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Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 07:51 am

More moving music

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Rounder Records artist JD McPherson performs Friday night at the Old Capitol Blues

By the looks of the Springfield scene, the days of searching to find something to do may be over for good. This week is chock-full of exciting musical adventures sure to please the palate of many a music listener.

Let’s start with Thursday night as the Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield Area Arts Council, D’Arcy’s Pint and 104.5 WFMB combine forces to present a world famous Irish music group, The Brock McGuire Band. Fronted by two of Ireland’s most celebrated traditional musicians, Paul Brock (button-accordionist and melodeonist) and Manus McGuire (fiddle) worked for years to promote and perform the deep and lasting Irish music catalogue with the group Moving Cloud. Steeped in tradition and filled with creativity the Brock McGuire Band is the real deal. Their latest recording, Green Grass Blue Grass is a collaboration with country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, garnering acclaim by all reckonings as a masterpiece of the genre.

Once again, downtown is festival central. From talking around town the Old Capitol Blues & BBQs fest seems to be the most anticipated and enjoyed of our several events. It’s funny to think of how this odd music style known as the blues – originating in the Southern U.S. from the horrible conditions created by centuries of injustice through state sanctioned slavery inflicted upon the African-American people – has become one of the most popular music genres for playing and listening among the white middle class. It is really an amazing example of how cultures collide and coalesce in America, with music as a key factor in uniting disparate peoples together.

The music begins on Friday evening with all day entertainment on Saturday including family activities, the IBC blues competition, BBQ (of course) and loads of good bands. The lineup this year – as every year – is phenomenal, and with the addition of a household name the average music listener may be more inclined to attend. Maria Muldaur, known the world over as the gal singing the 70s pop hit, “Midnight at the Oasis.” spent a lifetime in music with that one song as merely a slight blip. Her forte for the last several years involves interpreting blues music with raucous dignity. This year with Hurricane Ruth and Brooke Thomas, a couple of very talented local acts leading the way, female singers rule the roster for Saturday night’s festivities.

My personal favorites are JD McPherson featuring the best on the bass with Jimmy Sutton on Friday night and Rockin’ Johnny Burgin on Saturday. No reason other than I like the blues styles both guys perform – gutsy and down to it with no frills or audience acrobatics; just guy and guitar having at it. In sidelights on Friday night, Reggie Britton as Mr. Black Magic Johnson plays Floyd’s, Bobby Ray Wilson with Blues Expression does Brookhills Golf Club and I’m with the Irwins and Floreths as fathers and sons join forces in the same band at the Tin Can Pub.

On Saturday the Tin Can Pub goes into festival mode with Can Fest from noon to midnight featuring new and established local music groups. Starting with Ted Keylon at noon, the all day fest features an act every hour on the hour with Josie Lowder, Chris Maxey, Hot Shot Sugar Force, Ghost Hollow Road, Grocery Store Ninjas, Black Queen and The Texas Trucker Speed Fiends. The fest is sponsored by the Access Four Producers Group and plans on screening, “So You Want to Do a Television Show?” at 10 p.m. Welcome to the wonderful world of music festivals, TCP. Have fun with it.

Enjoy the week’s festivities and the pleasant weather. Think it’ll rain?

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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