Music Notes and Entertainment Briefs, July 12, 2012 Edition
War Is Over!
Mr. Swamp Fox overcame not just Heroes of Our Time, Saturn’s Calling, Seven Day Weekend, and Sink but an unbelievable heatwave Friday, June 29 to win the Carbondale Main Street Community Friday Night Fair battle of the bands for musicians younger than nineteen.
The band consists of Tyler Cornelius (bass, age thirteen), Brandon Gill (drums, age twelve), Nathan Gill (guitar and vocals, age fourteen), Dakota Holden (guitar, age fourteen), and Wade Keel (guitar and vocals, who turned fourteen on the day of the battle). The members hail from Carterville, Herrin, and Carbondale. Most were or are students of Robby Stokes, son of Carbondale music legend Robbie Stokes.
Inspired by the White Stripes, Beatles, and classic rock, Mr. Swamp Fox writes many of their own songs. Nathan Gill has a hard time pinning down the themes or styles of his songs, though he says they range from blues to funky groove rock, and try to match the song subjects. When Nathan writes, he says he tries to draw on what he feels in the moment of composition.
Going forward, Nathan says that Mr. Swamp Fox wants to play as much as possible. Their next show will take place Friday, July 20 in Sesser at the Barn Dance Benefit for Bobby and Susan Johnson, who lost their home and suffered serious injuries after a gas leak exploded. The group will also perform at Blue Sky Winery in Spetember. Meanwhile, Nathan and brother Brandon Gill will try to play in an acoustic duo whenever Mr. Swamp Fox isn’t booked.
As for the battle, Nathan says the band enjoyed performing there, heat not withstanding, and hopes that Main Street keeps holding it. Mr. Swamp Fox hit it off with Seven Day Weekend, who might stop by to record in the Gills’ basement studio. And Mr. Swamp Fox will probably invest their $200 winnings in merchandise at Plaza Records, where Nathan says everyone in the band is a loyal customer...
The Du Quoin State Fair, right off Route 51, has played host to numerous musical greats over the years. While most of the shows are country or gospel music, the fair has frequently branched into other genres, featuring acts like ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the BoDeans, Alice Cooper, and Cheap Trick.
Music on the grandstand starts Saturday, August 25 with the great Dwight Yoakam. Country patriot Lee Greenwood performs with Jennifer Thompson Sunday, August 26.
Break out the hairspray for 1980s glam-metal vocalist Bret Michaels Monday, August 27. On the other end of the lyrical spectrum, contemporary-Christian musicians Mandisa and Josh Wilson perform Tuesday, August 28.
The Eli Young Band and Thompson Square return the fair to country music Wednesday, August 29. Get that hairspray flying one more time when Warrant, Firehouse, and Trixter take the grandstand back to the 1980s Thursday, August 30.
Precious few people-- Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Dolly Parton among them-- can match the awesome Merle Haggard for authenticity. He plays the grandstand Friday, August 31.
Music concludes at the grandstand Saturday, September 1 with modern rock bands Saving Abel and Default.
Concerts all take place at 7:30 p.m. except the Lee Greenwood show, which begins at 7 p.m.
The fair will feature three days of harness horse racing, from Friday through Sunday, August 24 through August 26 at noon. Stock cars and other types of auto racing will take place Sunday, September 2 at 8 p.m. and Monday, September 3 at 12:15 p.m.
In addition, the beer garden will feature dozens of shows by national and local talent.
Lee Greenwood and Bret Michaels tickets are free, but will probably go fast.
For tickets or more information, log on to <http://www.DuQuoinStateFair.net> or call (618) 542-1535.
Also in the area, the Union County Fair in Anna, Illinois, runs Saturday, August 18 through Saturday, August 25. Carnival games and rides, exhibits, rodeos, horse racing, and tractor pulls are among the attractions, with demolition derbies on the final Friday and Saturday nights. Steve Hornbeak and the Main Street Players will headline the Shawnee Hills Music Jamboree Monday August 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Grandstand, while country outlaws the Cache River Band will play Thursday, August 23 in front of the Grandstand. For more information, log on to <http://www.UnionCountyFair.net>.
