Psycho Silo Saloon

Saturday, August 18th, 2018 – Our first roadtrip out to Psycho Silo Saloon started a little rocky.  The band piled into Kris’s Explorer Saturday morning, only to experience an uneven load in the trailer once we were on the road.  We maybe made it 5 minutes out of town, until we forced to stop at a local gas station to rearrange the trailer’s weight.  Only thing was in our haste to leave, Carter forgot the trailer padlock keys!  We were running late as it was, couldn’t really travel safely, and couldn’t get into the trailer.   That was until fellow customer at the gas station noticed out plight and offered us his bolt cutters as a solution.  Bam! Off the lock went, rearranged the load and we were back on the road heading west.  

Psycho Silo Saloon is an outdoor destination for motorcyclists.  Built out of an old rundown silo, a large number of patio decks cover nearly acre of real-estate.  Rolling in the dusty lot and parking the trailer next to a huge line of bikes, the bar at the end of Robert Rodriguez’s vampire flick, “From Dusk Till Dawn” came to mind.  All that was missing was some blowtorch fireballs.

With multiple elevation patio decks that were built around lawn art and patio furniture, there was something to look at every turn.  Once we got rockin, the crowd was fantastic!  A mixture of travelers from Quad City/Davenport, Peoria and Chicagoland were definitely digging C.K.’s sound.  Even the newer stuff in the band’s repertoire, like Rihanna’s  “We Found Love” and Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” went over well with some of the veteran bikers in the crowd.  We had plenty blues, country and face melting classic rock guitar to get pretty much everyone’s toe’s tappin’.  We had a first ever line dance started during Steve Earl’s Copperhead Road, so there’s that.  
 

New Lenox Ladies Night

Friday, August 17th, 2018 – CK’s first ever acoustic performance at the New Lenox Ladies Night had mixed results.  It started great with nearly eighty vendors, and huge pavilion for live music.  Cooperhawk was serving wine for enthused patrons and music fans for a fantastic evening.  That is until the light rain rolled in, followed by a monsoon of pouring rain.  Most vendors eventually took shelter on the bandstand right next to us.  The band never stopped playing and we rolled right through our three plus hours of music until the sun came back out.  The double rainbow in the distance was a highlight, and we even had some brave fans that stuck out the rain in ponchos.

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Shorewood's Party In The Park

Thursday, July 27th - 2018 - Another fantastic evening of family oriented entertainment, this time at the pavilion at the Village of Shorewood!

Orland Park’s Market in The Park

Thursday, July 19th 2018 – Rain threated but ultimately never materialized making the evening quite memorable.   While children of all ages where busy with sidewalk chalk in front of the bandstand, the good folks of Orland Park made us feel quite welcome.

Guitarist Neal Rudnik's son, Parker making goofy faces in the foreground

Will County Brewing Company

Sunday, July 15th 2018 – Chrissy and Neal made their first acoustic stop at Will County Brewing Company in Shorewood on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon.  Kris popped in for an impromptu jam.

Acoustic cover of "Torn" by Chrissy Karl and Kris Hatchmeister of C.K. and The Gray, recorded at Will County Brewing Company in Shorewood, Illinois on Sunday, July 15, 2018

Green Valley Golf Range

Friday July 13th, 2018 - Our first official trip to Green Valley was a success!  They put us right on the putting greens, and we'll be back August 24th!

Sunday In The Park

Sunday, June 24th, 2018 - C.K. was the headliner of Montgomery's annual Sunday In The Park.  A fantastic afternoon of live music.  

Homer Glen Community Fest

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 - CK made their first appearance at guitarist Neal Rudnik's hometown.  

Homer Glen BBQ

Saturday, June 9th, 2018 - CK raided guitarist Neal Rudnik's backyard for a spectacular summer blowout.  

McBrides Pub

Saturday, April 14th, 2018 – Allow me moment to share a whirlwind of a few months.  Before C.K. and The Gray and Urban Sprawl, Carter and I became friends by frequenting a local pub in Plainfield.  I had the pleasure of performing in an acoustic duo with Tommy Czuprynski, better known as Tommy Tuesday.  Carter actually knew Tommy before moving to Plainfield years before, so we all spent many weeknights hanging out in Plainfield pubs and playing music.  It was Tommy who encouraged and nurtured my love of performing and all those weeknight gigs really planted the seeds for Carter and myself to eventually start our own project.  After about three of four years, Tommy eventually moved into to the city and I started doing solo acoustic with Carter.  A few months later we recruited Ken and all of the sudden we were in the weekend rock band business.

I’ve been in touch Tommy over the years and we even started discussions on a reunion earlier this year.  Unfortunately, Tommy’s health has taken a quick turn and over the past few months, we have learned that Tommy is in a battle for his life.  After being diagnosed with a rare form of appendix cancer, he has had some major complications recovering from surgery.  Last week, Tommy’s heart stopped for nearly 45 minutes, but to the shock of everyone, he was able to recover, and was alert and communicating with hospital staff.  Despite this small miracle, his condition remains stable, but critical. He too weak for additional surgeries and the needed chemotherapy would likely kill him.  Over the weekend the family made a difficult decision and transferred Tommy into hospice care.

