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Thursday, May 21, 2015 12:01 am

Memorable Memorial music

Elvis Himselvis (Rick Dunham) performs with a full entourage and band, Sat. May 23 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

 

I’m not even going to bring up the fact that we’re already at Memorial Day weekend for 2015. But let’s talk about all the music happening this weekend and beyond, enjoying that we are here to enjoy it all, no matter how quickly it all seems to pass.

Let’s take a moment to recognize the meaning of Memorial Day in whatever fashion you so desire. We lost a one-of-a-kind Springfield musician on May 10, when guitarist Tony Sicillia passed away. On May 29, friends will gather at the VFW Hall on Stockyard Road from 4 to 10 p.m., to honor Tony’s life and to help raise the $2,000 needed to complete his funeral expenses. Look for more on this next week.

On Friday, the BoS Plaza at the newly remodeled and retooled Prairie Capital Convention Center will be hopping and rocking with new country act Frankie Ballard. Known as a go-for-it live performer, Ballard cites some of his influences as Bob Seger, Howlin’ Wolf and Jerry Reed. The young man can sling a guitar as well, while singing songs about drinkin’ and feeling good doing bad. Indeed, Frankie is a throwback to the good old days of country and rock when debauchery was required and considered a good thing. Rock on, brother.

Our friends at the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series hit a grand slam by hosting Red Molly on Friday at Homespun Republic. The trio of acoustic-music playing, sweet harmony-singing women are considered one of the finest acts in folk and Americana performing today. They’ve announced a break from touring starting in September of 2015, so go see this unbelievably talented group while you still can. Tim Shelton, from the gospel/bluegrass group NewFound Road, opens the show with his powerful voice and intense songs.

This Friday Bar None has Brooke Thomas and Monica Morris participating in the Sirens of Springfield series, featuring female singer-songwriters performing original material in a listening atmosphere. Sounds good to me, and it will to you, too. On the Old Capitol Plaza at Robbie’s from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., support our Springfield Area Arts Council by showing up for John T. Crisp and Chahrm. John and the group, along with the fabulous Ada Lou, have been entertaining and educating Springfield for half a century. They do it well. It’s always a treat to hear them play their easy-listening, well-crafted, jazzy-blues sound.

Saturday is a big day, including a concert by Elvis Himselvis at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. Our good pal and longtime Elvis entertainer, Rick Dunham,  dons the suit (a new one, I hear) to perform a night’s worth of songs from Aloha from Hawaii, 1973’s blockbuster record and the King’s last number one album. Last January’s EP birthday bash nearly sold out, so get a ticket now and come on down. The Black Sheep Cafe convenes a cover night when “some bands perform cover sets of some other bands” to help raise operating funds for the not-for-profit, all-ages concert venue. Check out the Southtown Kickstarter project too, and donate what you can. A new home venue in the area, Spaulding Road House Concerts, hosts a debut show with three nationally acclaimed singer-songwriters. The social hour begins at 6 p.m., and the music starts at 7:30 with Jenn Rawling, Huck Notari and Awna Teixeira. Contact 416-3974 or spauldingorchardhouseconcert@yahoo.com for reservations and information.

On Sunday live music is everywhere, including clubs on the lake, a shrimp boil at Mowie’s Cue with Afterimage and After Sunset, and a night at the Brewhaus celebrating Bob Dylan’s birthday with me as your host.

Happy summertime – and enjoy music this weekend!

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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