click to enlarge Joe and Joey Tenuto play father and son blues all around town this weekend.
Joe and Joey Tenuto play father and son blues all around town this weekend.
Joe and Joey Tenuto play father and son blues all around town this weekend.
Oh my goodness, where do we begin? The
September run on getting all the happenings in before autumn falls upon us is in full swing. Look out!

The Krannert Center at the University of Illinois Urbana hosts the Ellnora Guitar Festival this Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 10, 11 and 12. Known as one of the most prestigious and interesting festivals for guitar in the entire world, the event features several performance spaces to accommodate incredible artists such as the North Mississippi All Stars, Punch Brothers, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, John Jorgensen Quintet and Los Lobos. It’s that good.

On Saturday the Celtic Mist Pub, Ogilvy Studios and area Celtic-minded folks come together to host a “Celtic Festival” from 2 to midnight at Seventh and Washington. Dancing, piping, drumming, drinking, eating, plus music from local Celtic-leaning and Irish-lilting groups will “fill the air with odor rare” and good stuff all around. Come celebrate the heritage of the Celtic nations with fun-loving folks who could be your relation.

The world-traveling, ever-expanding Henhouse Prowlers visit Bar None on Friday night. The HP’s have been very busy playing in Europe and having hit songs in Africa and stuff like that. You know, just the usual for a Chicago-based bluegrass band that is wondrous to hear.

Springfield native and music-maker Joe Tenuto returns to the capital city after 20 years in Florida to play almost everywhere for a while. Joined by his spitting image, Joe Tenuto, Jr., you might think you’re seeing double when they play Jacksonville’s Club 217 on Sept. 11, then in rapid succession the Capital City Bar and Grill (Sept. 12), George Ranks (Sept. 13), The Alamo (Sept. 14) Coz’s Pizza (Sept. 15) and Third Base (Sept. 18). After more shows in Chicago, the two JT’s return to play the Curve Inn (Sept. 22) and The Treehouse Lounge in Bloomington (Sept. 23). Welcome back, Tenutos! The blues will be sufficiently scorched while you are in town.

Casey’s Pub continues bringing in killer music with John McVey and the Stumble on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. McVey, from Houston, Texas, is known as one of the finest purveyors of pure Texas blues done by excellent playing from the heart on a worn in (not out) Fender Telecaster plugged straight into an amp with no effects but the fingers and a soul.

 Phenomenal performer, singer-songwriter and all around force of nature Stephanie Urbina Jones returns to town for a house concert this Friday, Sept. 11. Her new CD Fiery Angel is out and about, stirring up wonderful things around the country, as she kicks off her “Bringing it to the Heartland” tour. Contact Carley at or 494-0587 for more information on the show.

On Sunday, starting at 1 p.m., our friends from Penny Lane host the Joe & Jerry Tribute Party at Douglas Park with an all-day long and into the night multi-act music celebration with Perfunctory This Band playing the music of the Grateful Dead to top it all off. Join PTB at the Butternut Hut on Friday for a preview show to help raise funds for Sunday’s sound system and festival costs. Also on Sunday, Music in the Park comes to Iles Park on Sixth and Ash featuring Springfield’s finest with The Deep Hollow, Blue Ribbon Revival and The Blue G’s. Talk about too much to do!

Our dear friends and wonderful musicians, The Gordons of Sparta, Ill., head to The Sheldon in St. Louis on Tuesday, Sept. 15 for a show with Ivan Johns. Ivan, a southern Illinois singer-songwriter-guitarist recently spent time in Inside Out Studios at The Gordons’ place. This will be a true treat.

Ready, set... go!

Contact Tom Irwin at

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