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Thursday, July 6, 2017 12:03 am

July on the move

The Black Lillies come to Dr. Ugs Drugstore Cafe, in Virginia, on Friday, July 7, with Jobe Shores opening the show at 6pm.


Here we are rolling into July with a wheelbarrow full of entertainment goodies. Things are happening at an incredible pace, so hang on, keep updated and enjoy the goings on.

Friday night brings us a sweet selection of regular local groups at the normal haunts including Broken Stone at Trade Winds, Betty Whitesnake at Weebles and Devin Clemons Band at Long Bridge. Keep the winds blowing in the same direction with Hard Road Blues Band at Brookhills, Harmony Deep at Lime Street, and Mojo Cats at the Curve. New/old country and nationally touring act Cody Johnson roars into Boondocks on Friday, loaded down with some of the top-selling records and one of most sought-after stage shows happening in country music right now. No kidding here, this dude, nicknamed CoJo, is the hottest thing since fire and is tearing up the business side of the world by doing the music right. The cool thing is, he’s doing it as an independent artist and spanking the major labels with his sales and popularity. This is how it’s done, and Cody is doing it. Boondocks scored again on booking CoJo now while his star is rising and shining brightly.

Also on Friday evening (6 to 9), The Black Lillies land at Dr. Ugs Drugstore Cafe on the square in Virginia, just straight out Jefferson Street and about 40 minutes west of Springfield. The Black Lillies are led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Cruz Contreras and backed by a band of renowned roots-rockers. They’ve guested on the Grand Ole Opry, recently had a hit Americana song titled “Hard to Please,” and toured coast to coast for years as they continue to “blur the boundaries between folk, soul, red-dirt country, blues and jazz” by making wonderful music wherever they wander. Opening the show is Jobe Shores, a brilliant, if somewhat reclusive, singer-songwriter musician from Chandlerville. He will wow you with some cool covers then knock you out with inspiring original tunes, all within the span of a soulful set. Jobe is most definitely worth arriving on time to hear.

On Saturday evening, Lick Creek makes a splash with a CD release party at the Blue Grouch. The five-song EP, produced, written and performed by Lick Creek members, includes a single titled “Bend” that’s getting airplay on WFMB-FM. All hats off to the Lick Creek band as they delve into tricky original territory while keeping up the cool covers of hot country and classic rock in the live show. Champaign’s hippest blues band, Kilborn Alley, slides into Third Base with a rare Saturday night show in Springfield. Truly a killer blues band you won’t want to miss, these guys just keep on keepin’ on and do it well. Crows Mill Pub hosts a “Rock’s Not Dead” concert with Good Times and Company, Octavia, Enamel, Carrying Torches and Blind Social proving the title of the show to be true, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., in the newly reopened and remodeled beer/music garden. The Ocean State Quartet pops into Fox Run in the Legacy Pointe area for a 9 to midnight performance of jazz and Brazilian music, featuring Sam Crain, Mark Russillo, Ben Taylor and Jaro Howse.

The Springfield Highland Games and Celtic Festival returns to the Chatham Community Park on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The always-festive festival features live music, contests, dancers, interesting vendors, clan tents and, best of all, in my humble opinion, the mass pipe and drums performance around 5 p.m. Feel the ground shake and the skies tremble as bunches of bagpipes and drummers march and play on the field behind the park.

Well, if that won’t do it, I don’t know what will.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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