The Southeast Missouri District Fair, meanwhile, runs September 8 through September 15 at the Fairgrounds in Cape Girardeau. A Heartland Idol karaoke contest takes place Wednesday, September 12. Then headlining performers will play three nights of country music, including Gretchen Wilson (Thursday, September 13), Travis Tritt (Friday, September 14), and Colt Ford (Saturday, September 17). For tickets and more information visit <http://www.SEMOFair.com>...
I Shall Be Released
Two local bands-- the Woodbox Gang and Ravenhill-- are using Kickstarter to raise funds for the recording of new albums. The Woodbox Gang is projecting a release in October. Ravenhill hopes to record in Nashville with a professional producer. In both cases, Kickstarter pledges can count toward preorders of the disc. Search for both bands at <http://www.Kickstarter.com>...
These Magnificent Tapeworms, who last week released Best Day Ever!, a new three-song CD, have just posted a music video for the title track. The hilarious, campy visuals are a great fit for the loony surf-rock tribute to slacking off in the summertime with heaping plates of Mexican food and Saturday-morning cartoons. Watch it at Nightlife’s web project at <http://www.CarbondaleRocks.com>. The Tapeworms next play Thursday, July 19 at PK’s...
Opportunities to see the Jungle Dogs perform come few and far between-- so when they do, don’t miss them; music rarely gets more fun. One of Carbondale’s best and most-loved bands, and SIU’s party-school image incarnate, the nine-piece funk/reggae/ska party band will reunite Saturday, September 1 at the Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden, according to the band’s website. Shake yo’ ass with some ice cold beer!...
The Black Fortys will return to Carbondale for the first time in months when the group reunites Friday, July 13 at the Hangar 9 with warmup groups the Jewels and Paleo.
The once-local band started in 2007 with a slightly psychedelic indie-pop style in the Smashing Pumpkins vein. They quickly released a CD EP, then won a national contest that landed them in Rolling Stone, garnered them an opening spot for Nas, and brought them a production deal.
They released a second CD EP, but success probably came too quickly, and the band wasn’t prepared to capitalize on the buzz. Frontman Josh Murphy began playing a kind of American roots music in Wild Murphy and the New Year and reorganized the Black Fortys. The latter took on some of the influences of the former, as evinced on the sensational Voodoo Moon CD that came out in 2011 right before Murphy split for Berkeley, California. Voodoo Moon kept the band’s early foundation but added Bo Diddley beats, European folk-music elements (particularly French music), and jazz.
Neo-folkie Paleo, also known as David Andrew Strackany, has local ties, but this may be his Carbondale performance debut. Playing a half-sized children’s guitar, he once wrote and recorded a song everyday for an entire year, an accomplishment that Nation Public Radio, USA Today, and-- of all people-- vice president Dick Cheney recognized in 2007. He’s now signed to Partisan Records.
Anyway, Murphy (under the stage name William Feigns) will then play a triple bill Saturday, July 14 at the Hangar with Hooten Hallers and locals Possum Belly Queens. The former is a pretty crazy duo from Columbia, Missouri, which plays a lot of extended songs in the Captain Beefheart/Tom Waits/Woodbox Gang/Hobo Knife vein. The Possum Belly Queens include Randy Hill of the Whistle Pigs and Cat Copeland of the Moon Buggy Kids...
A reception will take place Saturday, July 14 at 6 p.m. at Anthill Gallery in Cobden for Necessary Art, an exhibit of mixed-media works by Rebecca Trammel and woodcraft by Mike Nosovitsky.
Nosovitsky, of Makanda, has spent twenty years creating one-of-a-kind slab-lumber furniture and home accessories. He primarily uses local tree species for his raw material. Trammel, of Anna, is the retired clinic director of the SIU Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. She often used art as a way to reach children with communication disorders. Self-taught, shadowbox collages are her current specialty.
The exhibit runs through August 4...