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Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 03:31 pm

December goodies

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The Dogs Divine play area shows for the CD release of Size of the Fight.

I got started on one thing and that led to another and, before you know it, so many cool things were going on now and through the next week I just had to write about as many as I could.

Let’s chime in first with another local joining the Kickstarter craze. Last September I used the creative fundraising platform to help finish my Sangamon Songs project. Now Miles Parkhill, drummer of the locally-based, nationally-known, now-retired, indie-rock band Park, informed me that Ladd Mitchell, the main singer-songwriter-guitarist guy of Park, “has also found Kickstarter for his new project and seems to be the new way to get things off the ground.” Ladd’s new venture is called Tiger Tank and he has until Sunday, Dec. 5, to reach his goal. So please check out http://www.kickstarter.com/projects and look up Ladd Mitchell, or Google “Tiger Tank Ladd” to contribute.

In more new music happenings from Springfield artists, The Dogs Divine are putting out a new record on Tim King’s Mortal Music, Inc., called Size of the Fight. The band began in 2007 and after one show signed with Chavis Records, releasing a debut album in 2008. According to vocalist Tom Hart, when bassist Jim Hart, guitarist Karl Von Heilman and drummer Jeremiah Ross joined together in making this latest effort, “We didn’t worry about genres or trends; we just wanted to write something that had all the elements of a great ‘rock’ album. We didn’t want just a collection of songs that sounded the same.”

And indeed they succeeded with songs “Dogs” and “Overnight Sensation” taking a more metal angle, while acoustic slide guitar and upright bass show up on “Gypsy King” to add sounds not normally attributed to the hard-edged group. The newfound diversity arrived through a time of great adversity as they struggled to keep it all together in spite of numerous challenges in the last few years.

“It’s been a rough road,” says Jim. “We have been through member changes, managers, booking agents, and everything else you can think of, but at the end of the day we just wanted to keep going and write new music.”

Check out the group playing acoustic performances while opening for Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers on Dec. 6 at Coz’s in Springfield and Dec. 7 at Atomic Tunes in Girard. Then it’s back on the road again to “bring their style of rock to the masses.”

On Sunday the Springfield rocking music community comes together in two different charitable events to raise funds through donations for admirable causes. Jingle Jam III hosts an afternoon of music and other activities to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, noon to 7 at Erin’s Pavilion in Southwind Park. Originally conceived by Laura Richter as a “Friends and Fans for St. Jude” happening, the event continues to grow each year in all areas of the operation. Along with appearances by local rock icons Cats on Holiday and Chicago-based rockabilly newcomers Iron Horse, JJ3 features music segments dedicated to youth performances, blues and rockin’ country, plus plenty of food, shopping opportunities and family activities.

Also on Sunday, Dec. 4, over at Donnie B’s Comedy Club on West White Oaks Drive, Illinois Licensed Beverage Association Chapter 43 and Westside Rotary along with Catholic Charities host a “Sunday Funday” fundraiser from 2 to 10 p.m. The event features live music from Groove Daddies, Screamin’ Vatos, ZZ Trip and special guest Bad Bill, along with food, beverages and a silent auction. The $20 door donation includes beer tickets, food and music with proceeds of the event going to aid the Holy Family Food Pantry’s annual holiday food basket and toy program.

That’s not all, but that’s all the room we have.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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