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Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005 03:51 am

now playing 2-17-05

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Doc Hollow’s Acoustic Revue, a collection of area pickers and grinners organized by Tom Beverly and Mark LeVault, is a once-in-awhile, if not a once-in-a-lifetime, music smorgasbord. The entertainment spectacle is like an old-time variety show with performers playing three or four songs each before the next act takes over.

Beverly emcees the event, putting in the patter between the entertainers, keeping the downtime to no more than a minute or two. LeVault plays bass with Beverly and any one else in the revue needing accompaniment. “People always have their favorites,” Beverly says, “and they say how they really like the mix.”

An epiphany, wrought from past performance pleasure and perceived audience acceptance, was the spark for the inspiration. “Mark and I are Doc Hollow when we play out and we were coming back from a show in Nashville,” he says. “We were thinking, do we really want to stand up and play for three or four hours at a time? And do people really want to hear anybody for that long? That’s when we concocted this thing.”

They set the performance schedule up ahead of time so each musician knows when to get ready, when to go on, and when they’re done. “Then we can tailor the show to a venue or event,” Beverly explains. “We add or take away songs to someone’s set to fit time and content concerns.”

The first DHAR was held at Tony Turasky’s Trail’s End in Curran. “We had a bunch of bikers in there that night and they loved it,” Beverly says. “But we needed a bigger place to make it work better.” In September they tried the Cellar downstairs in Andiamo!, the smoke-free restaurant/bar/coffeehouse in downtown Springfield. It worked so well they came back for more. “Jeff [Berendt, owner of Andiamo!] told us he’d have to set up more chairs for this show. That’s what you like to hear.”

This week’s edition of the acoustic exhibition includes original music, classic acoustic rock, blues, traditional folk, Beatles songs, and a hodge-podge of whatever works. “I always like going to open mics,” Beverly says, “because you never know what you’re going to hear. This is a lot like that — except we know who is going to be playing.”

Doc Hollow’s Acoustic Revue with Tom Beverly, Mark LeVault, Paul Moma, Steve Yonker, Jill Manning, Southside Johnny, Antone DeRocchi with Bill and Lori McKenzie, and Peine n Stein entertains at Andiamo! in the Cellar from 8-11:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18.

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