Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hope I die before I get old

THANKS TO FRIEND and neighbor Mike Sorensen of Bad Wolf Media, I'm heading to St. Louis tonight to see The Who at the massive amphitheater. Mike is taking photos and managed to come up with another ticket. This came up suddenly and it's the start of an action packed weekend - I'm playing for the Illinois Veterans Home folks tomorrow and Gus Macker is Saturday and Sunday.

Sheryl and I saw The Who in St. Louis at the hockey rink a few years ago and it was a great show. My brother flew in from Phoenix and we had floor seats, and we hooted and hollered for more than two hours to every song. The sound was amazing and the band was on form and it was a great night.

This year they are playing with an orchestra and doing Tommy and Quadrophenia songs, new takes on classics. The tour is getting good reviews and Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend seem to be enjoying themselves. It will be a good night.

They are in their mid-70s now and some say they are too old and just milking the nostalgia thing. Maybe so, but if you are that age and you are good at something, are you going to stop doing it? Geesh, they are only 20 years older than me, and I don't plan to stop rocking. Ever.

Again, thank you Mike Sorensen for including me on your rock and roll adventures - Mike is a concert photographer extraordinaire and I'm sure he'll get some great shots.

You are never too old to rock and roll!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Good days, and Let's Go Blues!

TUESDAY WAS A good day. We figured out our cardboard deal - let's just say we have a place to bring it now. We had a huge day in the store, and in the roller coaster world of small retail, it was very much appreciated. And finally, the Blues are in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Wait a second .... did I really just type THE BLUES ARE IN THE STANLEY CUP FINALS?

There are some die-hard Blues fans in the Q-Town and I'm happy for them. It's a great story, from worst in early January to four wins away from being NHL champs. My brother Stephen and I were at the Blues-Bruins game in February, and who knew it would be a finals preview?

Unlike St. Louis Cardinals fans, who "demand excellence" and think it's some sort of conspiracy if they don't win the World Series, Blues fans are patient and loyal. Good for them! Let's Go Blues, and also, I HATE the Boston Bleeping Bruins. Still, Bruins in six.

Here's to more good days ahead, including this weekend's Gus Macker right in front of our Second String Music doors. And again .... Let's Go Blues!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Cardboard Tuesdays

TUESDAYS WILL NOW be known as Cardboard Tuesdays at Second String Music. Quincy Recycle no longer takes cardboard, and we have too much to put out at the house. We don't really know what to do, because throwing it away is irresponsible and expensive. So ....

We have cardboard. Lots and lots of cardboard. There is a bunch of it sitting on our sidewalk outside the door. Visually appealing, isn't it? Sorry, Q-Town, but if we don't come up with some plans to recycle, you will start seeing stuff like this. If you need boxes of all shapes and sizes for moving or storage or shipping guitars, they are here right now and free.

The other option is to take it home and make it into bonfires. Again, that's not very responsible.

So Cardboard Tuesdays it is. If you have any suggestions, please let us know, but we are all about saving the earth one box at a time and keeping our sidewalks open.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Get over it, GOT fans

APPARENTLY IT'S THE end of the world because Game of Thrones has ended and people are pissed at how it ended.

What? *WARNING: Game of Thrones SPOILERS BELOW*

I watched it and I thought the ending was great. It tied up a bunch of loose ends and it left you wondering what will happen to the various characters who survived. Can you say "Spin-offs!" Yes, we knew you could.

Lots of people are upset Dany died. What? She died? You haven't watched the last episode yet and I'm spoiling it for you? Ooops. At least you don't know that Jon Snow knifes her to death by the Iron Throne, which gets turned into molten metal soup by Drogon, and then the Bran Flake becomes king.

So don't watch the clip below of Jon Snow killing his queen. With a knife. While kissing her. Maybe it's time to go back and binge watch the whole dang thing again. *Don't try this at home!*

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Rocking (again) this weekend

IT SOUNDS LIKE a stuck record, but again we have so much great stuff going on in the Q-Town this weekend. We will need at least a weekend to recover after the weekend!

It starts Friday at noon with our final Concerts In The Plaza of the season. The talented Kyle Trudell will be there and the Butcher Block will serve up tasty lunches. We've been lucky with the weather so far for the previous three shows and it should be nice and warm for our last one.

Friday night at Red Light Bar & Restaurant, our friends Prospect Road will be rocking the night away. Saturday morning is the Bridge The Gap race by the river, and the Farmer's Market in Washington Park.

And Saturday night is the long anticipated return of The Cheeseburgers to Red Light. We had so much fun there in January and can't wait to get back and rock the old Granite Bank building.

But wait! There's more! You also get a free set of Ginzu cutting knives! And Paul Bonn is playing Sunday afternoon at The Club Tavern in Quincy from 3 to 7. Then the Matt Roberts Blues Band take over for the regular jam session Sunday night.


BTW, here's a summer schedule for both The Cheeseburgers and HartLyss. I'm partly doing this to remind myself ....

The Cheeseburgers
Saturday, May 18
Red Light Bar, Quincy, 9 p.m.
Saturday, June 8
Camp Callahan Benefit, Village Vineyard & Winery, Camp Point, 6 p.m.
Friday, July 19
Quincy Gems game, Quincy, time TBA
Saturday, July 20
South Side Boat Club, Keokuk, 8 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 2
Quincy Park District Concert Series, Washington Park, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 3
Private party
Saturday, Sept. 14
South Side Boat Club, Keokuk
Saturday, Oct. 5
Red Light Bar, Quincy, 1 Year Anniversary Party! 9 p.m.

Saturday, June 1
Revelry, Quincy, 9 p.m.
Saturday, June 8
Camp Callahan Benefit, Village Vineyard & Winery, Camp Point, 3 p.m.
Thursday, June 13
Adams County Suicide Prevention Coalition fundraiser, Revelry, 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 22
Tipsy Bricks grand opening, Hannibal, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 5
Tap Room, Quincy, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 6
Back The Blue party, Washington Park (with Pepper Spray), 7 pm ish
Saturday, July 13
Red Light Bar, 8 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 23
Red Light, Quincy (with Pepper Spray), 9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Matching the Internet

WE DO OUR best at Second String Music to match internet prices. Does it cut our margins? Yes. Do we have a choice to remain competitive in the world of online shopping? No.

