Impressive Chicago singer, guitarist, and songwriter Antje Gehrken is at the helm of her own publishing company and label, Sweet Pickle Music. She is also in full control of her musical career, which has been underway for a decade.
In 1998, ANTJE completed her first full-length album, Big Open Sky. She wrote all of the 13 tracks on the debut and also served as producer. "I'm Coming Home," "The Road Is Weary," "I've Got a Little Way to Go," and "Red Shoes" are some of the tunes from this first offering. Big Open Sky was followed a year later by the sophomore release, Simply Being Cleopatra that showcases numbers such as "Drowning Sand" and "Looking for Nice." Both albums received positive reviews from publications like Chicago Magazine, the Daily Herald, the Chicago Suntimes, and the Chicago Reader.
Along with performing at clubs with her bassist Joshua Piet and drummer Lance Helgerson, working on new recordings, and running her own growing business, ANTJE devotes hours of her time to teaching composition and songwriting at both the Columbia College and the Old Town School of Folk Music. She also uses her influence to help promote other female artists from the Chicago area. In 2000, she helped put together a compilation album, Big Fish Little Fish, Vol. 1: Emerging Women in Chicago Music. The album carries tunes from 16 other female artists who are out to leave their marks on the music world.