Erin Feis in Peoria began in 1981 as an eight-hour family event. It has since grown to fill three days with Celtic music, dancing, games and sports, and it’s coming this weekend. On the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local,” I’ll talk with Gary Innes of the band Mánran—one of a few Scottish groups playing at this mostly Irish festival. And we’ll hear about the gala presentation of the musical Gypsy at Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts.
Live and Local
Dan Perrino, a longtime University of Illinois music professor, saxophonist and founder of the Medicare 7, 8 or 9 Dixieland jazz band, died almost exactly a year ago at the age of 91. He was loved and respected by students and friends far and wide for his work as a teacher, musician, mentor and more. On Thursday night, WILL-TV will air a special program about Dan and the band, and I’ll talk with a few of those who knew him well on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
The Champaign/Urbana Singer-Songwriter Collective showcases its affiliated artists every week in Champaign, and at occasional specially themed programs throughout the year. Last May, they offered a tribute to Bob Dylan, which the Collective will re-present as part of a three-day singer-songwriter festival this weekend in Urbana. I’ll welcome five of those musicians—out of a field of thirty-some—to perform live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.”
Under the name Reverend Robert, Bobby Reynolds of Charleston has delved deep into the styles of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and other delta blues giants. He has also explored many other early twentieth century styles, including ragtime and early jazz, Hawaiian, African and Caribbean. Reverend Robert will play in Urbana Wednesday night, and he’ll play for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
Christy Bennett is a native of Springfield who traveled to Chicago for college and never left. Her classical training informs her jazz vocal technique, and she has recently branched out to form a band called Fumee Gypsy Project, who will play in Urbana Thursday night and in Springfield for two shows on Friday. I'll talk with Christy on the Tuesday edition of "Live and Local."
Gloria Roubal and Paul Sabuco have each fronted various pop-rock bands in the 1980s and 1990s, branching out to take on various solo projects. Now performing as a duo, they gravitate to songs that feature two-part harmony, and they write an increasing number of originals. Gloria and Paul will play in Rantoul Tuesday night and in Champaign on Saturday. They'll join me live on the Monday edition of "Live and Local."
I love the theater, though I confess I see plays only occasionally. At least two of my most memorable theatrical experiences involved actor Gary Ambler. In one, he was outrageously comic, in the other, heartbreakingly gentle and sincere. He’s currently in a two-man play, Freud’s Last Session, on an extended run in Urbana this weekend. I’ll welcome both actors and the director to the Friday edition of “Live and Local.”
On the Thursday edition of the show, I’ll welcome back recording engineer Mark Rubel for Part Two of a conversation about the art of recording live music. Mark is leaving Champaign’s Pogo Studio after more than thirty years to co-direct a recording academy in Nashville. We’ll hear more of the records Mark has made, and explore the issues involved in capturing the soul of a musician through a microphone.
Mark Rubel has made more than a thousand recordings at his Pogo Studio in Champaign. His clients have included Alison Krauss, Hum, Rascall Flatts, Luther Allison and many other national acts. More to the point, he has recorded countless musicians living and working locally, and when he moves to Nashville next week, he will be greatly missed. I’ll talk with Mark Rubel, and we’ll hear samples of his work, on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.”
“Sing it high and sing it low, sing out every song they know.” Those are a couple of lines from a song by Dan Zanes, but it could also be a motto for his work bringing music of all kinds to kids of all ages. He’ll play at the Ellnora Guitar Festival in Urbana this weekend, and he’ll join me on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” I’ll talk also with Irish accordionist David Munnelly about his gig with fiddle player Mick Conneely in Urbana Thursday night.