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Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:03 am

June bugs me

The Blue Eyed Bettys play the Paris-Belle House on Friday, June 24.


Well, June doesn’t really bug me, except it’s one of my favorite months and goes by so quickly. Plus, I wanted to get a June bug reference in since I haven’t seen many in 2016. Now, let’s get on with the music news.

Crowdsourced funding is all the rage these days, and for good reason – it works. People help out when they are asked politely and logically to donate money in return for a reward. The Springfield Art Association used Kickstarter (the first and, arguably, the best organization of this type) to help finance restoration of the old piano in Edwards Place. And speaking of that, on July 1 at 7 p.m., “Mr. and Mrs. Edwards” will host “Mr. Lincoln” and ticketed guests for an evening of young “Old Abe’s” favorite songs, as Jane Hartman Irwin plays the “ol’ pianer” while Sophie Nuding sings for another wonderful 1850s parlor concert.

Several local music artists have successfully used the crowdsourced funding plan including Ben Bedford, Micah Walk, Rachel Rambach and myself (I’ll have my second one going by August for my latest recording). Our good buddy and former Springfield resident Andon (Ted) Davis plays lead electric guitar for the Chicago-based Americana band Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel. They just kicked off an Indiegogo project to help fund a new recording that you should support.

Another Springfield group is using Kickstarter to get a project going. Since the fall of 2015, “The Studio Show” has produced 12 episodes of bi-weekly video released on YouTube designed to “connect local artists, musicians, writers, entertainers and businesses to each other and the community.” For season two, the group will expand to “capture what is interesting and unique about the culture of Springfield.” Accomplishing such a worthy goal requires extra equipment and such, hence the funding campaign. Check it out on the Kickstarter website to offer support for this endeavor and to catch the clever and productive “help us” video presenting their case.

On Thursday night, Joel DaSilva, a modern bluesman with traditional roots, plays the Walnut Street Winery from 7 to 10 with his rocking, touring band The Midnight Howl. You can read more in Band Spotlight about Joel. In other blues news, James Armstrong, our Ambassador of the Blues, hits The Curve Inn on Thursday evening from 6 to 10, so plan your night accordingly to choose all the blues you can use. The good blues news continues with the really, really awesome Laurie Morvan Band at The Alamo on Monday for the weekly Illinois Central Blues Club show. Also, the ICBC has announced a “Call for bands and solo/duo acts” to compete in the 2016 Blues Challenge held on August 27 during the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ festival. The deadline to submit is July 29, and the performers play on the big stage before the festival headliner (which happens to be Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbirds) in front of judges with the winners heading to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Jan. 31 through Feb. 4, 2017.

Branson on the Road rolls into the Hoogland Center for the Arts on Saturday night at 7 and Sunday afternoon at 2 for a good-old, country music-style show. The musicians and performers are world class folks from Branson, Mo., and if Branson-style entertainment is your thing, this is a don’t-miss show for you.

The Paris-Belle House ( hosts The Blue Eyed Bettys, a trio of singer-songwriter musicians (banjo, fiddle and guitar) with sweet three-part harmony, on Friday evening. They are very good and fun, too.

Look out, here comes July, bugs and all.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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