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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 04:10 pm

Thanks for Thanksgiving Eve

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Leaving Ashland plays at Guitars and Cadillacs Nov. 21, 8:30pm, and Frankie’s 49er Nov. 23, 9pm.

As reported in this column for the past several years, for those of you who care, the night before Thanksgiving is known as the biggest party of the calendar year for the live music/bar scene. Even lacking a proper name like St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve – the other big participants in the party competition – this Wednesday night phenom has surpassed all comers in partying capital and major whoop-it-up-ed-ness.

It’s not hard to see the reasoning when you figure lots of people have Thanksgiving off work and many folks have Friday off as well. This leads into the normal non-working weekend, making the Wednesday night in question a good time to stay up late partaking in libations by the bellyful and music by the earfuls with ostensibly a four-day recuperation period on the books. When you factor in the fact that, other than those blessed souls spending all day Wednesday and Thursday preparing, serving and cleaning, the rest of us lucky ducks do nothing on Thursday but wait around to eat and then take a nap, it’s easy to comprehend that we’ve invented the finest recipe ever concocted for the day after a night on the town. Therefore, you can plainly see why, in partying places all over America, this night preceding the Thanksgiving-holiday weekend earns a special place as the biggest get-out-and-gander night of the year.

Springfield is often a few years behind the national curve on certain political, social and fashion issues, but the city is up to snuff on this big party night. One look at the online or print Pub Crawl listings for Wednesday night and the conclusion is obvious. Just remember as silly as it may seem that we argue over music festival closing times, where city workers live, leaf removal and numerous other seemingly common-sense topics, folks in this town agree on partying hard on the night before Thanksgiving. I hardly know where to begin so I’m just going to jump right in and hope I get out without getting gobbled up.

Donnie’s Homespun is coming on strong with bands booked all the time, including Hey Brother, featuring Micah Walk and Dave Littrell, along with Joshua Catalano and the Dirty Thoughts on Thanksgiving Eve. Erik Lyons plays an acoustic show at Brookhills Clubhouse on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 and Hipbone Sam Band does the Blue Grouch starting at 8 p.m. KFD takes over Frankie’s 49er for a wild night before Thanksgiving and Leaving Ashland plays the hot country hits at Guitars and Cadillacs Saloon. Mike Burnett and the Blue Suns rise at the Crows Mill Pub, while Murder of Crowes flies into the Butternut Hut beer garden, Perfunctory This Band plays Grateful Dead at JW’s Lounge and Two Trick Pony rides into Bar None.

We aren’t even close to being done yet. Do you believe me now? Even outside of Springfield the show goes on. Seeing Daylight peeks into the Boar’s Nest in Athens as Novacaine numbs the crowd at Mama Lee’s Sandbar on Mechanicsburg Road and Still Kick’n rocks the country out of Double D’s in Edinburg. The mighty Texas Trucker Speed Fiends roll into Conrad’s in Riverton, Ultraviolet shines at Locals in Pawnee, Velveeta Revolver shoots into Sonny’s in Taylorville and Soul Kitchen cleans up at Kuhl Tyme Korner in Jacksonville.

On top of all that, the regular open mics and karaoke nights get a boost from the extra traffic as well. Then, thankfully, after a day of rest on Thanksgiving, Black Friday hits hard, with bands playing all over everywhere, all over again.

So sign up and get ready, Thanksgiving Eve is here to stay and party.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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