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Thursday, May 4, 2017 12:01 am

Maybe music here

Richie Holiday jokes around at Donnie B’s Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday.
No maybe about it, the merry month of May is upon us, signaling the beginning of the summer music season and the conclusion of the spring one. Some venues now choose to end entertainment for the warmer months when the festivals, beer gardens, fairs and homecomings begin in earnest.

Nothing says May like Cinco de Mayo and we have plenty of places celebrating the Mexican holiday with drink specials and live music. Larson, Larson and Harte bop the Craft Beer Bar and Pimpin Henry and John Brillhart rule at the Butternut Hut. Fun DMC hits the Boar’s Nest in Athens while Captain Geech dances into the Curve Inn. After Sunset slides into Weebles while 90s Daughter does the Blue Grouch. Stone Giant rocks at Long Bridge and Harmony Deep dives into Lime Street. Buena suerte.

Donnie B’s Comedy Club has been responsible for bringing touring comics to Springfield for decades. In writing the feature story this week on Ray “Philly” Phillips, I was reminded of what an impact the club has had on our entertainment scene. Not only did Ray start out at Donnie’s (way back when it was a Funny Bone franchise), the venue continues to offer a bimonthly open mic and occasional opening slots for aspiring comedians. This weekend Donnie’s features Richie Holiday in the last show of the season, as they are one of those above-mentioned seasonal venues. Richie does one show on Friday at 7:30 and two more on Saturday at 7:30 and 9:30.

Browsing through the Pub Crawl, I noticed the Brian Pryor Quintet at Robbie’s this Friday. Brian is one of our finest musicians as well as a respected instructor at UIS on music technology. He doesn’t play out as much as before, so when Brian gigs, you should go and experience the experience. I’m not sure who is playing with him in the combo, but I am sure they’re extremely talented, supportive musicians.

What’s this I see? The Village People, yes, the Village People bounce into the Kirkland Fine Arts Center in Decatur on Saturday, May 6, for a performance of hits galore by the forever and ever kings of disco. In a bit of an understatement, the promo description says the six-man show provides, “high-energy choreography with fun and lots of singing and dancing.” As much as we might poke fun at “Macho Man” and “YMCA,” those songs are part of our culture and there’s no turning back.

Last week I didn’t get to mentioning the show called “Out of the Blue” held last Saturday at the UIS Studio Theatre. The mixed-media presentation focused on creativity and brought together internationally acclaimed sculptor Michael Dunbar, singer-songwriter Ben Bedford and the Fifth House Ensemble to rave reviews. In the Studio Theatre this Friday, May 5, comes Paul Galbraith, called a “brilliantly innovative classical guitarist” for his playing abilities and for his physical additions to his guitar of “high and low strings supported by a metal endpin which rests on a wooden resonance box.” His solo show features works by Bach, Mozart and Albeniz, and his Bach recording was nominated for a Grammy while spending time on the Billboard Top 10.

More classical guitar masterwork happens on Saturday when Grammy-Award winning guitarist Jason Vieaux joins the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Andrew Sewell for what is billed as a “Fantastic Finale” of the ISO season at the Sangamon Auditorium on the UIS campus. Check online for all the details, including the music program, dinner on campus and a pre-concert talk.

With not even a maybe of a maybe, May is off to a good start.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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