We match internet prices on all guitars, amps and bigger items. We are actually cheaper for our awesome Roland keyboards. Plus we have unmatched sales and service, and your warranty is good through us. Try doing that online.

Yesterday a young man came in and looked at our Fender Mustang G-100 amp. He asked if we match the internet price. Sheryl said yes. After he left, she looked it up and much to her dismay discovered it was $50 cheaper online.

So we made the adjustment but worried he would probably just buy it online.

This morning we were out on the sidewalk sipping coffee and figuring out life when up walks the young man and he wanted to buy the amp! We thanked him for his patience and for asking if we matched online prices. Figuring out our mistake saved him $50 bucks and he is happy, we are happy and he has an awesome new amp. We march onward to the next small retail challenge.

It is illegal for bigger retailers to advertise below MAP price, the minimum amounts resellers agree  to advertise items. If Amazon has 100 Epiphone guitars that are $300 each, but they are just sitting in the warehouse, Amazon can't legally advertise them for $250. They do it all the time anyway.

If you come in and see an item and you think we are above the MAP price, let us know. It's part of doing business and we are all about being the best (only?) music store in town.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Have The Women Read The Directions

I WAS IN a lesson this morning and Sheryl worked with three older gentlemen who wandered into the store and were interested in a wireless micophone system and PA. They grumbled about guitars and how Martins and Taylors were superior, blah blah blah.

"Well, we are Takamine dealers and they are fabulous guitars," Sheryl said. "Garth Brooks even plays Takamine guitars."

"He doesn't actually play them," one of the guys said.

"Uh, yes he does. He's no Elvis," Sheryl said. It seemed to register and the three guys nodded their heads in agreement.

They were looking for equipment for a "church." Actually we suspect they were looking for equipment for their gun club in rural Missouri, and there's all kinds of fun we could have here but we'll be polite and move on. Sheryl quoted them a system we got last year for a local place, and they were impressed. It's the advantage of working with a small business and an owner who cares and knows her stuff.

"Man, I've been in three music stores and you are the first person who has actually helped me," one of the men said.

Then there was talk about how to put the system together. Sheryl said, "Look. Get a couple of women to READ THE DIRECTIONS and then you'll get it right."

They laughed and they all agreed she was right. They left the store in a good mood. Sheryl laughed while telling the story. And that, friends, is how it works at Fifth and Maine much of the time.

I'm going to the house to trim the grass. I hope the trimmer doesn't run out of wire. I'd have to read the directions or call Sheryl to change it. She's read the directions.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Loft Tours and another busy weekend

AS USUAL DOWNTOWN is rocking and rolling and another busy weekend awaits. It starts with Kayla Obert playing in our Plaza concert series at noon Friday, lots of great music Friday and Saturday nights at downtown venues (HartLyss is at the Tap Room Friday night and at Red Light Saturday afternoon) and the Farmer's Market Saturday morning. It's also a Shop Local Saturday, and we encourage you to shop local every day!

The highlight is Saturday's District Loft Tours. Three properties are on display, including the soon to be home on North Sixth Street of the Quincy Brewing Company. For those who think downtown Quincy is dying and not relevant anymore, the loft tours are an eye-opener and great chance to see how far we've come, and how far we can go.

We are hopeful the Bayview Bridge opens soon. It's been closed more than a week due to flooding, but the Mississippi River is slowly going down and it looks like we've endured the worst. We notice our traffic goes down when the bridge isn't open - it's the main portal into downtown and used by our numerous Missouri and Iowa customers.

Come see us this weekend! We've got new Fender and Gretsch guitars in stock and all kinds of great guitar amps and Fender Passport PAs to show off. As usual, it's great to be at Fifth and Maine and we hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Another Denver shooting hits close to home

MY SISTER LIVES in Denver. Specifically, she lives in Littleton, a beautiful suburb with big open spaces and views of the mountains. She and her husband and two kids love it there.

She lives just a few miles from Columbine High School. You know what happened there 20 years ago.

Yesterday in Highlands Ranch, two miles from her house, another school shooting took place. And a few weeks ago schools were locked down when a woman flew to Denver from Florida with plans to shoot up schools.

"I never thought I would have so many conversations with my kids about this," she says.

As usual, it takes a person involved in sports to really put it into perspective. This is Mike Malone, coach of the Denver Nuggets basketball team. The Nuggets are playing the Portland Trail Blazers and are a game away from reaching the conference finals. Denver is the sports capital of the country right now with the Avalanche and the Nuggets both perched to move on in the playoffs.
And it doesn't really matter. Just watch the first minute of his post-game press conference last night.

Thank you, Coach Malone, for your compassion and keeping things in perspective.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Parades, Lincoln, gardens and more

WHAT A GREAT weekend in the Q-Town. So much stuff going on! The Dogwood Parade Saturday was a blast, thank you to Sgt. Adam Yates and the Back The Blue group for hanging out. You really haven't seen Quincy unless you've marched down Maine Street in front of thousands of people. Also, I'm the best sign holder ever. EVER.

- The Lincoln In The District in Washington Park Saturday was really well done. Lots of people milling around, interesting displays and demonstrations, and the music was amazing. It's a great fit for Dogwood Weekend!

- The Stew Boys rocked it at Red Light Saturday night. Speaking of Red Light, HartLyss is there Saturday afternoon from 2 to 5 for Red Light's special Mother's Day event. Hoot and holler with us on a Saturday!

Great vibrations at the Unitarian Church
- Sheryl got her garden planted Saturday. She put in a lot less stuff than previous years, thinking that some of it will spring up on its own.

- She also took her bike to Madison & Davis just down the street to get fixed up. Love love LOVE spring in the Q. It even motivates you to get moving! Speaking of moving, we are recovering from near-record flood levels on the Mississippi River, but more rain is forecast this week so keep our fingers crossed. Tucker and I went down there yesterday afternoon and there's something peaceful but unsettling about the river when it's so high.

- And finally, we thoroughly enjoyed the music at Sunday's Unitarian Church service. Steve Rees, Mia Meacher and Michael Vera Eastman did an amazing job with a bunch of interesting instruments - gongs, bowls, guitars, violins, and other different things. Music, my friends, is everywhere and comes in many forms.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Rising waters and bridges closing

THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI River, a mere five blocks from Second String Music, is not a thing to be messed with. Torrential rains and massive snowmelt north of us have caused major flooding issues since January. Now it's getting critical.

