click to enlarge Stuart Smith released his latest single, “Into My Arms,” on Dec. 31, 2021.
Stuart Smith released his latest single, “Into My Arms,” on Dec. 31, 2021.

Good grief and good golly, let's "let the good times roll" as I bring you good tidings of the Springfield-area music scene. And I am saying all that for me more than you, as the coldness of January combined with the continued pandemic woes tends to bring me down. So let's see if we can't find a way to let the music in, and with it, feelings of good things to come.

Lately we've had some new music releases from local artists and that's worth writing home about. First, we have Craig Anderson with a self-produced and self-performed blues album called Where Do You Go, available on CD Baby and "just about every internet music site you could think of" as of Dec. 23, 2021. Craig played bass with a few local bands before starting into his self-production work and has eight Christian rock albums out under the band name Kingdom Truth, plus another blues record, to bring his sum output to 10 releases.

Stuart Smith, of Winchester way, dropped a new single, "Into My Arms," on New Year's Eve 2021 (available on most digital music sites). Produced with his friend and cohort, Nashville-based, internationally acclaimed, American singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons, the song takes Mr. Smith to fresh places with familiar sights and is a precursor to an upcoming album set for a 2022 release, to go along with his several other righteous records.

Brandon Santini, the harmonica-playing singer, songwriter and gregarious front man, who is also an award-winning, chart-topping blues recording artist, released his latest, a single called "Don't Shake the Devil's Hand" on Jan. 7. According to Brandon – and he should know – the record features "special guests, Grammy-award nominees Victor Wainwright and John Ginty, along with my touring band consisting of Timo Arthur, Jeff Cunningham and Ron James" and is available on Spotify and most digital platforms, along with his various other peculiarly good projects and recorded material.

Not out yet, but set for a Jan. 28 release, comes a single from Wayward Motel off their upcoming album, Hourly Rates, due out on Feb. 25. While you're waiting for this new music from Springfield's American rock band – fronted by singer-songwriter, producer-guitarist Josh Catalano and including members Patrick Bruce Miller, Rory Davis and Matt Natale (who? Woo, that's who), delve into their past releases, available at, you guessed it, digital music platforms everywhere. The band, joined by The Lovelorn, celebrates the single release live at the Gin Mill on Jan. 29.

If you're looking for a "best of" collection from 2021 with a local bent, check out the list culled from the annual Best of Springfield Music poll hosted by Dumb Records in December and featured in the January 2022 issue of Activator magazine, which is out now, and refreshingly enough, is only available in print form at various sites around the area.

Figuring there's more good, new music out there that I missed mentioning, I'll take this moment to request any news concerning our music community (within reason!) to be sent to So with that plea, please consider sending the good stuff to me and I will do my best to keep everyone abreast of what's happening 'round this old town.

And with that all done, I don't have any room left to mention all the live music popping up at local venues. So, as I have said before and will say again, check our listings (online and in print for goodness sake) for who's playing where and when. Good day, good night and have a good week, 'cause it's all good.

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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