click to enlarge April music showers
The Lovelorn play a triple bill at the Gin Mill Lounge with Wayward Motel and Bruiser Queen this Saturday night.

As we roll merrily along through April, the gigs keep coming and the listings are quite healthy looking with a variety of stuff going on in and around the capital city. Let's see what mischief in music we can find to get into this week, just for the fun of it.

For whatever reason, Friday continues to be the night with the most music happening. We can start with the battle of the blues harmonica players (in a most friendly way) when Chris Camp & His Blues Ambassadors dish it out at Boone's for Friday Night Jazz (5:30-7:30 p.m.), while Brandon Santini & His Band take it to the bridge at Long Bridge Golf Course (6:30-10:30 p.m.). Then, a magnificent singer, the one-and-only Victoria Capo, brings her jazz trio to Anchors Away (8-10 p.m.) for an up-close and intimate performance in the friendly confines of the lower-level bar and restaurant.

Here's a heads up for a show at the Legacy Theatre on Friday, April 29, featuring three unique and local, fantastic vocalists including Victoria, plus Josie Lowder and Johnnie Owens, with Ryan Napier and others as a backing band. Visit the Legacy website for tickets, and while you're there check out the Billy Gilman show that's happening this Saturday night (see the article elsewhere in IT for the skinny on Billy). It's just so great, and so telling of how we're getting back to our regularly scheduled program, to find theaters going strong again, including at UIS and the Hoogland Center for the Arts. Hurrah!

Also on Friday, Springfield-based, singer-songwriter-guitarist Joel Gragg debuts his trio of Bruce Williams on bass and Jamie Perryman on drums at Whiskey Jack's (7-10 p.m.). Joel released a new album on March 31 called Promise of Light (available on all streaming platforms) that's been getting a good number of plays on Spotify. I'm sure the trio will play songs from the record live and in-person, and you can catch Joel as an acoustic solo act at It's All About Wine on Sunday afternoon (3-6) for stripped-down versions of the new tunes and more.

For a Friday and Saturday night bill, the Blue Note Jazz Quintet slides into Lime Street Cafe for a weekend of cool jazz. The band is top-shelf, featuring the talents of Buddy Rogers on saxophones and a pair of pianists splitting ivory tickling duties with David McEachern on Friday and Nick Gresch on Saturday, plus Manley Mallard on guitar, Mike Lang on upright bass and Jaro House on drums completing the stellar lineup. For all the folks saying we don't get enough jazz in town, here's your chance to support a dynamite combo of the real thing.

Saturday night delivers another beautiful bunch of music, including a show at the Gin Mill Lounge downtown with Wayward Motel, Bruiser Queen and The Lovelorn as a triple bill, knockout concert starting at 7 with a different act coming on every hour. The Colin Helton Band does a dandy double-duty day on Saturday with an early gig at Boone's from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., then a late show in Tallula at Connor's Corner Pub from 8 to midnight. Petersburg strikes a nice music pose on Saturday with 1st & 3rd Boutique and Wine Bar hosting Josie Lowder and Jaigh Lowder in a superb daughter-and-dad dance-to-the-music show, while Broadgauge presents southern Illinois singer-songwriter Hugh DeNeal of the famed Woodbox Gang with the music group Greenview opening the show in the upstairs ballroom.

That's it for me this week. See you soon.

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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