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Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 05:35 am

Downhome, BassBerg and UgStock


Psycho-surfers Go! Tsunami play at the Downhome Music, Beer and Art Festival on Saturday in downtown Springfield.

After sweltering and suffering through one of the hottest summers ever recorded a mere year ago, the lovely mountain-like weather of this past week seems like a dream world. And just right for a downtown music festival, wouldn’t you agree?

On track for year number three to be the biggest and the best ever, the Downhome Music, Beer and Art Festival parks itself on Seventh Street between Washington and Adams. One of only two area festivals with beer in its official title, DMBAF lives up to the moniker by offering 50 craft beers plus several tasty combinations of food and drink, along with lots of live music and family activities. The one-of-a-kind happening is also the only music festival that donates the entrance fees back to the bands, making it a pay-for-itself gig for the entertainers.

This year the festival morphed into a two-day event, starting on Friday night featuring several top-notch bands, and some that are about to be, playing all your favorites songs. On Saturday at 2 p.m., the original music kicks in with local jewels like Dooley and Owen Presents and Black Magic Johnson in the afternoon and crunch-time favorites NIL8 and Gypsy Collabo closing out the night. Up and down and all around the day you can hear everything from the ever present and ever brilliant The Station to recent Illinois Times cover band, The Seething Coast, plus those spirited rockers, The Timmys or the bluegrassy blend of the Blue G’s and many more. Masterminded by Joshua Catalano of Josh Catalano and the Dirty Thoughts (playing Saturday on the main stage at 6:30 p.m.) and Shane Turnage of the Celtic Mist Pub, the event is fully filled with the wonderful stuff that abounds wherever all that wonderful stuff is found. Check their Facebook page for a band schedule and other details.

On Sunday, BassBerg returns to Marly’s Pub from 2 to 6 p.m. promoting and praising our “friends in low places.” The game is the same as this event continues to support the low end with high honors, featuring many of the area’s finest bassists, including, in no particular order, Kevin Ellis, Keith Voegele, Jeff Cunningham, Bill McKenzie, Shane Osterholdt, Gary Davis, Geoff Ryan and the surprise debut of Springfield’s newest female bass player (hint: initials are JL). Most of the bassists perform with their respective groups, some play solo and everyone is getting down with the lowdown, letting the world know those bass players are the good glue and fine foundation that keeps a band in a groove. Admission is donation only, with all proceeds going to St. Jude’s Children Hospital. Be sure to join the raffle for the Peavy P-bass. Remember, bass is beautiful.

Dr. Ugs, a restaurant/bar/coffeeshop on the square in Virginia, Ill., is so well liked by musicians who play there, a bunch of them from Jacksonville decided to hold an event on Sunday, Aug. 4 to thank owners, Jessica and Adam Stock, for their support of live music. Christened UgStock by Jacksonville wit and virtuoso guitarist Paul Verticchio, the show runs from 2 to 7 with Pete Vredenberg setting up his Bose sound systems and a drum kit, so musicians can come and go as they please, playing whatever and hanging out all day. Come on out and support UgStock, for the Stocks at Dr. Ugs.

Head east this weekend, if you can, and check out all the terrific acts at the Decatur Celebration. They’ve incorporated a good deal of local talent this year in addition to a fine collection of national acts, especially some super tribute bands.

All right already, that’s enough for one week.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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