Mike Stephen travels to The Matchbox in West Town to kick off the 2020 OTL Winter Tavern Tour.

Mike Stephen kicks off the Winter Tavern Tour at The Matchbox in West Town, learns about a program that turns young writers into published novelists called Open Books Publishing Academy, and discusses the efforts to recruit more bilingual teachers in the state.  And this week we enjoy local music from Way to Go Radio. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen slides by The Corner Bar in Bucktown as part of the OTL Winter Tavern Tour and then welcomes Pro Publica Illinois’ Mick Dumke and IL Election Data’s Scott Kennedy to the bar to give their analysis of local politics after the municipal election.  All this in a bar.  Because, why not?  The local music this week is powered by Decoy Prayer Meeting. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen discusses some of the issues with the implementation of the state’s automatic voter registration law, learns the Secret History of local Blues lap steel guitar player Freddie Roulette, and drops by The Lantern in Lake Forest for another stop on the OTL Winter Tavern Tour.¬† This week’s local music is brought to you by Boyo Talk. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen drops by The Levee in Hermosa as part of the OTL Winter Tavern Tour,¬†discusses the future of The Old Town School of Folk Music with CEO Jim Newcomb, and learns about the struggle of life outside the Cook County Jail with author and sociologist Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve.¬† The local music this week is powered by Jan James. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.