click to enlarge December doings
Johnnie Owens sings outside at Buzz Bomb Brewing Company during the Old Capitol Holiday Walks on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Yes, you read that right, pilgrim, we are now into the merry month of December for the year twenty and twenty-one. That puts us into the holiday season which, if you go practically anywhere, means a shift in music toward the ubiquitous sound of Christmas-related songs. We have our share of live performances connected to the seasonal celebrations coming up in December listed in the calendar portion of our paper, so partake, please, in the glorious goings-on of the particular pleasantries of the happy holidays, as they are sometimes called. We also have the usual lineup of local groups and a few outsiders coming into our live music venues, all combining to make for a rockin', righteous, rip-roaring upcoming next several weeks.

I'm trying to put on a happy face, but it's with great sadness that I report the tragic death by car accident last Friday night of Doug Warcup, a popular and talented sound engineer from the area. Doug's latest endeavor was main sound guy at Daneneberger's Family Vineyard, and his last gig was running sound for Mr. Opporknockity Friday night. Born and raised in Jacksonville, he worked at Mason Sound for years and traveled as a sound man, as well as doing area gigs to be close to his home in Pana with his wife, Edie. His infectious laugh and caring personality made many a musician feel at ease when on the stage, because everyone knew the music coming out of the "front of house" was in good hands when Doug was at the board. From his obituary comes this statement: "He loved his guns, music and his grandbabies," and we could add his family, extended and personal, plus just life in general. RIP Doug, things will never be the same without you. Now as I know he would have it, let's get on with the music-making, and with a little more sadness in our hearts, see what's out there.

With the holiday season upon us, that gives us the downtown Old Capitol Holiday Walks and with that, some different live music happenings. Over at Buzz Bomb, the great Johnnie Owens sings to musical accompaniment outside from 5 to 7 on Wednesdays and 3 to 5 on Saturdays during the walks. Downtown Springfield, Inc., (DSI) has scheduled entertainment during the walks at some parklets in front of businesses and also near the south side of the Old State Capitol near the ice rink. Your best way to enjoy it all is to come wander the streets of lovely downtown Springfield and see what you can see and hear what you can hear.

For an excellent house concert on the horizon, the popular Americana and Celtic folk duo, Switchback, returns to the area with a show at the Paris-Belle House in Williamsville on Friday, Dec 3. Marty McCormack and Brian FitzGerald have a way about them that is intense and inviting, a fine combination of entertainment and talent that makes for a most excellent listening experience. As usual for these types of concerts, contact the hosts through email at [email protected] for more information and to reserve a space.

For a treat from a former Springfield musician now hard at work making a name for himself in Chicagoland, check out Zack Fedor's latest single (available on popular digital platforms) called "Songs About You." The original tune with Zack singing and playing acoustic is a cool and seriously funny song that features Tyler Landess on electric guitar, Michael Taylor on bass and Joel Day on drums, who all appear in a fun-loving video on YouTube. Enjoy!

Until the next time...

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin, a sixth-generation Sangamon County resident, has played his songs and music for nearly 40 years in the central Illinois area with occasional forays across the country. He's contributed to Illinois Times since 2000 by writing Now Playing, a weekly music column, as well as features stories and other articles...

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