You can "Be My Valentine" or you could "Be Your Own Valentine," but however you decide to spend your love light, energy goulash for the Saint Valentine Day celebration, please consider doing so with a healthy dose of live music.
It's the second Thursday of the month, and of course that means a "Music at the Museum" concert. February's delight, as booked by series producer Chris Vallillo, is the Nathan Taylor Trio, a hot acoustic threesome doing sparkling versions of classic roots songs, Delta blues, early New Orleans jazz and Nathan Taylor originals. It could be a challenge to stay in your seat while listening to the trio's rhythmic explosions happening before your very ears, but the good news is, you don't have to, as dancing to your heart's delight in the friendly confines of the Illinois State Museum's lower level auditorium is perfectly acceptable behavior. Thursday stays on a roll when Chicago-based singer-songwriter Phillip-Michael Scales plays Buzz Bomb. It just so happens that P-MS, a nephew of the late, great bluesman BB King, was nine years old when he worked nightly on stage with Donny Osmond in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Along with his current work as a progressive performer based in the blues, he's arguably best known for his 2018 single, "Lover, Let Me Be." Check out Band Spotlight for another unusual, but interesting, Thursday show when classical guitarist, composer and arranger Tad Derek O'Brien performs at 3 Sixteen in Chatham.
Friday looks to be very cool, as in bone-chilling cold, for a Valentine's Day evening. Let's see if some sultry, scorching music can heat up the night for you. If you're looking for food and music for a well-matched night out, try Liz Fitz serving up classic tunes at Robbie's (5:30 p.m.), Rickey Meredith swinging it at the Springfield Carriage Company (6 p.m.), Ella Gibson singing sweetly at Frankie's Brewhaus (6:30 p.m.) followed by Nashvillian Bailee Rainwater (8 p.m.), Kenny Humble sax-ing away at Anchors Away (8 p.m.), Suburban Mystics gliding into Lime Street (8 p.m.) Antics jostling around at Dew Chilli and/or Gracia Harrison hitting it at Motorheads (7 p.m.). Duos doing it acoustically include Casey Cantrall & Tricia Giacomini heating up Brookhills (7 p.m.), the Kitchens settling in at Coni's (7 p.m.) and Tom & Geoff carrying on at Craft Beer Bar (7 p.m.). If you want a band to light up your life, Mary Jo Curry rattles Long Bridge (7 p.m.), 3's Company crowds Crows Mill Pub (8 p.m.), Ultraviolet rocks on at Shepp's (9 p.m. in New Berlin), Dan Rivero rolls it over at the Trading Post (8 p.m.), the Hoedads hop it up at Stockyards VFW (7:30 p.m.) and Baaad Boyzz Band try to behave at Capitol City Elks (8 p.m.) for a special Valentine's party. We take the night at George Ranks to celebrate my five-year anniversary of playing (almost ) every Friday with a big-time frolic including plenty of guests, musical and otherwise, plus cake (8 p.m.).
We have plenty of bands, acts, duos and combos playing in bars, clubs and restaurants all over town on Saturday night, all conveniently listed in our Live Music section of Illinois Times, available in print and on our newly minted website. Something a bit special for those of us so inclined could be a trip to the UIS Performing Arts Center to experience the Illinois Symphony Orchestra at the Sangamon Auditorium. Music director Ken Lam presents "Love Notes," featuring Steinway artist Sandra Wright Shen on the mighty grand piano performing Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto and the ISO laying low on the ever-romantic pieces, Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and Strauss' "Don Juan."
A happy, lovely and warm St. Valentine's Day to all.