click to enlarge Record Store Day and more
Photo by Trells Eye Photography
Joel Gragg plays Bar Bella this Friday night, 5-8 p.m.

Here we go off for another music adventure on the downward slope of April 2023 with warmer weather ahead, but not this weekend. It won't be long before the heat is here to stay, so be cool and get hot as the live music rolls on, no matter what.

Before we get started on the scene, let's take a moment to talk about Record Store Day held this coming Saturday, April 22. For those of you not familiar with the concept, RSD began in 2007 when a group of independent record store owners hit upon the idea "to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1,400 independently-owned record stores in the U.S. and thousands of similar stores internationally," and it's grown exponentially along with the return and rise of vinyl records. Many artists, famous and otherwise, offer special limited-edition items for sale exclusively at independent record stores.

Our two main record stores, Recycled Records and Dumb Records, have participated for years in ordering these unique items and done very well in getting customers to attend the event. This year, with the imminent closing of Recycled scheduled for April 29 (more on that next week) they've chosen to not take part, but Dumb went full bore by ordering all 300 exclusive RSD titles. There definitely will be a line before the store opens at 8 a.m. (closes at 7 p.m.) and everything is on a "first come, first serve" basis, but there will be free doughnuts and coffee while they last, plus 10% off everything else in the store (at the discretion of the owners).

And for a local connection to the international world, David Cain, musician, producer and owner/operator of Springfield's Umedia, is also in the world-famous jazz trio of Wertico Cain and Gray. The group will release a real record (on metallic gold and clear waves vinyl) called Windows of Time this Thursday, April 20, and copies will be available at Dumb Records in honor of Record Store Day. Paul Wertico is a seven-time, Grammy-award winning percussionist/drummer, while Larry Gray and Dave have both worked with some of the top musicians and producers in jazz and other styles of music, so you can just imagine the quality of performance going on here. Support your local (and otherwise) musicians whenever possible, please.

Friday, come on out to Bar Bella (the indoor/outdoor venue space behind Bella Boutique) to send off our friend Joel Gragg, who's doing his final acoustic solo show as a Springfield resident from 5 to 8 p.m. Joel came to town from Indianapolis via Nashville a few years ago and played us some wonderful live music and released some cool tunes too. He's headed back to the Indy area soon, and his presence in our scene will be missed.

It's always good to see original music done well by hardworking music folks out there working the room. On Friday, our friends in Astrofix land the band at Buzz Bomb for an "unplugged-style" show from 8 to 11.

Then on Saturday at Goodfellas, The Lovelorn, Elijah Settles and Enamel do a night of mostly self-penned music, too. For more cool music, check out Roger Smith & the Infirmary at the Vietnam Veterans Vigil benefit held Saturday at the Northenders V.F.W. Post after their 16th Annual Hippy Run. It's a complete rocking party with the debut of the Silhouettes scheduled at 5 p.m., so go have a good time while helping out a good cause.

Well, it looks like I'm at the end of line, so check those listings for more music because there's plenty out there.

About The Author

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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