click to enlarge Fair enough
Rock & Roll Sisters rock-n-roll the Bud Light Tent this Friday night at 7:30 during the Illinois State Fair.

Good day, fellow travelers and a hearty welcome to you as we pass on through more time and space to discover what's going on in the Springfield music scene. This week the live tunes landscape continues to be dominated by the happenings at the Illinois State Fair, but there's a fair amount of fine stuff going on beyond the fairgrounds, too.

As a lifelong purveyor of music performance, my heart overflows with happiness and my eyes fill with tears of joy to see the incredible number of melodious manifestations manufactured at the fair alone. By rough count, on Friday, Aug. 19, just scrolling through the daily schedule I found nearly 60 music presentations. And that's with comedian and "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah at the Grandstand, so we lost a couple of countable acts there. Granted, some are "repeats" during the day, such as Mike Anderson, the Dulcimer Guy, playing Kids Korner at 2, 3:30 and 5, but most of the performances are by different folks. I spy familiar names, like the Kevin Lucas Experience at noon on the Village of Cultures gazebo, Dennis Maberry in the Illinois Building at 3, Stuart Smith at 3:30 on the Apex Stage and the Tangents at 4 on the Grand Central Stage. The Alley Cats get the award for "most shows on different stages" as they play at 11 in the Expo Building, 1 on the Main Street Stage, 3 at the Apex Stage and 5 at the Grand Central Stage, then hustle back to the Main Street Stage for an encore at 7. Man, those cats get around. My favorite fair show, because I am a sucker for authentic German strains, instruments and outfits, is the Waterloo German Band on at 2:30 at the Village of Cultures.

Delving further into the evening, we find an array of bands playing tents hosted by beer distributors (all light beers, incidentally) including Longmeyer Band at 5 and Lick Creek at 9 in the Coors Light Tent, Sushi Roll at 5 and Resurrection (Journey tribute) at 10 in the Miller Light Tent, and my personal fav, 'cause we know 'em and love 'em, Rock & Roll Sisters hitting at 7:30 at the Bud Light Tent, followed by Branded at 10.

Remember, this is only a sample of what's happening out at the fair since it's all just on Friday. If you're wondering how I know all this, it's easy. You just visit the Illinois State Fair website and look up the day, find the daily schedule and dive in. It's quite fair to say, the process is simple and you can go have your fair fun after finding where to have it.

In other news around town, things are happening outside the fairground gates. Check out this incredible show Friday night (doors 7:30, showtime 8) at the Hoogland when genius joins genius as jazz pianist Ptah Williams brings pals José Gobbo (guitar) and Bernard Terry (bass) to the intimate space of the Club Room. This is a good thing going on here, so fans of the music must make it a must-see show, in my humble opinion.

On Saturday night at Kentucky Burn, a newer bar venue near the Main Gate on Sangamon, the Chris Sorenson Project with Master Bastard brings it on for a hard rockin' and blistering good time.

At the Alamo on Monday, the Illinois Central Blues Club presents the superb RJ Mischo, an "American electric blues harmonicist, singer, songwriter and record producer" at their long-running weekly blues show.

Well, that does it for me and the ISF in 2022. "Fair" thee well.

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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