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Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 03:03 am

New bands for the new year

Outside the Box makes its debut on Saturday at the Trading Post Saloon

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In the ever-changing landscape of area bands it seems this first weekend of the New Year delivers us some new groups to ponder and peruse. There’s nothing like switching it up a bit and stirring the pot to bring new flavors to the mix. Any Starry Eye fans left out there? Sure there are. Remember bassist Rusty Koehler? Of course you do. Can anyone name other popular local groups the talented singer and plucker of the four-string belonged to? Ask around if you don’t know, because I’m betting someone close by will shout out a few gone, but not forgotten band names. Koehler is back in the spotlight again, joining old pal Keith Dunlap as a member of Hoosier Daddies, a local rock group Dunlap hopped aboard with some time ago. The two cohorts also combined with Kortney Leatherwood and Sam Draper to create  the band Outside the Box, debuting Jan. 5 at the Trading Post Saloon (731 S. Durkin Dr., 217-787-8434). Drop by www.myspace.com/outsidethebox212 for more information and latest happenings on the group. What dashing debutante is throwing herself a birthday bash (a Deb’s Ball they’d call it in Ireland) at the Brewhaus (617 E. Washington St., 217-525-6399) on Friday, Jan. 4, with a brand-spanking, new band headlining? I promised Peper I wouldn’t say, but I can tell you the Sarah Schneider Band starts at 9 p.m. as the featured act. Sarah of the long, flowing locks, brash voice, and acoustic rhythm guitar fronts this potent (as opposed to impotent) lineup: Brad Beneky, bass, Chris Warren, drums, and Raoul, electric guitar. For the uninitiated, when it comes to playing, these guys tear it up musically — but please, lock your doors, hide all the booze and send your women and children to hide in the hills until Monday. I mean it. What’s this, yet another group new to the local music scene? Well if they aren’t new we haven’t seen the Spring Street Jazz Ensemble out and about much lately. The promo says keyboardist Mark Vincent is with the band and that makes the group worth seeing old, new, or everlasting. The proof is in the pudding upstairs at Phil’s Lounge (620 S. First St., 217-522-6300) on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 4 and 5, from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. And while we’re still on the subject of new bands in town here’s a late notice. Last Friday (sorry guys) Touch of Grey debuted at It’s All About Wine. Just so you know, it’s Peter Glatz and some members of the Last Chance Blues Band together again, this time doing some traditional blues tunes, along with covers by the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison, Ben Harper, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen, plus a few originals by group bassist Les Hardy. So now you know when you see the name who it is and what’s going on. After Marina V’s successful Springfield show on Dec. 21, the Russian-born singer-songwriter’s gall bladder and a few ornery gallstones decided they would like to stay in town (what gall!). She obliged them through emergency surgery on Christmas Eve and is now recovering nicely, sans the pernicious body parts. Marina V fans can send our gutsy gal a get-well-soon e-mail at marina@marinav.com. What other wondrous excitement awaits us in the upcoming year? We shall see, friends, we shall see.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.
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