n If you've got the winter blues and you can't beat 'em, here's a chance at least to join them. The River City Blues Club of Peoria, Bloomington's Blues Blowtorch Society, and our very own Illinois Central Blues Club have combined to present the Winter Blues Fest at the Opera House in Exposition Gardens near Peoria this Saturday, Jan. 22, from 2 to 11:30 p.m. The festival features several popular and long-standing groups from central Illinois including, 6V6, Kilborn Alley, The Robin Crowe Band, and Barb Hamilton and Joe Beck. The event is a designated fundraiser for area groups participating in the 2005 International Blues Challenge this February in Memphis. Get directions to, the cost of, and a full schedule for the 2005 Winter Blues Fest at www.rivercityblues.com
n The Tri States Public Radio at Western Illinois University in Macomb continues its most excellent tradition of bringing some of the finest folk singers and composers of our day to its Music Performance Studio when Pieta Brown performs at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. Brown, the eldest daughter of Grammy-nominated Iowa folk singer-songwriter Greg Brown, is known for seamlessly blending elements of folk, country, and blues into thoughtful and captivating songs. She and her dad's old pickin' mate, Bo Ramsey, have been hitting the road, gigging across the U.S. in support of her recent CD releases. The price of admission is $5 and a canned, non-perishable food item. Tickets can be purchased by calling 309-298-1873 or 800-895-2912.
n Mojo's, which was Dempsey's, which was Bedrocks, which was something else I can't remember, is celebrating its first anniversary Friday, Jan. 21, as the little pub that could. The bar at 225 E. Monroe St. recently underwent extensive remodeling to enlarge the seating, standing, dancing, and drinking area and to make the world a better place for live music. Proprietor Reier, as I like to call him (that's Mr. Deloney to you), has been trying very hard to have live music five to six nights a week. He has The Station every Wednesday, Posamist every Thursday and an assortment of local and travelling bands on the weekends. Celebrate the occasion all weekend, but especially on Friday night when Joe Frew and the crew of Posamist, trade songs, instruments, and other things from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.