Tom Irwin and Michael "Supe" Granda play this Friday at George Ranks.
Tom Irwin and Michael "Supe" Granda play this Friday at George Ranks.

Rolling right on through the fall as we’re rocking your world, our music takes us to a bunch of fun stuff, as one might well imagine. Shall we see what?

Thursday evening delivers a couple of blues news extras as Johnny Burgin returns with a rockin’ blues show at Hand of Fate in Petersburg and our hometown hero, world traveling, songwriting blues guitarist James Armstrong visits the Curve Inn. Since Johnny was here last in late summer, our ubiquitous bluesman can recall several dates in Europe, his Delmark Records CD release in Chicago of Johnny Burgin Live and a jaunt in September that took this blues traveler through several Southern states. James, an equally busy blues ambassador toured the East Coast, West Coast and everywhere in between in 2019, headlining festivals in several locations. Too bad these two brilliant blues guys happen to play on the same night in the same area, but so it goes.

On Friday, let’s congratulate a first-time venue as Springfield Carriage House, a new restaurant in an old location, presents Ocean State Quartet from 6 to 8. The band features Mark Rusillo on vocals and harmonica, joined by extremely capable musicians Sam Crain (guitar), Ben Taylor (bass) and Lou Humphrey (percussion) playing samba, blues and jazz, while the space is in a house built in the 1840s near the Lincoln Home area on Edwards Street. We’re always happy to see new places for live music, and it’s always good to see a venerable building back in action.

Next we have the good fortune of welcoming the grand Michael “Supe” Granda back to Springfield as he joins me in a “Friday Night Frolic” at George Ranks from 8 to 11. Supe first connected with lots of us local musicians in this Springfield (as opposed to his longtime connection to the Springfield in Missouri as a founding member and bassist of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils) when OMD played a run at the Illinois State Fair sometime back in the late 80s. He has lived in Nashville for decades, writing songs, making records and playing out. Supe now does a musical character he calls Silly Grandpa, performing kid’s shows and going wherever his muse takes him. His wonderfully interesting book, It Shined: The Saga of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (2008), tells the life he lived garnering gold records while being in a world-famous band in the musically alive 1970s. Supe recently invited me to be a guest on his YouTube show, “Local King,” filmed in St. Louis and available online. That’s when I found out he was going to be in town this weekend and we set up the Friday gig. For an added bonus, Friends of WQNA radio will be at Ranks on Friday to collect donations for and share information on the upcoming incarnation of our community radio station.

Saturday brings us so much music that it’s nearly overwhelming, and that’s a good thing. Look for Paul Nelson doing his rocking blues at Third Base and The Ric Mari Band showing folks how it’s done at Guitars & Cadillacs. Then, The Guilty Boys are caught (again) being guilty of having a good time at Walnut Street Winery and Johnnie Owens & Friends make some beautiful music together “singing like butter” at Buzz Bomb Brewing Company.

Sunday, the Curve Inn continues a run of old-school groups as Heartsfield, featuring Springfield native and Chicago-based guitar hero Andon (Ted) Davis makes the soundstage of Ric Major come alive.

Always remember, there’s plenty more where that came from listed in our listings. 

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