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Thursday, May 10, 2012 03:18 am

The month of Maybes

The Zach Radwine Trio with Rob Killam and Jay Ferguson plays Robbie's Fri, May 11, 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

I once received a gift from the brilliant guitarist and songwriter Jim Schniepp, co-founder of the local, lovely band Backwards Day with Illinois Times contributor Scott Faingold. The present was a homemade calendar with the name of each month slightly skewed, making May the month of Maybe. I was never quite sure what Jim meant, but this week offers many entertainment possibilities, leaving me thinking, maybe I’ll go here or maybe I’ll go there or maybe I need some help figuring out where to go or maybe not.

On Friday night the Zach Radwine Trio performs from 5:30 to 7:30 at Robbie’s for the Uptown Friday Night show hosted by the Springfield Area Arts Council. Supported by one of the best jazz rhythm sections around, with Rob Killam on bass and Jay Ferguson on drums, Zach is a tremendous talent on the keys, modest and unassuming, yet incredibly brilliant in execution and delivery. He graduated from University of Illinois Medical School last Saturday and now resides in Peoria. This is a rare and wonderful performance worthy of more than a “maybe I’ll go.”

In a conflicting event, Frank Trompeter performs with his band of talented jazz cats on Friday from 6 to 8 at Marly’s for the weekly Jazz Etc., Happy Hour. Music travelers should note Marly’s and Robbie’s are about a block apart within easy walking distance, so maybe you could see a bit of both shows. This coming week the busy Trompeter does vocal renditions of jazz standards as Frank’s Discount Lounge Act plays All About Wine on Saturday night and celebrates the return of our local downtown Farmers Market on Wednesday, May 16, at 10 a.m. with a performance by his jazz group.

On Saturday, the Fat Ass 5K Run and Street Party meanders through downtown Springfield giving runners and maybe-runners a chance to hear live music while drinking cold beer and eating donuts, ice cream and corn dogs. The plan works well in corrupting the idea of running for health, all while benefiting a good cause. You can even take the signature detour, skip the run and head straight to the Celtic Mist Pub while still helping out the charitable group. This event is lots of fun, gets folks outside for a good time and has raised more than $210,000 for charitable groups since its inception. Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters host the street party on Seventh Street from 11:30 to 3, while several groups play at various stages along the 5K route. Other downtown bars are hosting live music groups in the afternoon to satisfy all the needs of the Fat Ass participants. Maybe this could be something to do?

Successful Nashville songwriter and Kentucky native Chris Knight returns to the area with a show at the Old Route 36 Tavern in Riverton on Tuesday, May 15. Knight played a Bedrock 66 Live! show some time ago and always brings his intense and forceful storytelling songs along, with no maybe within miles. The nice space in Riverton compliments Knight’s dark and aggressive, yet up close and personal, performance quite well.

Come one and all to the second installment of the 1st Monday Acoustic Circle from 7 to 9 p.m. May 7 at the People’s Church on Ash just east of 11th street. They say “it’s fun, it’s free, it’s freewheeling, it’s alcohol-free, and a few of Springfield’s most un-famous people will share their talents there for the second month in a row.” Maybe you should bring yourself and an instrument to join in or just come along to listen. All are welcome.

No maybe about it, there’s plenty of stuff going on. Maybe see you around town?

Contact Tom Irwin at

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