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Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:01 am

Springtime is a-coming

The Blue Gs and The Station perform at Donnie’s Homespun on Friday night at the Acoustic Power Outage show.


Whether the weather acts like it or not, spring is officially here. At this point, even calling the season “spring,” however the weather, is a relief, if not an actual respite. Fortunately, there’s plenty of good music to get us through whatever is to come.

With the lovely morning and afternoon weather last Saturday, the Saint Patrick’s Day parade was a smashing success. By the looks of the sidewalks and byways by 4 p.m., there was a great deal of smashed successes having an inebriated time celebrating certain Celtic traditions. By all accounts, most bars and vendors had record sales, music shows were well attended and crowd participation was high and all was good until the cold came in the evening.

I noticed two Gumbys this year (actual people wearing full-body Gumby outfits), so I am assuming, or at least wondering if, there were more. Yes, the Art Clokey creation and “claymation” hero of yesteryear was seen wandering the streets of Springfield last weekend and one even ended up on stage at Marly’s with The Emerald Underground, dancing to an ancient, updated Irish jig. The only connection to St. Patty’s Day I can reasonably figure is that Gumby is as green as it gets and green gets all around on the day of the Irish.

Friday’s heating up as a too-much-to-see day with several shows of note. At Donnie’s Homespun, the Blue Gs and The Station combine forces for a show they’re calling “Acoustic Power Outage.” The Blue Gs, unloading some 14 new songs in preparation for an upcoming recording later in the year, play two sets (8 to 9:15 and 9:45 to 11). The Station, in a very rare, all acoustic performance, bring on a batch of new tunes and reworked gems in a blistering, no amp set from 11:30 to 1 a.m. Over at Black Sheep Cafe, the lineup of HoneySuck, The Seething Coast, The Half Truths, The Luzhin Defense and Epsom is undeniable and unbelievable. It’s too much to even talk about, let alone comprehend, so just check it out on your own. Bar None weighs in, and heavily so, with a killer Friday line up as well, featuring The Timmys, Soy City Stranglers and My God the Heat (ex-Goodyear Pimps) in a downtown extravaganza of happening, hell-raising, goings-on from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

On Saturday night, Stoney LaRue, one of the driving forces behind the Oklahoma-based country, roots-rock music called “Red Dirt,” digs into Boondocks, while Jake’s Leg, one of the Midwest’s longest running and most popular Grateful Dead tribute bands, rolls into Donnie’s Homespun.

If you have a hankering to head out-of-town on Saturday to see some Springfield favorites, try running into Harmony Deep at the Boar’s Nest in Athens, Zack Fedor and the Back Seat Drivers at Kuhl Tyme Korner in Jacksonville, Ultraviolet at Timbuktu’s in Decatur or The Kitchens at the Hangout in Pana.

On Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 9 p.m., The Pharmacy hosts Thunder & Lightning: A Spring Equinox Celebration of Music and Visual Arts. Organized by local musicians and artists including Casey Cantrall (bass), Cameron Franklin (percussion), Ben S. Jacob (percussion, sitar, violin), David Lee (percussion) and Dan LoGrasso (video artist), the group will “feature music and video art evoking the change of seasons through depictions of the elements in motion” and that sounds super-duper and well-balanced to me.

Next weekend on Saturday, March 29, Ben Bedford, graced by his lovely wife and companion Kari, plays the Paris-Belle House Concert series in a much too rare, listening room show by our nationally renowned (and internationally, too) folk, singer-songwriter from Springfield. Send an email to paris-belleconcerts@outlook.com for more information.

Happy Equinox-ing.  

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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