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Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:04 am

What’s up with Downhome

Attic Salt plays the Downhome Music, Art & Beer Festival at 2pm on Saturday, July 29.


Ready or not, here we go rocking and rolling into the last weekend of July 2017. My how the summertime has flown by.

This weekend’s big event is the Downhome Music, Beer and Art Festival, held downtown on Seventh between Washington and Adams. The stated reason of the happening is to support local, original bands by using the gate receipts to pay the musicians, not local charities, like some other festivals do. Though I’m sure in some people’s minds (like mine), actually paying musicians could be considered donating to a good cause and almost a charity case. Even though most festivals do pay the bands and some still make a boatload of donations to local charities, this one is unique in that the musicians can sell tickets and keep that cash. Plus after all the door monies are collected, organizers count the booty, then split the take between the bands, in a fair and reasonable way, after paying administrative and operational costs.

Along with original music, the festival supports local visual artists as well, and last, but not least, craft beer. So you see, there are a lot of important issues going on here all at once. We appreciate the hard work that goes into organizing and putting on an event of such magnitude. And we all do our part to appreciate music, art and beer, if not exactly always in that order. I think the festival website quote says it quite well by stating, “Our goal is to unite the community while they responsibly drink in the talent Springfield has to offer.”

Visit the Downhome website to check out the full schedule of bands, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday, with music going until midnight each night. Keith Voegele may win the bass player with the most gigs this year, edging out Jeff Cunningham in a neck and neck competition. It’s hard to tell until the smoke clears, but I do know the band schedule would be lacking greatly and looking differently without the ferocious four-string work of these busy and talented guys. It appears the weather will hold for a successful and supportive Downhome Festival. Hurrah!

In other news, there’s a band making a buzz (highly recommended by DJ Bobby T) called Relativity. They won the Rochester talent show a few years running and consist of Dad Damon on the drums and his sons making up the rest of the band. Check out, as Bobby T likes to call them, the “Von Trapps of pop rock,” at 411 this Friday evening.

Rick Dunham, as Elvis Himselvis, returns to the Hoogland Center for the Arts on Saturday night with an Elvis show, designed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of “the King” who passed away on Aug. 16, 1977. Rick and his band will perform EP’s final concert in its entirety from the June 26, 1977, show at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s interesting to note that between Hound Dog and the last song, Can’t Help Falling in Love, Elvis made a point to introduce several people from the stage. Some say this was because he knew it was his last performance, but it could be the King just decided to introduce folks at that moment. But anyway, it’s a cool idea of Rick’s and a special show for fans of the life and music of Elvis Presley.

Heads up to songwriters, as the Writer’s Block Party with host Tim Lacy reconvenes this Sunday evening at the Blue Grouch from 6 to 9. Come get your song on.

Get down this weekend whatever you’re up to doing.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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