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Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 12:03 am

More than fair

Andy T and Alabama Mike play The Alamo, Monday, Aug. 14, for the Illinois Central Blues Club “Blue Monday” weekly concert.


Yessiree, folks, it’s that time of year when the state fair comes to town, whether you like it or not. Along with the all the fair doings, here are a few other happenings in our fair city that might get lost in the shade of the bright lights of the Illinois State Fair.

Tonight (that’s Thursday for those of you who grab your Illinois Times hot off the presses) the Music at the Museum concert series welcomes Chicago blues duo Felisko and Noden. Hosted and organized by famed Illinois singer-songwriter Chris Vallillo, the music series presents a wide range of American roots music every second Thursday of the month at the Thorne Deuel Auditorium in the basement of the Illinois State Museum. These two guys do excellent blues on harmonica and guitar, representing the early days of the genre when playing on the streets and in juke joints was the thing. Through research of vintage recordings, they’ve recreated the old-time blues, adding exceptional musicianship to make the music shine. Visit for the complete series schedule.

For the second year in a row, the good people at the Curve Inn present the South Side State Fair event, bringing a fair-like atmosphere to the award-winning Curve music and refreshment garden (much more than beer in this venue). Almost every night during the state fair, Ric Major, award-winning sound man extraordinaire, hosts a variety of bands with diverse music styles on his lovely looking and incredible-sounding soundstage. Corn dogs are available the entire time, and I’m betting that Amy’s lemonade shake-ups have a little more kick to them than your average fair fodder. Check out the complete schedule at

A few Curve highlights include Cats on Holiday with Juke House (doing what they’ve always done) this Thursday, Aug. 10, and on Friday, Aug. 11, The Station hosts a CD release party for their new record, Head on Tomorrow, joined by fellow original music-makers Nick Bifano & the Innocents and Bermuda Triad for Original Music Night. On Sunday, Aug. 13, prepare for a lovely onslaught of musical mayhem with Octavia, Phantom Lordz and RockHouse; then next Wednesday, Aug. 16, Rick Dunham as Elvis Himselvis performs (with his band) the King’s last concert from June of 1977, exactly 40 years to the day of the actual date Elvis died. Stingray Alley starts off the Elvis tribute evening.

For our one Illinois State Fair allocation, my buddy Don Smith and his band play the Twilight Ballroom on Friday, Aug. 11. Don, among some other Springfield musicians, including Gene Acree and Gus Pflugmacher, have accrued an incredible string of years played at the fair, running some four decades. Now that’s commitment.

For out-of-town gigs on Saturday night, check out the debut of Soul Patrol featuring local favorite Brooke Thomas and her bandmates Chris Warren, Dion Doss, Luke Turasky and Ezra Casey at the Danenberger Family Vineyard “Wine Rocks” stage near New Berlin. Out in Petersburg at the Hand of Fate Brewery, Deep Lunar Blue takes off to worlds unknown through the beauty of music and well-crafted beer.

On Monday, Aug. 14, Andy T and Alabama Mike roll into The Alamo for some very cool blues for the Illinois Central Blues Club’s “Blue Monday” event. The guys are bringing some very cool blues-cats with them, including special guest Anson Funderburgh on guitar plus Larry van Loon on keys, Jim Klinger on drums and Lee Worden holding down the bass. That’s a pretty phenomenal lineup right there, folks.

So go have fun at the fair and know that other acts around town just got a fair shake, even without the lemon and the up.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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