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Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 12:03 am

Bands on the run

Tom Irwin at work in the studio with John Stirratt, Theresa O’Hare and others. The Kickstarter campaign for All That Love launches on Friday, Jan. 13, during a gig at George Rank’s from 7 to 10 p.m.


It looks like we are on the move again; all the bars and clubs and taverns and wineries are up to snuff and booked to the gills. Not only are the venues jamming, but all kinds of music makers are making it happen, some to the exhilarating extent of three gigs in a weekend.

Mississippi Leghound (the name comes from a line in the Christmas Vacation movie) takes the cake and bakes the bread for the most gigs this weekend. Check out the hard-driving, party-ready, blues-rock-pop trio at Locals in Pawnee on Friday, George Rank’s on Saturday, and Mahan’s Wildside in Alexander on Sunday afternoon. Craig and the boys took a little break and now are back with the pack, taking the town by storm. Harmony Deep pulls a two-fer at Lime Street Cafe on Friday and Saturday. Be sure to catch to cool sounds of the 70s, as these guys do the songs others don’t in ways that will amaze you. Unless, of course, you’re familiar with the talented fellows making this music happen; then you’d expect nothing less than the superb sounds emanating from the stage. The King T’z, a four-piece, rockin’ blues combo with members from various towns and former bands in central Illinois, makes it a double trouble weekend with a show in Champaign at Pipa’s Pub on Friday and Pop’s Place in Decatur on Saturday. We caught their last set at Norb’s on Saturday after our Elvis Himselvis show at the Hoogland. What a treat it was to hear cool country and classic blues all done with professional precision and artistic vision. That’s how we like it, greasy and good. They’ll be back at Norb’s on Feb. 18.

Speaking of Norb Andy’s, have I said how good it is to see live music back in there? There’s something wonderful about keeping tradition going and supporting consistency that makes for a better music scene and a cooler place to live and hang out. This Saturday, Ted Keylon organized “Crimes Against the Moonlight: The Songs of Leonard Cohen” as a tribute to the great writer of song who passed away on Nov. 7, 2016. Ted performs on ukulele, percussion and vocals accompanied by Nathan Gorman (snare drum) and Amy Wolf (backing vocals) with the good chance of other musicians dropping in for a spin on the compositions of this superb songwriter with a tower of song (to quote the guy himself) bordering on monumental. If you’re unfamiliar with Cohen’s work, be kind to yourself and dig into the music for a stupendous reward. His most popular songs at this point are likely “Suzanne,” his breakthrough number in the late 60s, and the ubiquitous and universal “Hallelujah,” heard at open mics, campfires, church gatherings and even middle school choir concerts.

From the shameless self-promotion department, this Friday, Jan. 13, I’m finally launching a Kickstarter campaign for my latest album, All That Love. The record was produced by John Stirratt of Wilco and features John and several of his cohorts, as well as performances by our very own Hayburners. The song “All That Love” showcases the fine flute work of Theresa O’Hare, my lovely wife, who happens to have a birthday on the same day (The surprise party is at George Rank’s at 7 p.m.; mum’s the word). We are looking to press CDs and vinyl and spread the word through the paid use of a publicist and promoter. If you want to pre-order a copy or go for other rewards, visit and search for Tom Irwin and All That Love. Thank you.

Onward, upward, inward and downward; merrily we roll along.

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