We are at 28 feet now, way above the flood stage of 17 feet. Fortunately it's supposed to drop this weekend, but more rain is forecast and we are by no means out of the woods (or water) yet. Just ask the poor folks up in Davenport, Iowa, who saw their levee break and flood downtown.

We are on the bluff here in Quincy which means we have no danger of flooding. But our riverfront is under water and folks along Bonansinga Drive are having issues. SSM employee Steve Rees has been dealing with it all spring and it's no fun. Then rain and high winds caused a bunch of bricks from the Lincoln Douglas Hotel at Fourth and Maine to fall into the street early this morning, so traffic is really bunched up and lanes are closed along Fourth.

The Memorial Bridge in Quincy has closed. The water is lapping right to the Missouri side, so our other Bayview Bridge is now two-way. It was a mess yesterday afternoon and slow going this morning, from what our store customers tell us.
The one on the right is practically under water today.

Maine Street between Fourth and Fifth will probably be closed this weekend for Dogwood and Lincoln In The District, but if the bridge is closed it doesn't matter, so we'll just wait it out and hopefully people can still get to the store.

About 2 this morning another thunderstorm rolled in and woke up Sheryl, two cats and three dogs. Angus is moping around this morning and sleeping it off under the counter, since he was up all night, and Sheryl is struggling too. Me? I didn't hear a thing.

We tilled the garden Sunday and it's ready for plants, but right now it's a soupy mess and there's no way Sheryl can get in there. Maybe this weekend. Wait ... we are dodging showers again downtown, so who knows.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Inside the old bank at Fifth and Maine

THE HISTORY OF our historic Dodd Building utterly fascinates me. Sheryl says I'm obsessed. She's right. I love history and our building has been a big part of Quincy history since 1896.

I've seen almost every old photograph of our building, from the time it went up to when it had the addition constructed in the early 1920s. It hasn't changed much, though the owners in the 1980s and 90s put blue siding and strange awnings on it.

I published some photos of the inside a couple of weeks ago on a Facebook page, and the post got tremendous response. I've seen very few old pics of the inside, and wouldn't it be interesting to see old Bedford Dance Studio photos or pictures of the Wilson & Schmiedeskamp law firm. Somebody had to have taken pictures of the two women who manually operated the elevator.

A women sent me a photo (above) of the Mercantile Bank employees, taken on the main floor where our music store is today. It's probably from the 1940s or 1950s. A large group of employees is standing in front of what is now our stage toward the east end of our space, facing west. Behind them is a massive marble counter, and the building still has tons of marble pieces from when it was sadly dismantled.

If you look to the left, you'll see the old sky light. It was boarded up after this photo was taken, presumably because it was leaking and no longer needed to cool and heat the building. There's also a cage to the far left, and what appears to be audio speakers on the pillars. They are still up there. The flooring is rather interesting, too.

The safe has a sign on it. We were looking closely at it today and we wonder if it was boarded up. There are screws and what appears to be wooden molding over where the sign was located, and we are attempting to take a peak and see if the sign is still there. In what is now Electric Fountain Brewing, we took a plate off the safe and discovered the Mercantile sign. It would be a lot of work to take a look, but we are curious ....

It also looks like the counter extended around the pillar on the left, so that's gone now, too. I really wish the camera would have swung a little bit left, because I bet we would see the staircase that leads to the basement and to the huge basement safe.

Last week a customer came in and said she used to work for George Lewis, former building owner. She had an office in the first floor safe, and from what she described the whole layout was a lot different.

Thank you for the photo. If you have any old building pictures, especially of the interior, we'd love to see them.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Mystery of missing Gretsch solved

WE KNOW WHAT happened to the missing Gretsch guitar. Yes, it left here without permission and caused us a lot of stress. But we'll chalk it up to a giant misunderstanding and eventually it was figured out.

Somebody, and I won't mention any names but his initials are RODNEY BEEPING HART, didn't lock the door Saturday night after we closed. Actually I did the first time but I came back with Tucker to grab a guitar and I must have just brain-farted and not double checked that the door was closed and secured. I didn't alarm it because I had to come back later for something else. Sometimes the door doesn't close by itself and you have to push it in and hear it click to make sure it is locked. Details. They are important.

We have a customer, a really good customer who has purchased a lot of stuff from us, come by Saturday around 5:30 or so. He thought we were open until 6 (we aren't, just until 4 on Saturdays). So he came in and looked around and didn't see anybody. He had his eye on the beautiful Gretsch and sat playing it for some time, waiting for someone to appear and help him. He started to feel uncomfortable sitting in the empty store, and for some reason he decided to take the guitar and the case. He had a guitar in for a restring so he knew he would be back on Monday and would take care of it all then...

We are still not sure why he at least didn't call us or leave a note or something. At least we wouldn't have FREAKED OUT on Monday morning. Let's just say it was a very looooonnnngggg and stressful day in the store. We felt exposed and angry that someone would steal anything, let alone that beautiful Gretsch.

He came in Monday afternoon around 3:30 with the money, and quickly realized he'd messed up. He was very apologetic and he paid for the guitar in cash. Then he bought another guitar. Sheryl had a long "talk" with him about it because by then I was in guitar lessons. She is straightforward and polite but firm when we have problems. I'm really glad she handled it.

There was a misunderstanding because he told me he wanted the guitar, but I wasn't sure when he was coming back. I assumed it would be while we were open. He meant no harm and he thought we'd know he was the one who took it and would be back Monday to pay for it.

There was a lot of discussion about the fact the door wasn't locked. That's on me. I try to always double check it, but will do more than try from now on. And next time I'll just set the alarm, even if I'm coming back soon.

Thank you to all of our awesome Second String Music customers for sharing news of the missing guitar on social media and for having our backs. We are here because of you and your support means a lot.

Just another adventure at Fifth and Maine!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Stolen Gretsch

The guitar has been found. 2nd half of the story on tomorrows blog...
beautiful Gretsch hollow body guitar from us over the weekend. I remember seeing it Saturday afternoon. I was in the store alone and a strange dude kept asking about the Gretsch guitars. He walked up to it behind the counter but didn't take it off the wall hanger. I'm not saying he was the one who took it when my back was turned, but who knows.

