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Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 12:03 am

Mixes and matches

theSHIFT rocks the Brewhaus this Friday and Saturday night. with Owen & Dooley Presents opening on Friday.


Take a good look at the Pub Crawl listings this week and the sheer amount of exceptional shows shall have you jumping for joy, bursting with pride and, hopefully, headed out the door to see some live music.

Kick off your ever-advancing Advent season with a “Deck the Halls with The Deep Hollow” performance in Arlington’s upstairs room (some remember the space as On Broadway). The triumphant trio of Elizabeth, Micah and Dave offers a special prize of a Deep Hollow gift set (consisting of a T-shirt, The Deep Hollow’s CD, Micah’s CD, a can koozie and a sticker) to whomever the band decides shows up with the most holiday cheer gear and the best seasonal garb and gab. Doors open at 7:30, TDH plays a full holiday song set at 8:30, then closes out the evening with the usual suspects of song. Ho, Ho, Hollow!

With deep sadness but full understanding of the issues, we send our condolences to The Shunpikers as they play a final show on Friday at Mowie’s Cue. After three years of playing challenging and off-the-wall covers, the fellers are moving on to “other endeavors” and leaving behind a trail of cool gigs, satisfied fans and a legacy of working hard to push the cover band envelope in Springfield. From the Facebook invite page comes this: “And to those of you who stayed with us throughout, thank you for being our fans and our friends -- it means a lot to us.” And you meant a lot to us, Shunpikers. By the way, the name comes from an old term describing those who avoid or shun pikes or tollways, and has come to mean taking a less-traveled route than most folks do. How fitting, yes?

The new Brewhaus is just past a year into new ownership by Frankie Westwood and keeps offering good live music, a big beer selection and delicious food. Though the old downstairs stage is gone, the upstairs is open and the happenings keep happening. This weekend theSHIFT, a nationally touring rock trio in the vein of The Police, plays Friday and Saturday with Owen & Dooley Present Keith Voegele and Patrick Miller opening the Friday show. All Berklee attendees, the threesome carry heavy-duty credentials including being guided into the next phase of their career by legendary songwriter/producer and co-creator of the Woodstock Music Festival, Artie Kornfeld.

Also downtown on Friday, Bar None plays host to Jasin Todd, founding and former member of the big-time band Shinedown and his current touring partner Trista Mabry. From what I can tell by YouTube videos, the duo plays acoustic guitars as she sings and he accompanies, doing covers and originals and basically putting on a show. The two have been out touring consistently lately, from Sioux Falls to Charleston with plans for Tulsa and Dallas after the new year breaks.

Walnut Street Winery puts out a couple of acclaimed songwriters this weekend with Ty Brando on Friday and JD Wilson on Saturday. Ty, a central Illinois native, moved to Nashville years ago and does well as an award-winning songwriter, night host and singer-songwriter. JD, a North Carolina native who now resides in Auburn, presents a collection of heartfelt and lyrically profound, original songs on a well-picked and played acoustic guitar.

If you’ve been craving real jazz, Norb Andy’s is offering a fix this weekend with the great and gregarious Johnny Slu (John Sluzalis) and Friends on Friday and the George Turner Trio on Saturday. Get hip to this kindly tip and check them out.

That’s all folks, as Porky Pig and The Shunpikers Facebook invite to their final show says.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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