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Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 12:02 am

New year happy

Zack Fedor plays his first gig of 2018 at Hand of Fate Brewery in Petersburg, from 2 to 5pm, on Monday, Jan. 1.


With New Year’s Eve being a celebratory night and falling on a Sunday in 2017, we have a solid, full weekend before the party to party and partake in live music. It seems some of our music folk have taken full advantage of the situation and booked mighty good stuff for this pre-2018 weekend.

One such event welcomes back the popular and talented Josie Lowder to Springfield with a “Reunion of Fun, Funk, Family and Friends” at the Curve Inn on Thursday night. Josie, who now lives in Boston teaching guitar and playing music, welcomes all who are able and willing to come down to jam, and posted on the Facebook invite that “Dancing is a REQUIREMENT. No excuses.” I think she means it, folks. It’s always good to have your smiling face and positive vibes back in town, Josie, if only for the holidays.

Friday sets us up with a variety of gigs, including The Brotherhood bringing it on at Casey’s Pub and X-Krush killing it at Blue Grouch. Kapital Sound grooves out at the Curve Inn and Pants Legstrong walks tall at Crows Mill Pub. Saturday night rolls around with a list a mile long of hot-dang bands tearing it up around town. Chris Camp and the Blues Ambassadors do up the Craft Beer Bar, as Brandy Kristin & the Revival revs up the Curve Inn, while Bluesmattic with Creek Walker gets down at Danenberger’s Family Vineyards, and Tennessee Borderline travels to Big Shots. Betty Whitesnake slides through the Blue Grouch, while the Geezers gear up at Crows Mill Pub, as Elvis Himselvis joins up with Tom Irwin & the Hired Hands at George Ranks, while Lowder & Manning settle in at It’s All About Wine.

Normally this would be where we’d go on about Sunday afternoon gigs at wineries and such, but with the New Year’s Eve evening stuff going on we are back in business for a full-blown extra night of festivities. Just hanging around town gives us Sleeping Dogzz at Third Base, Sarah Schneider & Friends at Craft Beer Bar, Fun DMC at Blue Grouch, and Off the Wall at the Curve Inn. Small towns around our town get in on the fun with the Lovedahl’s laying low at Hand of Fate in Petersburg, 2nd Chance Band doing it again at Mity’s Pub in Taylorville, Devin Clemons Band rockin’ the country at Boar’s Nest in Athens, Cactus Ranch sticking around at JB’s Hideout in Blue Mound, and Ryman’s Way pushing the point at Conrad’s Bar in Riverton. Plus the Wolf Crick Boys play their regular last Sunday of the month performance starting at 4 p.m. at the Buckhart Tavern, if you want to get a head start on the whole NYE thing.

Keep in mind that the fabulously famous First Night Springfield happens on New Year’s Eve as well, covering some 30 performances on ten stages at four venues in lovely downtown Springfield. Organized by our wonderful Springfield Area Arts Council and sponsored by several smart area businesses, the event includes afternoon children activities at Springfield High School from 1 to 4 p.m., early evening performances beginning at 5, a fireworks display at 8, and then continuing shows until 11:15. Yessiree, Bob, it’s quite a night and quite a sight to behold.

After all the “Eve” fervor dies down and the reality of Jan. 1 comes to pass, Zack Fedor becomes the first live music performer in our Pub Crawl for 2018 with a gig at Hand of Fate on New Year’s Day from 2 to 5 in the afternoon. Congrats to Zack.

May the best of New Year blessings belong to all out there.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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