Here we go heading into the merry month of May, busting headlong into music adventures at every turn.
First, let’s give shout outs to two guys in the local music scene making a splash in the well-received Blood Brothers musical that debuted last weekend at the Hoogland. Casey Cantrall, songwriter, guitarist and consistent performer around town portrays Mickey Johnstone while Albert Capati, lead singer in various bands through the years, plus a regular actor and singer in area theater productions, is the narrator. The show continues this weekend in the Hoogland’s Theatre Three.
In an interesting twist of venues, the acclaimed Tiny Desk Concerts, a national product of NPR Music, is now also a street festival hosted by NPR Illinois 91.9, this Friday at Sixth and Washington Street starting at 7 p.m. Through tough street reporting, we have confirmed that the Tiny Desk is in name only and the beer and food trucks, stage and setup, are all of regular sizes. The featured local artists, Jeff Williams, Looming, The Deep Hollow, Dexter Anodyne and Kate Laine are also indicating they’ll be there in their actual dimensions. But it’s very possible that Jeff Williams will arrive in his own dimension. Good luck, and what a great idea for a fest.
When Brian Reilly planned his after-wedding entertainment, the former manager of the Underground City Tavern and longtime local music performer and supporter only had to ask his friends. It just so happens those friends are celebrated area Americana acts and some are even in the nationally acclaimed band, the Bottle Rockets. Now in conjunction with Bedrock 66 (founder/organizer Sean Burns and Reilly have promoted several concerts together, including the Rooftops Roots Festival back in the day), the public can pay to attend the rest of the day’s festivities starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, right after the completion of the wedding ceremony. Acts include Patrick Hagerman, Wolf Crick Boys, Elvis Himselvis, Joshua Reilly, Wayward Motel and the Bottle Rockets. Happy holy matrimony, now that’s a party.
At the Curve Inn on Sunday, May 5, we mark the return of Guitar Town with the kick-off of the pick off at 2 p.m. Hosted by Mayor Mark (Estill), the event was originally started by Mark as a way to get local guitarists together who were always out gigging. This continues the legacy of showcasing a slice of the electric lead guitarists from our community in one spot in one afternoon. Joined by a backline band, each of the 13 invited guitar players (Casey Cantrall, Rick Hardin, Brett Seiber, Jeff Blanton, Brian Blanton, Tim Wallis, Bruce Baise, Dave Marr, Andon Davis, Tyler Landess, Tyler Armstrong, Dave Lumsden and Bill Evans) lets the riffs rip on a couple of selected songs. It’s so good to see Guitar Town rolling again. Can DrumFest be far behind?
Next Tuesday, May 7, George Rank’s celebrates the 200th Tuesday of the JB Open Jam. Originally started by the late John Brillhart, then continued after John’s untimely passing by co-host Geoff Ryan with a different guest host weekly, the event is one of the longest running open mic jams in town and is a true testament to the long arm of John Brillhart’s reach as a musician and music force in our little spot in the great big world. Kimberly and Jay Larson host the 200th Tuesday with commemorative T-shirts available for purchase and all are welcome, as always, to participate in either playing or listening, or both. Hey, John, what’s going on?
May the 4th be with you during this Cinco de Mayo weekend.