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Thursday, April 21, 2011 03:21 pm

Entertaining Easter weekend


Hipbone Sam plays several shows around town this week.

Easter is supposed to be a joyous celebration for those of the Christian faith, so why not make the most of it and get out to see some live music on this late date Resurrection weekend? Whether you’re passionate about the Passion or not, come on out and check up on all the good music happening inside (and outside) around town.

On Thursday, Bang’s Hideout, the bar of record for recent city council discussions about adding one more tavern to the Wild West of Springfield over on the east side, declares victory with a grand opening celebration featuring Mike Burnett from 7 to 9 p.m. I comprehend the concept and respect the reasoning behind limiting the number of liquor licenses in certain areas as a way of creating more peaceful and desirable neighborhoods. The Sunday State Journal-Register main story showed our lopsided tavern allocation and city history verifies certain parts of town are more apt to be allowed to sell booze than others. Remember the loud ruckus raised by locals when the gas station on Ash and MacArthur asked to sell package liquor?

For this particular incident, it put a different spin on the whole ordeal when I discovered Bang’s location. The bar our council argued over licensing because of liquor availability issues on the east side of Springfield has been a respectable barroom for decades, one readers may remember under many different names including, the Cracked Crock and Café Kanichiwa. Because of that I support the decision to allow the bar to open since it already has been for years with no great negative impact. On the other hand, the point of choosing carefully when allowing a liquor license is extremely valid and not to be driven only by market saturation as some folks in the SJ-R article advised. If as a community we want the entire city to progress and prosper alike, then all areas should be treated with equal respect and consideration. As a fan of taverns and the live music scene they support I’m fully aware of the good that goes on and the damage that can be done plus the need to strike a fair and just balance for all concerned.

A sure sign of spring, the Curve Inn’s outdoor area is now open from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays with live music, featuring the incredible and inimitable Joe Cooke Band this week and fine entertainment all summer long. Downtown, Robbie’s features the amazing combo of Dan Rivero, Wayne Carter and Dave Lumsden, with special guest vocalist, the one and only Hurricane Ruth, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dave Littrell, longtime leader of local touring stalwarts the Station, plays the Café Andiamo sidewalk sounds series from 5 to 7 p.m. Littrell is set to release an acoustic-based recording that supports the singer-songwriter side of the talented composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist sometime in early summer.

Hipbone Sam is everywhere as usual covering 17 open mics, 32 solo shows and at least 168 other things in one week’s pub crawl, including a two-fer full band performance this weekend with shows at Koo Koo’s Nest Friday and at the Still in New Berlin on Saturday. For more fun-filled small town ramblings, Groove Daddies play Gambino’s in Rochester, Still Kickn’ hits the Blue Moon in Dawson and Ran$om with Katie Brown does the Boar’s Nest in Athens, all on Saturday night.

Back in lovely downtown Springfield on Easter Eve, Sarah Schneider Band and folk band South Fork rock at the Celtic Mist Pub with an “eggstravaganza” celebration, while Frank Trompeter happily fits his quintet with guest trumpeter A. J. Good into the friendly confines of the unsinkable Norb Andy’s.

And for post-Easter happenings, come see me with the Raouligans at the Brewhaus on Sunday and/or check out Tombstone Bullet at the Alamo for Blue Monday.

As always, have a “Hoppy” Easter.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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