Kelly Hogan enjoys the company of other people, which explains, at least in part, why she's so drawn toward musical collaboration. In addition to a long-running gig as backup singer/comedic sparring partner for Neko Case, the musician has also lent her vocal talents to everyone from soul legend Mavis Staples to bookish indie-rock kingpins the Decemberists.

Kelly Hogan enjoys the company of other people, which explains, at least in part, why she's so drawn toward musical collaboration. In addition to a long-running gig as backup singer/comedic sparring partner for Neko Case, the musician has also lent her vocal talents to everyone from soul legend Mavis Staples to bookish indie-rock kingpins the Decemberists.

"It's less lonely [than playing solo]," said Hogan, who will appear at the Big Room Bar on Friday, Nov. 13, with the Flat Five, a Chicago-based cover band that also includes members Scott Ligon, Nora O'Connor, Casey McDonough and Alex Hall. "I know some guitar chords, and I've written some simple songs, but I sort of need someone to make music with. I just love being in a band. I get off on it."

Unlike the subjects in "20 Feet From Stardom," a 2013 documentary that explored the lives and careers of a handful of backup singers, many of whom pined for the spotlight, Hogan, who said she's recently been inundated by people recommending the film to her, isn't lining up for a larger role.

"I finally watched it … and that's not what I'm about. Not at all," said Hogan, who first surfaced fronting the short-lived, still-revered Jody Grind in the late '80s. "I'm not singing harmony in this band but wishing I were the front person. I'm in the band, just like the guitar player. He or she is bringing their part to the table, and I'm bringing my part with the singing."

The Flat Five might be the first band where Hogan can apply her vocals to songs that cover the full breadth of her musical interests, which stem from classic soul and country through modern rock (Dr. Dog's "Big Girl Now" is a more recent addition to the group's repertoire).

"At practice we'll go off on these tangents and we'll do [Blue Oyster Cult's] 'Don't Fear the Reaper' for 10 minutes and then move into 'Walk Away Renee' [by the Left Banke] just because we can," she said. "It's fun to try on different clothes like that, and we will roll in it just to see what happens."

With one exception, that is: The Flat Five, which Hogan described as "unapologetically groovy," generally avoids sad songs - something of a challenge for a singer who titled her 2012 solo album I Like to Keep Myself in Pain.

"We made this pact that our songs would be more positive, so a lot of times my picks get shot down," said Hogan, who is currently helping put the finishing touches on the Flat Five's debut LP, a collection of songs by Chicago singer/songwriter Chris Ligon. "[The music] can sound mournful at times, but we try to be more uplifting. There are enough dark clouds around."

Big Room Bar

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13

1036 S. Front St., Brewery District

facebook.com/bigroombar

ALSO PLAYING: Bloodthirsty Virgins, St. Lenox