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Thursday, June 9, 2011 06:19 am

June music abounds


The JaneDear GIrls perform at the Sangamon County Fair grandstand June 15 in New Berlin.

Oh my goodness, I hardly know where to begin with the vast assortment of entertainment possibilities awaiting you, my listening friends of the music arts. So no more chitchatting, let’s get on with it, there’s no time to waste.

First off, let us congratulate Robert Beam, area resident and winner of the Peoria Guitar Center “King of the Blues Contest” held June 2. Known locally for his work with the blues group, Bluesmattic, Beam beat out 20 other contestants during three rounds of competitions for the honor. He now proceeds to regional finals in Minneapolis on June 23 and, with any success, moves on in August to the national finals in LA at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip. Best of luck to “Mr. Bluesmattic” in taking the crown.

The world-famous and globally attended International Carillon Festival in Washington Park continues this week through Sunday, celebrating 50 years of festivals with guest artists from France, Denmark, Germany, Norway, England and United States, joining our very own carillonneur or carillonist (either term is proper) Karel Keldermans. Watch for fireworks on Saturday and Sunday, fantastic music throughout, with a theme of Dancing in the Dark explored by the performing artists.

The Bedrock 66 Live! concert series continues at the Hoogland with Southern Culture on the Skids and Krank Daddies on Sat., June 11. Sponsored by WUIS and Daddy-O’s Music Shack (congrats to Doug for 10 years of business), this show is guaranteed to get you up and moving with both bands considered high-octane, boogie-woogie groups that know how to rock a house with rockabilly style. SCOTS approach nearly 30 years of being “the bards of downward mobility” by continuing to effortlessly discuss the merits and lifestyles of trailer dwelling, hairspray wearing, beer slugging, pickup-driving folks with hilariously true-to-life tales supported by unstoppable, shake-a-pudding music.  

An area organization called Musicians of Illinois hosts its first annual festival at Bunker’s in Illiopolis on Sat., June 11, from 2:30 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. “Dedicated to all the hardworking musicians in the area,” the MOI fest features comedy acts and bands of various styles, including Hot bag o’ donuts, Cocked and Loaded, What thou will, GRIM, Betrayal from Within and JAKTUP. Here’s to many more events.

Small town festivals continue with Pawnee Prairie Days (Roscoe & The Roosters on Thurs., Cold Shot on Fri., The Fundamentals and Still Kick’n on Sat.) and Irish Days in Farmersville (Cabin Fever on Thurs., the Oohs on Fri., and 808 on Sat.) going on all weekend. The county fairs begin with Macon County in Decatur hosting Josh Thompson on Fri., and Riverbottom Nightmare and Brushfire on Sat. Our Sangamon County Fair in New Berlin kicks off on Tuesday with the first music entertainment on Wednesday night featuring Exile and The JaneDear Girls at the grandstand and Area 51 in the beer tent.

How about this lineup at Walnut Street Winery’s beer garden on Saturday night in Rochester? Let’s put Dave Lumsden, Blake Everist, Ruth Lamaster and Art Carey together to play blues and see what kind of excitement shakes out.

The notoriously fun Brewhaus Prom happens on Sat., June 11, featuring the band Two Trick Pony and a wonderful opportunity for you to relive your prom night in a bar. Our old pal Jeremy Thomas, former bar manager and entertainment director of Marly’s and Norb Andy’s, surfaced at Dublin Pub on Wabash and Chatham Road. As to be expected, he’s introducing live music commencing on Tuesday nights from 8 to10 in the beer garden with Micah Walk scheduled for June 14, Thistle & Thyme June 21 and Sarah Schneider on June 28. It’s good to have some music coming to the west side on a regular basis. Thanks Jeremy.

Wow. My job is complete. Now it’s your turn.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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