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Thursday, June 28, 2018 12:03 am

June jangles away

Hipbone Sam celebrates his 60th birthday June 30 at Trail’s End in Curran with an open jam from 2 to 10pm.


Here we go into the last weekend of June, soaking up fun in the sun, sliding into neon-lit nightclubs, and generally having a whale of a good time swimming in this sea of lively and lovely live music.

Friday sets things off in a good direction when the Fabulous Hoedads show up at the VFW Stockyards on Sangamon Avenue and the Stone Cold Cowboys ride into the sunset at Weebles on Peoria Road. For an outdoor show amongst silent sycamores, The Roastineers, who do fairly fabulous quite well, cook up some popular country and country-rock tunes from 6 to 8 at West of Wise Winery near Petersburg. Those perky Henhouse Prowlers come down from Chicago to crawl into Bar None for a night of good-time, old-time bluegrass done with a fresh finesse while across Monroe Street at Craft Beer Bar the super talented Casey Cantrall lays down some fun and friendly songs on vocals and guitar. Finally, it looks like Chris Camp and those funky Blues Ambassadors are camping out and digging in at Lime Street Café while X-Krush conks the heck out of the Blue Grouch’s beer garden.

On Saturday, Brandon Santini, the fiery and fantastic blues-harmonica player now living in Springfield, takes on Third Base, then hangs around for the Illinois Central Blues Club-sponsored Blue Monday jam at The Alamo. Blacktop South, from over Quincy way, rolls into Crows Mill Pub for a night of well-played country, rock and popular selections as Bluesmattic joined by Mike Smith of the Drifters jams out the rocking blues at BREWzrz in Thayer. I have a double bill on Saturday evening, starting with a bass-playing gig for Elvis Himselvis, as Rick Dunham tackles some cool, offbeat Elvis songs along with the regular hits for a “70s Summer Concert” at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. Then I amble down to Bar None to join one of my favorite local bands, Astrofix, for an acoustic-based, feel-good get-together of music fun.

Let me hear you say “Yeah!” and that you’re heading out to Trails End in Curran on Saturday to help Hipbone Sam celebrate 60 years on this old ball of earth. His open jam runs from 2 to 10 p.m., so pace yourself and brace yourself for a long day of good times. You know, all of you who got a chance to shine at his many open jams and open mics and all of you who hopped up to play bongos with the band surely ought to stop by and say “happy birthday!” Or, better yet, let him hear you say “YEAH!” while you give your greetings to our good friend and hard-working entertainer who has done so much to make live music a happening thing in our community. Happy birthday to you, Hipbone!

Also on Saturday evening, our buddy Neil, who we sorely miss as proprietor of Donnie’s Homespun in Vinegar Hill Mall, hosts the Donnie’s Homespun Backyard BBQ in his original location on Oakland Avenue in Decatur. The stars of the night include chef Scott Shell of Champaign, who will be creating special BBQ dishes, and live music from Springfield’s incredibly entertaining Sunshine Daydream and Champaign’s Joe Asselin and the Moonlight Ramblers. I just met Joe last week while playing bass with Rockin Johnny Burgin, and he’s a brilliant musician on blues harp and slide guitar. On July 17 he’s at Coz’s Pizza for a Tuesday Bluesday gig, so check him out for a good taste of sweet and hot, but cool-y played, blues-based songs.
Happy Fourth of July to all on this coming Wednesday!

Contact Tom Irwin at


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Sunday Aug. 18th