click to enlarge Southside Denny plays Mon., Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. at the Alamo.
Southside Denny plays Mon., Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. at the Alamo.

Here we are at Mardi Gras time already with much more included in a week full of fabulous times, fun happenings and February at its finest. Shall we partake?

Thursdays keep rolling on as a good night for live music and this week is no exception. Over at the Butternut Hut, Jeff Berendt (of The White Oak Staves and other things) kicks off the night at eight o'clock with some cool songs done right. Then comes a "quick-picking string band" called Grassfed that prides itself on taking a bluegrass-based, acoustic-stringed instrument foundation and weaving in an "eclectic array of influences" to create a sound of their own using original songs driven by "instrumental conversation" of incredibly entwined picking and playing.

Then over at the Curve Inn it's time for another Roots Music night with two of our finest personifications of honky-tonking, countrified, honest-to-goodness down-home music with Wolf Crick Boys and Blue Ribbon Revival. These fellers are friendly to each other, but don't get them arguing over Stag and Pabst Blue Ribbon, just keep it to the cool sounds of classic country done with with a homegrown twist of covers and originals to mix and match.

Friday signals the return to our Frolic at George Rank's of Springfield's longtime friend, as the one-and-only, Michael "Supe" Granda, comes to sing his songs, help us laugh and touch our hearts. Best known as the original (and only) bass player and as a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supe has done much more in his storied half-a-century and counting career in the music show business. He's had his songs cut by Chet Atkins and Billy Bremner, fronted Supe & the Sandwiches, wrote and published the book, It Shined: The Saga of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and transforms into Silly Grandpa, a kid's entertainer for all ages, at the drop of a hat. I am honored and happy to call him a friend and to join alongside him for a night of fun-filled songs this Friday night.

There's plenty going on the rest of the weekend as listed in our listings, but we are jumping straight ahead to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday night at the Alamo always brings a fine blues act, as booked and sponsored by the Illinois Central Blues Club, and this week we are blessed with a legendary, lifetime guitarist known as Southside Denny gracing the Alamo space. Originally from South Bend, Indiana, this blues rocker paid his blues dues playing all over and ended up in Chicago at Buddy Guy's Legends, worked with top names in the business for decades and traveled the world of the blues before settling in Montreal back in 2007. He's promoted by Springfield native Greg Pasenko and joined in a flurry of central Illinois gigs this weekend (see Denny's Facebook page for details) by hometown guitar hero David Lumsden and his band.

This week, Tuesday is known as Fat Tuesday, the day before the Mardi Gras (which literally means "Fat Tuesday") celebration concludes, and we can celebrate with Mary Jo Curry Band at the Curve Inn (see our Band Spotlight on MJCB and her Friday night CD release party), Nate Cozadd and Friends at Craft Beer Bar or Casey and JJ at George Ranks for the JB Open Mic night.

On Wednesday, celebrate the birthday of music great Johnny Cash with a tribute band called Johnny Trash and a Band Named Sue at Danenberger's Family Vineyards for, you guessed it, songs by Johnny Cash all night long.

Okey dokey, see you for Leap Year Day weekend, coming right up.

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