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Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 12:03 am

Chill music time

On Saturday evening, Nov. 17, George Ranks hosts a tribute to John Brillhart with Jay and Kimberly Larson, the Downhomies and others.


Here’s a piece of cool music scene news that you can help make happen: Springfield is in the running for a big-time matching grant from LevittAMP, the folks who like to fund communities looking to host outdoor live music summer concerts. The empty downtown “Y” block is the area designated to be the concert venue next summer, and our friends at DSI are pushing this idea. So go to, follow the directions, and vote by next Tuesday, Nov. 20 for the city of your choice, which is Springfield, Illinois, you silly willy.

Thursday becomes blues night this week with four happening shows happening at once. The Illinois Central Blues Club sponsors a night of acoustic blues from 7 to 10 at Bar None featuring Carl Long, Buckhart Road and Zack & Silas for your listening pleasure. Over at Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. Devin Williams plays host at open mic from 7 to 9 and then closes out from 9 to 10 with his own show of gritty slide-slinging, singing blues. Watch out as Chris Camp and His Blues Ambassadors arrive for negotiations at The Curve Inn for a “Thankful for the Blues” night. (They also hit up Robbie’s on Friday.) Out on the Petersburg Square Hand of Fate Brewery brings us “Third Thursday Blues” with your host Ben “The Harpman” Cox and special guest Robert “Lefty Preacher” Sampson, singing and playing the blues in style.

On Saturday night George Ranks pays a tribute to John Brillhart on the late singer-songwriter’s birthday with music by Jay and Kimberly Larson, John’s backup band/friends in the Downhomies and others. We’re all still reeling from the tragic loss of J.B., but we will be rocking as well “to the memory of good Johnny B.,” as Larry Stevens sings in his beautiful song lamenting and commemorating our gone but not forgotten comrade.

Also on Saturday the Butternut Hut delivers Chickadee Sermon, a quartet doing folk-styled originals interspersed with songs by current acoustic artists plus the greats like Garcia and Dylan. Musicians playing on acoustic guitar, banjo and string bass include our friends Mike and Olivia from Sunshine Daydream, Jen from the Hood Family Band and Charlie from Bones Jugs. Casey’s Pub, inside the K of C Hall on Meadowbrook and Iles, hosts a St. Louis group called the Southside Creole Playboys from 7 to 11. It’s a bit of a supergroup of “Lou” musicians who usually only get together during Mardi Gras in Soulard or other special occasions, like coming to Springfield to play for you. Expect high-rolling music in the Creole, Cajun and zydeco vein with some good old fashioned boogie-woogie styles slippin’ and slidin’ in there too. And, of course, to make this kind of music come alive, they have an accordion in the band, played by head herder Tom Martin. Then you might want to head back to Bar None on Saturday when the Chicago-based blues-rock band Rebel Soul Revival hits the corner stage with support from Good Times & Company, a local rocking band that does really cool and innovative original music you should hear.

On Monday at The Alamo for the ICBC’s weekly show, our pal Southside Jonny Clausing pops in with Last Call for his special brand of rockin’ blues.


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