It's a Streamliner with a Bigsby tremolo. Not only did it get stolen, somebody stole the custom black hardshell case, too. So they knew what they were doing.

I can't figure it out. I think it was still on the wall when I left Saturday. Everything was locked up over the weekend, the alarm was on when I came in this morning, and that's when I noticed it was gone.

This. Really. Pisses. Us. Off. We've had stuff walk out of here before but not like this. Sheryl is angry because she actually took some time off Friday and Saturday and it was a nice break while she had some other stuff going on. I had a pleasant Friday and Saturday in the store, not too busy but we did some business. Then we come in Monday to this crap.

Now I'm going to look very carefully at people who come in and we are going to be paranoid about shoplifting, and that takes extra energy and effort away from running a retail business.

We have called the police, filed a report, checked with our local pawnshops. Now we'll wait and probably never see it again, and chalk it up as a loss. Maybe what we've lost isn't going to make or break us, but it sure makes us wonder if it's worth the effort to keep the doors open.

I  have some advice for the POS who took this. First off all, don't get caught. This isn't a threat and I'm not advocating physical violence, but Sheryl might.

Secondly, don't take it out and play it. It's a small world, the Quincy music circle.

Third, don't brag. Ooops. You probably already have. Maybe there's a chance we get it back after all.

And finally, get out of town if you plan on  selling it. Far, far out of town.

On a positive note, we got in the gorgeous American made Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster today. Come in and buy it!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Acoustic Singer amps have arrived

SECOND STRING MUSIC just got new Boss Acoustic Singer amps. They. Are. Amazing. We have the 60-watt version and it retails for $499.00.

Now, you might think that's a lot for a small 60-watt acoustic amp. This thing, however, is far more than an amp. It's two channel so you can plug a microphone and guitar into it, an included foot-switch and it has a looper and an amazing harmonizer.

I've heard a lot of singers used harmonizer pedals and most have really flat and processed tones. Not this one. You can add delay and reverb to it and add a fifth harmony above your main melody. It has three settings, high, melody and low. It's loud enough for small venues and can be plugged right into a PA system too.

We have a good store customer who was using the Fishman Loud Box amp. He heard the Boss and said, "I'm getting this instead."

Here is video of local guitarist Spencer Smith, who teaches at Vancil Performing Arts and plays for local band Raised On Radio. He was impressed with the amp and made it sound really good yesterday afternoon.

If you are interested in taking your acoustic guitar playing and singing to the next level, check it out at Fifth and Maine!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Late night hockey and caring

THE LAST TWO nights of the NHL playoffs have been nuts. On Monday, Dallas and Nashville played an incredible game, up and down and chance after chance. Much of the time in the playoffs teams play cautiously and try to lock up, but not those two teams. It was thoroughly entertaining.

Blues fans, beware. Dallas is really, really good.

Last night I worked at The Whig and got home late. I flipped on the third period of the Sharks-Knights game, and Las Vegas was ahead 3-0. I was about to turn the TV off and go to bed when Joe Pavelski got hurt and the game suddenly shifted.

In all my years of watching sports I've never seen anything like it. San Jose scored four goals during a five-minute power play. They were dead in the water. Now they were leading. Las Vegas tied it up in the last minute, and the game went into overtime.

I was asleep by the time San Jose won it. Sure, it was amazing, but sleep is sleep and it was after midnight when I dozed off.

I was trying to explain this to Sheryl this morning. It's not that she doesn't understand sports, it's that she really doesn't care. Is the world going to turn any differently because San Jose made a miraculous Game 7 comeback after a disputed penalty?

Nope. But it was a thrill just the same.

This is just the first round, too. The games will get even more intense. The only team I really care about is St. Louis and I hope they do well the rest of the way, but it's OK to sit back and watch two teams you don't care about bash each other around for a trophy.

Also I hate the Boston Bruins and I hope they get blown out in four straight.

Not that I care, really.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Happy Hour(s) keyboard displays

THIS IS WHAT happens when your friends show up on Friday afternoon for happy hour(s) and you have a big keyboard display awaiting construction. They help. And now it's up and lit.

"We may as well have something to do while we drink beer," The Mighty Adam Yates said.

"I ain't doing nothing. I'm getting a beer. Leave me alone," said Frank Haxel. "You'll need a Phillips screwdriver for that. But I'm not using it."

It's on the back table, Frank. No no, we won't make you help. Can you help Adam grab that thingy by the thingy?

Angus is angry nobody will play with him. 
A month ago we got some amazing Casio keyboards and they've been selling well. Sheryl also ordered a large Casio display which holds three keyboards. The Casio sign lights up and it saves a lot of space. But it came in about 12 boxes and didn't have instructions, other than "drink a lot when deciphering vague symbols disguised as instructions."

That didn't stop Frank, Sheryl and Adam. The perfect location was decided on and chaos ensued. Angus, Pete Magliocco and I were quite helpful by staying out of the way and offering advice, like "Righty tighty lefty loosey" and "Are you sure Tab A fits into Slot B?" Also, Angus sulked because nobody would play an endless game of ball.

The sign didn't light up and Frank was considerably disappointed. There was a cord dangling from the back but it didn't plug into anything. Turns out Casio forgot to send the power module with the rest of the display. It finally arrived yesterday, and now we have a sharp-looking keyboard area in the back by the stage.

The moral of the story is ... always have happy hour(s) on Friday. Always. How else are you going to get stuff done?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Angus turns 5

ANGUS SPENT HIS fifth birthday at Second String Music getting doggie massages and putting up with silly photo sessions. He curled up under the table in my lesson room and later passed out for a couple of hours while we strummed and hummed. Lately he's been going to the coffee shop next door and waiting patiently for the employees to give him treats. Brianne calls Angus her "work buddy" and gets some pretty good selfies with him.

Much of the time he sleeps at Sheryl's feet under the counter. He'll get up to greet the delivery guys and the many customers who demand to see him. He's had a little hip issues lately, common with Corgi and Cattle Dogs, and we had our vet take a look and prescribe a little pain medicine. He seems to be doing better. Of course, Angus is 35 in dog years so maybe this is all part of his mid-life crisis.

At home, Angus hangs out with the two cats and his adopted brother and sister. Genie and Tucker run like the wind on their daily excursions and Angus faithfully scoots his little legs as fast as they can go to keep up.

