Listen my children and you shall hear
of bands a-playing and bottles of beer.
Music galore and good times a-plenty
but you must be at least one and twenty.
Hey here's one place you can go for music and not be the magical 21: Hardee's Jam Fest, on Saturday, May 31. The third annual music festival and benefit has 25 groups on three stages from noon to midnight. If you are of age, feel free to partake in the fine selection of Miller products, while soaking in the jams. Organizers have worked hard to make all ages comfortable for a fun-filled time.
Now back to the bars, where, like it or not, most music happens in this town. Friday night from 6 to 8 at Marly's Pub, three of Springfield's finest all-around musicians gather as the Frank Huston Trio. Joining Frank--the city's most versatile guitarist-heartthrob--is bassist extraordinaire Jeff Cunningham. In jazz, country, fusion, or blues, and as the leader of Lo Phat's tri-bass attack, Cunningham sets the standard for bass players in Springfield. Drummer John Sluzalis has spent a lifetime stroking the skins. From a stint with the Ice Capades band a few years back to leading the Springfield Big Band, Johnny Slu has a grand legacy in music.
Speaking of local legends, Bobby Remack has forged a career in jazz, swing, and big-band dance music for about three decades. Remack drums and leads a variable group of musicians through the paces, at dances, concerts, and clubs for just about anyone and at just about anywhere. Hear the venerable bandleader with veterans Bob Hardy on bass and Gary Warnick on keyboards this Saturday night at Norb Andy's, 9 to midnight.
The Underground City Tavern deals us a pair of traveling aces this week. Frank Morey and the Van Goes pop back into town on Thursday night for a blues-soaked set. Morey has been compared to Tom Waits, but his style is definitely all Frank. Maybe Waits was really writing about the Lowell, Massachusetts, native on Frank's Wild Years? On Wednesday, June 4, Bloodshot Recording artist Wayne "The Train" Hancock rolls into the capital city, pulling a load of hillbilly country music with him. Still on a never-ending tour, Hancock is out in support of a live CD recently recorded at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas. He has always recorded live in the studio, with few if any overdubs, and his swing style country music, filled with plenty of instrumental breaks, feeds on the excitement of performance. Bloodshot--the Chicago recording label dedicated to promoting "insurgent country, whatever that is"--has been a great supporter of "The Train," taking care of business, so he can take care of the music.
Also on Wednesday, the Ameren/CILCO Summer Serenades begin in lovely downtown Springfield. The concerts, on the first Wednesday of June, July, August, and September, are set up on Washington Street on the north side of the Old Capitol Plaza. Bring a chair or come to dance when Rosie Ledet, the "Zydeco Sweetheart," kicks off the series at 7:15 p.m.
Take two (or three or four) and call someone else in the morning.