click to enlarge Ben Bedford plays 3Sixteen Wine Bar in Chatham on Sunday, April 22, from 4-7pm. - PHOTO BY KARI BEDFORD
Photo by Kari Bedford
Ben Bedford plays 3Sixteen Wine Bar in Chatham on Sunday, April 22, from 4-7pm.

Readers of this column know we spend a good deal of our time listening to live music inside the bars, but rest assured, my friends, many other venues host live music on a regular basis. From churches to historical sites and theaters to parks, the music rolls on all around us.

This marks the last weekend of Sacred Heart-Griffin’s performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie, presented in the Dominican Theatre on the school’s East Campus. Directed by Morgan Kaplan and Zoey Zara with Damien Kaplan as musical director, you know dang well that this will be a top-notch production. Damien, a well-respected musician, known around town for his drumming and piano work, is in his first year at SHG as director of the music department. In a lovely side story, he and Morgan (Fishburn) met during a production of Les Miserables at SHG 15 years ago, and she says, “We have been together ever since.” Now, wouldn’t that story make for a charming musical?

On Friday night the Dana-Thomas House opens up for B.J. Pearce to perform an EP release show for I Wish You Weren’t Alone by his solo project titled Pretend I’m Not There. These songs, produced at Southtown Sound Studios, showcase B.J. all by his lucky lonesome. The concert starts promptly at 7 p.m. and also features Brandon Carnes and Kate Laine. Purchase your tickets (no door sales) at and come experience how the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house is live-music friendly, all while supporting a local, working singer-songwriter in action.

On Saturday afternoon from 1 to 5 p.m., the 26th Annual Earth Awareness Fair, sponsored by the city and organized by Community Programs Coordinator Adena Rivas, happens outside on the grounds of the Old State Capitol. This rain-or-shine event includes all kinds of nature presentations and children’s activities, as well as more than 40 related exhibitors. It’s a very family-friendly event with a beer and wine area, plus live music on two stages, so there’s a lot to be said for the coolness of this happening. In full disclosure, I’m honored to be playing the acoustic stage (Theresa O’Hare joins me) along with Dave Tell, Peaches & Bacon and Alec James on the south side of the Old State Capitol. The band stage, located on the north side of the plaza, features The Good Companions, After Image and The Loops. I hear they’ve requested a boatload of sunshine (no snow, no rain, no wind) for the event’s time slot, so we should be good to go.

On Sunday evening our resident folk singer-songwriter Ben Bedford plays at 3Sixteen Wine Bar in Chatham from 4 to 7. This would be a good time to congratulate BB on his recent selection as a “Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition for Emerging Songwriters” finalist at the famed Kerrville Music Festival in the Hill Country near Austin, Texas. One of 32 national finalists, this is one of the most prestigious honors in folk music today. After the finalists perform during the festival in May, judges choose six winners to bear the “New Folk” banner. Artists who have appeared as finalists include folks such as John Gorka, Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Anne Feeney and James McMurtry.

Also on Sunday The Curve Inn hosts a benefit concert for Dana Homer (damn cancer) featuring “the” Dr. Disco as your honorable emcee with live music by Harmony Deep, The Loops and Big Daddy Jasper. Your $10 ticket will add to the kitty and help out Dana a whole bunch, so please make the effort to do good for a good cause.

See you on the flip flop.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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