About Us

Background & Credentials

Formed by Atlantic Records’ "off broadway" guitarist John Ivan.



  • Winner of MUSICIAN Magazine’s Best Unsigned Band contest

  • Nominated two years in a row as Best Country Act by NACA’s National Conference

  • Nominated for Best Group of the year by Chicago Music Awards


Have Headlined

Navy Pier Concert Series, SXSW Music showcase, Harley Davidson 90th anniversary, Molde Norway Roots Fest, Molde Norway Blues fest, Nibe Fest(DK), Skanderborg Fest(DK), European tours including: UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Faeroe Islands, The Park West, Sheffield Garden Walk, New York’s Central Park summer stage, Schuba’s, World’s Largest Block Party, Taste of Chicago, World’s Largest New Year’s Eve Party (Hyatt), Milwaukee Summerfest, Minneapolis State Fair, Dubuque Riverfest, Rockford on the Waterfront, Racine Harbor Fest, Taste of Minnesota, Naperville Last Fling, Halsted Street Days, Wisconsin State Fair, Palomino Club(Winnepeg), Wauconda Fest, Elmhust Fest, Elmwood Park Fest, Oak Park Fest, River Grove Fest, Crystal Lake concerts, Schaumburg concerts,Geneva Fest, Lindenhurst Fest, Moline Riverfest, Ottawa Riverfest, Wicker Park Green Fest, Wilmette Fest and the list goes on…


As Well As Opened for Major Recording Acts

Big Town Playboys
Steve Forbert
Kevin Welch
Hal Ketchum
The Jordanaires
Kelly Willis
Robert Gordon
Flying Burrito Brothers
Jo-el Sonnier
Monte Warden
The Bodeans
The Carter Family
Marshall Tucker Band

Dwight Yoakum
Buck Owens
Junior Brown
Billy Swan
Roy Orbison
Johnny Cash
Rodney Crowell
Dixie Dreggs
Fabulous Thunderbirds
Kinky Friedman
Billy Bremner
Son Seals
Lonnie Brooks



Ten Most Wanted (2000) Plan 9 (1998), Best of…(1997), Eightball (1996), Sevens (1995), Mighty Combo (1994), Big Hat (1993), Welcome to Muscle Country (1992), Twang City (1991), License Plates (1990)


People Are Talking

"The only band I’d get out of bed to see… and made a dream come true."
Lin Brehmer, WXRT Chicago

"How did those Big Guitars get up so early and play so well…they sound great!"
Pete Townsend (The Who) as interviewed by Kevin Matthews

"the best guitarist in the midwest…"
Steve Dahl, WKQX Chicago

"Truly a fabulous musical experience and quite simply… they rock."
Buzz Kilman, WLUP Chicago

"...Chicago’s top roots-oriented band"
Chicago Magazine

"As long as there are bands like Big Guitars playing, there will be a reason to go out and hear live music"
Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Sun Times

"Big Guitars plays with the attitude of a young Johnny Cash"
Myron Cohen, Wembley Arena Promoter

"...sure are different from other bands, I loved it"
Kyle Lehning, President of Asylum Records & Randy Travis’ producer

"Your sound is fantastic"
JR Ewing & Lt. Nelson (actor Larry Hagman) at the Harley Davidson Rally

"Songs played with fire and intensity, Chicago has finally spawned a top notch act."
Illinois Entertainer

"Heard a two song demo and booked the band immediately along with the Dixie Dregs and the response was great."
John Ertl, Festival Events, Inc

"Here are some great musicians in Chicago…it sounds darn good…a suitcase and a guitar…that’s fun"
Kevin Matthews, WLUP Chicago