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Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 12:03 am

Hullabaloo for holidays

Idle Oath plays a set at George Rank’s on Friday, Dec. 7 before Tom Irwin.
Photo By: Jen Redwood


Welcome to the first full weekend of December, one jam-packed with live music functions from beginning to end and even rolling into next week. What a brouhaha it is!

Last week I never made it past Friday, so let’s start there this week. James Armstrong, known as the Ambassador of the Blues (not to be confused with the Blues Ambassadors, but that’s another story), mostly travels, touring around the country and overseas, playing his blues that are like no other. A couple times a year we’re honored with performances by James in his adopted hometown, and you can experience J.A. and his tight and groovy band at Third Base Sports Bar around 8 p.m. Be blue and be there.

Downtown at Arlington’s (upstairs, I do believe) this Friday, The Deep Hollow celebrates the season with their third annual “Happy Hollowdays” concert. Opening the show at 7:30 is Buckhart Road, the darn-good duo of Marty Morris and Tom Beverly doing mostly original songs penned separately and together. Then around 8:03 TDH takes the stage to do a bunch of holiday-specific songs followed by a final set of their regular band hits. Look for the newest CD by TDH, titled Weary Traveler, and take a few home for stocking stuffers or to give to that nice neighbor or visiting relative. All ages are welcome to enjoy the festivities (with prizes for “best holiday attire”) for a $10 “suggested donation” with the proceeds going to benefit local charities. So go have a ho-ho-ho Hollow evening of it.

Our friends Marty and Brian of Switchback are back in town for a Friday night concert at the Paris-Belle house in Williamsville. The Celtic-Americana duo was recently at The Hope Institute working on an education program involving music to aid kids. You’ll be hearing more on that later, but for now you should be hearing the songs of Switchback in the wonderfully decorated home of your hosts at Paris-Belle.

The Curve Inn is back with a weekend of “The Upside Down” on Friday and Saturday nights, turning things up and over at the most famous dive bar in town with all proceeds to benefit the Springfield Public Schools music programs. What is this, you ask? That’s a good question, and here’s your answer: You take some popular local bands and ask them to step out of their usual, safe song list and add a set of tunes by an artist that one would not normally pair with the group. So, you get things like Brandy Kristin & the Revival doing Reba McEntire, Fun DMC taking on Smashtag, Diversion becoming Foreigner and Highway 615 being Green Day for your Friday night adventure as well as Mutual Admiration Society (MAS) as Kenny Loggins, Smashtag performing Twenty One Pilots, The Get Down covering Rage Against the Machine and Fun DMC presenting Alanis Morissette to entertain you on Saturday night. This fun stuff is hosted by Fun DMC and the production on stage is done by the one and only Ric Major. There might be a happy birthday coming in there somewhere too, I hear.

One more Friday excursion could include a visit to George Rank’s to see me play. If you need another reason (hey, no comments!) we’ve got Idle Oath opening up the night. They are a duo known otherwise as Karen (ukulele) and Mark (guitar) who sing and write songs while also being wife and husband. They’ll probably start promptly at 7:37 or thereabouts.

Dang it, we still never made it to Saturday! Best check Pub Crawl for the goodies.


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