Print this Article
Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:01 am

Bright, shiny music

Gin Palace Jesters go honky tonkin’ at Bar None on Friday, July 15, 9 p.m.


The future sure looks bright, but maybe not bright enough to wear shades, as Pat McDonald once informed us. Did you know Timbuk3, Pat’s duo with his then-wife plus a tape player (they did that memorable hit song) played one of their first gigs out at Crow’s Mill School before they moved to Austin?

Many cool and hip bands in the 70s and 80s played the stage at that little bar that could. One of the most popular was Cicero Slim and The World War III Blues Band. When members of the group (Jim Bukeit, Gale Pelletier, Tim Satterfield, Bill Evans, Alex Borisov, Jim Crowley and Jim Troxell) planned a reunion at The Curve Inn on Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m., word spread among Springfield musicians here, there and everywhere, and the party got bigger and bigger.

Jim “Tooter” Troxell (he’s most definitely in Springfield’s best bass players club) agreed to play bass with Slim which led to a Flock of Tooters gathering. A popular local band back in the day featured Troxell, John “Catfish” Evans, Gale, Dale Canham and Doug Kincaid plus some cross-playing of The WWW III Blues Band members. The group wowed nearly 40 years ago (say it ain’t so) when the Flock played the venue that is now Craft Beer Bar. As the musician list grew, the crossover between players drew the attention of the Groove Daddies (Gary Bloom, Jeff Kornfeld, Sean Simpson, Brian Moore, Steve Emmons, Gregg Deneer, Jim Crowley) and soon they were on the bill. Now the fracas includes all three bands, who mostly all know each other and likely played together somewhere in the last century. And to top it all off, it’s also a birthday celebration for Gary Bloom, longtime lead singer of the GD’s and former frontman for other iconic area bands. Gary is celebrating 50 years in the music business in 2016. Check him out singing “Subterranean Sunset” with Reindeer Army from 1967 on YouTube. It will blow your mind. I sense a good time happening here.

On Friday night Bar None continues its run of cool bands with a showing by The Gin Palace Jesters, Chicago’s finest honky-tonk outfit wearing some mighty fine honky-tonk outfits. If you like the sound and swing of old-time, classic country complete with steel guitar and fiddle, these are your boys. They’re out there doing the old songs but also adding originals to the mix. You ain’t lived, folks, until you’ve experienced the band’s song “Roadhouse Riot.” Listen to it on the newly refurbished GPJ website or the band’s Facebook page.

For Friday early evening excitement at our semi-to-full outdoor venues, listen for these exceptional local bands when The Shunpikers rout The Blue Grouch, Groove Daddies shake The Curve Inn, After Sunset sets up at Weebles, Brooke Thomas & The Blue Suns cruise into Long Bridge Golf Course, The Station slays Crows Mill Pub and Murder of Crows flocks to The Butternut Hut.

The Walnut Street Winery hosts a double-dandy weekend as traveling singer-songwriter Hart Bothwell plays Friday in the middle of his cross country tour and Saturday The Fabulous Hoedads “lite” version returns for a show of classic tunes performed by a couple of seasoned musicians. Don’t forget to ask them what a hoedad is; oh, how they love to tell the story.

Chatham Jaycees host the fabulous and famous Sweetcorn Festival this weekend with all kinds of fun such as the Illinois Championship Cow Chip Throw. Expect the finest in local music entertainment, including The Deep Hollow and the blues in the afternoon, among others.

Have fun, be cool and enjoy the music.

Contact Tom Irwin at


  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun


Thursday June 27th