click to enlarge May music overflows
W. Mark Akin performs a concert for the Springfield Classical Guitar Society this Saturday (8 p.m.) at Grace Lutheran Church downtown.

Hello friends, how are things? We have a problem this week in Now Playing land, and it's an excellent, if unfortunate in a way, one to consider. There is so much good stuff happening this weekend that decisions based on time and space must be made by you, the local music aficionado, on where and when to go see and hear the abundance of live music performances going on. Be sure to review our music listings in order to catch the full breadth of the situation at hand.

Before we get into any club/bar lineups, I'd like to mention shows peculiar to this weekend. Downtown will be hopping with art, music, crowds and – not to be a downer, but a realist – plenty of street work, so be careful and have fun as you visit the Old Capitol Art Fair and PrideFest. These two always cool and wonderful happenings bring us plenty of good local music talent to accompany the original concepts offered by event organizers.

The OCAF (logically set up around the Old State Capitol) gives us performances on the stage located on Fifth Street between Washington and Jefferson streets from 10:15 a.m. to after 4 p.m. on Saturday from Ella Gibson, Dave Littrell, Chris Camp & His Blues Ambassadors and Thornhill, while the Sunday shows run from 10 a.m. until after 3 p.m. with Ben Bedford, Joel Gragg & The Filaments, Fireside Relics and the Debbie Ross Band.

PrideFest takes place basically all day on Saturday (based at Capitol Avenue and Fifth Street) with the parade starting at 11:30 a.m. and the music entertainment lineup of Blue Ribbon Revival, JackAsh and The Shenanigans running from 12:30 p.m. until about 6, plus the Designer Landscapes Drag Show scheduled for 7:30. Ricki Marvel and Dumb Records will host a Pride Variety Show ($7 cover) starting at 6:30 with "wall-to-wall, all-killer-no-filler local LGBTQIA TALENT" and finishing up whenever it does over at the record store on Monroe.

Also downtown on Saturday (8 p.m.), we happily salute the return of the Springfield Classical Guitar Society concerts after a few years' absence, when St. Louis-based classical guitarist (imagine that!) W. Mark Akin plays at Grace Lutheran Church at the corner of Seventh Street and Capitol Avenue. That space has delightful acoustics, and W. Mark is an astounding musician known for his "dynamic on-stage presence and musicality," so do yourself a favor and drop in on this inspiring and enlightening performance.

For yet another item of interest, local hip, cool and very good indie-rock and more band, The Lovelorn, consisting of Keagan Cross (vocals, guitar), Richard Stone (guitar), Harrison Ketchum (bass) and John Peters (drums) release their second studio album, Witch House, everywhere in the world digitally on Friday. Recorded by Quincy Watson at FreQuincy Recording and mixed/produced by Cameron Mizell (RIAA Gold-Billboard Top 2 producer) at Chango Studios, the 10-song album will be released in physical CD form at a performance party scheduled for Friday, June 2, at George Ranks. Go for it, guys.

Let's just jump to Sunday since Friday and Saturday are so packed, I don't know where to begin. Recently, I got the hot news that your pal and mine, Bad Bill Robinson, is back on the prowl, this time with old friends Mississippi Leghound. The band, with Bad Bill on harmonica (and speaking), plus the always excellent Rick Hardin on guitar and vocals joining original MS Leghound members Craig Wood, "Country" Bruce Baise and Mark "Doc" Janus, is now called BulletProof and is shooting for a raucous good time at Brookhills Golf Club (3-6 p.m.).

Well, I hope that keeps you busy enough for now and until next week, take care.

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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