The sounds of music

Clay McClinton plays Blue Monday at the Alamo

Untitled Document All blues fans and alt-country lovers should report at 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, to the Alamo (115 N. Fifth St., 217-523-1455), where Clay McClinton will host the Illinois Central Blues Club Blue Monday jam. McClinton, son of legendary harmonica-playing bluesman Delbert McClinton, just released Son of a Gun, a Nashville-produced CD that finds the thirtysomething guitarist happily walking a tightrope between the blues and country. Citing influences more befitting a singer/songwriter than a bluesman, McClinton lists Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, and Rodney Crowell before naming any blues inspirations. McClinton’s tour has gigs booked nearly every day of the week now through March and continues on a relentless pace throughout the summer. The day after his Alamo performance, McClinton plays the world-famous Slippery Noodle, in Indianapolis, before looping back through Illinois on his way to Iowa, Colorado, Arizona, and on to his home state of Texas. Expect the Blue Monday show to exhibit a little more country influence than the standard electric-blues bar-band fare — but when Delbert McClinton is your father and mentor, how could the blues ever be far away? •  Nashville North, the venerable country-music theater in Taylorville, came under new management back on the first of February. Derrick Roy, a relatively young but experienced entertainer in the central-Illinois country music scene, has leased the business with plans to continue booking nationally known country touring acts while adding more gospel and bluegrass bands, using area talent whenever possible. On Saturday, Feb. 24, Nashville North welcomes popular recording artist Neal McCoy, purveyor of the modern-country classic “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On,” with opening act Feudin’ Hillbillys, featuring proprietor Roy as one of the performers. For tickets or more information, call 217-287-2103 or visit •  The Springfield Classical Guitar Society presents Sharon Wayne in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the First Presbyterian Church (321 S. Seventh St.; for tickets, call 217-726-8991). Wayne — a native of Southern California who now lives, performs, and teaches in the Boston area — concentrates on contemporary guitar pieces and is responsible for commissioning works from several modern composers. Take the opportunity to enjoy the meditative effects of the intensely beautiful music, outstanding acoustics, and a highly appreciative audience. •  And now for the rock & roll section of our show: Please welcome the Junior Varsity! The Victory Records artists perform in their native Springfield for the first time in more than two years. The all-ages show, set for 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at the Capital City Bar and Grill (3149 S. Dirksen Pkwy., 217-529-8580), costs $7 and includes exciting performances by dashing young groups The Graduate, Sullivan, and The Struggle Against Silence.
Contact Tom Irwin at

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