click to enlarge Mid-January music
Silas Tockey plays the Farmhouse Brews stage at Harvest Market this Friday night.

Here's hoping you're adjusting to all things in this new year that is upon us. The music rolls on regardless of the year or the time of year or the time in general, so let's see what's on tap around the "old town tonight." What do you say?

Open mics are in style and trending right now, giving one and all a chance to shine during off days in the middle of the week. Every Thursday, The Railyard Cafe continues its all-ages open mic hosted by Jack Reilly and friends from 4 to 6 p.m., Kortney keeps the Blue Grouch gathering going from 7 until 11 and Bob Besser leads the charge over in Decatur at Door 4 Brewing Co. starting at 6. John Drake expands the talent pool when hosting his monthly spot at Ad Astra this Thursday by opening the stage to "musicians, singers, poets and spoken word artists" with sign-up at 6:30 p.m. and the show beginning at 7. Please take a look at our listings for the ever-growing opportunities at open stages on other days.

One might think Thursdays in mid-January would be a bit sluggish, but take a gander at these exciting doings. The ever-popular and pretty close to long-running Thursday Night Live experience at Motorheads (on the second Thursday monthly) keeps up the very cool showcasing of local musicians with this distinguished group: Cydney Long, Jeff Massie, Travis Aldridge, Art Carey, Myers + Brant + Paoni (Rich Myers, Doug Brant and Mike Paoni) and Diversion (Dave Brown, Steve Clark, Kortney Leatherwood, Dave Harris and Shawn Harris). One of the neatest aspects of this show comes from the impromptu interplay often had between the players. You just never know what might happen and that's a darn good thing.

The Pharmacy Gallery and Art Space (downtown on Adams) delivers another The Art of Jazz concert with "world-renowned guitarist" Eric Slaughter, known as "a high-energy performer who is dedicated to exploring the various rhythms and musical textures of the world." That, my friends, is a lot to live up to, which Eric does with gusto and aplomb.

You could very well start the weekend on a high note with Julie Jules & Co. (featuring the talents of Julie herself singing and playing jazz-flavored, samba-styled tunes accompanied by a flock of area musicians) at Boone's for the weekly Friday Night Jazz & Blues, then catch Silas Tockey, a young and quite talented singer, songwriter, performer and guitarist at Harvest Market.

For rockin' out opportunities, Roxschool gives lessons at The Curve Inn, Broken Stone rolls into Danenberger's and the Jay Larson Band plays Dead and jam-related songs at Amber's Place. Downtown drops an all-ages extravaganza at Dumb Records with End It, Outta Pocket, Hold My Own, Bayway, Spaced and Prevention, and in a much-too-rare Friday night music performance at the Alamo, Studebaker John drives home his hard-hittin', world-travelin' blues show. For fine good times and feel-good fun, 3's Company gives it a go at Goodfella's Pub, Sound Decision (Carl Bopp and Ed Smith) makes it up at Lime Street (on Saturday night, too) and Not Petty pulls into Pawnee at Locals.

Saturday and Sunday look to be equally as thrilling as Thursday and Friday with music winging it at all the regular spots. If you're looking for a Dry January venue, search no more and head to Stella Coffee and Tea (on Governor Street) Saturday at noon when the Springfield Uketopians guarantee a stellar performance and a tea-totalling time.

Be sure to check our listings for more music and be doubly sure to check the weather for anything that might alter these dates. Be cool until next 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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