Bent River Brewing Company

Saturday, December 29, 9 p.m.


Deadroots On the Web site for the Midwestern rockers of Deadroots - playing the Bent River Brewing Company on December 29 - you can find a list of artists whose songs the band routinely covers, a motley crew that includes Tenacious D, Spinal Tap, Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem, and Little Shop of Horrors' man-eating plant, Audrey II.

Damn, but I wish I had run across this information sooner, as I totally would have booked them for the Reader's Christmas party, if only to watch Todd sing along to "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space."

Composed of lead guitarist Josh Long, guitarist Jared Hughes, bassist Steve Braddy, and percussionist John Bechtel, Deadroots has, since 1999, electrified audiences with its fusion of rock, funk, R&B, bluegrass, and jazz, and don't let that aforementioned cover list fool you - the guys also perform more than 30 original numbers, plus original takes on less overtly comedic (and less Muppet-y) acts such as Phish, the Grateful Dead, and Cake.

And not for nothing, but just because Deadroots bills itself as "the most contagious band in the central Midwest," don't think that - after watching them perform - whatever happened to them in that scary-ass photo will necessarily happen to you.

Uh ... right, guys?

For more information on the group, visit (



Minus Six

Rock Island Brewing Company

Monday, December 31, 10 p.m.


Minus Six Reviewing Minus Six's debut CD Overdue, Kelly Buckner - writing for the online magazine Nefarious Entertainment - described being "floored" by the results, adding, "Without a doubt, these four musicians meld together like a BLT sandwich." I'm sure Buckner meant that as a compliment, even though we all know that people only put up with the lettuce and tomato to get to the bacon.

Or is that just me?

The guitarless pop and rock outfit Minus Six - composed of bass player Kameron Rummans, saxophonist Matt Sivertsen, pianist Kevin Carton, and drummer Rob Baner - performs at RIBCO on New Year's Eve, and has been a mainstay of the local music scene since its formation in 2003. The quartet has also received accolades from notable local figures; beloved musician Ellis Kell is quoted as saying, "I guarantee you will be amazed at their talent and the level of energy they put out at their live performances," and the River Cities' Reader's nearly-as-beloved Jeff Ignatius - reviewing Minus Six's CD Hidden Deep in the Green - called the band's latest "a vivid record" featuring "concrete images, a soulful sax, and heartfelt vocals."

Gotta say, it's fun getting to quote my editor here, as it seems I never get to include Jeff in my What's Happenin' pieces. (Not in a way he'd like, at any rate.)

Minus Six opens for headliners The Gibbs Brothers Band, and more information on the group is available at (



Rena Jones

The Redstone Room

Friday, December 21, 9 p.m.


Rena JonesI gotta take a moment to apologize here.

I was all set to tell you about the Redstone Room's December 21 concert featuring San Franciscan musician Rena Jones. I was going to discuss her skills as a violinist and cellist, and explain how her live sets blend those instruments with electronic dance and ambient music, creating a sound that music site describes as "intelligent and gentle and caressing and sexy and sweet and engrossing and introspective."

I was going to quote reviews of Jones' albums, with her Driftwood named "a triumph in electronic and classical-instrument fusion" by ReGen Magazine, and Jones' Transmigration called "something that is truly unique and beautiful" by Multi Music.

And then I was going to reveal that, in addition to being a world-class musician and gifted vocalist, Jones was a noted producer, audio engineer, and sound designer who co-founded San Francisco's Digital Bliss Productions, and whose work can be heard not just on CDs but in video games, such as PlayStation 2's LifeLine, and Xbox's Karaoke Revolution and Dance Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 4.

But then I realized there was absolutely no way to squeeze all that information into 200 words. Sorry.

Feel free, though, to gather information on the artist at (



Quad City Flames

i wireless Center

December 19, 21, 22, and 28


Quad City Flames We generally don't do a lot of sports coverage in this paper. Okay, we generally don't do any sports coverage in this paper. But I felt it was high time to let you know about some upcoming Quad City Flames games at the i wireless Center, which will find our American Hockey League players taking on the Iowa Stars (December 19 and 22), the Milwaukee Admirals (December 21), and the Houston Aeros (December 28).

"Why this sudden interest in ice hockey, Mike?" you might ask. Well, you may not be aware of this, but it turns out that the Flames are having an absolutely historic season! I just visited the team's Web site at (, and look what I discovered: On October 12, defenseman Tim Hambley had the first multiple-goal game in Quad City Flames' history; on October 21, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the team celebrated the first road win in its history; on November 17, goaltender Curtis McElhinney helped the team earn the first shutout (6-0!) in its history; and back on October 9, center Dustin Boyd even earned the first goal in the team's history! Talk about a ... !

Wait. Something doesn't feel right about
that ... .

Oh ... it turns out October 6 was also the first game in the team's history. Guess I should keep a closer tab on sports, huh?

For a schedule of Quad City Flames matches through February, visit (



Studebaker John & the Hawks

Creekside Bar & Grill

Monday, December 31, 9 p.m.


Studebaker JohnBorn to Win. Too Tough. Self-Made Man.

No, those aren't working titles for my eventual autobiography, much as I like them. In truth, they're albums by veteran blues guitarist Studebaker John Grimaldi, who brings his band of more than 35 years - Studebaker John & the Hawks - to Davenport's Creekside Bar & Grill on December 31.

Called "a powerful vocalist and talented songwriter" by the Chicago Tribune, and performing what Blues Revue dubbed "hard-partying, tough, working-man's blues, heavy on the slide guitar and full-tilt boogie," Studebaker John is a native Chicagoan whose sound also incorporates the feel of improvisational groove, New Orleans R&B, and West Coast swing; like the 1963 Studebaker Silver Hawk from which the musician took his name, Studebaker John (wrote Blues Access magazine) "is a model of uncluttered lines and super-charged performance."

The group has been vital to Chicago's blues scene since its formation in 1971, and also released such acclaimed albums as Outside Looking in, Time Will Tell, and Between Life & Death, all of which might describe my tenure at the Reader if I keep mentioning Jeff's name in these What's Happenin' pieces.

Ha ha ha ... ! Oh, crap. Did it again.

There's no cover charge for Studebaker John & the Hawks' New Year's Eve performance, and further information on the group is available at (

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