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Wednesday, April 23, 2008 01:39 am

Flash flood of live shows

Deluge of great live shows starts with Reverend Payton

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The Tombstone Bullet performs at the Capital City Bar & Grill on Friday, April 25.

They say that when it rains it pours — or perhaps it’s an April-shower thing. Whatever the saying, there is a regular deluge of live music in Springfield this weekend, so get on your boots or pull on your highwaters and wade in deep. Let’s begin our cruise at the best place to hear live music in the capital city — Marly’s Pub (9 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-522-2280), according to Illinois Times readers who voted in the 2007 Best of Springfield competition. This Thursday, April 24, the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, plus the Woodbox Gang and Jason Wedley, take the corner stage. We’ve extolled the virtues of the Woodbox Gang here before, and the Big Damn Band is from the same mold — absolutely brilliant stuff. With the blues-soaked Reverend playing guitar and singing, backed by his washboard-playing wife and his little brother on the drums, it’s all in the family — and this family is wonderfully whacked. Friday, April 25, marks the return of hard-drivin’ blues by the Tommy Andrews Band. Andrews, who once lived in central Illinois and now resides in Kansas City, uncovered a knack for the electric blues a few years back and now drifts around the great Midwestern sea of blues, playing the ports, waiting for his ship to come in. Saturday night, April 26, brings the Goodyear Pimps, who, folks say, are exposing their country roots while keeping one boot in the crunch-and-scream world of rock. Sounds like a much-needed cowpunk revolution is on the rise. How high’s the water, Mama?
What began as a 10-year anniversary celebration for Michael Rapier’s engineering firm ended up as a full-fledged party and charity event, complete with live music, at the Capital City Bar & Grill (3149 S. Dirksen Pkwy., 217-529-8580) on Friday. The fun gets started with a kickoff party for the Rutledge Youth Foundation’s annual Harley-Davidson Raffle, then Elizabeth Eckert, the Springfield resident who recently paid those American Idol folks a visit, opens the show, a-singing the blues. Also on the bill is Brother Ray and the Blades, consisting of former Tonguesnatcher Revue members Doug Rapier, Bill Janssen, John Sluzalis, and Jim Troxell. Other former members are likely to drift in, making the event a real reunion for one of central Illinois’ most influential bands. (A look at the band’s history, “No regrets,” was our cover story on Nov. 8). Next up is Tombstone Bullet, Springfield’s newest straight-up blues band, featuring local players Mike Rapier (your party host), Rick Hardin, Mike Gillette, Dion Doss, and Cory Brown. Special guests include Shun Kikuta, a native of Japan but now a famed Chicago bluesman playing lead guitar with Koko Taylor, and Luca Giordano, a guitarist from Italy who tours with such blues luminaries as Chris Cain and Nellie “Tiger” Travis. The party starts at 7 p.m. and runs until whenever it’s over. You can also check out the benefit concert for The Revolution’s You, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday on the Harvard Park Elementary School grounds or the Prairie Folklore Society’s Barn Dance, 7 p.m. Saturday at the Rochester Public Library, but I wouldn’t want to swamp anyone with too much information or drown a person in a deluge of decisions.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.
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