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Wednesday, June 8, 2016 11:03 pm

Music blooms in June

The Suburban Mystics host a BassBerg pre-party, Sat., June 11, 6 to 10 p.m. at The Curve Inn.


What wonderful weather we’ve been blessed with this week. Let’s hope the atmospheric conditions continue for a bit to get us through the wonderful music we’ve been given as well.

The weekend brings along a couple of festivals including the long-running Chatham American Legion Homecoming and the relative newcomer of Dumb Fest, happening near 11th and South Grand. Our intrepid and dynamic Illinois Times staff writer Scott Faingold covers Dumb Fest and the burgeoning Southtown movement with accuracy and aplomb elsewhere in Illinois Times. The homecoming, similar to many happenings each weekend throughout the summer months in central Illinois communities, is simply an old-fashioned street festival with carnival rides, food vendors and popular local bands performing Thursday through Saturday.

On Friday visit Acoustic Showcase 2 at Bar None featuring Kevin Wasmer, Kirk Donely, Nick Murphy, Tony Colantino and Alyssa Currie. This singer-songwriter event gives folks a chance to hear songs close-up, understand the words and see what these cool cats are up to, musically speaking. Also on Friday, we are bringing The Hayburners and special guests to George Ranks to celebrate a bunch of stuff including the birthdays of Terry Hupp and JR Evans, Chef Butts’ new job in Madison, Wisc., and Danielle graduating from barber school. What goes around comes around at the round bar.

Saturday and Sunday bring us a couple cool days at the Curve Inn, concerning that commemoration of the masters of the nether regions of sound known as BassBerg. Conceived by Bill McKenzie and helped to fruition by Jeff Cunningham, the bottom end is covered by the best bassists in town on Sunday starting at 2 p.m. To kick off the event, The Suburban Mystics, or as they are known in certain circles, “The Mystics,” host a BassBerg pre-party on Saturday night at The Curve from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring interesting, offbeat cover songs and special guest performers.

Originally conceived as a counterpart to the now defunct musician celebrations of Guitar Town and Drum Fest, BassBerg has been an annual fundraising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since the first bass player’s party in 2010. Along with a memorial moment for passed musicians and bassists including Sam Giordano (the old Rock Shop band will jam) and Rusty Koehler (so recent, so sad) for this year, the low-end event features food, local band swag giveaways, 50/50 raffles and enough fun surprises to keep the guests guessing. Honored bassists invited to perform with their respective bands include Chili Bryant with Razin Kane, Brad Beneky with Chris Sorenson Project, Bill McKenzie of The Suburban Mystics, Jim Cloney of The Shunpikers and Jeff Cunningham of The Station, along with Eric Tinsley in the house band. As Bill Mac said it so well, “all your friends will be in low places” at this event.

On Sunday, over on the west side, Owen & Dooley Present join the Kris Bell Band from Nashville to play Casey’s Pub for a rockin’ good time in the afternoon. Then on Monday night at The Alamo for the Illinois Central Blues Club weekly show, Brandon Santini comes back to town with Springfield native Reid Muchow on drums. The talented and friendly drummer has been touring for the last four months with Santini, playing all over with an awesome band.

Please remember to experience the Springfield Area Arts Council-sponsored Artist on the Plaza live music event at noon every Tuesday and Thursday on the south side of the Old Capitol Plaza for a wide variety of the best local music.

Summertime and the livin’ is easy.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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