If I was ever going to fall for a band before I even heard a note, it was inevitably going to be Prairie Cartel. A Chicago-based, smart, electro-rock act. Sure, the location this trio (ultimately) stemmed from helps; a passion for rock and dance-based music isn’t going to hurt either; but it’s where they really come from that secured a place in my rotation. From the ashes of Fig Dish, a 90s sound, meets power-pop Chicago act; and Caviar, the reincarnation of Fig Dish as a smarter, wittier act, who like its 90s older brother, met their demise because of major label drama. Fine and good, because Blake Smith and Mike Willison, both driving members of both aforementioned acts, teamed up again to found Prairie Cartel.
This 3rd generation Fig Dish does not stop there though – what cemented a fervent interest in this act was when they recruited local Scott Lucas, who receives an occasional head nod over here. Placing these three veterans together churned out, Where Did All My People Go, a serious, potentially party-like record, one that should have ranked higher in ’09.
Recently, the China Shop began an exposé on this Chicago supergroup and its long road to finally recording last year’s dirty rock record. Blake Smith was recruited to report, in narrative form, this long and treacherous journey.