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Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:01 am

Here comes the sun and the shows

Scott Miller performs the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series, Fri., April 11 at Julia’s Lounge.


If there was no other way to tell the turning of the seasons than by careful observation of the local music scene, one might become as knowledgeable as the ancients were in noticing and identifying how the changing weather patterns concur with the Earth’s movements around the sun. Well, maybe not exactly as accurate as those oldtimers were but surely when springtime comes to Springfield, the music calendar goes bonkers.

On Friday at 8 p.m., the WUIS-sponsored Bedrock 66 Live! concert series begins its run at Donnie’s Homespun. But remember, the acoustic performance of Americana, singer-songwriter Scott Miller is across the hall at Julia’s Lounge. Read up on Miller and you won’t be disappointed, for he’s made marvelous music ever since his mid-90s V-Roys records produced by Steve Earle.

Now living on the family farm in the state of Virginia, this “songwriter’s songwriter” keeps up the good work on his recent Big Big World album. Our very own Micah Walk opens the show with his latest CD in hand. The excellent record, done in Los Angeles with a name producer and supported by a Kickstarter campaign, sounds wonderful, giving Walk’s brilliant songs a fitting treatment.

Across the hall on Friday at Donnie’s Homespun proper, celebrate the birthday of “Springfield music royalty” Perry Zubeck with a party destined to reach a here before unknown level of partiness. Perry, who established his status a couple decades ago with Cats on Holiday, arguably Springfield’s most popular band ever, takes the stage with KFD (formerly Kung Fu Dynamite). With The Throwback Junkies also on the bill, expect both bands, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to thoroughly rock the house. Come on out and pay your respects.

Another stalwart of the Springfield music scene invites you to party on for his birthday observance as well. Kip Nelson, of many bands and now in Off the Wall, sends his regards and invites one and all to meet him and the band at Longbridge Golf Course on Friday (7 p.m.) and/or at the Blue Grouch (8 p.m) on Saturday. Kip promises plenty of surprises for all of you for attending his special day of commemoration.

Murder of Crowes hosts a Pre-Crowefest benefit at the Butternut Hut on Saturday starting at 7 p.m. The star-studded affair features appearances by John Brillhart, Randy Charles and the Western Angels, Pimpin Henry, New String Tradition and the Crowes themselves. Proceeds help pay for putting on Crowefest, the annual festival at Crow’s Mill Pub, held this year on April 26. Now that’s something to crow about.

Take a short drive on Saturday for a blast from the past and go rockin’ into the future as local icons Powerhouse, open for Jack Russell’s Great White at Bunker’s in Illiopolis on Saturday. The interesting back story about Russell, the original lead vocalist from the heyday of Great White (great what? you say -- remember “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”), reads like a chapter in a novel about a blues-rock-pop band. The story includes the occupational hazards of rock ’n’ roll stardom, animosity toward former band members and two bands now doing the same songs. So go judge or don’t and just enjoy the rockin’ music. Find out more at Jack Russell’s Great White Pirates Facebook page.

Saturday evening from 6 to 9 (or a bit later) at the venue space in the Capital City Bar and Grill, A Joyful Noise, a contemporary Christian band hosts an open mic. Longtime area musician Junior Stevens assures us that the stage holds a full, professional sound and light system with a backline of amps, keyboards and drums available for all comers.

’Tis the season to enjoy the live music.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.


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