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Thursday, April 9, 2015 12:01 am

Spring fling things

Off the Wall celebrates Kip Nelson’s birthday bash with a celebrity roundup of Springfield rock musicians at Capital City Bar & Grill, Sat., April 11.


Welcome to a wonderful week of live music bursting out of the bars like blooms on a forsythia branch. All kinds of styles and sounds and looks and listens are coming at us from all sides, much as the wind blows on a blustery spring day. That’s quite enough with the campy comparisons, now let’s go to town.

Thursdays are often lacking in special entertainment, though filled with open mics, karaoke nights and regular spots. This week and next, the folks at Homespun Republic take care of that missing link in the live music scene. April 9 (tonight for you on-time readers) brings Bones Jugs N Harmony to the stage for a night of good feeling, straight-up, hoe-down tunes with this fun and down-to-earth group from Urbana. On April 16, the Bedrock 66 Live! music series returns with singer-songwriters Cory Branan and Tim Easton performing separate shows of songs written by singers performed on acoustic guitars. I recently had a nice talk with Cory (he calls himself and his latest record on the Bloodshot imprint The No-Hit Wonder) and will relate our conversation in next week’s “Now Playing.”

In Friday highlights, Arlin Peebles releases his first solo recording, Some Big Mystery, out into the open at Norb Andy’s. Dave Littrell and Micah Walk open the show with an acoustic set at 9 p.m. before Arlin takes the stage to perform a collection of songs from the record and other tunes already in the can for the next release. Black Magic Johnson, with my dear friend Reggie Britton doing the singing and drumming, play the Trading Post Saloon over on Durkin Drive. Check out BMJ’s 2014 CD, Walk with You Baby, for a tasty treat of blues with several local guests on various tracks.

Saturday comes in full blast with a show by Off the Wall starting at 8 p.m. at Capital City Bar & Grill for lead singer Kip Nelson’s birthday bash. Kip keeps sending names of local musicians set to join in the fun, including Tom Gaskins, Kortney Leatherwood, Albert Capati, Lick Creek members Lance Stone and Brandon Drew, Peter Scott from Captain Geech, Matt Lang and Pete Jeffers of The Mix, Brandy Kristin and David Shaw of The Revival, Kylan Davis of Afterimage, longtime, area bassist Gary Davis, currently in Hurricane Ruth and who knows who else, all doing who knows what, in every which way, joined by Off the Wall fans known as “Wallers,” to complete the night. Happy birthday to Kip.

Over at Homespun Republic, Saturday night delivers St. Louis staples The Schwag doing “A Grateful Dead Experience” for the followers of the GD way. Schwag leader Jimmy Tebeau just spent a year in prison, getting out last May for drug-related charges stemming from the festivals held at his campground property near Eminence, Mo. It’s quite a story, from the questionable federal investigation, prosecution and incarceration to the possible affect the case could have on other big time music festivals. Read all about it in Riverfront Times, the newsweekly in St. Louis, through a link on the Homespun Republic calendar page. Or just look up The Schwag online. All reports say the band is sounding better than ever, playing all over as one of the premier Grateful Dead tribute bands in the Midwest.

For a couple of polar opposite shows going on Saturday that display our diversity, check out Uncanny, Jarrel Young, Trizzle, Trezo, J-Rula and more at Four Seasons Sports Complex for a hard-hitting, hip hop happening and/or folk-country, singer-songwriter Amy Benton playing soothing, subtle and soft songs at the Barrel Head.

Now would be a good time to go fly a kite.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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