One of his ears still doesn't stick up, meaning he only half listens. He grumbles when asked to do something he doesn't want to do. He gets a little jealous when people hug, and he's very patient around children.

In other words, Angus is our irascible and loving Corgi Cattle Dog. We couldn't imagine life without him. Happy birthday, ya little bleep, and here's to many more!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Erupting in awe

THE BEST THING about teaching guitar is when a student gets it. The light literally goes off and the reactions are priceless.

I have an awesome student, Anna, who is 17 and a high school senior. She started on the guitar, switched to ukulele, and now is back on guitar. Her biggest challenge right now is prom - she got her nails done and she has to contort her fingers to press on the strings. "Another two weeks!" she said last night. "Look! I'm getting better."

Senior prom happens once in a lifetime. Anna can play the guitar for the rest of her life, I suppose.

Anyway, we were talking about alternate tunings and I let her strum my Fender Strat. "My brother has an electric guitar and I play it once in a while," Anna said. We plugged the Strat into the amp. "I never plug it in. Wow!" she said.

Soon all these amazing noises were coming out of the amp and she was over the moon. I used it as a teachable moment - "Practice your scales on the electric guitar because it's way cool," I said.

She was enthralled with the sounds. So I used it as another teachable moment. "In 1978, music sucked," I said. "Then along came this guy. He was from another planet. Nobody had ever heard these sounds coming from an electric guitar."

We listened to "Eruption" by Van Halen. Her jaw literally dropped and she stared in amazement at the iPod. "THAT is coming from a GUITAR?" she said.

With the caveat that Eddie Van Halen is from another planet and nobody plays like him, she vowed to go home and practice her tapping techniques. With her long nails, there are endless possibilities and noises to make.

Rock on, Anna. I get way more than I give when a student like you discovers new and exciting music!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Saving The Chicken

THE REAL QUESTION is not "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

The real and burning question is, "How the heck did that chicken survive wandering around the Calftown jungle for two days?"

I took the dogs for a snowy run Sunday morning and when we got back, there was the chicken, calmly walking around the alley behind our garage. Sheryl and I walked up to the chicken, who was dining on something disgusting, and she calmly picked it up without a struggle.

It clucked a few times, and we brought down alley to Mary Dickerman's place. She and Tony have chickens. Mary said, "That's not our chicken. Donna next door asked us a few days ago too."

Sheryl thought about calling Animal Control the next morning. I said, "Why not put it on Facebook? Isn't there a lost and found thing for animals?"

She agreed. We put the chicken in the garage, got it some food (chickens eat anything, apparently, even our cat food and random seeds), took some pictures and put a post on my Facebook page. Within seconds we were getting responses and page shares. And, about 15 minutes later, the owner contacted us with an emphatic "My baby!"

Turns out the chicken lives one block south of us, on the other side of Jefferson. It escaped Friday and somehow avoided the many feral cats, roaming dogs and other creatures of our hood. It even survived a nasty little rain/snowstorm Sunday morning.

How did it cross Jefferson street without getting smushed?

The owner came over and there was a joyful reunion involving much clucking and hugging of a chicken. It's home safe and sound, and everything is back to normal in the Calftown hood.

Whatever normal means. Cluck cluck cluck!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Goal off the face

THE STANLEY CUP playoffs have started and it's a great time of year. I tried to explain how important it was that the playoffs had started to Sheryl and she looked blankly at me and said, "What??".

There were some amazing games last night and it was fun clicking between the Lightning collapsing, the Islanders OT win and the Blues gutting out a 2-1 win at Winnipeg.

Hockey players are the best. They don't care about getting hurt or throwing their bodies into the fray. Last night, Joe Pavelski of San Jose scored a goal off his face and lost several teeth in the process. He barely missed a shift.

I broke my schnoz three or four times playing sports. I have a vague memory of a soccer ball blasting me in the face but I think it rolled out of bounds and nobody cared about my bloody nose. As a goalie I took a few off the face mask, too.

Sometimes on Sunday mornings when I'm recovering from the rock and roll truck, I'll put on a soccer game from  England, and it never ceases to amaze when a player gets tripped how he's suffering from death and in severe agony. He rolls around and screams and cries, slowly gets up and limps around for a minute gritting his teeth, then starts running at full speed like nothing every happened.

Suck it up, buttercup. April means Stanley Cup playoffs, and these guys aren't going to let losing a few Chicklets stop them. All the more reason to love hockey and the next few months!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Sheryl finds her Camry

SHERYL USED TO have a '94 Toyota Camry. She gave it to her nephew a few years ago, and the darned thing is still running. It will have to be humanely destroyed and buried in the infield for it to die.

We've been a one-vehicle family for a long time. A month ago I finally bought a used Pontiac Grand Prix to zip around town. As you read last week, it was hit by another vehicle while parked on Maine Street, and eventually declared a total loss.

Angus likes the new ride too!
It wasn't a fun experience, but I will say the driver of the other vehicle was apologetic and it was an accident, nothing more. His insurance company was decent to deal with and we ended up with a good settlement. We are still waiting for the check because the title from the Pontiac still hasn't arrived from the good old state of Illinois, but hopefully it gets here soon.

Sheryl started searching for another car. We thought about getting another Jeep but it was too expensive for something decent.

Yesterday we were trying to find a solution to our problem and Sheryl suggested we switch it up and try finding a vehicle for her. She doesn't need to haul anything but the dogs. It might be easier to find something if our criteria were simpler. She called our friend Brad Mintle, who sold us the Jeep. He started working for Poage in Hannibal about a month ago and he came up with a couple of great options.

This morning we went down there and picked up our new (to us) Toyota Camry. I'll drive the Jeep since it fits all my gig stuff, and Sheryl is really happy with her new ride.

Brad, Lonnie and the people at Poage were awesome and we are finally ready to put our vehicle woes behind us. Don't knock on that piece of wood, please.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Delays and a familiar face

PEOPLE OFTEN ASK if I miss my old job at The Whig. The short answer is no. I do miss some of the people and every now and then I'll see something which takes me back, but that's about it.

Then you read about a murder trial being postponed because the defendant hires, at the last-second, and actually after the last second, a lawyer who used to live in Quincy and was arrested for killing his wife and had two trials and eventually found not guilty.

