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Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 12:03 am

Present the presents

The Sam Crain Quartet jazzes up Robbie's on Friday, Dec. 21.
Wow! How did we get here now? Who knows, but here we are, rapidly approaching Christmas Day and the holiday festivities surrounding the big event. Fortunately for us partygoers and lovers of live music, Christmas falls on a Tuesday, providing a full weekend of pre-holiday fun just in time.

Nothing says the holidays are here like the college kids coming home and nothing says college kids coming home like Jimmy Riemer gigs. The young lad, now attending school in Athens, Georgia, returns to the scene of the crime with three gigs this weekend. He’s playing The Office Sports Bar & Grill on Thursday (making it my kind of office party), then rolling into Papa Franks on Saturday night and finishing off the run with a Sunday afternoon stop with our old friends near Oakford at the Hill Prairie Winery. Who’s your agent, Jimmy, and why aren’t you playing on Friday?

Speaking of Friday, it’s the Sam Crain Quartet doing up the famed Robbie’s early evening gig downtown on the south side of the Old Capitol Plaza with some snazzy, jazzy stuff. As I’ve said before, Sam is easily our most prolific published musician with countless (you count ‘em) albums on his website at Okay, I just went and counted them myself (I actually went to the CDBaby website) and found 30 CDs for sale with three dated in 2018. I rest my case. Now go ask Sam what in the heck is going on, but wait until a break at Robbie’s when they do the raffle to support the Springfield Area Arts Council.

I’m taking a holiday sabbatical on Friday from George Rank’s but they’ll be celebrating a “Christmas with the King” evening when Rick Dunham (as Elvis Himselvis) and Larry Stevens (as himself) take to the corner of the round bar to play holiday tunes and whatever else occurs. Out at The Curve Inn Perry Zubeck leads The Loops through a swerving good time of pop-rock cool tunes while Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters ride into The Blue Grouch for their famed three-hour set of a nonstop shebang.

On Saturday night Bar None plays host to a cacophonic (possibly leaving some catatonic) celebration of the first order when NIL8, Bruiser Queen and Glower all play on the same evening, but not all at the same time. Catty-cornered across the street at the Craft Beer Bar Silas Tockey takes up the challenge of entertaining the troops while they soak up the suds with his tasty selection of fine tunes played acoustically with electronic aids.

In other downtown music performances, The Kitchens are at Arlington’s with your next-to-last chance to catch a Kathy-sung carol or holiday hit before next year. (Your last chance is on Sunday afternoon at 3Sixteen, Chatham’s friendly wine bar.) Then there’s Pistol Pete, a determined man of many muses, again bringing his Existential Crisis to Buzz Bomb Brewery in continuation of the search for catharsis through kind, caring and sordid stories between dynamite drinks. If juke joint swing is your thing, be sure to roam over to Lime Street Cafe as Juke House lays it on the line. I’m betting they’ll have CD copies of A Juke House Christmas available and be playing some hopping cuts off the record.

Sunday’s gift is a special presentation of Rogers & Nienhaus at Trails End Saloon in Curran as Terry and Scott kick off a night before Christmas Eve rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza around 4 p.m.

I’m ready to go ho ho ho and ha ha ha all the way home.


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