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Thursday, March 7, 2019 12:03 am

March on music


When (yes, I wrote when, not if) the weather breaks, there is going to be a happy party bursting with warmth somewhere. Let’s just keep dreaming of those hot and sweaty outdoor music events on the way in a couple months to get through these last few wintry weekends.

Could there be a better way to start the party this week than a hangout with Frank E. Rambelon, popularly (and possibly unpopularly as well), known as Sangamon County’s “Finest Working Lounge Singer”? Of course not, silly, and you know that F.E.R. is really acclaimed jazz musician Frank Trompeter living out a lifelong dream of a becoming a cheesy comic, in the style of Richard Cheese, lounge act singer. Frank (which one?) swears he will deny any association with the other act, if questioned. Accompanied by the stylings of Chris Miller (using his given name for some untold reason) tinkling the ivories, Mr. Frank tears through lounge renditions of Radiohead, Beatles and Eminem songs, plus plenty of versions of the usual jazz singers “gone to lunch” acts that are required performances for any and every discount lounge act out there. It all happens at Buzz Bomb on Thursday evening, from 7 until 9.

And while you’re downtown on a Thursday night, why not drop by Vele for some fine food and easy listening classic rock covers from Brant-Paoni-Myers, known to a few others as Doug-Mike-Rich. Expect a twist or two on the standard numbers, plus some fine, three-part harmonies to go along with the well-tested and much appreciated classic songs done during the evening dinner hours of 6 to 9.

The St. Patrick’s Day celebration, always a big deal around town, starts soon with an “Early Irish” party by the Blair House Band on the first Friday night of Lent at VFW Post 755 on Old Jacksonville Road starting at 7.

Next week on Thursday night, March 14, the Celtic shenanigans begin in earnest with an Irish songfest of Celtic-folk and Irish-American songs at the Hoogland Center for the Arts Club Room with McKinney, Hennessy and O’Hare (aka Rick Dunham, Tom Irwin and Theresa O’Hare). Then “a row and a ruction soon began,” to quote the great Irish song, Tim Finnegan’s “Wake,” as everything kicks in on Saturday, March 16 before, during and after the downtown parade. More on that story next week.

This Friday, the Paris-Belle House Concerts in Williamsville present Cathy Barton and Dave Para, a highly regarded folk music duo clocking in at over 40 years of live performances. They’ve played the best fests, taught in schools, done historical song research and taken their presentation of traditional music across the U.S. and to Europe. They thoroughly enjoy entertaining and educating on a wide range of built instruments including hammered and fretted dulcimers, banjo, guitars and Autoharp, as well as found instruments such as bones, spoons, mouth-bow and leaf. Plus, they are just a lot of fun to listen to and be around. Confer with your hosts at for more information.

This is one of those weeks where the Saturday night events nearly match the number of Sunday afternoon shows, a trend that has been slowly, but steadily, happening on our scene. I suppose the reasons are obvious, as a generation of live music listeners age, they prefer to stay home on Saturday night (or make it an early one), then check out the music on Sunday, getting done at a decent hour to prepare for the week to come.

Regardless or irregardless, the music gets made and lots do listen. 


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Sunday Aug. 18th