That's right. A guy accused of murder hires a lawyer who was accused of murder but was found not guilty. You may have seen his story on Dateline and other shows.

You. Can't. Make. It. Up.

It's amazing in a small city like Quincy how you have personal connections. I knew the lawyer, Curtis Lovelace, because he was an Assistant State's Attorney and was always very good to me as a reporter. His son took guitar lessons at Second String Music. And I played at Curtis' wedding.

I knew the victim in this case, Carlous Wires, because Emily played basketball with his two daughters and his son worked on our building.

And, of course, the defense attorney now out of job, Drew Schnack, is somewhat of a legend around the courthouse and the city. He's a shark and he's fierce and he always tells you what he thinks.

Read the story and click on the Facebook interview with Drew in his office after Monday's hearing. It's classic. Some of the stuff he's talking about you kind of have to be around Fifth and Vermont to understand what he's really getting at. But his comment about Curtis being "a pimple on my butt" and the inner workings of lawyer-client relationships are right on the money.

I spent many an hour in that very office talking about cases with Drew and he was always good to me. He understands the role of the press. We did have disagreements, but only once did it get out of hand and I shrugged it off because, well, that's Drew.

I will say this. If I ever got into serious trouble around here, God forbid, Drew would be at the top of my list to hire.

Again ... You can't make it up. Ever.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Outdoor Music

THE FIRST OF many downtown outdoor music events starts in the less than three weeks. It's finally starting to feel like spring and we are going to be rocking and rolling down here.

Concerts In The Plaza is sponsored by The District, First Mid-Illinois Bank, Second String Music and Vancil Performing Arts. It starts April 26 with Cheeks McGee and there are three more Friday afternoon shows until we move things over to Washington Park. Click here for the list of performers and more info.

We started this event a few years ago as a late brainstorm idea to get more people to come down here, and it's really taken off. If the weather is decent, you'll have 100 or more people down there and the Butcher Block does a great job of providing lunch.

The Plaza is a hidden gem downtown. It's tucked away in the 700 block on the north side of Maine Street just before you get to the church at Seventh and Maine. It has a massive stage and plenty of green space to stretch out and enjoy the music. We appreciate John Johannes and the great people at First Mid-Illinois Bank for letting us use the space.

We are working on the Acoustic Corner shows. Blues In The District is the second and fourth Fridays in June, July and August, and we'll have a solo or acoustic acts play at Fifth and Maine in Washington Park at noon that day. We've also got a stellar lineup set for Q-Fest at the end of June.

I think I'm gonna grab and some coffee and sit in the sun before another day of lessons at Second String Music. We are ready for another great summer!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Ooh La La

CORI LYSSY SOMETIMES surprises me with her song requests. Often it's grunge 90s or obscure 2000s or just plain weird songs I've never heard.

"We are not doing that song," I say.

"Yes we are," she says.

No. We. Are. NOT.

Yes. We. ARE.

NO. What key is it in?

Aside for having to explain to her that several Weezer songs are actually classic 80s songs, and the chorus in "Africa" is sung five times at the end, it usually works. Of course last week at a gig she had to explain how my iPad worked and how to find songs I thought I saved but had disappeared but were actually right in front of my face. Guh.

Her latest suggestion is"Ooh La La" by The Faces, Rod Stewart's classic 70s band. Geesh. What a great song! And only two chords. I've been using it in lessons and trying to play the little melody part while strumming, which I'm lousy at.

Careful. It's an earworm. It's popular right now because it was in a commercial where the girl gets dropped off at college and she misses her dad and she tells some robot device to play her dad's favorite song. Up pops Ooh La La. Get it?

We are at a couple of parties the next few weekends and then play at Revelry in Quincy on Friday, April 19, starting at 9 p.m. We are also back at Red Light in Quincy on Saturday, May 11, from 2 to 5 p.m. for a special Mother's Day deal.

Man ... I wish I knew then what I know now - playing music is fun! Especially when you save the words and know how to use your iPad.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

No D or R, just a good candidate

CONGRATULATIONS TO BEN Uzelac, our new 7th Ward Alderman in Quincy. Ben is young, energetic and brings fresh blood to the City Council table, as do several other newcomers who won elections Tuesday.

I would also like to thank Terry Heinecke, the incumbent. She worked her butt off for us in the 7th Ward and we could always call her with our issues. If Ben takes anything away from his predecessor, it's to always return phone calls, texts and emails. Always. We expect Ben to make informed decisions and be there for us in Calftown and downtown Quincy.

At the local level, it doesn't matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat. It matters if you are a good candidate and can get the word out about your campaign. Ben, who ran as a Democrat, actually had the backing of some prominent Republicans in his ward, and I think it helped swing the race his way.

When I talked to Ben, his party affiliation never came up. His stance on the many challenges and issues facing us in Quincy did. And that's the way it should be.

I hate politics and the political climate we live in. I didn't publicly endorse either candidate in the 7th Ward because it's your choice and decision. We have huge elections coming up in the next two years and I'm begging you to make informed choices, not robot-like straight party votes. It will make us a better country, promise.

Go get 'em, Ben. Do what's best for the city and your ward.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Crashed car

A FEW WEEKS ago Frank Haxel helped me find a cheap car. It was a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix with a gazillion miles on it and a rebuilt engine, but it had been immaculately cared for and was perfect for bombing around town to gigs and doing errands and taking dogs for walks.

Cheap, of course, is relative, but for the money it was awesome and fortunately I was able to pay cash. The first thing that happened was that I set off the car alarm (the previous owner had no idea how it worked because HE never set it off), then I had to get a new tire, but it's been running perfectly. I named her Red and I was happy.

Buh Bye, Red. I hardly knew yee.
Yesterday about 12:45 Red was parked in front of Electric Fountain Brewing and 505 Maine. I had run errands in the morning and parked it there with the intent of moving it, and I was actually thinking about doing just that. I was in the coffee shop talking to somebody when I looked out the window, heard a tire screech, and much to my horror saw an SUV smash head-first into my parked car.

I couldn't believe it. I think I jumped up and down and cussed, somehow I ended up outside and when I saw the crumpled left front side I fell to the ground.

The driver of the SUV was actually coming from the west. He crossed over the center line before crashing into my car. He was out of the vehicle and appeared shaky but OK. Apparently he may have "dozed off" before the crash. Later on I realized who he was and he's a really good guy, and there's no way he did something like this on purpose.

