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Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 12:03 am

Sadness and celebrations

Karen Nickerson and Mark Beanblossom perform as Idle Oath, Saturday afternoon at the Rolling Meadows Farm Brewery Harvest Party in rural Cantrall.

In several recent columns I’ve had to announce the loss of a community musician. Each time, I continue to talk about other events as life does move on, and I feel that especially with musicians, entertainers and performers, the thought that the show goes on is ever present, vital and necessary. But it sure doesn’t make things any easier.

With a heavy heart and deep sadness we report the unexpected passing of area musician Michael Webb. Considered a country player who could play anything, he excelled on guitar, fiddle, pedal steel, mandolin and about any other instrument he held in his talented hands. Mike had a profound impact on the central Illinois music scene, through performance, friendship, charitable work and the business of playing music. The outpouring on social media of admiration, homage, honors, praises, tributes, testimonials and total disbelief at his death is overwhelming and powerful. To say he will be missed seems utterly useless to describe this loss. What can we say, but rest in peace, Godspeed and keep on picking, wherever you are.

The Music at the Museum concert series is booked and hosted by Chris Vallillo and held on the second Thursday of every month in the auditorium located in the lower level of the Illinois State Museum. This truly exemplifies the comeback of the facility by regularly delivering the best in national and regional, acoustic-based, folk-style music. This month, blues roots performer, guitarist, songwriter and singer Ivas Johns graces the stage. A few years back, Ivas recorded an album at Gary Gordon’s Inside Out Studio in Sparta that popped him into the acoustic music world with a bang. Not only does he perform as a solo, bluesy, acoustic act, Ivas also has a full, electric blues band that you can catch on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the tenth anniversary party of the Walnut Street Winery in Rochester.

Head to the country for the annual Rolling Meadows Farm Brewery Harvest Party this Saturday for some fun in the sun amongst the dells and dales and trees and bees from 4 to 8 (and maybe a little longer). Finding the place is half the fun and at just over 10 miles north of downtown, a few miles off of Route 29, the grounds always get closer the nearer you get. There will be food, fresh beer and family games, plus music by the Samba Llamas, Idle Oath, Loud Clouds and me in a reunion with the Raouligans, featuring some guitar slinger named Owen Thomas Irwin with a B & D of Bruce Williams and Tim Harte, plus a flute flinger called Theresa O’Hare.

Sunday confers upon us a couple of tributes to great rock bands in different ways. The Curve Inn presents “Hells Bells: A Salute to AC/DC” brought to you by the good work of Micky Shomidie. He’s also got Black Oak Arkansas coming there on Oct. 6 and a few more surprises in the works. All day Sunday at Douglas Park, Penny Lane Gifts host the 25th annual Jerry Garcia Tribute (and for Joe, too) with several bands performing and some playing the music of famous groups including Black Queen doing Queen, while Perfunctory This Band and Sunshine Daydream lay down an assortment of Grateful Dead and Jerry-related songs. Catch PTB at the Butternut Hut on the Saturday night before for the annual meet-and-greet and play-and-party reunion that helps defer the costs of the Sunday show. Carl and the guys promise a special set of all GD music based on the accumulated knowledge of being in a band together since 1987.
Until next week...

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