Billy Raffoul Brings His Musical Storytelling To Chicago

Billy Raffoul performs at Schuba's in Chicago, IL on 3/8/2020 Photo Credit ©Ian Bardecki 2020

Chicago, IL – Leamington, Ontario singer-songwriter Billy Raffoul was in town performing at Schuba’s Tavern to a packed house, as part of his “A Few More Hours at YYZ” tour and in support of his album of the same name that is set to be released April 3rd via Interscope Records. Raffoul has already released a couple of singles from the upcoming EP, “Without Falling in Love” and “It’s a Beautiful Life”, both of which have received strong support.

Robin West performs at Schuba’s in Chicago, IL on 3/8/2020 Photo Credit ©Ian Bardecki 2020

The night started off with another equally talented artist, Chicago based singer-songwriter Robin West, who recently released her own independent album, Set it On Fire. The album features some really amazing songs such as “Hunger Moon”, “Red Rabbit” and “Better”, which was a personal favorite that she played at the end of her set. Robin even performed a beautiful version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” – all of which she was very received by the already full room. When she finished her set, plenty of people were talking about her strong performance, and it was easy to see why. Locals in Chicago should be watching for when and where she will be performing. This was my own first time seeing her, and I’ll definitely be looking into catching her on stage again soon.

In his third trip to Schuba’s and second as a headliner, Billy Raffoul took to the stage and was met with a rousing applause from the capacity crowd. He kicked off the evening with “Driver”, his single released in 2017, as the crowd either sang along or mouthed the lyrics to the song. Wearing a blue untucked shirt and Roots ski cap, and a low slung Gibson guitar, Raffoul engaged with the fans throughout the evening during his performance, commenting at one point about the times he has played at Schuba’s, and the crowds keep getting bigger.

Billy Raffoul performs at Schuba’s in Chicago, IL on 3/8/2020 Photo Credit ©Ian Bardecki 2020

The audience was captivated all evening as Billy ran through his library including “Kingston, ON” from his latest release, as well as “Little Girl”, a song written about his sister, and “Dark Four Door”. After covering “Androgynous” by The Replacements, Raffoul offered the audience a special treat when finishing up “Difficult”. He then tore into an impromptu jam session that featured “American Woman” by The Guess Who, as well as a nice guitar piece from “Tom Sawyer” that paid tribute to Rush, both Canadian artists. Raffoul wrapped up his night with the audience singing loud and proud to “You Be Love.”


Raffoul has a very Bruce Springsteen like quality to his voice and the storytelling in his music makes you feel like you are a part of the song. He definitely writes from shared experiences that everyone can relate to at some point in their lives. Billy is definitely on the uptick of his musical and artistic curve. If this continues at the pace he is at, his worry isn’t going to be fitting more people into Schuba’s…it’s going to be keeping the larger venues in tickets.

Photo Gallery Billy Raffoul

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Billy Raffoul Setlist:

Bad For You
I See You
Running Wild
Dark Four Door
Kingston, ON
Androgynous (The Replacements cover)
(American Woman / Tom Sawyer jam)
Little Girl
Without Falling In Love
Easy Tiger
I’m Not A Saint
You Be Love



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Robin West Setlist:
Hunger Moon
Song About A Girl
Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Red Rabbit

Show Date: 3/8/2020

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Born in Scotland, raised in the United States, based in Chicago. Ian Bardecki is a professional photographer, avid motorcyclist, reader, IT geek, gaming and comic book nerd, who was bathed in music at a young age by his mother who constantly played classical piano in their home. While she also introduced him to the Beatles and Elvis, his father forced on him Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, the local paper boy had him listening to Alice Cooper, his uncle then turned him onto KISS and his first 8 track tape, while his friends turned him onto punk music. Today, his music library ranges from Amadeus Mozart to ZZ Ward and everything in between. Hesitantly agreeing to fill in one night to photograph a concert at a local venue in San Francisco for a friend, was where the accidental love and passion for concert photography was born and hasn’t stopped growing since. As a freelance photographer, Ian has had the honor of working with various artists like, John 5, Sick Puppies, Scott Stapp, Drowning Pool, Anti-Flag and Art of Dying, just to name a few. Ian can be found on Instagram and Facebook under Center Stage Pictures.