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Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2004 12:54 pm

music notes 11-11-04

• Here's a chance to watch someone sing for someone else's supper: Gary Burt, the Prairie Crooner, romps through the Sinatra catalog to help raise funds for the Episcopal Food Pantry. Burt, a southern Illinois native, began to take crooning seriously after his retirement. Now he has a Nashville-recorded CD and a film documentary about his second career and is filled nearly full-time with Sinatraness. A silent auction and a Mature Mob performance fill out the 2 p.m. benefit on Sunday, Nov. 14, at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

• Pull out those snap shirts and dust off the cowboy boots -- it's time to play country boy. Thad Cockrell, a silver-throated singer who claims to come from a country without "alt," supports his Chris Stamey-produced album Warmth and Beauty at 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Underground City Tavern. On Saturday, Last Train Home, a critically acclaimed (Washington Post, Village Voice, Tennessean), proudly alt-country roots-rock group, chugs into Twangville at the UCT. Mike McClure has escaped from his former group, the Great Divide, and is slipping around on his own. Catch the songwriting wonder at 10 p.m. Saturday at Talk of the Town in Elkhart.

• Viele's Planet becomes a sanctuary for fans of 1980s metal music on Thursday, Nov. 11, when Metal Church evangelizes to the masses. The California group began in the midst of metal mania in the '80s, kept true to its dark roots when other groups bleached out and went pop, and disbanded in the '90s. Now reborn, the band is out preaching to the choir about new CD The Weight of the World. Opening for the reunited rockers is Three Inches of Blood, a band that fiddles in fantasy lyrics and rip-roaring rock in addition to terribly descriptive monikers.

• On Saturday, taste a real treat when violinist Laura LaCombe and guitarist Russel Brazzel team for a night of classical music from 7-9 p.m. at the Due Gatti Coffeehouse on the square in Jacksonville. The joe joint just recently began hosting live music with plans to continue most every Saturday night. I'll second that mocha.

• We all think we can play the harmonica. I mean, how hard is it, blowing and sucking into a little piece of metal and wood to make music? Listen to R.J. Mischo, the host of this week's Blue Monday Jam at the Alamo, and you may think again. The Minneapolis native has blown the harp for more than 20 years at most major blues venues and festivals. See him up close and personal (for only a dollar) at the Illinois Central Blues Club-sponsored weekly event.

-- Tom Irwin

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