Heeeere’s August and the last blast of summer time fun before the world moves on toward the autumn season and, dare I say, wintertime. The good news for this week comes in the form of fine weather for this time of year, welcomed by musicians who play in the outdoor conditions and audiences who endure the elements for the pleasure of live music.
Looks like someone (that’s me) got overly enthusiastic last week when I mentioned James Armstrong was playing Thursday. He’s on this Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Curve Inn for an early evening show. But what I said still fits. Your blues have been good to us, James, and we appreciate that, even when I get your dates bungled.
This Thursday also marks the final Levitt AMP concert for the year in downtown Springfield and features John Moreland, considered one of the top singers and songwriters in country and Americana today. You can go ask Miranda Lambert or take my word for it. Blloomington native Edward David Anderson, also among the finest in our land, opens the show at 6 p.m.
This weekend, our neighbors to the east host the famous and long-running Decatur Celebration in downtown Soytown. There’s just too much going on to cover in a few sentences so be sure to check out all the news online. A special mention goes out to Head East, one of the “bands that made it” from our area, performing on Friday night in support of their 50th anniversary tour. Roger Boyd, the only founding member still in the band, promises many cuts from the iconic Flat as a Pancake album, including the hit “Never Been Any Reason” that broke the band on FM radio, which led to their signing with A&M Records and a subsequent major label release of the record in 1975.
On Saturday and Sunday, the people of Springfield give us their third annual Black, Whites and Blues Festival held on 11th Street and South Grand with food vendors and live bands. David Lumsden Guitar with Charles Tiner plays Saturday at 5 p.m. with more music on both days, plus plenty of other fun stuff to do. The event is free, but you’re asked to go online to get a ticket before showing up or just dropping a donation at the door is fine too, organizers say.
Also on Saturday and Sunday, I am proud to announce our debut of Sangamon Songs: A Musical Play out in Petersburg at the Salem on Seventh Theatre on the west side of the square. My friend, John W. Arden, adapted the story behind the songs into a two-character play with slides and narration. We’re featuring John Gifford Irwin as Harry Glen Ludlam, plus Theresa O’Hare, JD Wilson and Ross Sermons join in playing the music of Sangamon Songs.
Bar None hooks up with Bedrock 66 Live! in presenting a couple of upcoming cool shows with Wood & Wire, a Texas acoustic combo nominated in 2018 for a Grammy in the Best Bluegrass album category, on Saturday night (with special guest Dalhgren Boys) and Bloodshot Records recording artist and one-man-band, Scott H. Biram on Monday. That’s packing in the music, but take it when and where you can get it, I say.
On Sunday, Hill Prairie Winery hosts a Celtic Harvest Festival complete with performances by dancers, drummers and pipers from Ogilvy Studio, Celtic fusion music by The Emerald Underground, Ancient Athletics demonstrations, Irish food items and Hand of Fate Irish beer brewed for the occasion. Party on, Sean!
See you next week as we embark on a great adventure called the Illinois State Fair.