Welcome all to the Ides of October and beyond. We have a few lingering festivals, plenty of diverse performers and a bushel basket full of local regulars playing the scene.
By now the Cubs/Cards first-ever postseason series is over. Why mention that in a column about music? It’s for all the poor musician souls (myself included) that spent a couple of gigs last weekend trying to end songs the very second a key strikeout or hit happened. That way, as the audience (glued to the TVs) whooped and hollered for the play, it was possible to take credit for applause not intended for the performer. All in all it wasn’t too bad, but modern taverns create a competition between stage entertainment and what’s on the tube. It’s just another distraction for bar-playing, journeyman musicians and their audience.
In the meantime, here are a few interesting, end-of-the-season outdoor festivals to attract you away from the powerful pull of electronic media, all happening on Saturday. Over at Black Sheep Cafe, those crazy kids (I mean that with all due respect) host something called Pumpkin Slack with bands Blind Social, Flamingo, The Avant National Guard and Black Ops Agency playing on the hour starting at 7 p.m. Outside, folks of all ages can join in a pumpkin carving/painting/decorating contest with the winner receiving a mystery prize. Just remember, it’s a BYOP (yes, bring your own pumpkin) event.
Our new friends at the West of Wise Winery on Route 97 on this side of New Salem bring you the first ever Foddershock Festival, complete with wine, beer, food and music. The fall party goes from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., with music by yours truly from 2 to 4, while 13-year old Petersburg resident, singer-songwriter-guitarist Emily Hough takes the 4 to 6 slot. Out on Lake Springfield at the Lake Press Club the public is invited to an Oktoberfest celebration from 5 to midnight with plenty of craft beers, talks about beer from the local Breweriana Club, German food (advertised as fantastic, so it will be) and music by the band Rewind.
In town at the bars Reggie Britton and Robert Sampson team up for a dynamic duo Thursday at the James Armstrong Presents concert series at the Alamo. The music goes from 6 to 9 with food (hooray for burritos!) available at this very cool, early show from area blues masters. On Friday, join the jaded for a double bill of psycho surf and rowdy rockabilly with Springfield’s very own masked musical marauders Go! Tsunami and those proudly self-proclaimed Bible Belt Sinners from St. Louis at Bar None on Friday. The party palace becomes complete with a set from the hip and happening Jukebox Casanova. On Saturday, our newest, mostly original jam band of extraordinary talent, Governor Street, takes to the Brewhaus stage starting at 10 p.m.
On Saturday, our classical guitar playing treasure Russel Brazzel dazzles the frets at the debut of the 2015-16 Springfield Classical Guitar Society concert series. Mr. Brazzel, co-founder and musical director of the society, uses his international connections within the classical guitar community to host many of the top names in the field during the season. The concerts begin at 8 p.m., and tickets are available at the door of this year’s new venue, Grace Lutheran Church.
Then there’s this guy named Leon Russell playing at Boondocks on Sunday. Yep, one of the absolute greats of modern music (Willie gives him high praise) hits the stage after Riley Etheridge, Jr., opens the show around 8:30.
If that’s not enough to do, there’s plenty more in our calendar listings.
Contact Tom Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.