|What's Happenin': Thursday, June 7, through Wednesday, June 20|
|Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events|
|Written by Mike Schulz|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2012 06:00|
The Split Livers
Rock Island Brewing Company
Wednesday, June 13, 8 p.m.
On June 13, the Rock Island Brewing Company presents a concert with the recently formed collaborative duo the Split Livers, which I like to think of as the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of the acoustic-punk bluegrass scene. My reasons for this are twofold. (1) Like peanut butter and chocolate, the Split Livers blends two separate ingredients – Wayne Gottstine of Split Lip Rayfield and Danny Barnes of Bad Livers – to form one signature taste. (2) Have you ever had a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Those things are freakin’ awesome.
As fans will surely tell you, so are the Split Livers’ musicians. As the longtime mandolin player for the Kansas-based alt-county ensemble Split Lip Rayfield, Gottstine and his bandmates released their self-titled debut album in 1998, have since recorded six additional CDs – most recently 2008’s I’ll Be Around – and have earned scores of fans for their unique takes on traditional bluegrass sounds through rock, punk, and heavy-metal influences.
The Texas-based guitarist and banjo player Barnes, meanwhile, formed Bad Livers in 1990, and the band’s alt-country-rock stylings were first heard in CD form in 1994’s Delusions of Banjer. Three additional Bad Livers albums followed, with Barnes eventually embarking on a successful solo career that has captured the attention of music fans, and musicians, nationwide; regarding his 2009 release Pizza Box, Dave Matthews is quoted as saying, “The music is smart and soulful, and the lyrics are profound. It is heaven and earth.”
Put Gottstine and Barnes together and you have the Split Livers, a collaborative project between two of bluegrass’ most influential and experimental artists. Performing classic songs from their bands’ repertoires and brand-new compositions, the musicians’ RIBCO set is sure to be a blast – though if you see me there on June 13, don’t expect me to stay terribly late. I’m turning 44 that day, and after a few hours, my liver will no doubt be telling me to split.
The Split Livers perform locally with an opening set by Chicago Farmer, and more information on the night is available by calling (309)793-4060 or visiting RIBCO.com.
The Redstone Room
Saturday, June 16, 8 p.m.
The widely admired, Grammy-nominated blues guitarist Sonny Landreth will play a special concert at Davenport’s Redstone Room on June 16, performing in support of his first all-instrumental album, Elemental Journey. And it’s not difficult to find accolades for the 61-year-old and his considerable body of work, with AcousticMusic.com praising the musician’s “dervish finger-picking in combination with that unbeatable bottleneck slide,” and PopMatters.com raving, “Landreth makes his strings shimmer in a way that evokes laughter and crying at the same time.”
But while critical plaudits for Landreth and his virtuosic slide-guitar style are all well and good, what’s even more impressive are the raves he’s amassed from those who understand, firsthand, what an extraordinary talent he is. Allow me, then, to share some quotes from those in the know.
Veteran touring keyboardist Steve Conn called Landreth “a musical genius,” and says, “Sonny has perhaps been my biggest influence, musically and personally.”
Drummer Michael Organ, who has performed with the likes of Jimmy Buffett and Bo Diddley, said, “The thing about Sonny is he’s a great artist, he’s a great musician, and he’s a great songwriter. And when he puts something down it’s going to have its own identity, its own pulse, its own phrasing.”
Six-time Granny Award winner Jerry Douglas raved of Landreth, “You can really make a guitar sound like a person, and he knows what that’s about.”
Eric Clapton opined, “Sonny Landreth is probably the most underestimated musician on the planet, and also probably one of the most advanced.”
And calling Landreth’s Levee Town album “a killer record by one of the most astonishing guitarists I know,” Bonnie Raitt said, “I’m a huge fan of Sonny’s singing and writing as well as his slide playing ... . Let’s hope this one finally gets him riding the acclaim he so deserves.”
I can only presume Raitt was speaking about this What’s Happenin’ article.* I totally agree, Bonnie!
Tickets to Sonny Landreth’s June 16 concert are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the show, and can be reserved by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.
*Upon reflection, I suppose it’s possible that Raitt was referring to the album, but why ruin a great closer?
Meet Me in St. Louis
Prospect Park Auditorium
Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 17
Legally Blonde: The Musical
Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse
Wednesday, June 13, through Saturday, July 28
The Quad City Music Guild will open its summer season with the Prospect Park Auditorium staging of the Broadway hit Meet Me in St. Louis, running June 8 through 17.
