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Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 01:29 pm

Hot music for cold times


Upbeat, rockin’ country band Brushfire plays Boondocks Saturday night from 8 p.m. to midnight.

With these cold days upon us, what could be more appealing than checking out some hot music tunes for a thaw from this week of chilling weather?

I recently received a warming message from Marina V, our ever-moving and ever-loving music friend, that began with, “Hello from Moscow!” Current temps in the Russian capital are surprisingly close to ours for this week, with dips only 5 to 10 degrees lower than central Illinois. Marina, our entertaining world traveler, Russian native and former Jacksonville resident, is now back in sunny Southern California after an extended Moscow stay where she played concerts, filmed a music video for her new song “Hello” and visited with family and friends. She also reports a new album Inner Superhero is near completion, 100 percent financed by her global fan base. If you are still interested in helping out please visit the official Marina V website and do so. Congrats, Marina for all your success (including the appearance on NBC’s long-running, daytime drama “Days of Our Lives” this past Christmas). Come back and visit us sometime while on your adventurous travels of a wonderful, music-making career.

While we are on the praise and glory train, let’s all give a standing ovation to The Legacy Theater’s current production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard actual talk on the town about a local theater production stirring up the folks on the street, but then again, I don’t get out much. Scott Faingold, our enterprising writer, wrote explicitly and with elucidation about the production in a recent Illinois Times edition, so I need not belabor the point. I’m here to applaud the actors in a great job, especially leads Patrick Russell and Mary Young, and as a writer of a music column, call attention to the young, rocking band backing the show and the sound design work of venerable soundman Ric Major. This Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are the final showings of the three-weekend run, so call ahead and do your best to make it out.

Friday night marks the inaugural concert for 2013 of the continuing Bedrock 66 Live! concerts sponsored in part by WUIS and Schlafly beer. Now in its sixth season of bringing fine and fashionable entertainment from the Americana music genre to the capital city, the series presents the Travelin’ McCourys, a version of the Del McCoury band, sans Del and with admirable additions. Opening act, the Henhouse Prowlers (at Bar None also 10 p.m.) is worth the price of admission and any Springfield music scene fan who has followed the progress of this Chicago-based bluegrass band from their local appearances can surely see the rise of a substantial talent. The movement from area bar appearances to festival shows makes the Prowlers a testament to what hard work, persistence and application of aptitude can do for a band trying to get somewhere in the music business. Way to go guys, you deserve fine marks for excellent achievement in the face of great adversity, plus a high-five for spectacular picking, too.

Our friends at Boondocks have a super lineup for this weekend with Jason Basset on Thursday, Clayton Anderson on Friday, and central Illinois rocking country heroes Brushfire on Saturday night. Donnie’s Homespun brings Johnny Trash (yep, doing songs of Mr. Cash) on Saturday, and looking ahead, Zydeco master Dwayne Dopsie on Feb. 9. For those of you planning your future, Bloodshot Records artists the Deadstring Brothers play at the Old 36 Inn in Riverton on Tues., Feb. 5 and famed pop-rocker Paul Collins Beat does the Bedrock 66 Live! on Sat., Feb. 9.

Be cool and stay warm.

Contact Tom Irwin at