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Thursday, May 6, 2010 12:06 pm

May’s amalgam of offerings


Marina V

Coming up on the first full weekend in May and I can only say there is so much going on, no one subject trumped another. Therefore I will proceed with an amalgam of offerings at various venues and upon assorted subjects.

First up here’s a heads up to Marina V fans. Most likely due to her very astute Web presence MV-heads are aware she is in a competition for a chance to play the Lilith Fair on stage with founding female Sarah McLachlan. For complete voting instructions go to www.marinaV.com or head to www.ourstage.com to place your choice for best song and artist (vote for whoever you want as long as it’s our girl). I’m not sure I understand the whole process other than voting for Marina puts her into position for a fantastic career opportunity and all you got to do is push a few buttons. The song she’s presenting, You Make Me Beautiful, comes from her latest fan-supported CD, My Star, released in March of 2010.

Over the weekend I played a little outdoor festival in a recently redone area of downtown Normal, next to a very cool and hip ice cream parlor. Interestingly enough, ice cream received top billing on the festival posters, but friend and stellar performing songwriter Jason Eklund made it there as well. For those of you fortunate enough to be familiar with Jason’s extremely capable abilities, rest assured the voracious vagabond once likened to the likes of Woody Guthrie and the only songwriter I know to have a self-delivered quote from Townes Van Zandt, continues on the ragged road of genius. Still an inventive and brilliant guitarist with a pocketful of subtle and deep songs including five on-the-mark stunning new ones, Eklund wanders this world a wayward soul, soaking in the ever-present emotion and delivering feelings through songs with astute and aware sensations. Long may you run, Captain Stringbean!

Not long ago it seemed early Friday evenings were a lost cause musically except for the wonderful and long-running Uptown Friday Nights at Robbie’s. One quick glance at IT’s Pub Crawl listings negates this forlorn thought. The Frank Trompeter Jazz Quartet hosts a Happy Hour & Etc, at Marly’s each week, recently releasing Gnarly at Marly’s, a live CD and this week presenting Josie Lowder as guest vocalist. Then we have Pete Sander and Geoff Ryan with original acoustic tunes at the Andiamo! evening event from 5 to 7 and DSI’s First Fridays kicking in this week with live music somewhere around the Old State Capitol, I think (and if not it should be). The Groove Daddies just keep getting finer with age and this week pop into the Curve Inn beer garden from 6 to 10 to entertain and delight with those GD classic takes on classic cuts. Across the South Sixth Street intersection Frank Parker hosts an early evening of jazz at the Route 66 Hotel lounge to continue a fairly fantastic yet truly regular and absolutely average early evening Friday night in Springfield, Ill.

The rest of the night takes off in all kinds of directions including Mike Burnett and Joe Cooke (local legends) at Dublin Pub in Vinegar Hill Mall, Trippin’ Billies (Dave Matthews tribute band) at Marly’s, Frieda Lee (world class jazz vocalist from Chicago) at Remy’s, Eva Hunter at Norb Andy’s (pre-Girlfest party) and a lovely assortment of local groups like Real Time, the Oohs, the Rave, Hipbone Sam, Kit and the Mudbugs, playing here, there and everywhere around central Illinois.

In another event of note and this one on Saturday night, Mr. Opporknockity reunites for a blast at Frankie’s 49er at 9 p.m. I once had the honor of playing with this fine bunch of musicians and songwriters and we had a hoot. The O’Boys made a very successful run in the area for about a decade and did it mostly through original songs and that is an accomplishment. Congrats and may the reunion lead to a permanent reinstatement of band doings.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com

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