I do remember walking away after Sheryl came out (with a guitar in her hand she was working on) and started talking to the driver. "You are really tall and that makes you look overly dramatic" she said. Right. All I know is that I finally found a decent car and in an instant it all changed. So I walked away, composed myself in the back room, apologized to the people in the coffee shop for my language, and talked to the Quincy Police officer who was doing the paperwork.

The car was hit so hard that it smacked into the car behind it, which had major damage to the hood and a scratched bumper. That guy wasn't acting like a doofus and losing his mind like me, but he wasn't happy, either.

The SUV driver apologized profusely. I told him I was upset because I just got the car, but I wasn't mad at him. It happens. You deal with it.

Now it's sitting at a local body shop. I am waiting for the estimate, but I'm sure it's totaled. "Well, it's not looking good," was all the body shop guy could tell me yesterday. In addition to all the body damage it was leaking something and the wheel would barely turn, and the front passenger door almost didn't open.

We will see. If it is, then I have to deal with insurance companies and pray I get what I paid for it. All I know is that there's no way I'm finding such a great car for the price, but we'll worry about that later.

Aspen in the coffee shop made me a coffee with a little CBD oil in it and Sheryl gave me a 1/4 pill of some kind, so I got through the rest of the afternoon's lessons. Actually, guitar lessons helped. Therapy, baby.

Could have been worse. I could have been in it. And you never know... maybe I'll find something just as good or better to bomb around town in. But I won't be parking it in front of 505 Maine.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pro celebration

I GREW UP in Canada and loved watching Don Cherry on Hockey Night In Canada. He was brash, outspoken and many times got down to the truth.

Today, he's just wrong.

The Carolina Hurricanes have been winning a lot of hockey games lately, and good for them. After the games they win, the players get together and have a goofy celebration. Those celebrations have included bowling pins, musical chairs, dunked basketballs, gone fishing, you name it. The video above is priceless.

Don Cherry, ever the hockey purist, doesn't like it. He thinks it is demeaning to the game. "Bunch of jerks!" he growled, when seeing the celebrations.

Bunch Of Jerks would be a great name for a band, or a good slogan to put on a T-shirt. Wait a second, they ARE putting it on a T-shirt! I gotta trademark some of these great ideas.

For one thing, most fans are bailing before the game ends if it isn't close, or even if it is. Let's face it, the traffic in the greater Raleigh area can be pretty brutal and if you duck out with a few minutes to play you can save a lot of time and get more sleep.

But you might miss a classic post-game celebration. Hurricanes fans are now sticking around to see what the players do next.

It's bonding the team, too. If they can do something to have a little fun and maybe relate to the fans, why not? It's sports entertainment, after all.

If your team loses to the Hurricanes and you don't like it, well, don't lose.

The other night Carolina beat the Montreal Canadiens in overtime. After the game, several players sat on the bench and did some fishing, dragging teammates along the ice and into the boat. The crowd went crazy. And right behind the Carolina bench were two Montreal fans wearing Canadiens jerseys, and they were howling and clapping like mad. They thought it was great.

There is nothing more sacred to Canadiens fans than hockey and tradition. So it tells you even they can have fun and understand what it's about.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Welcome O'Connors!

O'CONNOR WEALTH MANAGEMENT has officially opened next door to us at Second String Music, and we couldn't be happier for Tim and Julie O'Connor.

They bought the building last fall from Kris Kutcher, who had his hair saloon in there for 10 years. We were sad to see Kris leave but happy he's thriving near Eighth and Hampshire a few blocks away.

The O'Connors basically decided to gut the space and start over. For months the windows were covered and we heard a lot of banging and sawing. It finally opened this week and the space is jaw-dropping.

Formerly known as the Sears Building, it was constructed more than 90 years ago. While the main floor is somewhat recognizable, it's the back space and the upstairs that really give it a wow factor. A new staircase was built in front and the upstairs is massive, with great views of Maine Street.

The O'Connors were on Broadway but outgrew their space, so they decided to invest in downtown Quincy. YES! There's all kinds of stuff happening down here and getting a new building and business owner adds to the excitement.

Tim and Julie are great people and they are proud of their new space and eager to show it off. Welcome to downtown Quincy!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Music, comedy and Mayberry

THE CHEESEBURGERS HAD an absolute blast at Saturday's Adams County Sheriff's Department Special Response Team fundraiser. The two comedians were incredible and a lot of people stuck around to rock the night away with us. It's always a good sign when you get done and have to collapse with a beverage and catch your breath. The Ambiance is one of Quincy's bigger venues and it was packed, probably more than 800 people from what we could tell.

David Browning killed it as the "Mayberry Deputy." His character is based on Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show and he was spot on. He showed up when we were setting up and he couldn't have been nicer and easy to work with. At one point he says, "Ya'll know the song 'Hello Mary Lou?'" He sings it as "Hello Thelma Lou" and we sort of practiced it. "It's in G." Right. Got it. Near the end of his performance I grabbed my guitar and we pulled it off and it tremendous, and the entire place went nuts. Geesh. What fun!

I loved his positive message and down-home humor, and his appreciation for law enforcement.

The headliner was Mike Armstrong, well-known as the Ex-Cop from the Bob & Tom  radio show. Again, a really nice guy, easy to work with and genuinely funny. Tim was a Street Crimes officer for the Louisville Police Department in Kentucky and some of the stories he told us before the show were epic. Again, I appreciated the fact that he kept it clean.

I think the reason we laugh so hard is because there are kernels of truth in every joke and story he tells.

They decided to have a band this year to keep people around, and it worked. They got all fired up and wouldn't let us stop, and those are the best gigs.

We have more fun shows lined up this summer, but it will be hard to top this one!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friends and business

SHERYL AND I have a lot of friends we've done business with, and it's a good thing. We'd like to think they've bought items from us because we are a good music store and they've needed musical equipment.

The other day fellow Pepper Sprayer Adam Yates saw that we had our new Casio keyboards in stock. A man he works with happened to be looking for a keyboard for his grandson, so Adam referred him to Second String Music. The man and his wife came in and spent considerable time considering their options, then bought the top-of-the-line Casio. They were happy, we were happy, and Adam was happy his friend came over and supported a local business.

