click to enlarge December-time music
Lil Higgy & the House Reckers play KooKoo's Nest this Saturday.

Don't look now, but 2022 is nearly in the rearview mirror as the old calendar on the wall (remember those?) says it is now the twelfth month of the year. Sometimes time crawls, sometimes it marches on and sometimes seems to be sprinting toward the goal line. I'm going to leave that feeling up to you, since we all know it doesn't really do anything but continue in a relentless, constant movement, peeling off the moments one at a time, every time, and right in time. So before we lose any more time, let's see what music is in store for us this time.

From the looks of our listings, we've run out the clock on Thursday night music, but with the Downtown Holiday Walks on Wednesdays for four weeks (counting this past one already done) we have our entertainment replacement time locked in. Be sure to look up what's happening in the center of the city on those early mid-week evenings, or just pack up for a visit downtown and wander around to see what you can see and enjoy. I do believe you'll be pleasantly surprised and wonderfully entertained. It is the most wonderful time of year, as the song goes.

That seems like a perfect segue (we try!) into a delightful musical experience going on at the Hoogland Center for the Arts on Friday and Saturday, when the Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus presents a performance "full of holiday cheer," as described in the event calendar. Named "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," the big show features seasonal songs sung in the undeniable, indubitable and inimitable style of barbershop singing by local quartets, as well as a full men's chorus.

In other non-bar-related holiday music on Friday, you better watch out for a special performance by musicians from the Illinois Symphony Orchestra called Magically Mozart at the First Presbyterian Church, and you'd better not pout when the LLCC Choir performs "REVOLUTION," a concert about "the revolutionary power of love," in the Lincoln Land Community College commons.

For Friday fun in the nightclubs, those truly Fabulous HoeDads hit it at the VFW Northenders, Tom Beverly's Blue Country Revue heads into Harvest Market Farmhouse Brews and Wowie Zowie wows (and zows, too) them at the Blue Grouch. We're gifted this week with jazz stylings on Friday as Jose Gobbo's The Jazz Trio rounds out the corners at George Ranks and the Frank Parker Project blows into Friday Night Jazz at Boone's (thanks, Springfield Area Arts Council) along with The Ocean State Quartet riding the waves at Anchors Away and Angel Brown's Smooth 'n' Blue Band being smooth and blue with added holiday songs at Lime Street.

Saturday night gives us a few groups who don't play around here enough that certainly deserve attention, including Lil' Higgy and the House Reckers causing a ruckus at KooKoo's Nest, Prairie State of Mind feeling fine at Buzz Bomb and Kathy Kitchen and Rick Meyers singing up a storm at Pier 55.

Sunday Funday looks to be back in style this week, with some 12 gigs on the books for your listening pleasure. From holiday music played on the carillon in Washington Park by master carillonneur Carlo van Ulft (plus assistant carillonneurs) to Josie Lowder and Nate Cozadd doing the duo at Hill Prairie Winery in Oakford, we offer quite an assortment of performances.

That's my take on the first weekend of December. I hope you had a good time reading and will have an even better time checking out the music mentioned above and in our calendar.

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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