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Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 12:03 am

Be cool, stay warm

Audioburn turns up the heat at 411 Bar & Grill on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 8pm-12am.

 What better way to thaw the cold than by making a visit to a nearby watering hole or other house of performance to see some live music and feel the sound waves eradicate your chills. Who knows, it might even be a balmy 40 degrees by the time you get around to reading this.

For a Friday evening treat, stop by Robbie’s on the Old Capitol Plaza from 5:30 to 7:30. Every week is a blues, roots or jazz artist, mostly from the area, and this week features the fabulous Frank Trompeter Quartet doing some real-time, real jazz, really done well.

Saturday night is shaping up to be a monster night in local music-making. From the Champaign-Urbana cover band El Guapo rolling into the Curve Inn, to Astrofix flying into the Trading Post for a night of glorious songs, things are happening. How about Sam and Trene taking care of business at the Crows Mill Pub, while Broken Stone smashes into the Blue Grouch? Audioburn heats up 411 Bar & Grill downtown with some heavy rock sounds, and the band is in the process of putting the finishing touches on a studio album that should be out this spring or summer. The five-piece rock band recently scored a righteous gig on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Firebird in St. Louis, placed on the bill with a couple other bands backing Smile Empty Soul. Rock on, for real.

Our good friends living in Juke House deliver the jump blues in style to make sure the house is a-juke rockin’ at Lime Street, and at Weebles it is Mary Jo Curry with her blistering band, straight off a great blues-radio year in 2017. Over at George Ranks, the “round bar” (and it really is), the Wolf Crick Boys host their annual “Hillbilly Hoedown” complete with decorations by Danielle and “hoedown vittles” until 11. Cowboy/girl apparel is not required, but it sure does make the night more fun. For the acoustically inclined and those particularly choosy on choices for wine and beer, Mike Burnett and acoustic friends stroll into It’s All About Wine as Sarah Schneider and Kris Lang pop into Craft Beer Bar.

Take a trip out of town and check out Ryman’s Way rocking out at BREWzrz Pub in Thayer, or The Cluster plucking in Rochester at the Walnut Street Winery, or The Natu Band tucking and rolling at the Boar’s Nest in Athens. In Jacksonville, Deep Lunar Blue shines at Kuhl Tyme Korner, while Lady Carole and her Knights do the standards in new ways at the Moose Lodge. Then there’s the inimitable Dan Rivero Blues Trio at The Creek in Chatham, plus BearFoot barely feeling footloose at Mama Lee’s Sandbar near Mechanicsburg.

Also on Saturday, Nashville-based songwriter and singer Sally Barris returns to Springfield for one day and night only. A world-class writer with major cuts to back her up, Sally will host a songwriter workshop during the day, then play a concert in the evening with Amy Benton and me as fellow songsters. The concert will be filled with witty banter and clever conversation along with our winning songs – at least, that’s what we shall attempt to accomplish. This all happens at the Hoogland Center for Arts, with proceeds from the concert to benefit the Springfield Area Arts Council. To sign up for the workshop with Sally, contact the SAAC, and to buy tickets for the concert, get a hold of the Hoogland box office.

Mosquitoes and sunburns are just around the bend.

Tom Irwin can be reached at

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