Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The local band scene

IT IS GETTING tougher for local bands around here, but the music scene in general remains strong.

Venues willing to play for good bands are becoming scarcer. I appreciate the good folks at One Restaurant for continuing to host concerts and open mic night. It's a tough deal for the venue owner - you can't have a cover charge, because nobody will pay it to see a local band. Can you sell enough beer to just break even?

Acoustic acts have always been strong around here. Every weekend there are either single performers or duos playing in the local bars and wineries. It's cheaper for the venue and it's easier to pull off the solo show than have the whole band come over, set up, blast it out for four hours, and tear it all down again.

Yet there are still bands out there soldiering on and playing gigs. I'd name them but then I'd forget one or two. The people around here know what they like and who is good, and I hope they continue to support the local music scene. And I like the newer groups forming like The Hook & The Hustle, Cheeks McGee's newest musical adventure.

Rumors are once again surfacing about The Cheeseburgers being done. Absolute and utter nonsense. We just had a gig this month pulled out from us by a careless venue owner (not in Quincy). It's frustrating but it happens. We are all busy and have lots of stuff going on, so we are kicking it back up again in August and have no plans to quit.

The Matt Roberts Blues Band is the only group around here I know of with standing weekly gigs. They've been playing Friday nights at Hooligans II at Fifth and York, and they play every Sunday night at the Club Tavern. They also have some bigger shows lined up later this summer, including the Rolling On The River blues festival in Keokuk.

One distressing aspect about our local scene is the lack of young bands. Somewhere In Between just played a show at One but two of the members are college kids who are home for the summer and it's not a full-time gig. At least they did play when they were all back in town.

Blues In The District starts a week from Friday, thank goodness. Don't forget there will be a noon acoustic act in Washington Park every time there is a Blues In The District show. And the Midsummer Arts Faire is right around the corner at the end of June, with more great entertainment showcased in the park gazebo.

Let the summer begin, and enjoy local and live music!

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