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Thursday, June 6, 2019 12:03 am

LoG Fest and more

Stuart Smith performs his latest release, The Sun EP, at a CD/LP release party at Jax Yoga in Jacksonville on Friday night.

This week brings us a downtown music fest, continued Levitt AMP concerts, a brilliant original recording release and some out-of-the-area singing fun. Plus the usual, and unusual, collection of bands around the town, nearby in other towns and whenever the live sounds take us.

LoG Fest (the letters spell “log” as a Lincoln the Railsplitter reference and stand for Legacy of Giving) dominates our landscape this weekend as the music festival inhabits downtown Springfield - all around the Old Capitol area - in a very large presence. For the full schedule of the 60-some acts scheduled to perform on five stages and also other related events set for the weekend, go to With all the music artists donating their time and talent to make money for the festival to give to 10 local charities, it’s a special event, striking in its character, size and community involvement. From acts gaining exposure to larger than their usual crowds, to the many thousands of dollars raised for charity, on to the righteous fun had by all on every side, this is a winning LoG of a fest, set to promote a true legacy of giving.

This week’s Thursday night Levitt AMP concert at the Y-Block area north of the Governor’s Mansion features the sweet sounds of the Skatalites, a legendary group with an incredible history in pop music. From authentic Jamaican reggae to genuine ska with horns, the original members of this group went through it all and still keep the legacy of this phenomenal rhythmic music alive and well, thriving through a buoyant sense of hope and love, done down and dirty. Opening act TaQsem registers as a rapper, producer and percussionist, comes from Waukegan and claims influences of hip-hop, reggae, classical and jazz. The party starts at 7 p.m. and all you need to do is show up, bring your favorite lounging device and enjoy.

Over in Jacksonville on Friday, we congratulate vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Stuart Smith on his extraordinary CD/LP, The Sun EP, being released exclusively during a concert held at Jax Yoga, just off the town square on East State. Stuart spent an “eerie, foggy night” in Memphis back in October recording solo versions of a newly penned batch of songs in Sam Phillip’s famed Sun Studios where the world-altering songs of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee and others were recorded. This happened just as Smith’s fully produced, new album, War Horse, was about to hit the streets, making the whole thing a wildly concocted experiment. Fortunately for all, it turned out wonderfully and the recording is now available on Friday, when Stuart performs the new release in its entirety on the instruments he used (except for the Scotty Moore guitar, which I am pretty darn sure remained at Sun) in the studio. It’s always a wonderful thing to see creative artists create, while getting credit for said work and doing it with aplomb and verve. Read more about the making of the recording at

If you’re looking for an out-of-town night, Randy Dunham told me about a cool show he’s singing with this weekend at the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln College in the nearby burg of Lincoln. Produced by the Lincoln Community Theatre, the program, A Grand Night for Singing, features familiar songs of the theater (especially Rodgers and Hammerstein) sung by friendly folks from Lincoln with Randy, too. For more info, check out all their upcoming shows on the group’s website.

Let’s pack up the wagon for next week. 


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