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Thursday, May 26, 2005 10:08 am

music notes 5-26-05

It’s homecoming night for Kyle Westbrook on Friday, May 27, at Jazz Central Station (700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530) when the Springfield native returns to town as the drummer for Chicago hip-hop band Small Change. Westbrook graduated from Lanphier in 1991 and after college moved to Chicago. During the three years he’s been part of the group, the rock-edged outfit has played most of the medium-sized and a few of the larger popular Windy City venues. They’re now expanding their reach into Champaign, Carbondale, and, of course, Springfield.
There’s lots of extra entertainment on tap on this Memorial Day weekend. The Springfield Mile draws thousands of thirsty fans, most of whom like to listen to live music and drink beer. Be sure to check out the Pub Crawl calendar for the skinny, especially the Sunday-night after-the-race goings-on. You’ll find bands where you normally wouldn’t: The Screaming Vatos perform outside at the Curve Inn (3219 S. Sixth St., 217-529-5806) on Friday evening; Ed McCann’s Rockhouse shows up there on Sunday. Ultraviolet is at the Cove (1616 N. Dirksen Parkway, 217-753-1760) on Saturday, then at Dude’s Saloon (2001 N. 11th, 217-523-2346) on Sunday. Syncro Joe is playing from (yawn!) 10 a.m. until the race starts on Sunday, somewhere on the infield of the racetrack at the state fairgrounds. There’s more, but I don’t want to spoil the surprises.
Performing songwriter Joni Laurence makes the trek from Champaign to honor us with her sweet voice and strong songs at the Sun’s Up Koffee Kafe (1001 N. First St., 217-522-5348), 7-9 p.m. Saturday, May 28. The smoke-free coffeehouse serves sandwiches in addition to cold and hot beverages and is a superb listening room, well suited to quiet, introspective acoustic music. Kristi Kjeldsen, a songwriter from Champaign who now lives in Springfield, opens the show.
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