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Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:01 am

Ending with a bang

A memorial music show for Ben Underwood takes place, Fri., July 25 at Bar None.
As we wind down July, the events pile up. Here’s a mere partial listing of the many wondrous happenings for this week in the Springfield area.

On Friday, Bar None hosts a memorial music night for the late musician Ben Underwood. The life celebration starts with a potluck dinner at 7 and the concert begins at 9. A whole bunch of family, friends and musicians who miss the gregarious guy immensely and forever will be there. Several bands Ben played in, including Jukebox Casanova, Ghost Hollow, Action Bastard and Nikki Keller take the stage in honor of their passed comrade. Gone too young and gone too soon, the outpouring for this show shows the love folks felt for Ben.

Here’s a hip show called Under the Covers over at Donnie’s Homespun on Friday. Sponsored by the Sangamon Valley Roots Revival and modeled after a long-running similar affair in Champaign-Urbana called the Great Cover Up, proceeds ($7 cover) help the SVRR start the American Music Show concert up again this September. The concept is this: Local bands pick an artist from outside their preferred genre and “cover” songs by the chosen one, keeping the choices under wraps until the performance. The idea is to have fun, stretch out the repertoire, help out a cause and see how these wacky musicians surprise us. Artists include me, The Blue Gs, Josh Catalano and the Dirty Thoughts, Looming, Blue Ribbon Revival, The Timmys and Los Injectors.

The Walnut Street Winery continues a run on booking national and regional, as well as local, singer-songwriter types armed with acoustic guitars, pockets full of songs and the pure intent to play everywhere someone is there to listen. Thursday, Minnesota native Tim Fast drops by, as he sets off on a tour of farmers markets from St. Paul to Jackson Hole with stops at wineries, coffee shops, brewing companies and other various venues on a never ending tour of troubadouring. On Friday, Bill Price returns from Indianapolis with his comrade in melody, Grover Parido, on the cello to entertain the noggin, as well as get the toes a-tappin’. Price sets the mood as inspired by his musical heroes Bob Dylan and The Beatles. The lineup continues with one of my favorites, Thornhill on Saturday. Old pal Roger Whitsell plays on Sunday and William B. Hart, from here and New Orleans, plays on Tuesdays. Check the Walnut Street website for the fine variety of music hosted several days a week.

Head downtown next Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Around now for 24 years, the sometimes misunderstood program has improved the lives of millions with disabilities and bettered the world around us all. Hosted by The Illinois Assistive Technology Program, a nonprofit organization created to help those with disabilities to find and use adaptive and assistive technology devices, the event offers free food (from Turasky’s Catering and Moxo Cafe), live music (by the most excellent Hipbone Sam) and information about the ADA. Mayor Houston drops by at noon for a proclamation and all are invited to celebrate this milestone in American equality.

Wed., July 30, kicks off an open mic in Petersburg from 8 to 11 (or so) at the Riverbank Lodge on Route 97. Any and all local musicians are welcome to stop by and perform to get the thing rolling along. An open mic can inspire and invigorate an area scene by building a community of learning and expressing musicians, getting people playing again and just adding wonderful musical juices to the universe as a whole. So grab an instrument and drop in.

If you don’t like these events or can’t get to them, don’t worry, there are plenty more where those came from.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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