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Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:03 am

Fair music and more

Afterimage rocks Crows Mill Pub on Saturday and Tradewinds on Wednesday.


Here we go with the annual Sangamon County Fair entertainment plus many more doings around our fair city. Need I remind you that your job is, yet again, a difficult task when it comes down to deciding how to spend your precious time by choosing what live music event to drag your lovely self to see. Good luck!

The Sangamon County Fair has always been a treat for me. I have fond memories of going there as teenagers with some guy named Dooley. We managed to stay out of trouble by not getting caught doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing; we can’t even remember what it was now. I seem to recall my compadre (still my best pal) spent some time in the front of a pickup truck with a girl for awhile while I talked with the girl’s friend, who I can vaguely still see in my mind’s eye. All went smoothly with nothing happening on any front, but we established ourselves as teenagers on the move.

Another memory I remember is the time Bo Diddley played the fair. He really rocked the joint. He came out for the encore sans his sweat-soaked shirt, sporting his sweat-soaked undershirt, not a T-shirt, mind you, but a real, honest-to-goodness undershirt. It was a sight to behold. The music was great (the “Bo Diddley Beat” is classic), but that lovely shot of the aged rocker in a white undershirt with his belly and his arms hanging out is one of the images that always comes to mind when thinking of the county fair.

There was a time not too long ago when the fair was in jeopardy of closing down because of funding issues. From what I remember, what saved the day was bringing in big-name grandstand acts and paying for them through one-price gate fees that included carnival rides and admission to the shows. In 2017, fair officials have tweaked the system a bit by cutting the fair admission in half, then charging extra for grandstand show tickets. So, you get the best of both worlds, and we still have a fair for all ages (including those fun-seeking teenagers) that hopefully lasts for the ages. Check the Sangamon County Fair website for all the specific music event details, but remember, the Demolition Derby is always on the last day (Sunday), which is Father’s Day – a day to remember.

Crows Mill Pub is back in business and going strong. They reopened with live music back towards the end of May (I missed announcing that here; my bad) and now have a constant stream of live bands out in the expanded beer garden from 6:30 to 10:30 every Friday and Saturday. Southwind and Afterimage are on the bill this weekend. Welcome back to the music scene, CMP, and best of luck to our CMP friends.

The Barrel Head continues its all original local band series with a showing of four homegrown songwriting groups on Friday night. Starting at 8, check out Rather Dashing, Stereo Static, Blind Social and Synzu for a review of what’s new on the scene. Also on Friday, the West of Wise Winery near Petersburg continues into a third season of Friday on the Lawn with those ever-lovin’ Roastineers outside this week. The space behind the winery building boasts a beautiful view of trees and sky just right for libations, chow and live music. So bring a lawn chair (they have some, plus picnic tables, too), a friend or three, and a hearty appetite for a darn good time.

That’s fairly it for the Ides of June.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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