The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse will open its summer season with the dinner theatre’s staging of the Broadway hit Legally Blonde: The Musical, running June 13 through July 28.
And I know what you’re thinking as you read those sentences: “How will I ever tell the two apart?!”
Sure, Meet Me in St. Louis focuses on a loving family on the eve of the 1904 World’s Fair (see photo), and Legally Blonde: The Musical focuses on an aspiring lawyer with an adorable pet chihuahua (see other photo). But your confusion regarding Music Guild’s and Circa 21’s latest presentations is certainly understandable:
• Both are stage musicals based on hugely popular movies, with Meet Me in St. Louis a 1944 smash for star Judy Garland, and Legally Blonde a 2001 smash for star Reese Witherspoon.
• Both enjoyed long runs on Broadway, with 1989’s Meet Me in St. Louis nominated for four Tony Awards (including Best Musical, Original Score, and Choreography), and Legally Blonde nominated for seven (including Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Book, and Best Costume Design).
• Both local productions are by directors with numerous area credits, as Meet Me in Louis’ Tom Swegle helmed Music Guild’s George M! and the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Our Town and See How They Run, and Legally Blonde’s Jim Hesselman helmed Circa ’21’s Hairspray, Peter Pan, and Smoke on the Mountain.
• Both shows feature a number of talented newcomers to their respective stages appearing alongside a bunch of gifted veterans, with Meet Me in St. Louis showcasing performers Mark Holmes, Tom Morrow, Gregg O’Neill, John Donald O’Shea, and Lauren VanSpeybroeck, and Legally Blonde boasting performers Andrea Moore, John Payonk, Eddie Staver III, Tristan Tapscott, and Tom Walljasper.
Throw in both two-act musicals boasting large-scale dance numbers, humor, sentiment, and female protagonists looking for love, and how is a reasonable person expected to tell one from the other? Why, through this quiz, of course! Some are gimmes and some are surprisingly tough, but try deciding which five of the following 10 songs are heard in Meet Me in St. Louis, and which five are heard in Legally Blonde: The Musical.
1) “So Much Better”
2) “A Day in New York”
3) “Bend & Snap”
5) “Touch of the Irish”
6) “Trolley Song”
7) “The Boy Next Door”
8) “Find My Way”
9) “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
10) “Omigod You Guys”
A) Legally Blonde: The Musical
B) Meet Me in St. Louis
For more information and tickets to Meet Me in St. Louis, call (309)762-6610 or visit QCMusicGuild.com.
For more information and tickets to Legally Blonde: The Musical, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Answers: 1 – A, 2 – B, 3 – A, 4 – A, 5 – B, 6 – B, 7 – B, 8 – A, 9 – B, 10 – A. But oh, what I would’ve given to hear Judy Garland crooning “Omigod You Guys”!
What Else Is Happenin’... ?
Thursday, June 7 – Oh, Boy! The Music of Buddy Holly. Steve Lasiter performs a cabaret concert of Holly hits. Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $10-12. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Friday, June 8 – The Coop. Electronica, dub, and rock musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $7. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Tuesday, June 12 – Lake Street Dive. Soul, R&B, and jazz in an Intimate at the Englert presentation. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Thursday, June 14 – Richard Lloyd. Concert with the founding member of Television and his ensemble, featuring an opening set by Grand Stand. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Friday, June 15 – JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. Noted soul and post-punk musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 10 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16 – Hillcrest Music Fest. Featuring performances by Wild Oatz, Dirt Road Rockers, the Slough Buoys, Sinners & Saints, Wicked Liz & the Bellyswirls, Meet the Press, the Dani Lynn Howe Band, and a Saturday set with the Jimmie Van Zant Band. Hillcrest Event Center (16260 East 350th Street, Orion). Friday 5 p.m., Saturday noon. $40-50/both days; $100-200 VIP passes available. For tickets and information, call (309)755-6550 or visit Hillcrest-Resort.com.
Saturday, June 16 – Martina McBride. Country-music superstar in concert. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $35-65. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.
Sunday, June 17 – Willie Pickens. Acclaimed jazz pianist performs and educates in Polyrhythms’ Third Sunday Jazz Workshop & Matinée Series, with special guests Ron Wilson and Manuel Lopez III. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. all-ages jazz workshop – $5/adults, children free; 6 p.m. concert – $10-15. For tickets and information, call (309)373-0790 or visit Polyrhythms.org or RiverMusicExperience.org.
