Music tribute mania and more

click to enlarge Music tribute mania and more
Henhouse Prowlers play the Rumble Down Festival at The Kampground near Mechanicsburg this Friday night.

Come on in and make yourself comfortable while we take a look at some musical happenings in the area during this waning part of July.

Off we go to visit two big music festivals just outside Springfield this weekend, one tried-and-true and the other fairly new. First, the Chatham Jaycees present another Sweet Corn Festival at Chatham Community Park, starting with the annual corn-shucking party at 5 p.m. on Thursday (I got their theme song covered with my "Corn to Shuck" from Sangamon Songs: A Musical Play). Friday kicks off in earnest with all the usual SCF good stuff, plus tunes supplied by Gabe Marshall, up from Nashville to visit the homeland with a rockin' band (6-8 p.m.) and Highway 615 cleaning up on the country-style hits (8:30-11:30 p.m).

Saturday brings on more fun, including the world-famous cow chip throwing contest along with music by The Lovelorn (they're everywhere and that's awesome) starting at 3, followed by the always killer, Fun DMC at 5, with area pop rocking sensations, UNCHAiNED closing out at 8 p.m.

For number two, take a drive east near Mechanicsburg to The Kampground concert and camping space where Rumble Down, an old-fashioned-style festival where you can camp all weekend while wandering around listening to music as well as visit hip craft, art and food vendors, takes place. Featuring some 20 acts on various stages, including lots of acoustic music such as Henhouse Prowlers and Rumpke Mountain Boys plus rocking stuff from the likes of Backyard Tire Fire and Sunshine Daydream. In its second year, this event gives you all kinds of groovy options without ever needing to leave the farm.

Next up, what's with all the music tribute bands this weekend? We've observed the recent rise in these entities who portray popular music groups by emulating the sounds and looks of these established bands, but why it's occurring is a good question to ask. Some say it's because of the lack of new, good music out there, others cave in to the nostalgic aspect, but perhaps it's just a familiarity complex where a music audience likes to hear what they already know. And then, when you add in the one group imitation factor you limit the songs to a particular subset, therefore increasing the odds whoever shows up will experience only music they want to be a part of at that time. And I imagine ticket prices to see the real groups, if they are even still alive and touring, would likely be astronomical. I'm not criticizing here, only observing. Ergo, here we go to show you what I'm talking about.

Thursday at the Curve Inn, blast off with Earth to Mars: The Bruno Mars Experience. Then the BoS Center gives us a double dose with Rearview (Pearl Jam) on Friday with our very own Fireside Relics (a mostly original music band, by the way) opening and Midnight Rider (Allman Brothers) with our very own Birds of a Feather (Phish) opening on Saturday. Danenberger Family Vineyards, a local pioneer in the tribute band field, delivers Elton Dan and the Rocket Band on Friday, along with Heartache Tonight on Saturday (self-explanatory), while the Sherman Village Park Amphitheater presents Nightrain International and Hells Bells (Guns & Roses and AC/DC) Saturday. Then for a topper, Karen as Dolly, shows up at the Hoogland on Saturday when Karen Hester does the greatest hits of Dolly Parton. Maybe it's best not to wonder why, but only to ponder and enjoy.

Be sure to see our listings for all the other terrific music out there this week. See ya.