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Wednesday, June 18, 2008 03:41 pm

A bunch of stuff to do

Start a busy week with Michael Davis at Marly’s

Ben Bedford joins Sara Schneider, Paul Ingle, and others at the Songwriters Circle weekend in New Salem
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Judith Owen performs at the Hoogland Center for the Arts on Friday, June 20

Blame it on the summer solstice or whatever you want, but the entertainment schedule this week in the Springfield area is borderline manic. Being the serious and conscientious columnist that I am, I feel bound by duty to my community to attempt to announce each and every exciting event. However, because of the impracticality of my chosen task, I’ll just load you up with as much info as possible and move on.
Let’s start with Michael Davis, the subject of a Now Playing column about a year ago. The young and talented singer/songwriter returns to our fair city to open a show at Marly’s Pub (9 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-522-2280) with Brainchild and 56 Hope Road on Thursday, June 19. Davis, a Peoria resident, is touring the Midwest in support of his 2007 Cellar Records release One Down . . ., with stops scheduled in big cities such as Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Madison, plus smaller Illinois burgs like Dekalb, Belleville, and Peoria.
Friday, June 20, brings another WUIS (91.9 FM)-supported Bedrock 66 Live! series concert to the Hoogland Center for the Arts as Judith Owen scoots in for a show. Owen has been called the female Randy Newman with an exception: She can sing. She’s married to Harry Shearer, the writer/comedian and voice behind several Simpsons characters, and she’s a favorite of the great English singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson. Is that enough name-dropping to get you out to see her? I hope so, but besides all the hoopla, she’s absolutely stunning and brilliant. Out at the Theatre in the Park in Lincoln’s New Salem, near Petersburg, they’re having a Songwriters Circle weekend. I’m in that one, along with central-Illinois songwriters Ben Bedford, Sara Schneider, and Paul Ingle. Brian Ganse from Portland, Ore., and Sally Barris from Nashville, Tenn., add an exotic out-of-town flavor to the show, and Tin Ghost and the Bourbon Bluegrass Band appear as well. There’s something for everybody on different nights, but you’ll need to find out who’s playing when for yourself. If that isn’t enough to do (and it never is), on Sunday, June 22, several local bands play a benefit for the Keylon family, who lost their house and belongings in a tragic fire last April. Come support the cause, noon-8 p.m. at the Elks Club, 408 E. Lake Shore Dr. The organizers have lined up quite a variety of acts, each playing for about 45 minutes, so it’s a great way to check out a slew of local bands while helping out some folks who need it. Wednesday, June 25, the second Alive at Five concert takes place at the Douglas Park Bandshell. The Roger Kimball Band plays 5: 30-6:45 p.m., and the Groove Daddies go from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. It’s a cool deal, with Turasky’s Catering offering food and, for the first time ever — gasp! — alcoholic drinks being sold at a Springfield Parks function. I drifted by the first Alive at Five and am happy to report that the only trouble was a too-small crowd and a few pesky insects. I must leave you. My work here is done.
Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.
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