click to enlarge Tom Beverly and Geoff Ryan play Hill Prairie Winery this Saturday evening.
Tom Beverly and Geoff Ryan play Hill Prairie Winery this Saturday evening.
Look out folks, here comes the end of January in the new year of 2021, on the move and in the groove, ready to slide on from the past, pop through to the present and delve out into the future. And wouldn't you know it, there are actually live performances to speak of, talk about, discuss and present to you as choices. Of course, one choice may be to wait a while for the COVID factor to diminish, another perhaps is to jump right into going out, but either way, please be careful, stay safe and think about others.

It's wonderful to see one of our long-running institutions back on the scene, once again brandishing the torch for live comedy shows in Springfield, as Donnie B's Comedy bounces back with a weekend of live yuks. In year number 22 of bringing professional comics to town, Don Bassford has had his ups and downs in the business, but he sticks around because he's always believed in what he's doing. His original declaration of opening up a club over two decades ago because, "I was tired of driving to St. Louis to see comedians," still holds true after all the location changes, brushes with closings and incredible successes through the years. The club worked because Don developed relationships with touring comics on all levels, including John Morgan, the Ragin' Cajun, who has performed here nearly every year of the club's existence and is scheduled for three shows this weekend.

In a different spin, Donnie B's is a show on the go in 2021, with the VFW Post 755 on Old Jacksonville Road the host venue for this weekend and other spaces in the works for the rest of the season. We could all use some laughs right about now, so jump on Donnie B's website or Facebook page for ticket info. Be prepared for socially distanced seating and plan to wear your face covering while milling around. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable behavior to laugh through a mask and might even be a good idea.

For our live music mentions, I can happily say that we have some. The Curve Inn hosts After Sunset on Friday night and the timely titled Dr. Fauci and the Pandemics on Saturday with special guests The Grand Moff Band. According to owner Ami's Facebook post on Monday, reservations are no longer needed, but if you have a large party coming, please call ahead to check space availability.

There are officially four whole gigs this Saturday evening in our Live Music listings, and even though you can count them on one hand using only fingers, that's still a mighty good hand to be playing right now.

Along with the aforementioned Curve show, the others are all out of town, including the galloping good vibes of Tom Beverly and Geoff Ryan at Hill Prairie Winery near Oakford, the entertaining acoustic stylings of Jason McKenzie at the Boars Nest by Athens and Deja Voodoo doing what they do so well at Danenbergers out toward New Berlin.

Looking forward to Mardi Gras on Feb. 16, aka Fat Tuesday, I see a Mary Jo Curry performance in your fortunate future for the first fun holiday celebration of the new year.

Other than that, you can find all sorts of great music still being played online all the time as we slowly begin the process of re-introducing live music in a safe and sound format into the public arena. Before you know it, you'll be needing to decide on where to go to see who is playing and when. Hip hip, hooray.

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