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Thursday, March 29, 2012 02:59 pm

Marching on to April


Thursday, March 29, Kortney Leatherwood and Perry Zubeck perform a special night of acoustic music at the Trading Post Saloon.

No themes this week, just several items worth mentioning to our illustrious readers as March moves on and April comes to pass.

Kick off your party week with a visit to the Trading Post on Thursday to hear the “eclectic sounds and songs” of Kortney Leatherwood and Perry Zubeck “live and unplugged,” according to funnily facetious promo posters boasting quotes from Rolling Stone and Roger Ebert. Both musicians are veterans of the scene, with music chops and stage experience to back up the improbable press with some serious playing and intense performance.

On Friday, the venerable Joe Cooke returns to a local venue with an appearance at Frankie’s 49er in the rocking country trio, Thin Ice. Joining Cooke is Rick Wass on bass and Steve Kelton on drums, former members of the Havana Ducks, the band of the late, great Pork. Together in this format for about a year (the original lineup had Tim Wallace on guitar), the strikingly strong lead vocals of Kelton drive the band through a set list of lots of fun stuff, including classic rock and modern country, plus plenty of surprises.

The Josie Lowder Band plays Catch 22 on Saturday and if you haven’t heard Josie sing as her band plays, please take the time to do so and discover their stated desire “to connect with YOU through the sound waves we create” come true. High-energy vocals and animated acoustic guitar from Ms. Lowder, plus a funky, fired up group including Jeff Cunningham on bass, Bo Lowder on electric guitar, Mike Newberry on drums and A.J. Good on horns, just makes for a fantastic band and a good force for music in this world that surely could use some sweet and sensible encouragement. Opening is AppamaQ of Springfield, featuring marvelous music making from Casey Cantrall, Daisy Highstone, Bo Lowder, Zach Eyeman and Brycen Turnbull.

On Saturday, from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Firefighters Lake Club, the community comes together to host a benefit fundraiser for Justin Smith, a 25-year-old Chatham resident diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The intense, aggressive treatment required forces Justin and his mother to be away from full-time employment so folks are rallying to the cause with live music, auction items and a request for donations to help relieve the current financial hardship on the family. Check out their Facebook page or call Ashley Smith at 217-553-9275 to join in the relief project.

Also on Saturday evening, Doug and Telisha Williams perform at the Hoogland for the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series as a husband wife duo making old-time country a newfound sound. Making the rounds on the folk and old-timey music circuit with a guitar and stand up bass, D & T play a song as well as anyone, with an added sense of sparkling musicianship that carries the tune to a special place. Join me as I have the honor of opening the show with a beginning-to-end performance of Sangamon Songs, my recent song study based on the diary of Harry Glen Ludlam, a 16-year-old boy who lived on our family farm in 1893.

Pencil in the First Monday Acoustic Circle on, you guessed it, the first Monday of each month, beginning on April 2. Crafted by Dennis Darling and designed as a friendly, alcohol-free, sharing, caring, song swapping, interchange of ideas on a musical and otherwise level, the open-to-all event goes from 7 to 9 p.m. at the People’s Church, 1109 East Ash. Bring an instrument and a pocketful of songs and come join in the Circle.

Happy April Fool’s Day this Sunday. Who knows what tomfoolery will happen?

Contact Tom Irwin at

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