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Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:03 am

June jazzed up

West of Staley jazzes it up at Robbie’s on Friday, June 22 at 5:30pm.


Welcome to the Springfield music scene, all you friendly Illinois Times readers and supporters! This week is another adventure in the diverse and plentiful supply of live music performances in our local arena of bars, plazas, barns, gardens, fields, fairs, parks and other assorted venues.

Start off your week with a Thursday visit to the historic and award-winning “dive” bar known as the Curve Inn, complete with sound and lights by the award-winning stage manager and sound person Ric Major, featuring the music of Harmony Deep with guest drummer Rick Snow. Be sure to check out these guys on Sunday at Southwind Park for a “Music in the Park” show from 4 to 7 p.m. I am assuming you’re familiar with the band, full of lifelong local musicians of the highest caliber, but if not, come prepared for an astounding variety of cool, classic radio rock of yesteryear accompanied by, of course, wonderful harmony vocals going way down deep.

Friday brings a dose of happening jazz to the scene, something we are sometimes sorely lacking in our area venues, especially when compared to the abundance of swinging sounds from years ago. Thankfully, Robbie’s still hosts their long-running Friday evening (mostly) jazz and blues performances, and this week presents West of Staley. The guys got together in 2014 when still in high school in Champaign, and they are now considered some of the top young jazz musicians in the nation. I think you would do well to come see how they play the pants off some tight jazz tunes with bass, drums, guitar and saxes. More of all that jazz happens as Loukinen’s on Fourth hosts the incomparable Virgil Rhodes from 6 to 8 for some classic jazz from a classy guy on saxes and flutes. For another approach to the genre, Angel Brown plays her keyboard and brings her sultry singing of jazz standards and other popular songs to the friendly confines of Lime Street Cafe while accompanied by fine area musicians on Friday and Saturday nights. Lay on the jazz, folks, lay on the jazz.

This weekend gives us a couple of big small-town celebrations, including Ashland Summer Days and Chatham Homecoming. As a reminder of the power and attraction of live music, it’s always a nice to see that all these hometown happenings include local, popular bands. From now to the end of summer, keep on the lookout for the various days, homecomings, celebrations, burgoos and whatever other names the area burgs use to invent a reason to whoop it up in our small communities surrounding the capital city.

On Saturday night The Alibi in Rochester continues bringing in some big-name talent when Mike and the Moonpies hit the garden stage doing Red Dirt modern country with a classic country feel. Also, the Blue Grouch has Tori Allen (formerly of GirlBilly) country-rocking rebel style out in their outdoor venue space. On Saturday during the day there’s outdoor live folk and bluegrass-style music as the Clayville Historic Site hosts a long list of performers from noon to 8 p.m. on the restored grounds of the old stagecoach stop near Pleasant Plains during its “Summer Fun Day” event. Then on the other side of the county, Cotton Hill Morgan Horse Farm near Rochester presents the Brunk Museum Barn Dance fundraiser and fun times. Dinner commences at 4 p.m. with music by the ever-popular Americana and Celtic duo Switchback from 6 to 8, along with Celtic dancers from the Ogilvy Dance Studio set to complete the entertainment portion of the evening event.

Hot enough for ya? Be cool to stay cool, man.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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Sunday Aug. 18th