule, whether solo, duo or with my Higher Ground bandmates. 

Please take a few minutes to check out some videos under music as well as future shows!

Nashville! 

Wrapping up a weeklong workcation in Nashville TN. When we visited 3 years ago I was so inspired by the singer/songwriters I set a goal to be able to accompany my own singing. A few months later I picked up my first ukulele while attending Frankfort’s Bluegrass festival. Soon after I started playing a favorite open mic, Dan D Jac’s. Was a rough start as I fumbled through a bad cover of Creep and More than Words but I kept practicing.

We returned in 2017 and I left with a goal to finish writing songs I’ve had in my head since the age of 16. Within a few months I started writing and have about 35 to this date. Funny, I always thought I’d need time away, in the woods or somewhere quiet to write but these songs come to me in the middle of everyday life, sometimes in dreams. At times it may look like I am doing nothing , sitting on the couch but I’m piecing together the stories and melodies. Sleep has become secondary. I started playing more open mics and soon found myself playing paid shows.

Our trip in 2018 inspired me to improve my performance, memorize material and add guitar back in. I also said I would play at least on open stage when we return.

 

i am happy to say I’ve played 3 times while here with a few more invitations. I’ve enjoyed the musical community here and am leaving with more goals and inspiration! More to come!

 

Feeling fortunate 

Feeling  grateful for the friends I have met through music. It’s a pleasure to collaborate on songs, broaden our knowledge, expose each other to new material, new instrumentation and simply have fun making music. 

Spring Fever 

Made it through another Chicago winter! Time to do some spring cleaning. I am creating this page to have a one stop place for venues, fans, fellow musicians and friends to come to rather than the disorganized format of social media. I have a lot of exciting projects in the works including more collaborations with various artists! Thanks for visiting and stay tuned in!

Shows

Our Events feature allows you to post your upcoming concerts and events on your website in a calendar or list view. The Pro plan even lets you sell tickets directly through your website!

Date Event Location
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
Deb McKee VanDril at The Wine Thief The Wine Thief, Frankfort IL The Wine Thief, Frankfort IL
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
Open mic with Deb Duke @ The Studio The Studio, Lockport The Studio, Lockport
Eddie and Deb Show Hickory Creek Brewing, New Lenox IL Hickory Creek Brewing, New Lenox IL
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
 —  — Jam with Deb Duke at Jesse’s Jesse’s Tavern, Chicago Ridge Jesse’s Tavern, Chicago Ridge
Deb McKee VanDril & Eddie Bartley Duo Nik &Ivy, Lockport Nik &Ivy, Lockport
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
Open mic with Deb Duke @ The Studio The Studio, Lockport The Studio, Lockport
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
 —  — Jam with Deb Duke at Jesse’s Jesse’s Tavern, Chicago Ridge Jesse’s Tavern, Chicago Ridge
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL
Open mic with Deb Duke at Mad Hatchet Brewing Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL Mad Hatchet Brewing, Shorewood IL