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Thursday, March 24, 2005 02:07 pm

music notes 3-24-05

Born in Mexico and reared in Brazil and Venezuela, singer/songwriter Erika Luckett continued her international upbringing with extended stays in France. She sings in Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English on her latest CD, Unexpected (2005, Birdfish Records), tossing in flourishes of world music as fluently as she soars through the various languages. Luckett aptly explains this: “I think of language as a musical texture — sounds and colors that work with the groove and feel of a song.” Come and see Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at Robbie’s (4 Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-528-1901).
When was the last time you saw a nine-piece band playing mostly original funk/rock fusion? Really? Did they have raplike vocalizing, scratching turntables, a blazing four-piece horn section, and a rhythm team funktifying all who come within earshot? Oh yeah? Well, you must have been time-traveling to Friday, March 25, at Marly’s Pub (9 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-522-2280) and seen Public Display of Funk. That’s the only explanation.
St. Louis’ Eli Stone has opened for everyone from Slipknot to Kid Rock, has worked with producer Barry Conley at Paramount Recording, and was thisclose to getting a big push from the majors in 2002. Now the band is back, with a new CD scheduled for a June release, and hitting the Midwest scene more determined than ever to break into the big time. Catch them while you can at Viele’s Planet (126 E. Jefferson St., 217-525-9029), Friday, March 25, with All That Remains and Salem’s Cradle.
Looks as if Easter weekend will be covered in bluegrass as singing multi-instrumentalist Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon fame plays Saturday and Sunday at the Hoogland Center for the Arts (420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787). Emmitt has a new CD, due out in early June, loaded with luminaries such as Sam Bush, Del McCoury, and Jim Lauderdale. He’s sending the Underground City Tavern (700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530) into a flurry of bluegrass activity with Woodfire Bluegrass on Friday and the River Ramblers on Saturday. Beats the heck out of that plastic grass in your Easter basket, huh?
Backyard Tire Fire is finally back in town after the booking misfires of a couple of months ago. Local music wags were sizzling with compliments after the energetic rock trio smoked the house during their 2004 Springfield shows. Watch them burn at Jazz Central Station (700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530) on March 26, Easter Eve.
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