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Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 03:46 am

Labor Day pains

Will there be a Redneck-American Booth at the Ethnic Festival?

Untitled Document Oh me, oh my — Labor Day Weekend already. Where did the summer go? Now it’s off to fall, and we’re closing in rapidly on the end of 2007, with those pesky holidays and a new year to remind us how quickly time flies — whether you’re having fun or not. For several years now we’ve published a band/musician directory on the Illinois Times Web site, but you may have noticed that the names and contact numbers are rather outdated. So pay attention, all you musicians; we’re updating the listing, and we need you to send the appropriate information to us at contact name, phone number, e-mail address, Web site, a short description of your band’s style, and other pertinent tidbits you feel we should include. Attach a nice .jpg or suitable digital photo while you’re at it, and we can use it in the Pub Crawl listing, too. See how easy it all is? Now if we can just get a law guaranteeing minimum wage for musicians passed. When I talked with Roger Wainwright in the Miller tent at the Illinois State Fair, he reported sold-out shows and great responses for David: You and I, his musical that debuted in Jacksonville the first of August. Now another local musician has produced music for the stage. Mark Mathewson, a talented bluegrass guitarist and excellent songwriter, adopted traditional gospel songs and hymns such as the score for The Trip to Bountiful, and his daughter Molly sings during the performance. The drama (it’s definitely not a musical), written by Horton Foote and directed by
Phil Funkenbusch, opened last weekend at the Theatre in the Park in New Salem and continues through this weekend.

We mustn’t forget that in Springfield Labor Day weekend means the Ethnic Festival, held on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in the Ethnic Village area. There’s always plenty of food and live music, and you may see a few motorcycle enthusiasts drifting in from the Springfield Mile race, held at the grandstand racetrack. Rumor has it that the long-awaited Redneck-American Booth debuts this year, celebrating the salt of the prairie with a refrigerator stocked with white bread, cheap baloney, and single slices of American cheese — you leave the door open as you make your own sandwich without the aid of utensils. A David Allan Coe impersonator performs, throwing in a few Bellamy Brothers songs for the older generation and Montgomery Gentry tunes for the youngsters. The alcoholic beverages served include PBR in a can and shots of Cabin Still on the side. Yee-ha-ha-ha. Of course I’m just joking — right? All you lovers of free jazz should be sure to check out the End Times Trio at the Underground City Tavern, around 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4. The night of creative expression through jazz music will feature James Ilgenfritz, a bassist from New York City.
Contact Tom Irwin at
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