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Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:01 am

May into June music

Hospital Job plays punk at Skank Skates on Friday, May 30.


As we wrap up the end of May music scene, things are hopping and happening all over the place. With June on the rise we’ve got the SOHO Music Fest downtown on June 6 and 7, The Romantics at the Four Seasons Sports Complex June 7 and DumbFest at Black Sheep Cafe June 13 and 14, plus the Sangamon County Fair entertainment in New Berlin, along with several area towns hosting their annual homecomings, burgoos, “days” and other such celebrations all with live music as keynotes.

Ever heard of the band Hospital Job? Likely not, because these local guys just got back from a West Coast tour in support of a new record called The Believer. They formed in 2010 as an official “Springfield punk band” when Luke McNeil moved to town and started making some noise with local drummer Fred Malcom. The two joined forces with area musicians Tim Reynolds (guitar, vocals) and Cory VanMeter (bass) to make up Hospital Job. They quickly put out a record in 2012 and toured the East Coast. Describing their sound as “Superdrag meets the Ramones” and “songs with loud guitars, clever lyrics, and huge choruses, with all the other unnecessary stuff filtered out,” you can listen in on HJ’s Bandcamp page and come up with your very own description. In October, the fellas are off to play The Fest in Gainesville, Florida, an annual event hosting hundreds of punk bands from around the world. If you want to check them out before that, head to Skank Skates (11th and South Grand) on Friday, May 30. Hospital Job joins with Masked Intruder and The Timmys for a good, old-fashioned punk rock show at the venerable skateboarder hangout.

On Saturday out at Boondocks comes Ray Scott, a country music staple working his way through the ranks. He’s in the process of finishing a new record to be released later in 2014 with a single slated for a summer debut. As a treat for fans, Ray is offering free digital downloads through NoiseTrade of his last album, Rayality, until the single hits the airwaves.

Lick Creek Country Band opens the show for Rayboy. Local favorites Next of Kin, or NOK as their fans call them, play Boondocks on Friday as the Northend bar keeps the music humming.

One of my favorite bands hits Donnie’s Homespun on Saturday. Great American Taxi rolls in with opening act Chicago Farmer. GAT plays in the vein and with the vision of great American bands such as The Band, New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Grateful Dead. All the band members are tip-top, but after meeting guitarist Jim Lewin through his longtime friend and Springfield expatriate Bill Laymon, I just think the world of him and his music abilities. The Denver-based group, led by founding member and keyboardist, Chris Staehly, also features longtime GAT guys Chris Sheldon and Brian Adams. Ramblin’ man Vince Herman, formerly of Leftover Salmon has moved on, ably replaced by Texas singer, songwriter and guitar slinger, Taylor Sims. Treat yourself to quality music by quality musicians and catch a ride with Great American Taxi. No tip required, but you can buy the band a round.

Donnie’s also has a full weekend lineup with local heroes the Shunpikers on Friday (look it up and go see them rock out). I missed announcing the big GanjaWhiteNight Addiction Tour last Wednesday, May 28. Here’s hoping you found out about that Killnoize production on your own and keep an eye out for upcoming similar events.

Somehow I’m already out of space and didn’t list the other 27 shows I wanted to talk about this week. Please peruse the Pub Crawl and see what’s out there.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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