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Thursday, July 22, 2004 07:07 am

Now playing 7-22-04

art1246
Filthy Johanson Wildlife Sports Bar. Friday, 8pm.

Hey you! Gently place your shoulder against that rock you've been hiding under and give it a shove. We're out here having fun and would like you to join us.

Springfield favorites The Blazers return for a Thursday night visit to the Underground City Tavern. The "other group from East LA" is often likened to Los Lobos just because they both play rock & roll and traditional Mexican music and instruments. Skip Edwards, keyboard player with Dwight Yoakum, joins them as they tour in support of 17 Jewels, their latest release on Pete Anderson's Little Dog Records.

It's a jam band extravaganza of sorts in the big and tall Hiltonian this Friday. Grooving the top in Jazz Central Station is the Ethan Keller Band, a jazz-funk-hip-hop-rock hybrid group from Milwaukee. Once known as Greenscene winners of the 2001 Jim Beam Unsigned Band Contest, the boys from Beer City have traversed our great nation in a van, playing here, there, and everywhere -- and now have come to let you check 'em out. The Underground City Tavern counters with Captain Soularcat, a Rome, Ga., band unabashedly following in the Southern rock tradition as prescribed by Derek Trucks and Gov't Mule, and passed down by the Allman Brothers. With a standard rock & roll outfit of two guitars, bass, and drums, plus percussion player, they are going to jam themselves silly in blues-rock land. Now the real question: Will the cats from Georgia meet the greens from Wisconsin on the 15th floor and have it out? Or will the love of music fuse the North and the South together?

Like a balloon filling with air, the Taste of Downtown just keeps getting bigger each year. Now in its fifth year, the Springfield street festival is nearly a tradition. Four local bands will fill downtown with sound from noon to 10 p.m. as aromatic odors from various restaurants mix and mingle in the air. Hats off to Downtown Springfield Inc. and all who have worked to make the show go on. Enjoy!

Will we see you at Reierpalooza on Saturday at Dempsey's? Inspected by 12 supplies the music and if you come costumed for the toga party, a bed sheet becomes your outfit. Better check first to see what style of toga is required for the Romanesque soireé.

Do we dare to call it a Filthy Johanson weekend? What would your mother think? Who cares, bring her along. Follow the down and dirty rockers to the Wildlife Sports Bar on Friday, party 'til dawn, sleep all day, and roll off the couch in time to catch the Saturday night show at the Forty Niner Bye-Bye. Now that's living the life.

Here's some news from the Trout Lily Café, home of prized buttercake, award-winning coffee, and the best in Original Acoustic Music lunches. Thornhill pops in this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., as Tina leads the group through her wonderful original works, which I dare say sounds a sight better than church, at least for this week. David Berchtold, a Peoria finger picking guitarist takes over the Wednesday spot for a few weeks from the ever-popular Bill Furry.

Now that you're out from under that rock, don't go bury your head in the sand. Enjoy your newfound freedom and self wrought liberty.

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