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Thursday, June 6, 2013 04:29 pm

So goes SOHO so far


Check out the SOHO Music Fest, at Seventh and Adams, Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8.

Here it is the first of June already and time for another SOHO music fest and, for some reason or another, time for more controversy surrounding the charity-driven event. Regardless of the obstacles, from the early days of getting permits and establishing credentials, to last year’s misbegotten and seemingly random decision by the mayor, disclosed to the public only a few weeks before SOHO to close most downtown music festivals by 9:30 in the evening, the two-day, all-original, local, rock music show goes on for year number nine.

The surprise dilemma for 2013 concerned location. When the popular Old Capitol Civil War Medical Encampment event took over the longtime Washington Street SOHO home, organizer Eric Welch was forced to find a new block to host the two-day music extravaganza. After many interviews and deliberations the SOHO music festival relocated to Adams, between Sixth and Seventh streets, with the stage on the east end and the main entrance on the west, across from the Old State Capitol Plaza. With businesses regularly open on that street, most notably the venerable and classic Recycled Records, Eric and his corps of volunteers are working to make it all good, so SOHO can work the music magic it does so well.

In the meantime the bands play on, with nine groups performing on Friday from 4:30 to 11:30 and 15 groups on Saturday from noon to midnight. The music is nearly continual with the use of two stages to cut down on the time between acts and all the artists play mostly original material. More family friendly functions are around this year, plus food and drink concessions. The five dollar entry fee pays for the setup of the event, the bands donate their time and the proceeds benefit local charities, most prominently the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery.

In direct relation to all the excitement and people the SOHO shindig brings downtown, clubs up the live music ante and bands are playing all over the place. Most notably on Friday there’s the Henhouse Prowlers at Bar None, a new group of Springfield music veterans calling themselves After Sunset playing at the Alamo, Murder of Crowes and Deep Lunar Blue at Celtic Mist (China Ryder on Saturday), plus Bottle of Justus, Thomas Ian Nicholas and Joel Honey at Marly’s Pub.

As far as what’s come across my music radar, here are some other notable music happenings around town. On Thursday, Melvin Seals, longtime cohort of Jerry Garcia and one of the finest rock keyboardists ever, comes to Donnie’s Homespun with members of Cornmeal in the band Terrapin Flyer with opening act Solar Chariot, featuring the talent and vision of singer-songwriter-guitarist Nate Cozadd. Also on Thursday, Boondock’s launches a heavy hitter with chart-topping, award-winning, Texas natives, The Randy Rogers Band, with guest Wade Bowen. Play for the Cure, a benefit group connected to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure folks features the Hard Road Blues Band at Brookhills Golf Course lounge on Saturday, from 4 to 7.

To top everything off the Walnut Street Winery in Rochester features wonderful music this week with that darn good duo called The Old Fashioneds on Thursday, the ever effervescent Sarah Schnieder with the extremely exquisite Steinhauers on Friday and Dan Rivero Trio with the incomparable Wayne Carter on Saturday. Here’s a heads up for serious singer-songwriter fans as Indiana’s Bill Price, accompanied by the excellently out-there cellist Grover Parido, takes the winery stage on Friday, June 14.

Enjoy the wet-less weather for a bit and see some SOHO sights and sounds, plus other good stuff this fun-filled weekend. So long.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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