Last year about this time, Girl-A-Thon debuted with a bang. There’s nothing like one successful event to warrant another, so off we go with round two of this hip and worthy event, from here on out, referred to as “GAT.”
Formed in the fertile mind of Gwen Harris, the only female member of the Harris family of musical siblings (Bustin’ Loose when together and other entities separately), GAT gives the girls a turn to balance out the male-dominated Guitartown, Drumfest, Bassburg instrument events that cropped up over the last few years. Gwen conceived the show as a way to raise awareness of breast cancer and score some donations for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, while getting the music-playing women of central Illinois a wonderful excuse to get together to rock the day away.
For 2011 the all-day extravaganza (Sun, Oct. 9, 2 p.m., Firefighters/Postal Club at Lake Springfield) again features Summer Roberts as GAT emcee and a killer backup band including Harris on lead guitar, Janet Morris singing, Caprice Sidener picking guitar, Tina Thornhill covering bass, Patty Kniss doing drums and Kyla Kruse fingering the keyboards. Special guests vary from last year with a new crop of female entertainers, musicians and performers including Stacey Hollerauer, Jenny Campbell, Eva Hunter, Brandy Kristin, Anita Thornhill, Amanda LaMarca, Sue McGill, Jessi James, Karmen Anders-Vicari and Kelsey Hickman, plus special guests to be announced the day of the show.
Donations are $10 a person with kids 12 and under free. Taco Gringo brings all the chow and A to Z Automotive sponsors the event, with special bottle cap necklaces made by Gwen’s 11-year-old granddaughter, Lexie, available for a donation. The entire show goes live on the Web through Bad Guy Radio streaming online at www.allamericanbadguy.com. Other generous offerings by local businesses include a pink Fender Squier Stratocaster given by the Rock Shop as a raffle item and a couple guitars from Rolens Brothers Music, plus a 50/50 drawing, GAT T-shirts, silent auction and raffle items, and even more ways to aid this worthy and heartfelt cause. Check GAT out on Facebook or go to www.springfieldgirlathon.com for more information.
In the too-little-too-late category, apologies to Hipbone Sam for my lack of attention to mention his CD release party last Friday at the Travelodge. The Hipbone let loose his second collection of all original tunes, this one named after his signature yell, Say…YEAH! I got his well done press release stuck in the wrong place and mistakenly didn’t say a word about the show last week. He very graciously donated the proceeds of his CD sales from that evening to Girl-A-Thon 2011, holding a very personal attachment to the cause, as so many of us do. To keep up with HB Sam at one of his many weekly open mics or a weekend band show, bone up at www.hipbonesam.com.
In another interesting fundraiser, blues boys from the great state of Washington, Too Slim and the Taildraggers, are raffling off a metallic red Reverend Jetstream 290 guitar while out this fall in support of their new CD Shiver, sending raffle proceeds to the Washington German Shepherd Rescue organization. See Too Slim perform at the Alamo for the Illinois Central Blues Club’s Blue Monday on Oct. 10, 8:30 p.m. and get a raffle ticket for $2 or go to www.tooslim.org for all the skinny.
In other bonafide weekend news, Lincoln Memorial Garden hosts its annual Indian Summer Festival on Saturday and Sunday with exciting entertainment, including Ken Carlyle, Ben Bedford and the Blue G’s, among others. Friday at Marly’s The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band bangs around the corner stage with Austin Lucas and the Bold Party plus Ol’ Red Shed as supporting acts.
Contact Tom Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.