Welcome to the wonderful world of Springfield music as we see it through Now Playing eyes. This week is jam-packed with all kinds of things going on so let's see what's what and what's where and when as well.

click to enlarge Juneteenth music and more
The Lonely Ones (from Columbus, Ohio) play at The Stadium this Thursday with Inner Outlines.
Thursdays continue to be a hotbed of happenings with the Levitt AMP downtown music series leading the way. This week on that someday-to-be-officially-named block north of the Governor's Mansion, it's Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble with opening act Zuh-Cari. Then check out Chris Camp and His Blues Ambassadors at the Curve Inn, Thursday Night Live's ever-changing cast of local musicians at Motorheads, Dan Rivero Trio (go Dan, go) at Casey's Pub and The Lonely Ones (a four-piece, vocal-oriented hard rock band from Columbus, Ohio) with Inner Outlines at the Stadium.

The Art of Jazz continues at the Pharmacy with Brazilian guitarist Budi Garcia who lives, plays and teaches in Campinas, Brazil, joining host and curator Jose Gobbo, who is also a Brazilian guitarist who now lives, plays and teaches in central Illinois.

The Sangamon County Fair happens this week and Thursday features Priscilla Block with Connor Smith and Mark Wills as the lone grandstand show this year. Local bands playing the WSB Pavilion include GatorHead and UNCHAiNED on Thursday, The Shenanigans and Brushville on Friday, Off the Wall and Lick Creek on Saturday and White Lightnin' on Sunday.

Now we move on to Friday, and here's a reminder of nationally known guitarist JD Simo playing at Casey's Pub (8 p.m.), presented by the ZRH Foundation. The show is free with (suggested) donations going to support the ZRH Foundation's 2024 Youth Music Therapy Scholarship Fund in partnership with Springfield's Music Therapy Connections. The foundation was created in memory of Springfield native Zachary Ryan Harris by his immediate family after Zach's passing in 2023 to "harness the transformative power of arts and culture to serve as a catalyst for stronger community cohesion, connection and collaboration while creating opportunities for artists and creatives of all kinds." That sure sounds like something we should all do our best to support, encourage and participate in. Watch for more shows ahead.

It's time for our Juneteenth Celebration, and this year it's bigger and better than ever. I'm just covering the music and you can look up all the other cool stuff (parade, contests, camps, panels and more) going on during this weeklong event.

Comer Cox Park is home to the live music shows this weekend with Saturday featuring Morris Day & the Time (yes, that Morris Day – the Day family is actually quite iconic in Springfield) along with music all day and into the night including James Armstrong, Paul Bill Jr., Saint Boogie Brass Band, Johnnie Owens & Silk and Robert Sampson. Sunday gives us Kapital Sound plus Pastor Jerry Jones and the Fantastic Jones Band (and they are fantastic), SmoothTimes, R&B Live Ladies Edition, Calia Cole, Clifton Jones and Ryan Napier. Join in the celebration and learn all you can about this important part of our national history known as Juneteenth.

On Sunday, the fourth annual Positively Summer Music Festival returns with a new home base out at Long Bridge Golf Course. The one-day, all-ages fest features Positively 4th Street, Ben Bedford, Chickadee Sermon and Buckhart Road from 1 to 6 p.m. and is definitely, most positively, a very good time.

Last week we talked about house concerts and this week there's another, but it's not in a house. Ann Bova, the creator of those famed Cabin Concerts of years ago, is back presenting nationally touring, acoustic music acts, but this time in the event room at The Heartland Healing Arts Center. For more information on the show happening Wednesday, June 19, at 7 p.m., with the incredible Cody Sisters, send a message to [email protected].

Please see our listings for the many, many more music happenings this week.

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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