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Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 08:22 am

Fair and Un-fair 2


In Session, Springfield High School’s show choir performs Thursday, Aug. 15 at the Illinois State Fair Grandstand for Show Choir Night along with Sensations from Southeast High, Springfield Showstoppers and Inspired Legacy from Rich South High School. P

With the 2013 Illinois State Fair still in progress and plenty of hip and happening stuff going on around town, it’s time for the second installment of Now Playing: Fair and Un-Fair. I could expose you to the silly nonsense of using the word “fair” in various other contexts, but that wouldn’t be fair or should I say, that would be unfair. Either way, it’s fairly boring and not altogether worth a fair amount of time to do so, but I would stop for the proper fare, but that wouldn’t be ... right.

So let’s start with the Fair excitement. I’ve yet to attend, but I’ll be there all day on Thursday, playing with the Samba Llamas and The Emerald Underground from noon to 5 at the Ethnic Village. We’re hoping to mix some Brazilian beats with Irish jigs and see what’s shakin’ after that. Very likely there will body parts moving in odd ways, with the feet doing a jig and the pelvis a samba and the brain just dazed and confused in an intense cultural dilemma.

From all accounts the entertainment has been quite good this year with the beer tents adjusting to some changes in ownership due to the Coors-Miller libation conglomeration. It’s interesting to note how the global movements of corporate giants affect things like parking and bookings on our local fair level.

We often hear grumblings about the Grandstand lineup, but this year seems to nearly achieve universal appeasement. A new addition for 2013 is show choir night on Thursday featuring Springfield High School’s In Session (director Steven L. Robinson), Southeast’s Sensations (director Tiffany Williams), the Springfield Showstoppers (director Pam Cannon-Garcia) and Inspired Legacy (director Terry Hudson) from Rich South High near Chicago who won the Grand Championship in the Unisex division at the South Dearborn Invitational competition last March. According to Robinson the national attention on show choirs from “the Glee factor,” along with Ms. Williams good work, got the night booked. They’re hoping to see Show Choir Night at the fair develop into an annual event including more choirs and even a competition. On a personal note, my son John Irwin, an upcoming senior at SHS and founding member of In Session, performs his original composition, “Getting Free” with the group, including a choreographed dancing segment. John wrote, sang, mixed and programmed the song back in March and has it available on his website at Congratulations John and congratulations to all the show choirs performing. Here’s to many more years of dancing and singing on the Grandstand stage and elsewhere.
In the un-fair department, The Hooten Hallers, hailing from Columbia, Mo., hit the Tin Can Pub on Friday night. The hard rocking, guitar/drum duo claim that seeing them live “can be a life-changing experience” and “their shows are fun, fascinating and a little bit scary,” finally describing the sound as simply, “rock ’n’ roll and hillbilly soul.”

This week we bid a fond farewell to a young stalwart of the music scene as Chris Maxey literally heads for greener pastures next week by relocating to Dublin, Ireland to complete a master’s degree at Trinity College. Chris, an integral part of the rock and acoustic scene in Springfield for many years, hosted a Thursday acoustic showcase at Norb Andy’s for the last year and a half, our longest running Thursday night downtown show. Celebrate with Chris and friends at Norb’s this Thursday for his Dublin Edition final show and at Bar None on Sunday for a 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. blowout jam. Thanks Chris for all the good music and may the luck of the Irish be with you!
Fair thee well to one and all.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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