No need to beware these Ides, for they come complete with good tidings of excellent live music simply there for you to enjoy. All that is needed is for said "you" to get out and participate in a number (or just one) of the many musical moments happening this week around town.

First, allow me to remind you of the upcoming concert, An Evening with Maria Alejandra Rodriguez, going on in the Hoogland Center for the Arts Club Room this Friday at 8 p.m. Maria, who I wrote about briefly last week, will sing and perform, accompanied by José Gobbo on guitar and Max Beckman on bass. Get your tickets at the HCFTA box office, and please do so in advance if you can. This is partly because Springfield has a reputation for buying tickets at the door or the day of the performance and that can be nerve-wracking on folks involved, and partly because then you will definitely go and not change your mind at the last minute, but mainly because this will be an astoundingly good show that you don't and won't want to miss. Go online to the Facebook event or the HCFTA ticket page to read up on this incredible artist, producer and composer from Venezuela now residing (lucky for us) in the States. Welcome, Maria, and have a great show.

There's some good stuff on Thursday you should look up, but I am heading straight to Friday this week in order to get it all in, as they say. We haven't spent much Now Playing time in the bars lately and we should, as the outdoor libation/live music spaces so popular in the Springfield area are bursting at the stages with a last gasp to get in good gigs before the weather turns and we head inside for the winter. Here's your chance to see the consistently voted Best of Springfield cover band, Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters, at the consistently voted best live music (small) venue in town, the Curve Inn, when the two top shelf-ers meet on the same night in the same place this Friday. Stand back and look out, I say.

The high level of popular bands in well-liked venues continues unabated as Jeff Young and the Bad Grandpas rock in and out at Long Bridge, Roxschool takes you to task at Blue Grouch, Soul Experience funk-t-fies Casey's Pub and Grounded grooves the groove at Weeble's.

As Friday feeds the fun with a little more laid-back sounds, here's a shout-out to Tom Beverly & Geoff Ryan working it well at Brewski's Pub, Random Hands with Eva and Marla (that's Eva Hunter, by the way, for you Springfield fans of that incredibly emotive singer and excellent songwriter) cueing up the hits at Mowie's Cue, Blue Note Quintet bringing it all back home to Boones for the Friday Night Jazz music show and Joel Honey delivering his Jams to Maddy's down Divernon way.

Now keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for Saturday night as the killer lineups continue. Among several repeats from Friday and other local 'peats who didn't already play this weekend, we have out of town guests Grady Spencer and the Work hoofing it all the way from Lubbock, Texas, to hit at Connor's Corner Pub in Tallula. Among other Sunday Funday groups, a longtime (and I mean a longtime) favorite band of the area, Groove Daddies, take the dandy stage at Danenbergers for an afternoon show.

I think we can call that a weekend full of good stuff to do with another one on the way next week. Take care and until then...

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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