Rumpke Mountain Boys play the Sunshine 66: Hotel Music Fest this Friday and Saturday.

Here we go, finishing up with March and finding ourselves in April without a hitch. I might need schooling and you might need cooling, but we ain't fooling nobody with these references, so let's take a look at what's on tap for our scene this week.

Friday gets us into a large range of music from early evening performances by the Sam Crain Trio (I bet Sam brings his new guitar!) at Boones for Friday Night Jazz & Blues and the Samba Llamas playing sambas at Pease's at BUNN Gourmet all the way to The Collective killing it at Long Bridge and Off the Wall taking it to the streets at Weebles.

It's interesting to me, after casually calling those first two shows "early evening" performances, (they start at 5:30 and 5, respectively) that almost every other gig on Friday starts at either 6 or 7. Most of those go on until 9 and a few shows are from 8 to 11, but for those of us of a certain age, it's easy to recall when most live music didn't begin until 9 and went to midnight or finished up after the bar closed at 1 a.m. as we were herded out the door by 1:30 to go look for more music somewhere until 3 a.m.. But I digress, as they say. Just be sure to look at the listings for all the varied live shows available on Friday night allowing you the opportunity to still be home in time for the 10 p.m. news with lights out by 11.

In the something different category, check out Sunshine 66: A Hotel Music Fest, held this Friday and Saturday at the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center on South Sixth Street. There's a slew of cool bands including Sunshine Daydream, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Jay Larson Band, Positively 4th Street and Square of the Roots, plus craft vendors set up so you can stay on the premises in the hotel, while enjoying all the music on two stages and the other stuff there to enjoy, too. You'll find the info for tickets and a full schedule on the event Facebook page.

Petersburg appears to be the happening place this weekend with a kick off on Saturday, April Fool's Day night, at Broadgauge for a look at and a listen to Rhodes & Battles Trio upstairs in the ballroom. A little birdie told me they have some new originals to debut in preparation for an upcoming EP release later this year. Then on Sunday, from 10 in morning until 8 in the evening, the downtown area explodes with local music makers playing in different venues at staggered times, doing what the folks there are calling Sunday Songs on the Square. For specific schedules of participating people and places, see the event Facebook page.

We can wrap up our romp with a reminder of the Fireside Relics CD release party at Danenbergers on Sunday starting at 4:30 p.m. "50/50 Vol. 1," the Relics' third album, is dedicated to the late Camron Yates, who worked very closely with the band over the last few years to craft the sounds and the soul of the record. The dedication comes with the "hope it serves as a celebration of his artistic ability and love of music" as put by bandmates Nick Park,

Kristi Lecocq, Aaron Davis, Jon Harvel and Rick Snow. Greg Patterson plays a middle set as the rocking quintet comes out with some spectacular songs played right and true. Get yourself a copy of the CD and play it.

That's all for now, and I'm not foolin' around.

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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