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Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 04:01 pm

Feeling like fall


Hipbone Sam Band rocks the pavement in front of Recycled Records, Sat. Sept. 22, 1-3 p.m., during the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival.

First I’d like to thank the folks at Penny Lane and all who helped organize the 18th annual Jerry Garcia Tribute at Douglas Park last Sunday. The Raouligans and I were honored to play along with Dennis Maberry’s Rhythm Spirit and Perfunctory This Band. For me, it was a great way to pay back Penny Lane for being around during my teenage years when no one else in town was selling black light posters and other stuff. How could one possibly ever repay a debt like that? I’m sending out a personal thanks to Tracy (happy birthday Kenzie) for the special framed photograph of Raoul, hand-delivered to the stage. What a gift! That’s just the kind of day it was. As they say in the Penny Lane world, “Aw man, that’s beautiful.”

Every year it seems someone is not happy with the Best of Springfield category selections available (let alone the final tallies), and I get to hear all about the grievances, especially in the music-related sections. It should go without saying – but things that should go without saying usually need to be said – the good folks at IT try to mix up the selections and keep things fresh, balancing categories with common sense and public purpose. All that said, please have fun with the entire thing as it was meant to be and play in good faith, with liberty and justice for all, amen.

This weekend downtown converts into a hot rod happening filled with live music and doings to celebrate the passing of Route 66 through Springfield, including a car cruise, burnout competition (no connection to Penny Lane admirers) and a Family Fun Zone. I thought festival bands performed on various stages around downtown like in years past, but all the music is concentrated at Sixth and Washington on the Hot Rod Stage, except for a showing by Hipbone Sam Band in front of Recycled Records on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. I would sure like to see this 11th annual festival grow and the possibility is there, especially with the international interest in all things 66 and the lack of an encompassing downtown live music event with several bands on different stages, a la Lincolnfest and the Decatur Celebration. With Fred Puglia founding and fully behind this event (and ditto on the other two festivals), I’m sure the show will continue to grow organically and with a natural expansion to fit the growth.

When talk of Route 66 surfaces, I think of our late friend, and frequent IT contributor, Tom Teague. His research on the famed highway came long before the current interest and helped create it. I keep a copy of his book, Searching for 66, near my nightstand and always find something of relevance within the pages. His dry wit and practical observances are sorely missed.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Clayville Folk Music Festival makes a triumphant return to the music scene. Twenty-five years ago the event last made an appearance and Dan Usherwood, current president of the Clayville association asked me to help bring it back. Long a dream of mine, I readily jumped in, and now we have a lineup in place including local stalwarts Micah Walk, Jeff Davidsmeyer and Ben Bedford, and traveling folkies Gloria Attoun from Augusta, Mo., Jason Eklund from Nashville, Tenn. and Chico Schwall from Eugene, Ore., plus many others. We’ll be folk-i-fying all day from noon to 10 p.m. enjoying the beautifully restored grounds at the historic site just a mile east of Pleasant Plains. Local artists will be displaying their wares with refreshments available and picnic areas for bringing your own goodies.

Enjoy all the fall feelings.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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