We value our friendships and we are grateful for their support. You can be in business and do what you need to do in business. Most people understand.

Most Friday afternoons you'll find us here at the store celebrating the end of the week with a small happy hour. We like it when our friends come over to hang out. Our goal at the beginning was to turn the store into sort of a hub for our friends and local musicians.

Again, we are grateful for support from friends. It helps our little world at Fifth and Maine go around!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Recycling woes

IT'S GOING TO be a lot harder to do recycling in Quincy. Quincy Recycle at Sixth and State has announced they will no longer be a free drop-off site for recycle stuff, including plastic, glass, tin and newspaper. There's a new plan in place where you pay a fee for recycling, but knowing people around here, it won't go over well.

It's complicated and I don't have easy answers, so here's to trying to figure it out. I don't blame Quincy Recycling - when the city's new plan starts in May and people have to pay to recycle, they'd get deluged with the free drop-off stuff. And Quincy Recycle is not in an accessible place to begin with - you've dodged the massive semi-trailers and dump trucks roaring in and out of there while you are sardined off to the side dropping off your cans and bottles.

I'm not sure if this includes cardboard, but if it is, Second String Music is in big trouble. We get tons of stuff in cardboard boxes almost every day and if we can't find a place to bring it, we'll throw it away.

Well, maybe we won't throw it away, because the price of trash stickers just went up. And how do you stuff a big cardboard box into a garbage bag? It can be done if you cut it up, but geesh, what a pain. After a big shipment we could fill 20 bags easily. At $1.50 a bag, that's $30. For a small business, it's just another cost and money going down the drain, and it would add up in a hurry.

We will do more homework and see if there are other places to drop off cardboard. If not, I'll find a place. How's that for being a steward and environmentally conscious? Bonfire anyone?

Let's hope somebody steps up and agrees to take recycling, and we can start saving the earth again, one milk jug at a time.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

March Madness and dog picks

ANGUS IS POSITIVE he will win the Hart Family March Madness competition this year. He's done a lot of homework and chewed a few bones while thinking about it. "It's too bad Corgi University isn't in it this year because they'd win it all," he said. "Nobody else should think about entering because they'll just finish a distant second to me."
Angus is not backing down this year.

He was asked if he had a method to picking winning teams.

"Yes," he woofed.

Well .... what is it?

"You think I'm telling you? Then you'll blab it to everyone or write a dumb blog. Tucker will use it and actually have a chance this year instead of finishing last," Angus said.

So Angus is keeping it to himself. The nice thing about our contest is that it's easy to do, free, and the results are automatically tabulated.

Believe it or not, some of the original Chippewas Fantasy Baseball League guys are reuniting after nearly 30 years to start up another league. I'm gone during the draft so it will be "auto drafted" for me, whatever that means. Basically the computer will pick for me, and since I don't follow baseball and know anything about anybody anymore, this is fine with me.

Amazing how something trivial like fantasy baseball can rear its ugly head and make you hear from people for the first time in years.

So, for all you fantasy pickers out there, best of luck and we hope you do well. As for last second advice .... "Don't listen to a cat while making your picks," Angus says.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Affordable keyboards

ONE OF THE things we needed to improve on at Second String Music was getting affordable keyboards. We've been stocking the amazing Roland keyboards, and we've done very well with them, but they are for more serious players and the price starts at $640. Beginners had no options within the store and that is a market we need to improve.

So we've decided to go with some Casio keyboards for much less money. We start with the miniature SA 76 for $50 and go from there. We have the CTK-2550 ($119), LK-190 ($139), WK-245 ($199) and WK-7600 ($449). Basically the higher the model the more bells and whistles it has, and keys. The LK-190 has a lighted keyboard. The SA-76 is a miniature keyboard with 44 keys.

I've been monkeying around a little bit on them and for the better ones you actually need the manual. It can record stuff and play backing tracks and do your dishes too. They are amazing.

All our keyboards come with 4 free lessons at Vancil Music, 8th & Ohio. They have great teachers there, especially for beginning piano.

So ... if you just want something basic to learn on and go from there, Second String Music is now your place to pick up a new Casio. Sing us a song, you're the piano man! Or woman. Or child. Let's get started at Fifth and Maine!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Fender stuff is here

WE GOT A huge shipment of Fender products Thursday at Second String Music. Now we are stocked with awesome Fender Squire starter guitar packs, three different Rumble bass amps, 15-watt Acoustasonic amps, Mustang amps, a Squire Contemporary bass and three of the new Squire Contemporary electric guitars that are making me drool.

In stock are the Contemporary HH Strat, Telecaster and Jaguar. Yup, the Jaguar, which is a beast. You can't believe the tone you get out of the active pickups and I might spend a minute or 100 strumming it this afternoon. The HH Strat features humbucker pickups and takes you back to the 80s in an instant.

The Jaguar is $399 and the other two guitars and bass are $349 each. Worth. Every. Penny.

Sheryl says we have a bunch of other Fender stuff on the way. You can see it, touch it and play with it at Fifth and Maine, and nowhere else close to Quincy. Tomorrow is the St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown so it's a perfect excuse for you to stop by after getting a bit o' green.

We are rocking at Second String Music!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Blues In The District means summer around the corner!

BLUES IN THE District announced its summer lineup and it's killer. Washington Park will be jammed again on the second and fourth Fridays of June, July and August. We'll be taking it in from the sidewalk, of course!

Our Concerts In The Plaza at Seventh and Maine start the last Friday in April and will include the first three Fridays in May. And we are doing the noon Blues shows again after considerable thought and debate. The last two years attendance has been down but we have some ideas and some really good local acts playing again, so it will be worth attending. We will be announcing the official lineups soon.

And, the grandmother of them all, Q-Fest, is scheduled for the last weekend in June. Again we have a great lineup of local talent for the gazebo, a good mix of new and familiar faces.

All events are free. Repeat, FREE. As in no charge, won't cost you a thing, gratis. Thank you The District and all our great sponsors for making it happen.

So, let the weather warm up and let's get ready for another great summer in Quincy!

Washington Park in Quincy, IL
Harper and Midwest Kind
JUNE 28 (Q-FEST Weekend)
Amanda Fish
Ivas John Band
Mary Jo Curry Blues
Brother Jefferson Band
Marquise Knox