Frank's Weekend Faves, March 4, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, March 4, 2018

I love ladies who rock — or fiddle or shred or sing the blues, for that matter. Fortunately for me, there are no shortage of such talented women in the C-U area, and one of the absolute best — Kathy Harden, along with six of her musical BFFs — will be putting their prodigious pipes to the best possible use this week: to benefit the fight against cancer.

Headliner Harden will welcome Michele Osterbur Smith, Lori Simon, Joni Dreyer, Dody Cosmedy, Chrissy Sparks and Cindy Peddycoart Crawford to the stage for the Lady Legends Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The City Center, 505 S. Chestnut St., C.

Each of the performers will sing solo and together, backed by a local all-star band, for an evening benefiting the American Cancer Society/Coaches Vs. Cancer 2018 campaign. Tickets are $30 each and are available online at

Call 217-369-9415 for more information. Host for the evening will be WDWS radio personality Dave Loane.

Speaking of legends, the hottest concert tickets on sale in these parts right now? Without a doubt, those would be for the May 22 show at State Farm Center featuring Willie Nelson & Family and Champaign's own legendary lady, Alison Krauss.

Yes, they're still available, and yeah, the price of a seat to this show ranges from the reasonable ($26.50) to the ridiculous ($246.50). But what a show it promises to be! Krauss is touring in support of her new album, "Windy City," which, as her first solo project apart from her band Union Station in a decade, has received two Grammy nominations and, more importantly, is bringing her and her fiddle home to Champaign for the first time in seven years.

And what can you say about "the Red-Headed Stranger" that hasn't been said a slew of times already? Despite Nelson's six-decade career and 200-plus albums, he's still best known in these parts for having co-founded, organized and headlined Champaign's initial Farm Aid in 1985.

I've seen him in concert at the former Assembly Hall a couple of times since then, most recently 10 years ago sharing the bill with Billy Bob Thornton of all people, and I can tell you, he always gives an unforgettable show. Can't think of two performers more welcome here, can you?

If you need a dose of long-haired Southern blues-rock a bit sooner than May, you don't have to travel far. About 80 minutes south of C-U, the Kentucky Headhunters and Confederate Railroad will be ripping it up this Friday at the Effingham Performance Center.

Two of the best longtime purveyors of Dixie-style, honky-tonkin' blues-rock, the Kentucky Headhunters and Confederate Railroad, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Effingham Performance Center. Tickets, ranging from $26 to $45, may be purchased online at, by phone at 800-745-3000 or at the box office, 1325 Outer Belt West, Effingham, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (extended until 6 p.m. Wednesdays) and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays.

And while we're talking local music events, here's a show of a different color: Twin City Theatre Company's 'Broadway Backwards' this Saturday.

In this one-night cabaret event to benefit Twin City Theatre Company and Broadway Cares, women sing songs written for male characters and vice versa (can't wait to see who gets to sing "I Feel Pretty" from "West Side Story").

The show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at SoDo Theatre, 114 S. Neil St., C. Tickets are $20 each, available online at

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Topics (2):Music, Theater