Oh boy, call it a late one, or early as the case may be. The clock says 4:32 a.m. and I’m wide awake.
The problem stems from the schedule switch I attempt to accomplish each week as the nighttime weekend gigs finish and the daily chores arrive in the regular morning hours. Anyone who’s worked a late night shift for a few days then gone to daytime mode understands the dilemma facing mind and body of getting used to this and going to that.
Normally the switch is not so bad, but this weekend was chock-full of late night excitement, beginning with a fun show Friday at the Halfway Haus in St. Louis on T’s birthday. Saturday brought a mid-morning Sangamon Songs interview on KDHX radio with Stacy Bernard, an evening stoner meeting with Todd Snider in the hallways of the Hoogland and an impromptu song set at Bob’s Butternut Hut with members of Murder of Crows and Cabin Fever around midnight. Yes, that’s right, the stodgy Butternut Hut is now a hip hangout with new owners, regular live music and a cool vibe going on. Imagine all that happening less than a block away from where, in 1820, John Kelly built the first cabin in a settlement known as Calhoun (we didn’t become a Springfield until 1832), on what is now the northwest corner of Second and Jefferson.
Sunday came and went with a rocking show at the Brewhaus until well past midnight. The crowd was good, with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday becoming a buffer for regular working folks to beat the aforementioned schedule switch. A highlight of the night was seeing fellow IT columnist Rich Miller dancing to Bongo, Bongo, Bongo with all the gusto he could muster, which can be a bunch.
One of the other things keeping me up and my mind whirling is IT’s front page this week. In case you didn’t notice, that’s my mug on there. The only other time I made “the cover of the Illinois Times” was several years ago when editor Roland Klose asked me to help with the most censored stories of the year issue. My job was to remove my glasses, muss up my hair and get a piece of duct tape stuck over my mouth for a closeup, unrecognizable photo related to being censored. So much for my cover guy experience, but this time, thank goodness, things are a little different.
Now that I’ve spent most of my column talking about me, me, me, let’s get to a few items of note around town this week. Sunday, Jan. 22, from 1 to 8 p.m. at the K of C Hall on Meadowbrook, Friends of Rolens Brothers Music host a “Save the Music” fundraiser. With food, auction items and live music by Frantic Sky, The Legendary Clampetts, Rockhouse, 808, Hipbone Sam Band, Powerhouse and Nasty Nasty, plus sound reinforcement by Ric Major’s Middle Option Music, the local music community rallies to support the supportive music store at 1120 South Second.
Three Springfield-based blues bands representing three separate blues organizations are heading to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge this February and all have gigs this week to raise funds for the trip. The Blues Expressions took first at the Decatur Blues Society contest and play Thurs., Jan. 19, at the Decatur Club. Tombstone Bullet, representing our Illinois Central Blues Club, plays Abe’s South Side Pub on Fri., Jan 20. Hurricane Ruth won at Champaign-Urbana’s Prairie Crossroads Blues Society and rocks Crows Mill Pub, Sat. Jan. 21. Please support all these fine bands as they travel the “Road to Memphis.”
Now I think I’m going back to bed for a few minutes. Yawn.
Contact Tom Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.