So here we go, busting off the rails through the final days of September 2022 into the beginning of October with a fun-filled, split weekend with plenty of live music to bring it all home. We can hop aboard the gig train (it's on time) for the weekend and catch a couple of cool acts with cool cats in them.

The Tangents, Tiffany Riech and Casey Cantrall, deliver their music sets with diverse song choices and right-on performances combined with a super audience interaction that likely stems from the two spending time in musical theater productions. And by the way, they're getting hitched, as the folks used to say, in late October and any pre-nuptial congratulations would be cordially accepted by the happy couple when you stop by BUNN Gourmet this Thursday evening to see them play.

Also on Thursday night (no one in this group is marrying each other as far as I know), Chris Camp & His Blues Ambassadors chug-a-lug into the Curve Inn for some smooth blues. I will take this moment to relate words from Mark Sanders, original HBA drummer and for Mr. Opporknockity too, who is and always will be an ambassador of good times and heartfelt feelings. Mark was in a terrible car accident this summer that nearly claimed his life, but he's fought back and recovered well enough to make a public appearance at a Rhodes and Battles Trio show a few weeks ago at Broadgauge. He said for me to tell everyone he's coming back to play and again be a part of our music scene, so I say, look out! Best to you, Mark, and we shall soon see you out and about and also back behind your drum kit, soon enough.

As we ride the rails and trails on to Friday, all aboard (if you can't get a board, get a plank) for the Friday Night Jazz music series hosted by our Springfield Area Arts Council and presented every week at Boones from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Guests this week are the one-and-only (I feel comfortable saying that with no hyperbole) End Times Trio. Featuring the talents of Frank Trompeter (saxes), Mark Schwartz (prepared guitar) and Richard Gilman-Opalsky (drums), this group is Springfield's only known foray into free, improvisational jazz with an outline and perceived plan. Perhaps I should explain, but maybe you should just come listen, it might be easier that way. Here's a descriptive hint from the threesome's Facebook page "About" section that says, "Improvised creative music, with textures from subtle pastoral beauty to blustery cacophony," and if that tickles your fancy, come take a ride you won't forget.

Saturday night delivers the final Summer Concert Series for 2022 at the Knob Hill Landscape Company headquarters, featuring two extremely talented and terrifically listenable singer-songwriters types, from, where else, but Texas. Jamie Lin Wilson and Ryan Culwell bring a sophisticated Americana style that is both thought-provoking and toe-tapping all at once. Every show at Knob Hill gives back to a local charity, plus uses a local catering crew, and this one gifts Land of Lincoln Pink Warriors with dinner done by Cured Catering all included in the price of your ticket. The music train leaves the station at 7:30 and you can find out more at the Knob Hill website.

And just in case you didn't know (I didn't until just now), some guy named Alice Cooper is at the BoS Center on Saturday night. Wow. That's way cool.

Until we meet again, ride easy. And say hello to October.

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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