Frank's Weekend Faves, July 8, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, July 8, 2018

For as long I've lived in these parts, the Iron Post in Urbana has been a community institution for live local jazz. But if you're like me, and it's been too long since you've seen that for yourself, word is, the Post is hosting a couple of excellent reasons to get reacquainted this week.

Esther Rose will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist was born in Detroit and moved to the French Quarter of New Orleans in 2010. She released her debut album, "This Time Last Night," a year ago and has been touring for it ever since. Performing with her are Sabra Guzman on bass, Greg Butera on electric guitar and Lyle Werner on fiddle.

Miss Tess & the Talkbacks will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday. Based in Nashville, Tenn.,they were the headline act for last year's CU Folk & Roots Festival. I got to check them out then in the lobby at Krannert and can attest Miss Tess has one powerful and sultry set of pipes, and I much enjoyed her band's homegrown mix of classic country, R&B, swamp pop and early rock 'n' roll, benefiting most definitely from the skills of Telecaster guitar ace Thomes Bryon Eaton. (I recommend her music videos on YouTube for "I Can't Help Myself" and "People Come Here for Gold.")

Sure, it's been hot and humid out lately, but nothing beats the heat like a seat in the shade, some cool music on the breeze and maybe a frosty root beer float in your hand. You can find all that this afternoon at the Bryant Cottage State Historic Site in Bement.

Heritage Sunday, now in its 32nd year, features bluegrass and gospel music band High Cotton performing from 4 to 6 p.m. on the shaded lawn of the historic cottage, with free hot dogs, popcorn and root beer floats available at intermission. Weather permitting, of course. Bring your own lawn chairs and/or blanket, and for event status, on the day of the event only, call 217-678-8184.

As for what you'll hear from High Cotton, as the band itself describes it, their music "aims at the heart of the high-lonesome sound, full of foggy bottoms and smoky mountain tops" and "airs out three and four-part harmonies on top of scintillating banjo, skirling fiddles, and Monroe-style mandolin, all played to the insistent rhythms of guitar and doghouse bass." They are Bill Blickhan on guitar; Emily Defend, mandolin, banjo and other instruments; Dan Defend, banjo; Tom Koehler, fiddle; Dustin Norder, mandolin; and Rick Rhodes on bass fiddle, and they hail from all over East Central Illinois, including Champaign, Monticello and Danville.

If I haven't mentioned it lately, or at all, it's long overdue. Monday nights at the Rose Bowl in Urbana. Grab your guitar, banjo, fiddle, harmonica or whatever acoustic instrument you have handy. 8 p.m. to midnight is Hootenanny time, and if you can play, you're welcome on stage. If not, you're welcome to listen. Right next to me.

This weekly open mic jam is hosted by Community Center for the Arts faculty guitar/mando specialist Sam Payne and other friendly musicians. There's no charge, unless there's a special guest ... I mean, besides yourself, of course.

Have a question, suggestion or fave nomination for Frank? We'd love to hear from you. Please email it to fpieper@news-gazette.com.

Topics (2):Food, Music
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