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Thursday, July 15, 2004 01:27 am

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Rise and shine, fellow music lovers: The time is here to share another week of music and mirth, drinks and dance, and good times with the world at large.

Get yourself out to Mariah's as Harry O (the artist formerly known as Harry Nino) and Oysters Rockefeller entertain the folks from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. every Thursday evening. Harry has fronted Oysters for several years as they have traversed the Midwest playing many top blues clubs and major festivals. They specialize in Chicago-style blues with a jazzy twist and always put on a captivating show.

Erika Luckett, a world class singer and songwriter and fabulous acoustic guitarist, returns to town as a guest of Nightsounds Live this Friday at Robbie's after the regular Uptown Friday Night show. The music series, coordinated by Dave Leonatti, music buff and host of "Nightsounds," a Sunday night music program on WUIS, has featured some of today's top-performing songwriters. An amazing performer, Luckett has just finished her latest recording and plans on a fall release, just about the time The Californians, her movie debut, will hit the streets. Catch her now or face the consequences.

Roll up your sleeves and party down for liberty, justice, and freedom for all at the annual Freedom Fest hosted by American Legion Post 32 during the Legion's state convention. The three-day event features the last stand for a great local band, One Night Stand on Thursday and Cook-n-Karaoke on Friday. Angie Martin and Still Kick'n headline the outdoor celebration on Saturday in the Post's parking lot.

There's a contest in town that all you karaoke kings and queens should know about. It's the "Nashville North and Radio Direct 2004 Talent Search" and everyone is invited. Breaktime, the bar at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, hosts the competition for the next four Wednesdays. The winner from each night will advance to Nashville North and compete against other karaoke conquerors from central Illinois for the big prize. Good luck, and may your discs not skip.

Greg Fundis, fantastic drummer and former Springfieldite, brings his cool-sounding, acoustic-leaning, jam band to Viele's Planet this Friday. 56 Hope Road hits the road in the fall to support their new CD and to take the world by storm from a stage and out of a van. On the road again. . .

Eric Welch, local singer-songwriter and bandleader, has been knocking around the Springfield bars for a few years, hitting open mics and parties, and working up the sound and songs coming out of him. Recently he formed a group the Disputes, who have honed their chops at Ollie's every Monday while hosting an open stage night. After a successful run, the guys have moved downtown to Floyd's Thirst Parlor bringing along Your M.O.M. - that's Your Monday Open Mic for the uninformed -- with them. The freewheeling open mic features jokesters, songwriters, bands, and some things yet to be named making it a most interesting and entertaining night on the town. Come on down to watch, participate, or simply gaze in amazement at the pile of talent flooding into Floyd's.

Okay. It's time for sleepy eyes to take a nap and rest up for all the upcoming excitement.

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