Here we are nearing the end of July 2010 with a good forecast for upcoming live music. As August begins we head into the Decatur Celebration and then the Illinois State Fair as major music fronts, with occasional scattered area county fairs, plus pop-up shows all over town worthy of attendance.
This Thursday heralds the beginning of live music performances at the grand opening of the Southside Pub in the Travel Lodge on South Sixth Street. Veteran jazz musicians Frank Parker, John Crisp, Art Carey and Santiago host the party with intentions to continue every Thursday evening from 8 to 11 p.m. until they don’t.
In other jazz-related news, on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. Remy’s on Monroe combines listening to jazz with supporting the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery. Your cover charge into the bar helps out the acclaimed charity, plus generous donations of needed household items such as hand soap, laundry detergent, school supplies and canned food will gladly be accepted. Lamonte Parsons, a brilliant jazz guitarist in the vein of George Benson, brings a snappy quartet to Remy’s this Friday and Saturday night as the club continues its incredible run of top-notch talent.
The folks at the Brewhaus uncovered what is surely one of the most obscure and interesting ways to encourage drinking and partying by hosting Black Tot Day this Saturday night. The celebration pays tribute to the sad occasion on July 31, 1970 (a mere 40 years ago), when the British Navy stopped the tradition of serving grog to HM’s sailors. The twice-daily drinking ritual began in 1731 as a way to invigorate and re-hydrate sailing hands using a mixture of rum and water. The Brewhaus highlights the night with the band Blackfeet performing at 11 p.m. Bon voyage and bottoms up.
Sorry to mention the Brewhaus again, but I must tell the world about the annual Sangwegians show on Sunday starting around 8 p.m. For the third year in a row, Paul Kirby returns to his native central Illinois from his adopted home in Norway to visit family and friends. One such friend includes local singer-songwriter John Brillhart, who invented the Sangwegians (Sangamon/Norwegians, get it?) as a fine opportunity to perform music with Kirby, an accomplished bluegrass/folk banjoist. Back in Oslo, Norway, Kirby’s group Moving Day! thrives as a popular Scandinavian bluegrass band while the intrepid musician sings professional opera by day for his fellow Norwegians. During his Springfield days, Kirby claims to have “played at the Romany Club while Ruthie was there,” which says a lot to those who get it. Gary Fifer of the Blue G’s joins the Sangwegians on mandolin and I’m sitting in on bass as we kick off the regular Sunday night show with some internationally flavored, all-American roots music.
Also of note, Jake’s Leg, the St. Louis-based, Grateful Dead-like band, rolls into Marly’s on Friday night to continue the long, strange trip instigated by the famed San Francisco-area band. Now into their third decade of simulating the Dead by respecting the music through imitation and interpretation, Jake’s Leg may be the closest thing you’ll find these days to feeling like Jerry’s back and the skeletons are Dead-dancing again. So what if Don Henley moans about a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac? The music is there for all to enjoy and participate in.
Looking ahead to Saturday, Aug. 7, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers headline Jimmy “Meat Man” Weinheoft Benefit Day at the Lake Springfield Prop Club. The party goes all day and includes music by Frank Parker, Mike Burnett, Sarah Schneider Band and the Irwinites as well as the award winning, real-deal zydeco band. Tickets available at www.meatsmack.com.
Contact Tom Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org