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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008 01:03 am

There’s a lot going on in the world of music

Electric guitarist Bill Kirchen performs at the Hoogland Center Sept.19

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Oh me, oh my! With so many excellent events and great goings-on this week I feel professionally unable to place one above the others. Therefore I've decided to take the easy way out and list, in one long, Now Playing breath, as many of the delightful deeds as I can muster.

First here's a reminder of the Sangamon Songwriters Series inaugural evening featuring the Gordons at the Trout Lily Café, Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. In last week's column I failed to mention online information on the entire series is available at www.myspace.com/ sangamonsongwritersseries and the 2008 lineup is complete.

On Friday, Sept. 19, legendary electric guitarist Bill Kirchen performs at the Hoogland Center for the Arts Theatre 3 as the next act in the WUIS-sponsored Bedrock 66 Live! music series. Local bluesman, jazz player, and the best finger-pickin' guitarist in Pawnee (and for miles around), Michael Taylor, opens the show at 8 p.m. Kirchen, immortalized in rock-n-roll history as the guitar picker playing that awesome part in Commander Cody's hit song Hot Rod Lincoln, is just a smoker of a player who lives in Austin, Texas, the official Live Music Capital of the World. I saw him play once at Austin's famed Continental Club and he blew us all away without working up a sweat. I would advise bringing your dancing shoes and coming prepared to be awed.

Congratulations are in order for Pleasure Chest, an area blues band declared winners of the 2008 Illinois Central Blues Club Blues Challenge contest held during the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ in August. The group, featuring Shane Denney, Rich Hohmann, Keith Altevout, Steve Suter and last year's solo/duo contest winner Robert Sampson, collected a $1,000 prize to help defray expenses when attending the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next February as a proud representative of the ICBC and the entire central Illinois community.

Ain't that the way it goes — just when we're all moaning (well some of us) about the lack of night clubs featuring live music, along come a few places to save the day. Hallelujah! Bar None is the newest bar on the block; at the northwest corner of Fifth and Monroe (formerly Schlotzky's and most recently, a favorite, late-night, food and fight restaurant) it's right in the thick of the Fifth Street Strip. The bar looks to have bands on the weekends for now, expanding the live music into weekdays in the months ahead with local, regional and national acts in the works. They've got a stage, a house PA, and a caring attitude toward musicians — I'm all for it! This weekend for the grand opening they've booked two of Springfield's best original bands: Micah Walk Band on Friday and the Damwell Betters for Saturday.

The Planet (formerly Viele's Planet) on the southwest corner of Second and Jefferson, quietly began making a lot of noise several months ago booking hard-rocking bands. Lately they've diversified some and on Sunday nights John Reilly of the talented (and good looking) Reilly family, plays with a bluegrass-style group while hosting an open mic for part of the evening. The Plaza (formerly the downtown BJ and Company) near Fourth and Adams started an upstairs jazz room with music every Thursday. The New Frank Trompeter Quartet plays in September and Frank Parker and friends play there too. Check Illinois Times Pub Crawl.

In a final note, we say goodbye to the Station and Wednesday nights at Marly's Pub. The hard-working, great sounding, progressive-jamming band held the mid-week spot for nearly four years and just recently decided to relinquish the date to open up other possibilities. Oh the good times that were had. The band plans to play an acoustic show once a month at Marly's while still touring the Midwest, selling CDs and rocking creatures all over creation.

Well there's lots more going on, but for the rest you're on your own.


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