Thursday, June 7, through Sunday, June 17 – Guys & Dolls. Frank Loesser’s musical-comedy classic. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Sunday 2 p.m., June 9 at 2 p.m. $15-23. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit TimberLakePlayhouse.org.
Thursday, June 14, through Sunday, June 24 – Into the Woods. Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning fairytale musical. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Sundays 3 p.m. $16-23. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760 or visit ClintonShowboat.org.
Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 24 – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged]. The Prenzie Players’ presentation of the comedy in which (most) all of the Bard’s works are performed in under two hours, directed by Catie Osborn. Fridays and Saturdays – St. Peter's Episcopal Church (2400 Middle Road, Bettendorf), 8 p.m.; Sundays – The Establishment Theatre (220 19th Avenue, Rock Island), 2 and 7 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (309)278-8426 or visit PrenziePlayers.com.
Friday, June 15, through Sunday, July 8 – As You Like It. Shakespeare’s enchanted comic romance, performed in repertory with The Merchant of Venice. Riverside Theatre Festival Stage – Lower City Park (corner of Dubuque Street and Park Road, Iowa City). Scheduled performances Tuesdays-Sundays. $17-39. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.
Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16 – Seussical Jr. The storybook musical comedy performed by students in the center’s summer camp for grades 3-12. The Center for Living Arts (2008 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Friday and Saturday 7 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. $10 at the door. For reservations and information, call (309)788-5433 or visit Center4Living.com.
Saturday, June 16, through Saturday, June 30 – Jack & the Beanstalk. Bob Rafferty’s adaptation of the classic fairytale. Old Creamery Studio Theatre (3023 220th Trail, Amana). 1 p.m. Saturdays. $8. For tickets and information, call (319)622-6194 or visit OldCreamery.com.
Friday, June 8, through Sunday, June 10 – Ballet Under the Stars. Annual outdoor production with the dancers of Ballet Quad Cities. Lincoln Park (11th Avenue and 38th Street, Rock Island). 8 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, call (309)786-3779 or visit BalletQuadCities.com.
Saturday, June 9, through Sunday, October 7 – Waxing Poetic: Exploring Expression in Art. Interactive exhibit pairs art from the Figge’s permanent collection with large-scale magnetic poetry, as visitors will be encouraged to tag works of art with descriptive words. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Tuesdays-Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays noon-5 p.m. Free with $4-7 museum admission. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArt.org.
Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9 – Gumbo Ya Ya Festival. Annual outdoor celebration of Cajun culture featuring Cajun, zydeco, and New Orleans-style music and food, street performers, vendors, children’s activities, and more. The District of Rock Island. Friday 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Saturday 4 p.m.-2 a.m. $8/one day, $12/two-day pass. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit GumboYaYaFestival.com.
Saturday, June 9 – 2012 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Annual 5K or 1.2-mile walk/run benefiting breast-cancer research and prevention programs. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 8 a.m. $25-30 registration, $17 for ages 14 and under. For information, visit KomenQuadCities.org.
Saturday, June 9 – Fourth Annual BeeRME for Music Fundraiser. Beer-tasting fundraiser featuring tastings from a wide range of distributors, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and more, with proceeds benefiting music-education programming. River Music Experience (131 West Second Street, Davenport). 5-8 p.m. $15-25. For tickets and information, cal (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Wednesday, June 13, through Saturday, June 16 – 18th Annual Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally. Outdoor celebration featuring contests, games, vendors, bike shows, live music, dancing, food, and more. Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds (2815 West Locust Street, Davenport). $5-20. For information, visit MRMRally.com.
Saturday, June 16 – 2012 Dodgeball Showdown. Co-ed, eight-on-eight dodgeball competition with a $1,000 first prize, plus an evening concert with the Dirt Road Rockers and Grazin District. The Daiquiri Factory (1809 Second Avenue, Rock Island). Noon tournament; 7pm evening gates. Free tournament admission, $5 concert. For information, call (309)283-1809 or visit DaiquiriFactory.com.
Sunday, June 17 – Ride the River. River Action’s 28th-annual Father’s Day riding event on bicycle routes of between 20 and 60 miles, featuring a Junior Duathlon, vendors, and more. Begins at Davenport’s Freight House (421 West River Drive, Davenport). 6 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $10-15 registration, children ride free. For information and to register, call (563)322-7433 or visit RiverAction.org.
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