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Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:01 am

Bedrock 66 Live! moves

Nikki Hill and the Pirate Crew perform rock ’n’ roll for the Bedrock 66 Live! concert, Saturday, March 29, at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.


Some 14 years ago, at the birth of the new millennium (wow, that sounds exciting), Sean and Jamie Burns decided to start a music performance organization. After years of traveling to see favorite roots-music acts around the Midwest, they reckoned by bringing the groups to town, they’d save money and see who they wanted to see, all while sharing the music with others excited by the prospect of nationally touring artists coming to Springfield.

A lot has happened since the inaugural Sangamon Valley Roots Revival show and all that the Burns’ reckoned actually happened and a whole lot more besides. From years of hosting traveling bands, meeting favorite artists face to face and generally learning a great deal about how the business of music works, Sean and Jamie are still at it.

As the sole proprietors and organizers of the SVRR, throughout the 2000s they brought bands consistently to The Alley, On Broadway, the Underground City Tavern and Bar None, plus booked and hosted the American Music Show at the Taste of Downtown Springfield and booked the music lineup for the Old Capitol Blues and BBQs. Through Sean’s SVRR radio show at WUIS, they teamed up with the University of Illinois Springfield NPR radio station to bring us the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series for the last six years at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. After this weekend’s combination Bedrock 66 Live!/SVRR 14th anniversary show at the Hoogland, the series moves to Donnie’s Homespun for the remainder for the season.

“Our run at the Hoogland was a good one, but we have more flexibility in booking dates at Donnie’s and more room to expand our audience,” explained Burns. “We will still do the things we like to do – bringing in national acts that are under the radar, not booking the obvious, rarely repeating shows, recording them to play back on WUIS – just in a different venue.”

One added benefit is a decrease in cost to season ticket holders due to the added space and possible increase in volume. They’ve designed a two-tier pricing system, with premium ticket holders guaranteed table seats in Donnie’s unique seating arrangements, while the lower priced, general admission season tickets allow folks to have the run of the cavernous club. Another advantage comes with the various venues available in the connected Vinegar Hill Mall. The next Bedrock 66 Live! concert, and the first not held at the Hoogland, happens April 11 with singer-songwriter, guitar-slinger Scott Miller at Julia’s Lounge, right across the hallway from Donnie’s Homespun. Burns also plans on using the Vinegar Hill Mall complex to reboot his American Music Show. The return of the popular concert series is set for Sept. 12 and 13 and will utilize the large outdoor space available in conjunction with indoor stage areas.

“We’ve finally just branched out to bring in a small group of people to help us and that’s been good for everyone in allowing the SVRR to continue,” explained Burns. “The best part about doing this all these years is meeting the people that have a passion for this music and for wanting to help bring it to Springfield.”

Burns booked two rocking and amazing acts to celebrate the SVRR anniversary and kickoff the Bedrock 66 Live! 2014 series. Nikki Hill, designated the “new queen of rock ’n’ roll” with her band The Pirate Crew and the DiMaggio Connection, featuring Marco DiMaggio, the Italian rockabilly sensation the whole civilized world is raving about, perform this Saturday, March 29 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

Congratulations to Jamie, Sean and the Sangamon Valley Roots Revival (including all of you in attendance) for the accomplishments of the last 14 years. Thanks for bringing us “music like it used to was.” Yippee!

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.


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