I began producing this series for the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL in mid 2017. The series features the best in contemporary and traditional roots and acoustic music of all styles; from blues to traditional folk, world music, old time string band, classical, swing and “new old time” songwriters (to name just a few).
New for 2020: We are now offering online ticket sales and season tickets! See the links below to puchase yours.
Also, after much discussion, we will be raising the admission to $15.00 ($12.00 for museum members). Unfortunately, we need to do this to keep the series in the black. We currently are in the black, but it's a constant struggle to stay there and this will insure us stability and may even give me a bit of leeway in bringing in even better acts down the road.
You can still get a break on the cost, though, by purchasing a season ticket, another new thing this year. Instead of purchasing 12 individual tickets @ $15.00 apiece, ($180.00 for the season), you can now purchase a season ticket good for 12 shows for $140.00 ($120.00 for museum members). You can miss a couple shows and still come out ahead! Purchase season tickets at this link: bit.ly/musemusic20season.
Once again, I am happy to acknowledge our sponsor, Carpenter St. Hotel inSpringfield. They have partnered with us to provide
accommodations to performers while in Springfield. We
greatly appreciate their support and hope you will support
them in return. I’ve personally stayed there many times and
it's always a pleasant and comfortable place to lay my head.
Our shows take place the second Thursday of the month all year long and start at 7:00 PM in the auditorium of the Illinois State Museum, 502 South Spring Street, Springfield, IL, 217-782-7386.
Performers interested in learning more can see our Potential Performer letter here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=12t-mLj4ckBPx7ijhYSzw0lWb2rcGXstL
January 9th Burr Oak String Band
The Burr Oak String Band offers up a crowd-pleasing mix of lively instrumentals and heart-felt harmonies. Masters of a variety of instruments and styles – old-time, raggy blues, bluegrass, folk – they appeal to a wide range of musical sensibilities. While rooted in the traditions of American Old-time string music, the close harmonies and the interplay of mandolin, guitar, fiddle and clawhammer banjo bring the Burr Oak sound to other musical genera and traditions. as well.
February 13th, The Nathan Taylor Band
The Nathan Taylor Band explodes with rich sound and purely blended talent. This talent is bathed in a wide range of vintage American blues & roots music, born of the soul of the heartland and the most fortunate front porches of Canton, Illinois. From classic roots songs and blues of the delta to early New Orleans jazz and Nathan Taylor originals, their audiences dance to soulful spins on the old styles mixed with new music as they are transported to simpler times, past and present.
March 12th, Calle Sur
Panamanian/Colombian duo "Calle Sur" performs a broad range of Latin musical traditions, from "joropo" and "cumbia" to "samba" and "punto." Tight harmonies and instrumental precision mixed with energy and beauty, woven together with interesting stories and humor. A dynamic mix of acoustic flavors from Latin America - gorgeously served.
April 9th, The Early Mays
With Appalachian-inspired harmonies, masterful songwriting, and a sweet old-time sound, The Early Mays bring a deep love of community music-making to regional and national stages. Drawing from musical roots in Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, they burst on to the folk scene in 2014 with a #2 debut on the National Folk-DJ charts.
Most recently, the band appeared on NPR's Mountain Stage and took home the blue ribbon in the Neo- Traditional Band Competition at Clifftop, The Appalachian String Band Music Festival.
May 14th, Fendrick and Peck
The energy that Madeline and Brian (Fendrick & Peck) bring to a performance is unique, delightful, and unusually infectious. They are adventurous and wondering beings who have put together a unique variety show of songs, poems, and stories featuring original music and other material gathered on the journey. Their music, though familiar sounding (reminiscent of 60s and 70s folk music), is noted for its exquisite lyrics, harmony, and instrumental composition. The content is rebelliously simple; accepting our authentic selves, and love of the finest kind.
June 11th, Sundae + Mr. Geossl
Sundae + Mr. Goessl features award winning vocalist Kate Voss and tireless virtuoso guitarist, Jason Goessl. This charming wife/husband duo incorporates humor, vintage style, interesting instrumentation, nostalgia, and serious chops in their act and were awarded Best Duo of 2017 from Seattle Weekly.
Bringing back the sounds from a by-gone era and spreading the joy of music like Johnny Appleseed, this act can be described in a single word: delightful.
July 9th, Mother Jones In Heaven
Mother Jones In Heaven - a musical by Si Kahn is as timely today as it was when Mother Jones was organizing the working class at the turn of the last century.
Vivian Nesbitt portrays Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, with musical accompaniment by John Dillon in this rousing musical about the infamous labor organizer who lead the charge for better working conditions and fair pay for miners, mill workers and child laborers. Mother Jones was dubbed The Most Dangerous Woman in America because, said a West Virginia judge, “at the crook of her little finger, she could get 8000 men to walk out on strike.
August 13th, Joybird
Joybird is Chicago fiddler, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and arts educator Jess McIntosh. Her songs "bare the intimacy of a letter to a friend," called "music that dreams and heightens and travels, music that lands with gentle force to disrupt the day."
Since taking its name in 2017 Joybird has evolved collaboratively, trading banjos, guitars, fiddle, drums though it's core members Aaron Smith and Bill Harris. They have written and played together since 2014.
September 17th, Deidre McCalla
From the moment Deidre takes the stage, her engaging presence and irresistible blend of folk, country, rock, and pop seize the listeners by the heart and won't let go. The Miami Herald affectionately dubs her a "dreadlocked troubadour." From Maui to Maine, college coffeehouses to Carnegie Hall, Deidre McCalla is a much beloved performer in both folk and women's music circles and has shared the stage with a long list of notables that includes Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman, Holly Near, Odetta, Cris Williamson, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. Her words and music chronicling our strengths and weaknesses and celebrating the power and diversity of the human spirit.
October 8th, Joe Filisko and Eric Noden
Felisko and Noden are expert practitioners of harmonica and guitar styles that defined the blues in its earliest days but are now all too rarely heard. They are also world class players and showmen. Their jaw-dropping virtuosity enables them to create more layers of sound and feeling than most full bands can summon, and both are high-energy, ultra-rhythmic performers. The collective result— in both their live shows and their recordings— are charged, dramatic performances that are simultaneously powerful and sophisticatedly subtle.
November 12th, Gaines & Wagoner
Based in Madison, WI, the award-winning husband and wife duo of Mary Gaines (cello, guitar, bass, vocals) and Chris Wagoner (violin, mandolins, lapsteel, ukulele, guitar, accordion, vocals) play an eclectic mix of Americana—originaland classic tunes ranging from folk to jazz, bluegrass to blues, honky-tonk and a little singer-songwriter on the side.
December 10th, Windborne
Stunningly powerful vocal harmony floods the room as the four Windborne singers present Song on the Times, their project of working class movements for peoples’ rights from the past 400 years, sung for today struggles. The group was catapulted to new heights when a clip of them singing in protest outside Trump tower went viral, and their Indiegogo for the project raised 1,600% of its goal from 2,600 people in every State and 22 countries. Windborne has collected and studied polyphonic vocal music for over 15 years from traditional singing masters from cultures around the world. Windborne is able to shift from radically different genres like no band you have ever heard, as comfortable with an improvised Corsican couplet song, as an English ballad.