click to enlarge James Armstrong plays his blues at the Alamo this Monday night. - PHOTO BY RANDY SQUIRES
Photo by Randy Squires
James Armstrong plays his blues at the Alamo this Monday night.

What with the predicted snowstorm this week, who knows what will happen, especially dealing with the aftermath of wintry precipitation. But let's proceed as if our weekend is balmy and bright with plenty of live music going on, but be prepared for cancellations.

Let's get right to it when Charhm, one of my all-time favorite Springfield-area bands, plays Friday Night Jazz at Boone's as part of the weekly series of evening entertainment hosted by your Springfield Area Arts Council. The gig always runs from 5:30 to 7:30 with food, drink and free parking available, plus "charhming" music indeed this week coming from Charhm mainstays, Ada Lou and John Crisp, backed by wonderfully talented, local jazz musicians. If planning ahead is your thing, then plan ahead for The House Trio (Feb. 11), Frank Parker Quartet (Feb. 18) and Chuck and the Seanotes (Feb. 25) to cover the entire month.

Our jazz resurgence continues when Lime Street Cafe hosts The Blue Note Quartet, featuring Buddy Rogers, Nick Gresch, Manley Mallard and Mike Lang, this Friday and Saturday evening and brings in Angel Brown's Smooth 'n' Blue Band next weekend. And to complete our upcoming jazzy selections, Ocean State, featuring the bossa nova stylings of vocalist and harmonica virtuoso Mark Russillo, accompanied by accomplished area jazz musicians, floats into It's All About Wine on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.

Friday kinda goes crazy with a variety of good stuff, including The Get Down getting down (I just can't resist that one, because they do) at the Curve, Avery Kern singing up a storm upstairs at Harvest Market, Jason McKenzie acousti-fying in a rowdy way at Third Base, The Fighting Side and Wonky Tonk honky tonkin' it on home at Buzz Bomb, John Drake's Risky Rooster Band a-blues rockin' at George Rank's, The Cocktails good timin' tunes at Coonrod's, After School Special sailing into Anchors Away and Wreckless Whiskey (unplugged) dropping in at Locals in Pawnee. If you want to be in UNCHAiNED's video for their song "You Can Take It," head out to the Motordome (Motorheads big stage area) for the ultra-exciting evening experience. Saturday is also piled high with a good helping of diverse music choices all listed in our music calendar for you to see.

Here's an intriguing Sunday event when Adam "Waino" Wainwright, longtime ace pitcher, World Series champ and All-Star for the St. Louis Cardinals, hosts an autograph session this Sunday afternoon (2-4) at Boondocks along with the Cardinals' TV commentator and former star center fielder Jim Edmonds. All proceeds benefit Big League Impact, a global charity founded and organized by Wainwright, who is sometimes called "Uncle Charlie" as well. The music begins after the autographing ends when Adam's pal and Nashville singer-songwriter Dallas Davidson hits the bountiful Boondocks stage along with Dylan Marllowe and Rachel Wammac. It's something different and interesting, plus all for a very good cause, so go get your tickets from Boondocks or the Big League Impact website.

This Monday marks the return of James Armstrong to a Springfield venue when the world-class and world touring, lifelong bluesman, guitarist, singer and songwriter, plays his adopted hometown at the Alamo from 7 to 10. It's been some two years since James last graced a local stage, so let's give him a hearty welcome back and also wish him well as he begins a Midwest tour, followed by a month of gigs visiting seven countries in Europe, all culminating in a new recording scheduled for May of 2022 on CatFood Records.

Please be careful and check with the venues before going out.

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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