click to enlarge The Tangents, Tiffany Riech and Casey Cantrall, are making music this Valentine's Day weekend.
The Tangents, Tiffany Riech and Casey Cantrall, are making music this Valentine's Day weekend.

Bonjour, my music friends, and welcome to the year when Mardi Gras nearly coincides with Valentine's Day. We are celebrating in a somewhat different fashion in 2021, but things are looking up. There is hope at the end of the tunnel, as a friend prone to beautifully mixing metaphors said the other day. Even with some loosening up happening in the live music world both in town and around the world, restrictions are still in place at most Mardi Gras celebrations.

The info page at clearly states that the worldwide-recognized home of the big party will not be having parades or street celebrations in 2021. In Soulard, the Saint Louis neighborhood that hosts the next best Mardi Gras gathering in the country, the hoopla is on hiatus as well. On the site, there's a specific section just for rumors, and it states that even though Facebook pages are out there touting events for the masses, it is not happening. The most telling and slightly humorous rumor says some nefarious folks indicated there will be portable toilets — the Johnny on the Spots and Porta-Potties we've grown to know, need and if not exactly love —- put out for public use. But the rumor guards say, nay, there will be no such thing. If the absence of these most valuable tools of public participation in keeping things decent and clean doesn't tell you all you need to know about municipal involvement in this event, I don't know what would.

We do have a Mardi Gras party happening in town, featuring our very own Mary Jo Curry and her fabulous band at the Curve Inn on Tuesday, Feb. 16. This would be a good place to again congratulate MJC and the guys for recently receiving the Sean Costello Rising Star award from Blues Blast magazine and for spending a good amount of time on various well-known blues radio charts last year as well. Now go enjoy a fun and safe Fat Tuesday, remembering that the reason the Tuesday is called Fat is because the Wednesday after is called Ash, and that's the beginning of the Lenten season.

Looking forward to next year, because that's what we do a lot these days, Mardi Gras shows up a little later, landing on March 1, 2022. I hope to see you then, in beads galore, with your King Cake, a dish of crawfish etouffee and Hurricanes in a glass, plus sporting a different type of mask than the ones of 2020 fashion.

Now moving backwards in time to the Valentine's Day portion of our show, we know that Sunday, Feb. 14, is officially the day for lovers. If you want live music in your love life, how about hanging out with a happy couple of music-makers making music together. The Tangents, Tiffany Riech and Casey Cantrall, play all kinds of cool songs and sing them wonderfully well while emanating a beautiful stage chemistry that comes from a true relationship based on love and respect. They've got lots of gigs coming up this spring and summer, with this lover's weekend especially packed, including evening shows at Golden Fox Brewery in Decatur on Friday and the Boars Nest by Athens on Saturday, plus finishing up on Valentine's Day proper with an afternoon gig at Hill Prairie Winery near Oakford.

That should warm up your heart, and maybe other parts of your body too, on this upcoming, bitterly cold weekend set aside for those in love. Enjoy safe and sound celebrations, keep warm enough and see you next week.

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