It's colder than a well digger's--well, it's colder than most anything a well digger has, but don't let that stop you from finding some sizzling music to thaw the January freeze.
Friday is shaping up as the hot spot of the weekend. Ozzy Train makes its farewell stop in Springfield at Marly's Pub from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Not only does Rod Griffith sound like Ozzy Osbourne, he's got the slouch and the walk to finish off the impersonation. (What is it with everyone wanting to be someone else lately? Must be some 21st century escapism thing.) Mr. Train is heading to California for real this time. Good luck with the Ozzy thing in the Golden State. Over at the Underground City Tavern check out the heated honky-tonk tunes of the Domino Kings from Springfield, MO. The Slewfoot recording artists have carved a respectable niche in the alt-country world by being more country than alt, and proud of it. Their tour schedule has them shuttling back and forth between the two Springfields, then down to Texas (a smart and warm move for February), where they've been adopted in Lone Star country music circles.
For some scorching experimental guitar music, look to the top of the Hilton on Saturday. In Jazz Central Station at around 8 p.m., Frank Trompeter keeps the flame of avant-garde music burning by booking the brightest musicians for his Innovators New Music series. This time it features Underdog 3, with Phil Mosberg on guitar backed by a bassist and drummer knocking out some edgy, straight-ahead jazz. Then Matt Switaj and Jason Ajemian will get a little more out there, with some scalding guitar and double bass work. Also on the agenda are Mark Schwartz, whose two-guitar approach is likened to the style of Fred Frith, and Kurt Anderson, who layers musical phrases with an Echoplex to create soundscapes on guitar. At 10:30 p.m. elevator shoe takes over, playing until 2 a.m., with Trina Madonia on vocals and Jeff Cunningham manning the bass.
Jumping on to a hopefully warmer Wednesday, Hank Helton brings Real Time to the happy hour (remember those?) at Charley's Club below Andiamoˇ in downtown Springfield. The group has a wonderful song list of popular tunes and fits well into the 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. slot at the intimate basement setting. If you're not finished by the time the band is, grab a bite to eat, then head through the alley to Floyd's Thirst Parlor to take in the award winning blues of Black Magic Johnson. The grooves are tight and the band has got a backbeat to make a dead man dance.
There, aren't you feeling warmer already just thinking about all those hot times in the city?