click to enlarge Big Fur reunites for a Friday late night slot at Downhome Music Festival.
Big Fur reunites for a Friday late night slot at Downhome Music Festival.

As we spend the last weekend of July cooling off from the recent heat wave (go figure), the Downhome Music Festival looms ahead with bits and pieces of other hip and dyn-a-mite goings on flitting about. Let’s go see what we can see, shall we?

First, let’s really cool down with a thought toward New Year’s Eve and First Night Springfield, the decades-long event sponsored by the good folks at our Springfield Area Arts Council. The council assures us the event would not happen without those “generous donors and talented performers who assist us in carrying on a memorable tradition” and now invite “musicians, magicians, artists, dancers, jugglers, et cetera,” bearing terrific talents, daring designs and marvelous machinations to apply to perform. Yonder artists are requested to “submit contact information, a performance sample, and requested stipend for a 45-minute show to” and do it before July 31, please.

On Thursday, we’re treated to a local performance by a Springfield resident who spends most of his time playing blues music all over the world. James Armstrong, at the Curve Inn for an early evening show, leads his top-notch band of well-played musicians through the blues from A to Z. Why not get one (or all) of the several CDs available by this acclaimed artist, including his latest and greatest, Blues Been Good to Me? Coming up in 2020, the properly designated, “Ambassador of the Blues,” heads out for diplomatic music missions in Spain, Europe and Canada, plus keeps us happy with a healthy dose of gigs in the good ol’ USA.

Get ready for the 2019 Downhome Music Festival held on Seventh Street between Washington and Adams, featuring local craft beer, local original bands and musical artists, beer from other places, family-friendly areas, arts and crafts, food of many varieties and beer in general. Organized and held in place by musician, songwriter, graphic artist and all-around creative guy Joshua Catalano, the long-running event runs this Friday night and then on Saturday afternoon and into the night. With more music than you can shake a stick at on three stages, be sure to go to the Facebook event page or website to check schedules and all that whatnot. Admission is a mere $6, and after administrative costs, all the proceeds go to one of our most charitable causes --- working musicians. Yes, the artists all get paid by dividing up the door receipts and by pre-selling tickets. And since these are all original music-makers, that’s a pretty cool, and way too rare, of a thing to happen.

Saturday night around town delivers some amazingly diverse entertainment choices including Nasty Nasty, Sleeping Dogzz and Rockhouse tearing it up at Blue Grouch, the Get Down getting down at the Curve, Kapital Sound bringing it to Danenberger’s, Off the Wall banging into Coz’s, Thornhill rounding it off at George Rank’s, James Harman Band blues sliding into Third Base, Bogart Jones Band jonesing for nothing at the Alibi and Devin Clemons Band walking the floor at Weebles.

On Sunday, the Forever Home Feline Ranch, a “100% volunteer-based, cat sanctuary located in Rochester” hosts a “Feline Groovy” fundraiser at the Curve Inn all day long. Five dollars gets you in to hear bands Rather Dashing, The Complaint Line and Brandy Kristin & The Revival, plus a chance to check out the raffle baskets. You can also sip a signature drink designed for feline friends called a “meow-garita” and participate in a “litter box” toss. As the invite says, you’ll have a “paw-sitively awesome time” and all while helping kitties have a home. Meow, now.

See you soon for a hot August night. 

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