click to enlarge The Ex-Bombers drop in on the Buzz Bomb Brewing Company this Friday night.
The Ex-Bombers drop in on the Buzz Bomb Brewing Company this Friday night.

Bring it on home, folks, and let's get it going. There's much to do and talk about in our music scene. So let's have at it, shall we.

First, we have an announcement to make about a helpful and hopeful happening that concerns musicians and venues, and thereby, our community of music. A new deal called Back to the Music, a partnership of sorts between the Springfield Area Arts Council (they've been really busy lately!) and the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, pays musicians directly for playing gigs at a venue of their choice that fits the qualifications of the program. You heard me right, friends, this is a generous act set to help musicians who were hit hard by the pandemic shutdowns and to support the venues that were affected as well. All the details are available at the Arts Council website ( or call 217-753-3519 to find out more. Please use these resources as they are intended as we get "back to the music" by backing those who make the music and supporting places of performance. Thank you to all who got this going. As someone who makes a living mostly playing music, and for all who do so or play out at all, this is an extraordinary opportunity and one that is quite appreciated. We could say, our tip jars overfloweth and man, that is a good thing.

Fans of the local music scene have likely noticed a black and white, glossy item made of paper, full of photos and articles laying around cool shops and stores all over central Illinois during the last few years, and that thing would be Activator Magazine. Published in Springfield, the 'zine defines itself as a "collaboration of local writers and artists coming together to shine a light on central Illinois music and culture" and I could make no better of a description. This Saturday at Wild Rose (115 North Sixth St., next to Abe's Old Hat and across the street from Abe's new Presidential Library) check out an Art Auction Fundraiser to benefit Activator. From 4 to 8 p.m. you can hear live music by Cut Flowers, Drew Cagle and the Reputation, Jared White and Cee Jones, have a drink and hang with friends, purchase a raffle ticket and/or art objects, all while helping support an excellent and vital contribution to our music community. Activator also has a Patreon page if you'd like to help out that way too, but come on down in person and get activated yourself as well. You will like it.

Look no further or farther than our live music listings to see a whole bunch of super-duper things to do this weekend. Friday features Jay Larson Band at George Ranks, Ex-Bombers at Buzz Bomb, Risky Rooster Band at Blue Grouch, Silver Lake at the Curve, Jeff Loftus & Friends at Long Bridge and Angel Brown's Smooth 'n' Blue Band at Boone's for the second weekly Friday Night Jazz show.

Hold still for Saturday night with Brazil Cafe at Roots Latin Grill (sponsored by the aforementioned Back to the Music program, by the way), Tad Derek O'Brien at 3Sixteen (Chatham), After School Special at Walnut Street Winery (Rochester), me with the Raouligans at The Keg, Sequoia Drive at the Main Gate, Chickadee Sermon and more at Third Base, Almost Elton John and the Rocketmen at Danenbergers and Suburban Mystics at the Motorboat Club.

I couldn't list everything and didn't even make it to Sunday, so please check the listings yourself and prepare to be amazed at the diversity and variety of live music happening right here in our community.

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  • Tom Irwin

    @ Harvest Market Coffee Bar

    Sun., Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.