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Thursday, July 1, 2010 01:40 am

July heats up the music scene

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Little Joe McLerran performs Monday night at the Alamo.

As you experienced live music goers know, July means a plate chock full of performances coming out of our ears, to improperly mix metaphors or simulate similes or otherwise antagonize proper grammar and English usage. Where is Ezra Pound when you need him? Fighting in the captain’s tower with T.S. Eliot while the calypso singers laugh at them, according to Bob Dylan from his 1965 epic, “Desolation Row.” Nevertheless, whatever the critics say, I say and you too can say, there is a heck of a lot going on around here in the next month.

Blessed be the gift-givers and grant-makers as a report came in from Penny Wollan-Kriel of the Springfield Area Arts Council announcing Community Arts Access Program grant applications for “area not-for-profit organizations which bring arts programming to the citizens of Sangamon and Menard counties.” Those applying must attend at least one workshop explaining the process and the deadline for the grant application is on Aug. 16. Contact Penny at 217-753-3519 for more information.

During the Old Capitol Blues & BBQs festival, downtown on Aug. 28, the Illinois Central Blues Club once again hosts the ICBC Blues Challenge and announces a “call for bands and solo/duo acts” to compete for the chance to represent our blues community at the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis every February. Interested performers should contact the ICBC at www.icbluesclub.org or, better yet, attend a Blue Monday at the Alamo before the July 30 deadline and ask around while listening to world-class blues bands. The Monday night lineup for July includes stellar acts like Little Joe McLerran from Tulsa, Australian guitar virtuoso Michael Charles, the fantastic Laurie Morvan from California and the annual birthday bash of local legend Bill Evans on July 26.

 This weekend stretches out a bit with the Fourth being on a Sunday and Monday therefore becoming by proxy a holiday or in reality a day off work for those kinds of people with jobs and all that, so take your time and rejoice in the choices available. Check our happening IT Pub Crawl for all the exciting stuff including the Timmy’s at Bar None on Friday, the Aspect at Celtic Mist on Saturday and House of Nasty at Koo-Koo’s Nest on Sunday, plus fourteen thousand DJs and three million karaoke nights.

Outside the bars, the Capital City Celebration takes on a different look this year, utilizing various forms of entertainment to celebrate Independence Day by keeping the streets of Springfield hopping and bopping. Saturday at Fifth and Capitol on the Liberty Stage, the Groove Daddies hit it at 5:30 and Vertigo, a U2 tribute band, honor the Irish rock group and America at 8:30. The Backliners rock out at 5 and Still Kick’n country-rocks out at 8 to highly entertain the masses on Sunday. Also on Sunday, over on the Freedom Stage at Second and Monroe, music and entertainment begins around 1 and ends with the very hip, original and exciting, PJ Summers Band at 8. Again on the Fourth, at Second and Capitol, another stage hosts more music beginning at noon and ending with the Springfield Municipal Band starting at 4:45. Wow that’s a lot going on, plus the you-know-what go off at 9:30 on July 4. Hope it all stays high and dry.

And very quickly now, other upcoming highlights include the Taste of Downtown with Jason Isbell, formerly of the Drive By Truckers headlining the American Music Stage on July 10, Texas songwriter Eric Taylor on July 11 and Supe du Jour of Ozark Mountain Daredevils on July 17 at Bar None and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick holds a drum clinic July 18 at the Ash Street Eagles Club hosted by Daddy O’s Music Shack.  

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com

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