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Thursday, April 5, 2012 03:58 am

April-ling along


Percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani joins End Times Trio at The Pharmacy art studio on Sunday, April 15, at 8pm.

Now that all the May flowers came out in March, those April showers may have to find something else to do. Regardless of the weirdly warm weather, the music marches on as we see some new venues opening up and interesting music adventures popping up all over town.

Join me in a salute to Salute of Springfield, our latest local venue to enter the friendly fray of live music presenters of area bands. Ed Skube, a longtime promoter of bands in his other ventures, takes up shop at 3036 Peoria Road. Over the last several decades the spot went by many different names and acquired a variety of patrons. Now Ed has converted the place into a quality nightclub featuring local bands where all are welcome to enjoy the festivities. This weekend, Salute to Springfield kicks off the live music adventure with local ZZ Top emulators ZZ TRIPP on Friday and Robert Sampson, a recent finalist at the International Blues Challenge, and Blues Gumbo on Saturday.

Also out on Peoria Road closer south to Sangamon Avenue, the Guitars and Cadillacs Saloon features live music regularly. Another north end bar with a new name in a long history, this Friday they’ve dropped live music in favor of a karaoke contest, but not just any karaoke contest. This one gets you qualified to sing at the big Secretary Party and offers cash prizes. Saturday features The Mud Bugs and Kit Jones playing in their sweet, swamp rock time.

Norb Andy’s is again on the operating end of things, featuring live music and libations in the character-filled below ground bar. The unsinkable venue has more lives than a modern vampire character and continues to resurrect itself as a fine place to hang and listen to the music. This weekend Josie Lowder plays on Friday and BUK on Saturday. The Butternut Hut near Second and Jefferson regularly caters to live music performances where once they never were. Hurrah for that addition to the scene.

 The Tin Can Pub opened a few weeks ago in what was for years the Bedrock and most recently Remy’s location. In the recycling category, we’re kicking off this week with an acoustic open mic hosted by yours truly on Thursday. Raoul and I did the same thing back in the early 90s at Bedrock’s and had a great time and met lots of folks. Though not regularly hosting weekend bands, our pal Joe Frew does a weekly Thursday romp that gets ’em going at another fairly new spot, Boulevard Grill and Tap off MacArthur Boulevard.

In a look ahead, on Sunday, April 15, at 8 p.m., Tatsuya Nakatani, a creative contemporary percussionist utilizing the drum set, bowed gongs, cymbals, singing bowls and metal objects to make particularly interesting improvisational music, joins with End Times Trio at The Pharmacy art studio, 401 South Grand West. Check out more on Tatsuya at Then on Tuesday, April 17, Daddy O’s Music presents a drum clinic with Master Drum Clinician and Styx drummer Todd Sucherman at 7 p.m. at Erin’s Pavilion in Southwind Park. Tickets are available by calling 217-529-4840 or visiting In a side note, Styx, originally from Chicago’s North Side, and Todd in general, have been very generous to Springfield charities, in particular Laura Ritcher, organizer and originator of Friends & Fans of St. Jude’s. When Laura, a lifelong Styx fan, asked Todd for a small token for her music fundraiser, the considerate fellow sent a Fender Stratocaster autographed by all the members of Styx. She’ll bring the signed ax to the clinic and intends to auction it off this winter at her holiday charity event Jingle Jam IV.

Watch out for sunburns; they are vicious in April of 2012.

Contact Tom Irwin at

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