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Wednesday, July 19, 2006 12:57 am

Walk this way

The Micah Walk Band debuts its new CD on Friday at Marly’s


Recently I was going through a pile of bar-napkin notes and crumpled business cards, looking for any important lost messages, and I found a note from Jim Wavering, owner/operator of Marly’s Pub. It was from sometime in spring of 2004, I think (yes, I know that’s a long time to keep a bar-napkin note) and went something like “This Micah Walk is really good. He’s one of the best I’ve ever heard in my bar. You should check him out.”

I popped in the accompanying CD — and I agreed with Jim: The guy was good. Walk had that indescribable something-or-other certain artists have that makes you stop, look, and listen. Last fall, after years of mostly solo acoustic performances, Walk began working with members of the Bloomington-based band Public Display of Funk. This spring they recorded a full-length CD of Walk’s original music at Mark Rubel’s Pogo Studios in Champaign. The resulting disk, titled Change, has a funky feel and great grooves that emphasize the lyrics, supporting and carrying them. In a full circle and fitting fashion, the Micah Walk Band debuts the new CD 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, July 21, at Marly’s Pub (9 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-522-2280).

When local singer/songwriter extraordinaire John Brillhart called up college buddy Chris Eitel to see what’s up, he was pleasantly surprised to learn of Eitel’s membership in Elsinore, one of the most popular original bands on the Charleston and Champaign-Urbana college circuit. A deal was done, and now Brillhart, ably supported by the most excellent guitarist Michael Sullivan, will alternate sets with Elsinore on Saturday, July 22, at the Underground City Tavern, in the basement of the Hilton Springfield (700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530). The acoustic folk/rock/alt-country quartet blends four-part harmony with a guitar/keyboards/bass/percussion instrumentation to create a soft yet powerful collection of top-shelf originals and tasty covers. That and Brillhart’s passionately prairie style of songwriting should add up to a dandy of a show.

Consider this advance notice of the Kyle Petty Rooftop Pitstop shindig, taking place Thursday, July 27, on the parking-garage roof at the Hilton Springfield. Come for the charity NASCAR events and stay for the music, I say, as Marah, the Bottle Rockets, and the Damwell Betters go blasting out the jams over downtown Springfield. Tickets are available at the Hilton.

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