In a strange chance of timing, C.K. and the Gray had McBrides Pub on the schedule; the very same pub Tommy and I got our acoustic duo start.  It’s the very pub that we recruited Ken, and is one of the first places C.K. and the Gray performed.   Owners Tracy, Brent and the entire McBrides family have been incredibly supportive of local live music over the years, so it was only natural for them to reach out to us about turning Saturday into a fundraiser for Tommy and his family.  I was able to visit Tommy Saturday morning where we discussed old times and all those great acoustic gigs.  He gave me his blessing to perform Saturday night in his honor.

I opened the show with Tom Petty’s “I won’t Back Down” which was on our regular rotation back in the acoustic days.  I will admit it was difficult to get through parts of the song, and you can catch the patrons helping me sing the final chorus in the video above.  Special thanks to Kris for an impromptu version of the Foo Fighters “My Hero.”

The rest of the evening we rocked a packed house full of birthday parties who were gracious and generous in raising funds.  It was great to see Kristina, Tiffany and Jason, all great friends from the acoustic days.  Music fans where dancing, singing and enjoying a fantastic evening of live music.  I’d like to thank my bandmates Carter, Chrissy, Kris, Ken, the McBrides family and patrons, family of the band, Sara, Sara and Kelly for making Saturday night such a special event.

Please join me in sending thoughts and prayers to Tommy and the entire Czuprynski family.  There is a Facebook page, #TeamTuesday, where Fee, Tommy’s sister regularly posts updates.  It’s been quite an emotional few days, but the power of music has been fantastic.  Tommy himself made me swear to continue doing what we always loved to do; which of course is to continue performing and supporting live local music.  I, along with my brothers and sister of C.K. and The Gray will do exactly that.  God bless Tommy, his family in this difficult time.

With appreciation,

Neal Rudnik

Jenny's Southside Tap

Friday, April 6th, 2018 - C.K. returned to Jenny's, with Kris and Neal filling Bass guitar duties while Ken was out serving the Air Guard.  Broken Halos makes a debut acoustically, check out the video below: 

Chrissy Karl and Neal Rudnik of C.K and the Gray cover Broken Halos. Jenny's South Side Tap, April, 6th 2018
Already Gone from Jenny's Southside Tap in Mokena

Draft Picks

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 -  With a few birthday and going away parties, C.K.'s first trip to Draft Picks was fantastic!

Ridgewood Cycle Association

Saturday, March 24th, 2018 - C.K.'s second Motorcycle club banquet in as many months was a blast.  The Ridgewood Cycle Association and the Tom E Hartung American Legion in New Lenox were fantastic hosts.

Tap House Grill

Saturday, March 17th, 2018 - C.K. rounded up our back to back on St. Patrick's day in the tent at the Tap House Grill in Palatine!  

Quigley's Irish Pub

Friday, March 16th, 2018 - CK kicked off St. Patrick's Weekend in at Quigley's in historic downtown Naperville.  Copperhead RoadShipping Up To Boston and Landslide make their debuts.

Chicago Eagles Motorcycle Club

Saturday, February 24th, 2018 - Neal and Chrissy traded singing duties at the Chicago Eagles Motorcycle Cub annual banquet in Palos.  Special guest Tommy Slab stepped in for Carter on drums and we didn't skip a beat.  A number of tunes from the Urban Sprawl days made an appearance including Dead Flowers, Wild Night, and Folsom Prison Blues.  Pride and Joy and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door just might make the regular rotation.  Thanks to the Chicago Eagles for their fantastic hospitality.

Horns & Halos

Saturday, January 27th, 2018 - Our third trip to Horn's & Halos and our first time playing indoors.  We had a fantastic time with a bunch of eager music fans dancing up  a storm. 

Gunpowder And Lead by C.K. and The Gray. Recorded at Horns & Halos in Channahon, Illinois on Saturday, January 27th, 2018. 

Joe’s Live in Rosemont

Sunday, January, 2018 - We were honored to kick off the Joint Forces Charity Concert at Joe’s Live in Rosemont.  The proceeds went to the Illinois chapter of Tribute To The Troops and the Chicago Blackhawks Warriors.  Our mission was to raise funds for disabled veterans and gold star families.  

The Chicago Blackhawks Warriors where founded in 2015 in conjunction with USA Disabled Hockey to give our injured military members and veterans the opportunity to play hockey in an environment suited to their needs. The program trains them in the skills needed to use hockey as a rehabilitation tool to overcome physical and mental disabilities sustained in their service to our nation.

We’ll kicked off the festivities followed by Gina Gonzalez and The Wingmen.  Gina is also a member of Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band.  We are happy to report that we raised an additional $100 for the charity with our #ckkoozie Can Cooler Challenge.  For once, our challenge wasn’t a cheap gimmick, but it actually raised funds for the families that protect and serve this great country.
 

CK & The Gray cover's "Mother" by Danzig at Joe's Live in Rosemont, Illinois on Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Welcome 2018!

With 30 gigs in 23 different venues, we had a fantastic 2017! We also launched our Can Cooler Challenge, #ckkoozie Grab a cooler at our next gig!  Thanks to all the venues, friends and family for supporting us.  We look forward to an even bigger 2018!