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Thursday, Oct. 9, 2003 02:20 pm

Now Playing 10-9-03

All aboard the night train

Ed Clark Quartet Robbie’s Uptown Friday Night Friday 5:30-7:30pm

Hop on board. Let's take a little trip on the nightlife train. All stops guaranteed to blow your mind -- or at least tickle it a bit.

Robbie's Uptown Friday Night has been a raging success for many years in the right-after-work happy hour category. This week performing pianist Ed Clark brings in his quartet to continue the good cause and will unveil two CDs for public purchase. One, Piano in the Key of Christmas, features swinging yuletide faves like "Jingle Bell Rock," "Rock Around the Christmas Tree," plus standbys "Silver Bells" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Number two, entitled My Romance, includes "Misty," "Ain't Misbehaving" and other familiar jazz-swing standards. Springfield vocalist Mark McCue sings four songs on the Christmas CD and seven on the non-holiday disk, backed by Clark on a Yamaha grand piano. The quartet will entertain at Robbie's and McCue has promised to sing along with Ed during the two-hour show, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Give a big old slap on the back to Joe and his crew for traversing through a year of selling chow and slopping beer at Knuckleheads on Peoria Road. Saturday night, the Oohs perform from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Northend bar. The party goes on all day and continues we hope, through many more years.

Sunday is Pick Your Benefit day. The Animal Protective League hosts Party Animal Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Forty-Niner Bye-Bye. M.I.C.E. (Music In Education and Communities), an organization dedicated to providing American roots music to schools and the general populace, presents Rhythm, Rhyme, and Roots, at Floyd's Thirst Parlor from 2 to 6 p.m. American Legion Post 32 features a medical assistance benefit for ailing 24 year-old, Brandon Wyatt from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. All three benefits are chock-full of great bands and musicians and are more than worthy of your support.

Traveling singer-songwriters Bill Passalacqua and Greg Klyma invade the Space on Tuesday, for a romp through their original Americana song bag. The troubadours have collectively logged over a half-million miles during the last five years, crisscrossing the country playing festivals, roadhouses, coffeehouses, friend's houses, parking lots, sleeping little while making the road their home. The folk-friendly show starts at 8 p.m. in the little community center that could at 830 S. College.

Allow me a moment to blow my own horn and announce the release of Live from Brewhaus, my fifth CD and the first featuring the Notorious Hired Hands. We'll be hanging out, selling CDs and playing music at, you guessed it, Brewhaus, just like every Sunday for the last nine years -- except we'll start early for us, at 8 p.m.

Hope you enjoyed the ride.

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