click to enlarge Mary and the Immaculate Rejections play a CD release show at Black Sheep Cafe on Sat., Nov. 14.
Mary and the Immaculate Rejections play a CD release show at Black Sheep Cafe on Sat., Nov. 14.
Mary and the Immaculate Rejections play a CD release show at Black Sheep Cafe on Sat., Nov. 14.

Ah, November comes and I feel the sadness and sorrow in my bones, even with these wonderful, extra sunny days. That normal slowing down of fall combined with the time change just knocked me for a loop. What better way to soothe the senses and fill the void of grief than a few merry tunes played with friends, or even a listen to the melancholy melodies that seem to take sadness and make it go away by increasing their levels until emotions reach the other side and happiness marches out to say hello, if only for awhile.

aWith several of my personal losses of family and friends in the first couple weeks of the second-to-last month of the year comes the remembrance of our buddy and friend Raoul Brotherman. The big man met his maker on Nov. 12, five years ago. Those of us who remember his smile, good nature and sweet guitar playing are blessed with those memories. Recently joined by his longtime playing pal Hose, they are hosting a fun-filled, open-mic gig somewhere in the universe to a degree we can only hope to imagine.

You can help make music happen in a big way in Jacksonville this summer as the town attempts to win a grant to host a music series. For more information and to vote for the cause, visit and look into Levitt AMP. Voting is now open and ends Nov. 30, so get on it and then we can talk more about going to see cool music next year. Thanks to Marina V for sharing this with me. Perhaps other towns (hint, hint) might look into this for another season.

Mary Lemanksi, a truly remarkable person from around here, now out and about playing the Chicago area, rolls into the Black Sheep Cafe Saturday for a CD release show. Mary brings along her musical mayhem partners drummer Andy Trello and bassist Harold Bertolis, poised as the Immaculate Rejections, to support the sounds of the new EP. Lemanski got her start in professional music playing the pipe organ at age 11. Over the last several years she’s won and placed in many different songwriting contests in various genres, played at some varied festivals and released a couple of full-length CDs. She now comes at the world with a hard-hitting, punk-like batch of songs that are as singable as they are menacing, combining a world-weary contemplation with an aggressive outlook to just plain set things straight. On Sunday, she performs a solo electric show at the Elbo Room in Chicago, to be broadcast on Mary makes things happen, and expect as much at the show. Take a listen to her music at the Immaculate Rejections web site: you will be glad you did and sorry if you didn’t.

While perusing the Pub Crawl, I noticed that the trend of couples making music reaches a nice climax this weekend. Lowder and Manning, known to many of us as Jaigh and Jill, play at It’s All About Wine on Saturday, and Jay and Kim Larson do a gig at Walnut Street Winery. We can add Mary Jo Curry and Mike Rapier to the couples’ category as well with the help of their bandmates in Tombstone Bullet, as they bring music back to the Corner Pub & Grill on Iles this Saturday. Theresa O’Hare and I play the Lincoln Land Community College Recital Series on Sunday at 4 p.m. to finish out the “couples” weekend of music making. If I left anyone out, please hit me with a frying pan.

Now I feel better about everything, just thinking of the music.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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