The rest of the local weeklies
In a column last month I mentioned a few of our standard weekly club shows, giving them the annual plug-in-print. Since then I’ve been accosted by more than one patron of the Springfield scene, wondering why I left out the many other weekly gigs going on around town. My reasoning went that the shows I wrote about were long-running events hosted by organizations featuring different artists each week, not weeklies with the same performers. My faithful and helpful readers were quick to point out that not all the shows I mentioned were hosted by organizations, and requested and suggested I give everyone an equal pitch. What could I do but shake my head, acknowledge my mistake and hope for redemption in another column.
So to start with I think I’ll mention the city’s longest-running weekly performance by an individual. That would be me on
Sunday nights at the Brewhaus. It’s hard to believe we’re well into our 14th year of what some fondly, if a little irreverently, refer
to as “church.” I’ve been there so long people much younger than me come up and say wonderful
things like, “My Dad said I should come see you play. He used to come out all the time.” “How often do you guys play here?” is another repeated delight, though my favorite of the youngsters is always, “Wow I didn’t know you knew any Johnny Cash, awesome!”
Marly’s Pub gets voted the best live music venue in our annual Best of Springfield every time the category comes up, mostly because of the weekend lineup, but the backbone of any good music club is truly its weekly shows. Every Friday the New Frank Trompeter Quartet plays jazz and related music from 6 to 8 p.m. with an occasional special guest sitting in. Monday, Joe Frew hosts an open mic where musicians play together, share ideas and generally hang out, be cool and make things happen. Sarah Schnieder covers the Tuesday slot, alternating weekly as a solo act and with her band, the Sarah Schnieder Band. For years Wednesday was the Station’s night (or at least Dave and Dave), but for now they’re down to the first Wednesday of the month.
Open mics, long a standard in the weekly bar fare, are plentiful and purposeful.
Bar None hosts a cool one on Tuesdays, with some wild and crazy guy named Big
Dave holding down the clipboard and the acoustic guitar. Bruce Williams of Nil8
fame watches over the Sandinista Open Mic on Tuesdays at the Planet. Out in
Williamsville Jaigh Lowder plays the BluCat Café every Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8 and then coordinates an acoustic music
jam until 10 p.m. The Trails End Saloon in Curran hosts two open mics, a
long-running adventure on Wednesdays with Kyla and a Sunday night show with
Fred and Tim.
A weekly gig overview would not be complete without mentioning the Original Acoustic Lunch from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays at the Trout Lily Café. Owner Kate Hawkes celebrates un-amplified, acoustic music, mostly through singer-songwriter types playing all-original songs for tips, just like it’s been done for hundreds of years in cafes the world over.
A hodgepodge of other shows includes local and legendary performers Butch Ramelow at the Buckhart Tavern on Sundays and Springfield Shaky at Folky’s Pub on Tuesdays, Freejazz with the End Times Trio plus 1 at Phil’s Lounge the first Sunday of each month, an acoustic Celtic music jam at Celtic Mist every Tuesday, and Gypsy Collabo somewhere almost every day of the week.
So there you have it, a hopefully complete list, with some descriptions, of repeating gigs in Springfield. I purposefully left out the karaoke and DJ nights, perhaps to be dealt with accordingly in another column. If I didn’t list your weekly gig please let me know. Oh you were planning on doing just that? I see.