Giving thanks for much
There are many things to be thankful for in this world, and I hope you take the time to address those pertaining to you and yours. I’m thankful to be able to write this column weekly and share my opinions on our live music scene. I sure hope you’re thankful that I do.
Those old-fashioned, champion-drinking holidays of New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day were left in the dust as amateur nights when Thanksgiving eve rose in the last couple decades to be the night of the year to lay on the hearty party. Back in the day it wasn’t that big of a deal, but we’re there now, and the Pub Crawl listings prove that our community is on the night before Thanksgiving bandwagon and has been for several years.
The list looms large for Wednesday night happenings, with an extraordinary amount of bands playing in the outlying areas of our community. For example, Smashtag hits up the stage at Danenberger Family Vineyards near New Berlin, Mississippi Leghound zips it into Mahan’s Wildside in Alexander, and Fireside Relics roll on into Mama Lee’s Sandbar on Mechanicsburg Road.
We continue our rounds of the towns with The Lovedahl’s dishing it out at Hand of Fate on the Petersburg square, Hunter McKithan and Caleb Boles doing an acoustic song swap at Dr. Ugs on the Virginia square, New City Road driving it home at the Boar’s Nest in Athens, Vigor Mortis Band laying it down at the Palomino Club in Taylorville, and Smokin’ J’s smoking it at BREWrzr in Thayer. Plus there’s Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters getting down at On the Rox in Jacksonville and Rick Hardin with Geoff and Tony hosting the open jam at Trails End in Curran.
For in-town choices, X-Krush crushes it at the Curve Inn, M.A.S. gives more at the Trading Post Saloon, After Sunset slides into Crows Mill Pub, The Brat Pack plays 80s jams at Boondocks, and Off the Wall takes it to the Blue Grouch. Don’t forget the regular Wednesday night gigs like the Open Pic at Abe’s Old Hat with yours truly as host, where Elvis Himselvis kicks off the holiday walks with a special performance at 5 p.m. Plus there’s Dan Grover’s Acoustic Jam Night at Guitars and Cadillacs, Open Mic with Kortney Leatherwood at Weebles, Bar None’s Wide Open Mic, and Al Kitchen at Arlington’s.
Now take a break for Thanksgiving and prepare for the continued onslaught of live music over the weekend, including Hand of Fate bringing in Positively Fourth Street and Tom Beverly on Friday and the mighty grand Antone DeRocchi on Saturday night. Black Magic Johnson does a Springfield sweep with a Friday show at the Trading Post, a Saturday spot at Craft Beer Bar, and then hosts the Illinois Central Blues Club Blue Monday night at the Alamo.
On Sunday wind down with wine as Tad Derek O’Brien plays at 3Sixteen Wine Bar in Chatham while Rich Louden pops into Danenberger’s. Or you could wind it up with the Wolf Crick Boys at Buckhart Tavern in, you guessed it, Buckhart.
For you music shoppers, Black Friday Record Store Day comes to Recycled Records and Dumb Records all day long on Friday when certain famous artists (the cool ones) release limited-edition vinyl LPs and 45s only available at your neighborhood independent record stores. Liz Willis of WYMG broadcasts from Recycled Records in the morning and Dumb Records plans on having a half-off sale on other merchandise. Please support your local record store because they are cool – so are vinyl records.
Happy Thanksgiving eve, day and weekend to you all.
Tom Irwin can be reached at