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Thursday, March 22, 2018 12:03 am

Mixing it up in March

Lady Carole & Her Knights celebrate their eight-year anniversary at 411 Bar & Grill, Sunday, March 25, from 2 to 5pm.


By now everyone has (hopefully) recovered from the Celtic frenzy of last weekend and is looking forward to a variety of music for our last full weekend of March.

Please pay attention now to a Facebook page called Johnny “Slu” Sluzalis Appreciation (thanks Kyle Muskopf) and “appreciate” one of Springfield’s most enduring and endearing musicians, drummer John Sluzalis. From bands such as Tonguesnatcher Revue, Crystal Ship, Hurricane Ruth, Cats on Holiday, Two Swingin’ Johns, Bowling Alley Big Band, Diversity and many others, plus tours with the Ice Capades (yes, really), Slu has touched thousands of music listeners. He’s also been a prominent and persistent educator through drum and percussion lessons as well as a friend, mentor, music companion and all-around good guy to the community for, shall we say, a time that’s approaching half a century. So hop on your Facebook, look up the page, read the most excellent article by Bill Janssen, and then post remembrances, photos, stories, tales of the Slu on the loose, or just spend some time getting to know the life and times of John “Johnny Slu” Sluzalis.

On Friday Sangamon Auditorium hosts a band called The HillBenders in the UIS Studio Theatre, performing the Who’s rock opera Tommy in a bluegrass format on acoustic instruments such as banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass and guitar. The concept, called a “Bluegrass Opry,” was conceived by the late Louis Jay Meyers, who helped found SXSW, played on Jason Eklund’s Flying Fish Records, and guided the nearly defunct Folk Alliance International organization back to national relevance. The concert runs about 75 minutes and might leave you speechless, but not quite deaf, dumb and blind like Tommy.

The Station, a long-running, popular local band, brings its original, fusion and jam band music excitement to Bar None on Friday night. The concert marks the debut of Michael Sullivan on lead guitar, who joins founding members Dave Littrell and Dave Carter along with bassist extraordinaire Jeff Cunningham to take the sounds of The Station to another level.

Lady Carole and Her Knights celebrate their eighth anniversary with a performance at 411 Bar & Grill from 2 to 5 on Sunday. Our good lady Carole Vetter will also celebrate her birthday at the family-owned venue, located downtown on Washington between Fourth and Fifth Streets. When Carole first started singing at jazz open jams, the love of music got her going, and that’s what keeps her at it to this day. It’s also why she’s most proud of the often-heard comments that she and the band always seem to be enjoying themselves on stage. Well, when you have cool cats and natty knights such as Charlie Foxx (bass), “J” Cole (keys), Keagan Cunningham (drums), Michael Viles (congas), Tombe Kemayo (keys/vocals) and Tommy Lewis (guitar) playing songs that include everything from Sade, Michael McDonald and Miley Cyrus to the Eagles and beyond, the odds are that fun will be had. Congratulations to all for keeping the band going and for making music for your pleasure and pleasing others.

Next Tuesday, March 27, the Paris-Belle House Concerts hosts world-renowned Scottish musicians, songwriters and storytellers Reid and van Sante. Keyboardist and singer Alan Reid is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Battlefield Band, and Rob van Sante is a vocalist and master of the acoustic guitar, well revered in the English folk scene. To experience these incredible players up close and personal is an honor not to be taken lightly. Contact paris-belleconcerts@outlook.com for reservations.

Yes, indeed there are many other exciting and inviting music shows for you to go see.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com

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