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Thursday, March 16, 2017 12:03 am

Music in March

Owen & Dooley Presents rocks out at George Rank’s on Saturday, March 18, along with John Brillhart & the Down Homies.


In the aftermath of the St. Patty’s Day parade onslaught of live music all over town, I’m reminded of the real power of music to entertain and excite. Every time I think of all who are involved in getting people going and adding to the enjoyment of life, I am proud to be a working musician. My hat’s off to all of us who keep the tunes hopping and folks happy.

This weekend starts with a slight continuation of the Celtic connection as Friday, March 17, is the actual St. Patrick’s Day proper. Those Irish hardliners declare this is the real day to celebrate, not the random parade day chosen for the Saturday convenience factor. But my guess is they just use the double day to double down on the partying, and why wouldn’t you? Next year all Irish doings collide, as March 17, 2018, falls on a Saturday, making the St. Patrick’s Day Marching Band Parade actually occur on St. Patrick’s Day, a rarity in the scheduling of the event.

Back to 2017, we have a few Irish-flavored music shows including the new-old (as they’re calling it) Emerald Underground at Lime Street Cafe on Friday night with Joe Kath back on fiddle. A version called Emerald Underground Lite (with Theresa and Tom featuring Rick Dunham on vocals) plays Saturday. For you fans of the band, the Saturday performance will reunite Joe and Theresa O’Hare (flute and Irish whistle) for the first time in some time. To complete the Irish celebration we must include the St. Andrew’s Society of Central Illinois Pipes and Drums who are scattered about town playing at various bars all day and night on Friday. On parade day, the group divides up into several smaller bands to cover the immense territory of gigs they’re asked to perform. On Friday they’re using one band, starting at 8 a.m. at D’Arcy’s Pint then playing at various venues until finishing around 8:30 p.m. at Lime Street Cafe. If this seems confusing, go to the group’s Facebook page for a complete schedule of the where and the when. Please “like” the page while there, for Celtic’s sake.

Now as we move on to things other than Irish (I heard the collective sigh) music, many good music happenings are happening all over. Owen & Dooley Presents play out for the first time in awhile with a gig at George Rank’s on Saturday joined by John Brillhart and the Down Homies. The Tenuto Band, featuring Joe and Joey T, returns to the area for a slew of gigs over the next week starting with a show at Third Base on Saturday and ending Sunday, March 26, at George Rank’s. The Curve Inn hosts a Memorial Benefit for Big on Saturday organized by David Shaw and Kent Starr and others to honor the life of their friend Andrew, featuring music by Afterimage, Broken Stone, CSP and Brandy Kristin and The Revival. On Sunday, Mark Mills continues his solo acoustic and unplugged winery run with a performance at Hill Prairie Winery near Oakford from 2 to 5 in the afternoon.

Looking ahead to next week, watch for the return of Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel to the Curve Inn on Thursday with The Deep Hollow as openers, The Fireside Relics CD release party on Friday, March 24, at the Capital City Bar and Grill, and Lady Carole and her Knights celebrate a seven-year anniversary of the band on Saturday, March 25, at the new-old Fox Run Restaurant and Lounge near Scheels.

Now march on to the March music!

Contact Tom Irwin at

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