Lots of good music coming this fall
As reliable as the leaves donning their brilliantine colors and that familiar chill exiling the once seemingly interminable humidity, music is once again in the air as autumn gets underway. This fall finds sounds of nearly every stripe making their way to the area, with a multitude of exciting concerts scheduled at local venues as well as throughout the region.
Sangamon Auditorium will host a concert by Grammy-nominated songstress Sarah Jarosz on Sept. 28; Ian Anderson, flautist and leader of British classic-rockers Jethro Tull, will be performing arrangements of his band’s music on Oct. 17; and virtuoso West African musician Bassekou Kouyate & his band Ngoni Blues will perform on Oct. 25.
The Hoogland Center for the Arts boasts concerts by Western music standard-bearers Riders In The Sky (Sept. 25), Deliverance and Beverly Hills Cop actor-turned-singer-songwriter Ronny Cox (Oct. 18) and the self-explanatory Yesterday – Beatles Tribute (Nov. 8). Visit www.hcfta.org for more information.
In years past, the excellent and reliable Bedrock 66 concert series could be found at the Hoogland, but it has a new home at Donnie’s Homespun. On Sept. 12 and 13, Bedrock will present the American Music Show featuring The Bottle Rockets, The Whistle Pigs, Big Storm, Owen & Dooley Present: and Wolf Crick Boys, among others. Also in the series, primitive Minnesota bluesman Charlie Parr is scheduled for Oct. 24. (The good folks at Bedrock 66 are also bringing back power-pop progenitors The Paul Collins Beat, this time at Bar None on Oct. 12 with openers Looming). Visit www.bedrock66.com for further information.
Other shows at Donnie’s this fall will include A Live One (Phish Tribute) Sept. 9; the return of rockabilly-infused madman the Reverend Horton Heat Sept. 10; rapper Afroman (“Because I Got High”) on Sept. 20; and the jam-tastic Cosby Sweater Nov. 14 (www.donnieshomespun.com).
When touring musicians look down their itineraries and see they will be playing Springfield, it isn’t hard to picture them saying something like “looks like we’re headed for the boondocks.” Now such sentiments become literal with this fall’s shows at Boondocks Pub slated to include Brother’s Osborne Sept. 6, Blackberry Smoke Sept. 19, Aaron Watson Sept. 26, Kentucky Headhunters Oct. 10, Frankie Ballard Oct. 18 and Charlie “Devil Went Down to Georgia” Daniels Nov. 8 www.boondockspub.com.
The punk-leaning independent music upstarts at Black Sheep Café have of late managed to put their charmingly ramshackle venue on the national touring map for a certain ilk of bands (a show in August featured an act from Barcelona, Spain). Along with their usual near-constant roster of up-and-coming locals, the fall schedule at Black Sheep includes Lumpy & the Dumpers from Belleville and Mongoloid from Oregon (both Sept. 5); Pittsburgh’s Secret Tombs on Sept. 18; and two somewhat misleadingly named Nevada bands, Twin Cities and Alaska, on Oct. 23 www.blacksheepspringfield.com/shows/black-sheep.
For those of a mind to head out on the open road in search of good music, regional venues offer a wide variety of options. The Highdive in Champaign will host venerable sludge-metal heroes Weedeater on Sept. 16 and Michigan headbangers The Black Dahlia Murder a few days later, Sept. 19. At the other end of the musical spectrum, on Oct. 14, emotionally bruising singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten will perform (www.thehighdive.com).
The annual Pygmalion Festival is scheduled in various venues throughout the Champaign-Urbana area Sept. 25-28 and will feature well-known indie bands such as Chvrches, Sun Kil Moon, Panda Bear, American Football and the brilliant Mary Timony’s (Helium, Wild Flag) new combo Ex Hex, among scores of others (www.thepygmalionfestival.com/music).
Bloomington’s Castle Theatre will play host to a variety of exciting shows this season, including ex-Runaway and onetime Ozzy duet partner Lita Ford on Sept. 11; The Pimps from Rockford (with special guests none other than NIL8) on Sept. 13; and folk-DIY heroine Ani Difranco Oct. 22 (www.thecastletheatre.com).
The Peoria Civic Center has offerings of legendary proportions this fall with rock legend Santana appearing on Oct. 7 followed by country legend Don Williams on Nov. 9. Eric Church and Dwight Yoakam (Nov. 21) may be slightly less legendary but are nonetheless quite well known and respected (www.peoriaciviccenter.com).
If the big beat just isn’t for you, or you’ve just had enough, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra will perform its “Heroic Night” program on Oct. 11, featuring music by Jacobsen, Wijeratne and Beethoven, with guest tabla player Sandeep Das of Yo-yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. The Chamber Orchestra will get in the Halloween spirit, if ever-so-slightly late (Nov. 1), with a performance of Gruber’s “Frankenstein” (www.ilsymphony.org).
Contact Scott Faingold at email@example.com.