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Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 12:03 am

Music labors

Tullie Brae brings her hot blues look and sound to the Third Base Sports Bar on Friday, Sept. 1.


Here we are approaching and directly running into September 2017, with the Labor Day weekend upon us like nobody’s business. What should we do but enjoy all we can.

Let’s take a moment on this Labor Day holiday weekend to remember all those who sacrificed their livelihoods – and sometimes their lives – to create this world of 40-hour work weeks and 8-hour days with decent living conditions and fair wages. Not to get too political here, but this is more like common sense and goodness to help working people work under the safest, most profitable conditions possible, because that’s just the way we should be and what we should do. Now, onward to some music happenings in the area!

The Walnut Street Winery in Rochester continues a fine run of good, live music with a veritable showcase weekend. Thursday brings us Jason and Gibson Wells, a father/son duo from Indiana for an early evening 6:30 show. As guitar players intent on studying the masters of their choice to become good and better, they compliment each other’s styles when performing together and that brings on the smiles for all to enjoy. Friday takes us to Cactus Ranch, the band version of John Stevens’ musical adventures. John does Johnny Cash like few can do, plus he does a good bunch of tunes that you will not be able to not like. It’s that simple. On Saturday Last Acre rolls into Rochester, as the daughter/father duo of Molly and Mark Mathewson play off “blood” harmonies, instrumental interplays (acoustic guitar and standup bass) and way-good original songs with some covers of integrity. I just saw them for the first time last Saturday at the Clayville Music Festival and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which was as much of an emotional feeling as a musical moment. Sunday is the well-attended and well-appreciated open mic featuring hosts John Stevens and JD Wilson running things from 3 to 5. You can rest on Monday.

The blues rule in Springfield. This week is a fine example, and, of course, so was last week’s Old Capitol Blues & BBQ event. This Thursday the Alamo hosts Aaron Kamm and the One Drops with some funky, jamming blues stuff, then Maurice John Vaughn feels and plays the good, old Chicago blues in his own way during Blue Monday. Blues at the Base brings Tullie Brae, a firecracker of a blues bombshell, multi-instrumentalist and killer singer, to Third Base Sports Bar on Friday. So go get the blues and take ‘em with you wherever you want.

The Thomas Rees Carillon in Washington Park is a true wonder of the world, and Carlo van Ulft, the Springfield Park District’s master carillonist, makes the wonder work as he plays a wide assortment of music this weekend during the Carillon Concerts. Ring them bells, boys, ring them bells. On Saturday, from noon to five, the ever-popular (and rightfully so) SOB Festival (Springfield Oyster & Beer) happens at the Inn at 835 on Second Street. Expect fresh oysters plus craft beer and cider to enjoy along with some live music to entertain you. On Labor Day proper, Greenview celebrates the occasion with its 49th annual Labor Celebration, including a parade, all-day picnic, car cruise and a bunch of other stuff going on. Singer, songwriter and guitar-playing gal Amy Benton plays over the noon hour; then hang around for the homemade pie contest later. Remember, as my father always said, there’s no bad pie, just some better than others.

That’s an awful lot to do over the weekend in the way of music, and there’s plenty more out there.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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Sunday Oct. 21st