The band Old Shoe takes getting to know members of a fan base to the extreme.
“We are comfortable and very inclusive,” said Old Shoe guitarist and vocalist Matt Robinson of the band’s appeal. “We hang out with people before and after the shows or we go on hiking and camping trips with our fans. Our fans become our friends.
“The festival community thing has been a big draw for us,” Robinson continued. “Especially with the small festivals, you get to know everybody.”
Old Shoe will perform as part of the Two Brothers Concert Series on Aug. 24 at the RiverEdge Park in Aurora. The rest of the line-up includes Family Groove Company, Greensky Bluegrass and Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers.
The Chicago-based Old Shoe first got started when Robinson, Paul Priest (guitars, vocals) and Daniel Huber (bass player, vocals) started performing together about three years ago.
“We added Joe Day, keyboardist and singer in 2010, and Greg Fundis, drummer, in August 2012,” Robinson said.
“Our music has progressed over the three years we’ve been together,” he continued. “We started as folk-rock Americana. Now it is more eclectic. Now we are more a rock ‘n’ roll band who likes to improvise. We are all songwriters.”
The songwriting is an integral part of the group dynamic.
“Some shows we perform are all original music,” Robinson said, “but usually only about 30 percent of any set we play are cover songs. So if we do 10 songs in a set, seven of the 10 songs are original.”
Writing the songs is also a collaborative effort.
“Sometimes we work in couples or three of us together,” Robinson said. “Or other times one person will bring an inspired idea to rehearsal and then everyone gets involved. We call that ‘Throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks.’”
The band’s third CD, called “Family, will be released in October and, not surprisingly, the title relates to the close-knit nature of the group and its fan base.
“We have a very dedicated fan base we call ‘The Show Fam,’” said Robinson of the 13-track CD of all original songs. “Also, the CD title is a reference to our families; and the five of us in the band have become family.”
Old Shoe’s family and fans have grown over the years and Robinson, who used to be an accountant, is pleased with the group’s progress.
“I was an accountant for seven years before I quit my job to be a musician,” he said. “There is one song off the new CD that has a line that says: ‘Holding up mirrors, going to give back to you.’ With the audience you throw energy back and forth. If it’s a feel-good show, both the audience and the artist are feeling it. That’s an amazing feeling. That’s why I quit being an accountant.”