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Thursday, April 13, 2017 12:03 am

Feast or Easter

The MojoCats do the blues at the Curve Inn on Thursday evening.


Last week was so full I spent the whole dang column discussing Friday night shows. This week is not quite so busy, but it’s still a “Good” Friday, and there’s no stopping the action.

Blues opens up the week when those brilliantly bluesy MojoCats take on the Thursday early evening slot at the Curve Inn. Next week they kick us off again with a show at The Alamo for the James Armstrong Presents event. Both shows start at 6 p.m. On Friday night, Back Pack Jones, not too far removed from their acclaimed appearance at the 2017 International Blues Challenge as the Illinois Central Blues Club representative, boogies on out to Long Bridge for a 7 to 11 performance. Look quick, ma; it’s Black Magic Johnson coming out of semi-retirement for a rockin’ blues revue at the Trading Post Saloon on Friday from 8 to midnight. Out at Walnut Street Winery in Rochester, King Neptune knocks out the old-time acoustic blues from 8 to 11 to complete our Friday night blues romp of diverse styles within the genre.

In my humble opinion, all forms of all that jazz could use a bump in quantity during our weekly dose of music-making in town. This week shows improvement in numbers as Johnnie Owens and Friends takes the lead, playing the Uptown Friday Night slot at Robbie’s from 5:30 to 7:30. JO can sing like nobody’s business and always brings a swinging band of jazzing dudes. Saunter over to Norb Andy’s afterwards for a jazz continuance with the George Turner Trio out of Macomb and Western Illinois University starting at 8. The Angel Brown Trio does a number of soulful jazz standards along with other popular songs at Lime Street Cafe, also kicking off at 8. On Saturday night at 7, Rob Killam, our resident jazz bassist of note, brings his jazz ensemble to It’s All About Wine for a musical night of extraordinary circumstances.

A slice of original and traditional Americana music takes up a chunk of Friday with Brillhart, Fifer and Camp continuing the three-name-band cycle at Craft Beer Bar. Cactus Ranch along with Tom Beverly and the debut of Positively 4th Street flies into the Koo Koo’s Nest. Devon Clemons rocks some country out at the Curve Inn for an early evening show, and Lick Creek rolls into the country at Danenberger Family Vineyards near New Berlin from 6 to 9.

On Saturday night, those wild and crazy Fabulous Hoedads dig into Norb Andy’s. These veterans of domestic music-making, along with Grammy-award winning (no kidding) keyboardist Ron Stockert joining in the fun, play all kinds of songs from back in the day before computers ruled the airwaves. For other Saturday evening excitement and some possible rehashing of life-changing incidents, Off the Wall invites you to adult prom night at the Curve Inn. Dress appropriately and choose to act your current age or fall back into your first prom date time zone, because either way, the same thing is going to happen. Anyone else remember the crazy fun Brewhaus adult proms back in the day? I barely do, with good reason.

Steve Wells fed me the scoop that Janet and Kathy Lennon (of the real Lennon sisters from “The Lawrence Welk Show” fame and other career highlights) made a surprise visit last Friday at the Legacy to sing “Scarborough Fair” and “Family Tree” with Venice. Why you ask? Well, it’s because their younger brothers Kipp and Pat Lennon are members of Venice, along with their first cousins Michael and Mark Lennon. Yes, it was one big, happy Lennon family reunion out there.

Next week already has my head a-spinning.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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