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Thursday, May 5, 2016 12:03 am

May music is here

Mr. Opporknockity returns to action at The Curve Inn on Friday evening.


The lovely month of May, often praised in song and poetry with good reason, brings us all the promise of a fruitful season of lovely live music to come in the summer months ahead.

The Alamo in Chatham (popularly known as the “Chalamo”) on Thursday presents an open mic hosted by our fun and friendly, somewhat retired, hometown drummer Oakie Morris. This week on the bill during the open mic are The 2 Tenutos, Monica Morris and special guest Frank Huston as Planet Huston. The Tenutos, a father and son blues-rock combo playing all over in May while up from their Florida home, take things to another level as Joe brings Joe, Jr. back to his Springfield roots. Monica possesses a voice of spectacular proportions and writes a dang good song to compliment the singing. Frank Huston is, of course, “the” Frank Huston, known as one of the most accomplished guitarists to claim Springfield as a place of origin. Huston, who moved to Portland, Ore. a few years back, plays steady in the progressive city’s supportive and productive music scene.

Also on Thursday James Armstrong Presents hosts Noah’s Back Alley Blues in from Decatur for an early evening performance for this bi-weekly blues gig at the Springfield Alamo. Fronted by bluesman Noah Williams, the group does a nice variety of blues standards and welcome surprises, well-balanced and properly seasoned, for your listening pleasure. If you’re in the mood for a Cinco de Mayo event, Casa Real West hosts an all-day fiesta starting at noon, with Off the Wall rocking outside in the parking lot at 6 p.m. If that’s not enough, remember that Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg as The Rides play at Sangamon Auditorium tonight, as well. Holy moly, man!

If you’ve got the strength to “keep on rockin’ in the free world” get set for some Friday action. The Fat Ass downtown event on Seventh between Adams and Washington starts on Friday evening with, what else, but a Craft Beer and Cigar Festival. Held in conjunction with a packet pickup for the run, the free concert presents live music by After Sunset, Ragged Company (based in Nashville, Tenn.) and The Shenanigans. The next day, amid the wonderfully decadent design of the Fat Ass 5K Run and Street Party, see live music by those spectacular show stoppers Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters. This year the amazing event could top the million dollar mark in charitable donations since its 2008 kickoff, especially if you are there to help.

What’s this, Mr. Opporknockity is back and playing The Curve Inn on Friday? Loads of fun, killer songs of both cover and original variety plus an amazing energy pouring off the stage could best describe the fabulous fivesome of Doug, Troy, Chris, Steve and Mark. Third Base Sports Bar continues bringing cool bands from other places with the Michael Layne Band of Pekin on Friday. Layne plays all his own instruments on his records but brings a live band to play gigs. Sounds like a prince to me. It’s cool pop with a modern twist that is a must hear to experience.

For Saturday night, let’s go crazy with Lazer Dudes and Luzhin Defense at Bar None and The Conductors with Jay and Kimberly Larson at George Ranks. Next, The Burr Oak String Band plays It’s All About Wine, Rock House flies into the Koo Koo Nest, Stacy Doty rolls into Walnut Street Winery, Dirty Dogs scoot into Crows Mill Pub and Kilborn Alley rocks the blues at Casey’s Pub, just for starters.  

Keep ‘em coming folks, as May warms up to the summer season.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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