DECEMBER 11, 2003
Now playing 12-11-03


Hey there nightlifers, while your head is full of gift ideas for Aunt Martha, cousin Billy, and that office co-worker you never pay attention to, cool your Yuletide jets at a barstool and let the live music take you away. Why should Christmastime be different than any other time?

In the K of C Hall way out west on Iles and Meadowbrook this Sunday, Gary Bloom and the Groove Daddies help host a tribute for a lost comrade -- renowned Springfield drummer Denny Best. Join the Helton Brothers, Mighty Mudbugs, Suns of Circumstance, and a veritable who's who of Springfield native musicians as they gather for the benefit dance and memorial remembrance. Best started out with the Signets and Reindeer Army, local bands of the '60s, and ended up working with Taj Mahal, Dr. Hector and the Blues Injectors, Coal Kitchen, Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows, and several other groups during almost four decades as a musician. He recorded full albums in the studio with Kenny Neal and Lazy Lester as well as single tracks with other artists. There will be a donation at the door and a live and silent auction to raise funds to help support the two daughters he left behind. Donations can be mailed to Denny's Girls c/o Kelly Corcoran at Bank of Springfield, 3400 W. Wabash Ave., Springfield 62707.

It's a special weekend for F5, as the popular group celebrates seven years of bringing happy feet and smiling faces to music lovers all over central Illinois with a gig at the Grandstand Sports Bar this Friday. Their first show was on Dec. 13, 1996 (if my math is correct) at Bootlegger's. The group specializes in keeping up with current radio hits, while having the classics ready at hand to please the nit-pickiest music patron. They've won several Illinois Times Best of Springfield awards and continue to pack the house wherever they perform. Here's to ya!

If it's the old sticky tongue you crave, roll on over to Breaktime Friday and check out Jack Flash, a concert-style Rolling Stones cover band proclaiming to the world that's "It's only rock-n-roll, but I like, like it, yes I do." If you've been out in a bar listening to music any time during the last 20 years or so, you'll be sure to recognize most of the musicians up there having a gas.

What two bars on the west side of town will feature bands with River in their names performing great American made music on Friday night? Answer: the Trading Post Saloon hosts bluegrass traditionalists the River Ramblers and the Lime Street Café presents Dixieland purveyors Riverboat 5+1. A coincidence? Perhaps. But maybe there is a conspiracy here. Or at least a marketing trend. Whatever it is I like it

I'm sure there is plenty to do on Saturday night, but didn't get that far -- you'll have to look for yourself.