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Thursday, March 25, 2004 03:31 pm

Now Playing 3-25-04

Hot Property Boone's Saloon. Friday, 9pm

Yikes! Is it really the end of March 2004? I must be having fun 'cause the time surely does fly by.

Speaking of flying time -- anyone remember Rudolph's Bean, a local coffeehouse of some 30 years ago? Our pal and IT contributor Job Conger fondly remembers the joint. He played music there when folk singing was all the rage. Through the ensuing years, Job has continued writing poetry, singing his songs, and reciting the work of Vachel Lindsay. He has published several collections of his poems and a recent Lindsay biography. Job is all yours, Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Julie Kluge's Suns Up Koffee Kafe on the corner of First and Calhoun. Folk on, brother.

Continuing in our local history vein -- when was the last time you thought about the Holiday Inn Galaxy Lounge? Remember Eddy Howard and Waves, the lounge's house band? Come on, dig through those soggy late night memories -- it's good exercise, even though you might not want to recall everything. Eddy is back from Peoria with Judy Howard "Queen of the Hammond B3" and our local institution, Johnny Slu, plus the rest of Waves and extra special guests for a Saturday night blues rock extravaganza at the Trading Post Saloon on Durkin Drive.

Let's take one more walk down memory lane to look for those lost but not forgotten fond and foggy recollections. More than ten years ago, when the Screamin' Vatos was yet a whisper in Billy Bacon's mind, Chris Sutton, the band's original conga player, was there to help put the percussion pieces together to form an incredible Latin and rock-influenced band à la Santana. After seven years with the Vatos, Sutton left to continue his medical training and boy did that hurt. Friday at the Cinco de Mayo lounge in the Travelodge hotel, Chris reunites with his bandmates after a three-year absence. I can hear them Vatos screamin' already.

Catch Springfield's premier indie-rock band at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Andiamo! and check out their new three-song EP. Resident Genius, along with Black Ice, Pacemakers, and the Charity Case will fill the downtown coffeehouse with mostly young folks, but all ages are invited.

Boone's Saloon is jumping on the live music bandwagon and booking local groups every Friday with the ever-popular Hot Property taking this week's spot. Mike Burnett covers Wednesday night and fear not, recorded music lovers -- the Fun Factory DJs will get your happy feet hopping on Saturday.

On Friday 56 Hope Road returns from Chicago with Springfield native drummer, Greg Fundis in tow and stops in at Jazz Central Station, atop the Hilton. The group combines singing harmony with acoustic and electric instruments to create a pretty combination of rhythmic folk-rock, jam band-style.

Wander on down Peoria Road and stumble into Knucklehead's on Friday for a visit with Flashback. Yes, you'll like the band, and yes, you can dance, and yes, you'll enjoy the tasteful song list. It could be the most enjoyable flashback experience you've ever had.

All you mindful music lovers, don't forget national icon and luminous legend Willie Nelson slips his way into Sangamon Auditorium on Wednesday. Some of you may say you've seen him before, but think about it: He's 70 and it's the first time he's played Springfield in a sit-down listening environment. I'm going.

See you next week for the April Fools edition of Now Playing. Having fun yet?

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