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Thursday, July 19, 2012 04:15 am

Low end highs


Bill McKenzie, organizer of BassBurg, brandishing a bass at last year’s event. BassBurg 3 happens Sunday, July 22, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Marly’s Pub.

Several excellent goings on are going on this week and here are few of them. First a moment of silence, then a big hoot and holler, for Raoul Brotherman’s birth date on July 18. It’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate now and later, as the Round Mound of Sound always participated with lengthy rejoicing by calling July his birth month. Happy birthday old friend, and have one for the ditch.

Along with Guitartown and Drumfest, BassBurg is another local celebration of instruments and the musicians who play them. Obviously this one covers the low end of the sound spectrum or, as Bill McKenzie, organizer of the event, put it, “it’s time for BassBurg, that magical time when we honor the men and women who love ‘life in the low lane’ or ‘have friends in low places’ or ‘hit bottom and like it there’” and that’s Bill’s bottom line.

Once again Marly’s hosts the get-together of the bottom feeders as the third annual BassBurg features performances by “Chille” Bryant with the Debbie Ross Band, Jeff Cunningham with the Station, Brooke Thomas and friends, Josie Lowder, Rob Killam, Micah Walk and McKenzie, plus other musicians, along with a few surprises, this Sunday from 2 to 6. In a special tribute, the fabulous four-stringers honor Gene Haas, a lifelong local teacher, player, friend, mentor and string bassist extraordinaire. Expect heartfelt testimonials to Haas for his many years of dedication to music, and especially bass playing, in central Illinois. Jane Hartman accompanies Gene, as he has done for her for many years.

BassBurg supports the Friends and Fans of St. Jude, with Laura Richter and Mike Webb at the show to help collect funds for the charity group. How about a “low” five to all who help make this a great gathering and continue to put the work in each year to see it happen, including Bill McKenzie and event sponsors, The Rock Shop, Recycled Records and Troy Roark, musician, juggler and realtor at The Real Estate Group.

This Friday, Norb Andy’s features Travis Wesley, a terrifically talented jazz pianist who hails from Bloomington and frequented Remy’s during the jazz club’s run in Springfield. We hear great things about Wesley as a pianist and a person (thanks J.W.), as he works on a doctorate in jazz performance piano from the University of Illinois U-C. Travis performs at the venerable club with a drummer and bassist.

The Hudson Falcons, a very cool “working class rock and roll band” from New Jersey play the Tin Can Pub on Tuesday during a 10-day tour of the “Industrial Midwest” as they termed it. The band has been around awhile with a few personnel changes and does this tour with the 1998-99 original lineup of Alyson Cina on drums, Mark Linskey on vocals and guitar, Uncle Chris Lynn on guitar and vocals and Jim Meyer on bass. Recently I Hate People Records released Sleep, Drive, Rock ’n’ Roll, Repeat, a retrospective of the Hudson Falcons recording career of the last 12 years with a few unreleased tracks. The band just put out a new, 12-song CD called Dancing Underneath the Moonlight, available on their website or at the show. Local rocking go-getters the Legendary Clampetts and Ghost Hollow Road open for our newfound East Coast pals.

On Saturday, Salute to Springfield and Inked Entertainment present Metalfest, with Anew Revolution as the headliner and opening acts Grim and Manic. Anew Revolution, an alternative metal band originally from Austin, Texas, is the first of several nationally touring bands Salute and Inked intend to bring to the happening nightclub out on Peoria Road.

As Raoul would say, “Where’s your sense of adventure?”

Contact Tom Irwin at

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