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Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 12:03 am

Fun and fundraising

Grammy award winner Paul Nelson plays Blues at the Base on Friday night.

As we attend to the last weekend in February before we march into March, it’s good times ahead with the locals out in force, a few traveling bands and an important fundraiser for a beloved hometown musician.    


Let’s get right to the vital signs and go straight to Sunday afternoon and an event called “Singing for Sammy” at the Curve Inn. The fundraiser, hosted by friends and fellow music folks, is for singer, musician and all-around good guy, Sam Draper. Sam developed medical problems, to say the least; I won’t go into details here, but even with insurance, the bills racked up as the health issues lingered, and now he could use our help. As shown by the many positive responses on the Singing for Sammy GoFundMe page established by longtime pal Howard Freitag, Sam reached into the hearts of humans, not only through years of making music that mattered, but simply by being a kind soul always there with helping hands. On Sunday, Smooth Groove, For the Love of Lennon, Groove Daddies and a reunion of KFD join forces to pay tribute and help out a true friend of the Springfield music scene. Please attend if possible and visit the Singing for Sammy GoFundMe page to donate what you can.

On Friday evening from 5 to 8, the fun gets going with the second Museum After Hours presentation held in the Illinois State Museum. The fresh idea of keeping the joint open after hours for the public to visit, imbibe in adult drinks, partake in food and listen to live music is a keeper. Held monthly on the fourth Thursday, February features Last Acre as the music act with preview night as the theme, in honor of three exhibits opening the next day on February 23. At Arlington’s, another Friday fun time ensues with The POP! Art Show happening from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring several area artists displaying art objects of various varieties with live music by Jessica Cloyd and Devin Williams, all sponsored, hosted and organized by Staunztastic Art. What a wonderful way to observe (and purchase!) home-grown art, all in the name of expanding the artistic side of the capital city in a pleasant, easy-going manner.

Modern blues guitar icon, Paul Nelson, has shared the stage with about every famous blues guitarist you can name and toured with the late, great Johnny Winter for many years. He also won a Grammy for producing and performing on the legendary Texas bluesman’s album, Step Back. Go see Paul up close on Friday at Third Base. Be prepared to be wowed.

Over in Jacksonville, this Saturday evening starting at 6, a host of Illinois singer-songwriters are hosted by Playhouse on the Square for a night of, you guessed it, songwriters singing their songs. Discover the talents of Stuart Smith, Gavin M, Taylor Tucker, Elisabeth Werries and Chelsie Schobern, as these young, inspired, prolific and gifted players gather to sing and discuss their music works.I just ran across a calendar listing in our “Music: General Events” for Carillon Winter Concerts from 2 -4 p.m. every Sunday through April. So if and when you hear bells a-ringing, it’s probably not your imagination, but just the fact you’re in Washington Park or the vicinity thereof, while Carlo van Ulft, carillonneur for the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, is knocking out some melodies on the 67 bells located in the 132-foot tower, one of the wonders of Springfield.

Ain’t we the lucky ones having us some fun. See you in March. 

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