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Thursday, May 8, 2014 12:01 am

More music in May

Diana Chittester rolls in from Ohio to play the Walnut Street Winery on Friday, May 9, 8 to 11 p.m.


Maybe it’s just me, but May seems to be chock-full of more music than you can shake a stick at. Hopefully with the nice weather and all, you’ve picked up all the sticks in your yard so you are free to hear some of the music happening this weekend and forget all about the sticks. Unless of course, you live in the sticks but that’s another story.

Last Sunday while playing a bass gig with Rockin’ Johnny Burgin in the pleasant burg of Wapella, Illinois (north of Clinton, east of Bloomington), I met Tom Ruble, a DJ and fellow conspirator with Larry Williams at The Whip, a renegade radio station based in Farmer City that reaches more than a half-million listeners. Long a bastion for Americana/roots music performers, Tom told me of a program he hosts called “At Home on the Patio” airing every Saturday at 7 p.m. Our local songstress and singer Monica Morris, performed there not long ago (I meant to tell you all about it, but forgot). The show is basically an on-air, open mic available for any “Midwest singer-songwriter, musician, band, poet or comedian” who wants to perform live on the radio. Email Tom at for more information on what to do to get yourself heard.

Downtown Springfield is alive and kicking this weekend with the season’s first major outdoor festival, as the famed Fat Ass 5K strolls in. Based in front of the Celtic Mist Pub and set somewhat tongue-in-cheek, you can run the “race” as a timed competition or stop along the way to listen to live music, munch a doughnut, snag a cold one or linger over a corn dog before picking up the pace. Costumes are recommended and judged, children are welcome, and best of all, all the proceeds go to charity with over a half-million dollars raised since the event began.

Friday starts with a Craft Beer and Cigar Festival from 4 to 11 p.m. on Seventh in front of the Celtic, with bands After Sunset and The Shenanigans supplying all the tunes you’ll want to hear. The music continues on Saturday after the race with Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. So get your (insert name of large body part that you sit on) down to the Fat Ass festival and have a good time for a good cause.

The Curve Inn has another stellar evening lineup this weekend with Rogers and Neinhaus on Thursday, KFD on Friday and Hurricane Ruth on Saturday. All three groups are spectacular performers and musicians, each with a different sound and style. You may not be as familiar with Rogers and Neinhaus, but check them out online for a long and interesting pedigree that includes working with a version of The Byrds.

The Walnut Street Winery booked a couple of terrific, women singer-songwriters for Mother’s Day weekend, intentional or not. Diana Chittester, hails from Ohio and plays all over, especially in the Northeast and drops in for an 8 to 11 show Friday night. Last March she recorded a Kickstarter-funded, acoustic album in New Orleans with Andrew Gilchrist, set for a 2014 summer release. On Saturday, Annie Kennedy drives up from Nashville (she performs earlier in the day at Alto Pass Winery) for an evening show at the Rochester winery. She’s scheduled to play in Chicago for the week, then is back here for It’s All About Wine on May 17, all the way demonstrating why she’s making a splash in the songwriter crowd in Music City, USA.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers. Everybody has one and it’s time to pay respects however suits you best.  

Contact Tom Irwin at


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