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19th Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute

2016 November 17
by Mike Vial

I was honored to play at the 19th Annual Jeff Buckley tribute last night. Jeff would have been 50 today.

When Jeff Buckley played his first show in Chicago at the Uncommon Ground (when it was only a coffee house) in February of 94, a huge snowstorm dumped on the Windy City. The owner of the venue was reminiscing with me how they were pushing Buckley’s Crown Vic out of the snow, and celebrated with a snowball fight.

My own first appearance at Uncommon Ground in 2012 was similar. The worst snowstorm that year hit the city while I was on Fearless Radio, and it took me two hours to drive 10 miles to the venue.

Thanks to Mary Guibert for making us appreciated and comfortable sharing her son’s beautiful music. I was skeptical to attempt Buckley’s “Eternal Life.” (He had a 5 octave range; I have 2 1/2), but Mary was cheering all of us on from the from the front table.

Buckley sang “I Shall Be Released” at Sin-E in 93. All of us should sing it, at least once. Here’s my nervous rendition:


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