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Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010 05:36 am

Holiday ruminations

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Sally Weisenburg Trio performs at the Alamo on Dec. 27.

Through a combination of feeling reflective at nearing another year’s end and the small selection of entertainment choices caused by Christmas coming on a Saturday I’m settling in for a long winter’s column on this, that and the other thing. Next week the opposite happens; with New Year’s Eve on a Friday, making it a superb night for live music in the capital city, there will be little room for going thoughtful.    
First a quick reminder of the Romany Club Reunion on Dec. 23, Thurs. evening at the Walnut Street Winery in Rochester with Chris Miller, Mike “Hobo” Coble and Joe Dawkins. The three talented songwriters and performers all played quite a bit at the tiny Seventh Street bar in the 80s and plan on a song swapping, music making night of it.

Regretfully I must report the demise of Remy’s on Monroe. After a year and a half of strongly supporting live jazz music the doors close at the end of 2010. On Dec. 29 friends are invited to stop by from 5:30 on to celebrate the tenure of Remy’s. Live jazz (what else?) begins at 6:30 and goes until midnight with local musicians who will certainly miss the wonderful and supportive venue, supplying the jams. It’s a tough business folks, and live music venues should not be taken for granted. Thanks to Matt and Barb and all at Remy’s for providing the local scene with live jazz music in a remarkable atmosphere and intimate setting.

Personal personnel losses in 2010 include two well-loved and highly respected musicians, Jerry Turley and Raoul. Both men I considered dear friends and both touched many, many listeners with music from the soul and the heart. They will be dearly missed and already are by plenty of us who were so used to having the good company and sincere love of these fine musicians. Jam on brothers. Play it true and sweet. I don’t know why or how, but it sure feels like this year we lost more loved ones and blessed hearts than I can remember giving up in a long time, if ever. How we really keep score on the losses I don’t know, but there were some rough moments in 2010 that have forever left a mark on me.

In lighter and brighter news, Sally Weisenburg Trio knocks out the Blue Monday Alamo gig on Dec. 27 sponsored by our good friends at the Illinois Central Blues Club. My guess is folks will be done with the holiday happenings and come out with gusto to join in a lovely live music moment. From playing plenty of Sundays during the holidays at Brewhaus I’ve seen bunches of returning Springfieldians making a beeline for the bars, especially those with live music on regular weekly nights, to reunite with friends and family. Welcome home pilgrims. Remember no one ever really leaves Springfield anyway, you know.

I’ve heard several people asking if Marshall Crenshaw and the Bottle Rockets were coming to Springfield. Unfortunately the very cool double bill is not, though there was some talk of it making the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series. To the best of my knowledge the closest they get is the Castle Theatre in Bloomington on Jan. 21, with other area dates Jan. 19 in St. Louis, Jan. 20 in Chicago, Jan. 22 in Lafayette, Ind. And speaking of the fine WUIS-sponsored music series, get your season tickets now and I hear you get a free 2011 Bedrock 66 Live! T-shirt in the bargain. Yahoo!!

Well that about sums it up for me. Happy Xmas. War is over if you want it, to quote the always applicable, forever inimitable John Lennon.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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