click to enlarge Gracia Harrison plays Crows Mill Pub this Saturday night.
Gracia Harrison plays Crows Mill Pub this Saturday night.

Greetings fellow travelers, as we're coming 'round the bend, heading out of the pandemic parking lot and back onto the highway of how it used to be. Please continue to be diligent in being careful and staying safe so that our adventure may continue, working through the muck and back to solid ground.

As more and more live music gets added each week to our listings, good signs for the road ahead include a couple of new places having music, continued expansion of weeknight gigs and the spring fling precipitation from earlier in the week melting after leaving a few flowers blooming in the snow.

Thursdays are a thing again, and the Curve Inn hosts the Mary Jo Curry Band this week just to prove the point. MJCB released their sophomore album, Front Porch, last year in February, just about a month before COVID-19 forced shutdowns. With an upcoming year of promotional gigs canned in a heartbeat, the album still made an extremely good showing on important blues charts that culminated in the group garnering the Sean Costello Rising Star Award from Blues Blast Music magazine. From a glance at upcoming dates on the band's website, it looks like Mary Jo and the guys have a good slate of gigs throughout the summer and beyond. Thank goodness for that.

Harvest Market continues to host weekly music upstairs in the mezzanine area above the Farmhouse Restaurant with this week's lineup consisting of Tom Beverly on Friday and Wowie Zowie on Saturday.

Springfield is back with a consistent lineup of rotating cover bands at the top bar venues each Friday and Saturday night, including shows this weekend at Weebles (The Big Suns/Broken Stone), Curve Inn (Off the Wall/Kapital Sound) and Blue Grouch (Deja Voodoo/The Get Down). Extra added treats include Deep Lunar Blue shining down at Danenburgers and Superbad doing the dance floor hits at Long Bridge on Friday, while Saturday delivers Gracia Harrison gettin' on it at Crows Mill Pub and Rockhouse rolling into the latest Koo-Koo's Nest. We welcome Coonrod's back into the live music arena with Jay Larson Band dropping in to the neighborhood bar on North MacArthur this Friday, playing the tunes that need to be played.

Stop by Mowie's Cue on Saturday night for a blowout party happening for your pal and mine, Eddie Stocker, as he's "goin' away for a while," but we all know he will always be around, 'cause Ed Weed ain't no square. Friends are lined up to play, including myself, Positively 4th Street, Tangents, Uncle Jerry's Band and a special reunion show by Murder of Crowes.

If you're looking for a road trip, the David Lumsden Band (Dave, Gary Davis and JIm Engel, plus special guest BIlly Galt) pop into Pipa's Pub in Champaign on Saturday. Congrats to David for his Hues of Blues album jumping back on the blues charts. Good stuff never goes away.

Sundays are rolling once more as a couple of steadfast venues open up to in-person playing. 3Sixteen Wine Bar in Chatham announces the return of regular live music when Dave Littrell begins again on his long-standing, last Sunday of the month gig and Tom Beverly & Geoff Ryan ride out to Trails End in Curran to bring back Sundays in the out of doors space. And in a very good sign of more normal coming on, Boone's Saloon now has an open mic on Wednesdays with your genial hosts, Joel Honey and Silas Tockey, guiding the way to your brilliant performances.

Onward we go toward the merry month of May and more music-making.

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