News Column

Making music Normal ... and then some

June 19, 2014

By Dan Craft, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

June 19--NORMAL -- The first Make Music Normal all-day music festival debuts Saturday at various locations around town, upping the ante of an already busy week of sounds in the Twin Cities.

Also set for Saturday, just down the road from Make Music Normal, is the annual Bayou Bash at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, which heats up at 5 p.m..

Preceding all that, on Friday, is the big Gary Allan concert at The Corn Crib in Normal.

And keeping the momentum going past the weekend, veteran folk singer Gordon Lightfoot will headline a show Tuesday night in Illinois State University'sBraden Auditorium.

Following are previews of each, except for the Gary Allan show, which is today's GO! cover story subject:

Make Music Normal

The new, and hopefully annual, kid on the summer music block is this Normal tie-in to the international Make Music celebration in 800-odd cities around the globe.

The Normal edition was created after Mayor Chris Koos heard about the global event at the U.S. Conference of Mayors earlier this year.

Since it was announced, local musicians were invited to participate at one of five performance venues around town, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday.

Following are the acts who had signed as of press-time:

--Gateway Plaza, between Uptown Station and Children's Discovery Museum: Prairieland Dixie Band, 10 a.m.; Aduki Duo, noon; Bones Bach, 1 p.m.; Leah Marlene, 2 p.m.; Brite Black, 3 p.m.; Unemployed Architects, 4 p.m.; Heartland Jazz Orchestra, 6 p.m.

--Connie Link Amphitheater, 621 S. Linden St.: Elliott Everson, 10 a.m.; Oh Solo Trio, 11 a.m.; Bone-afide, noon; Licking Toads, 1:30 p.m.; P.M. Buys, 2 p.m.

--Uptown Normal, corner of Broadway & North: Irish Ukulele, 11 a.m.; Dan Cavi & Colleen Thomas, noon; Normal Ukulele Fun Jam, 1 p.m.; Mad Wop, 2:30 p.m.; Rebecca Butler, 3:30 p.m.; Sherwood Forest, 5 p.m.; Holmes, 6 p.m.; Too Cool, 7 p.m.

--Rosa Parks Commons, Raab Road, west of Linden Street: Mad Wop, 11 a.m.; Ethan Schlenker, noon; Kelsi Smith, 1 p.m.; Casey Morrow, 2 p.m.; Holmes, 3 p.m.; Too Old To Be Confused, 4 p.m.; Too Cool, 5 p.m.

--Normal Public Library, 206 W. College Ave.: Stone & Snow, 1 p.m.

Bayou Bash

This BCPA-based event was in the same position of Make Music Normal a year ago: it was its first time around, hoping for seconds.

Well, hope no more: the sophomore edition of Bayou Bash is good to go, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday on the outdoor CEFCU Center Stage.

Occupying its center will be the Zydeco Crawdaddies, a French Creole band specializing in both old-school and modern zydeco styles.

Admission to the concert is free, with a variety of snacks and beverages available for purchase.

Also offered: The Daybreak Rotary Club will be selling jambalaya to the public and hosting Cajun Craze, a private crawfish boil adjacent to the concert.

For tickets, contact the Rotary at

Gordon Lightfoot

It's been 19 years since Canadian folk-pop legend Gordon Lightfoot last visited the Twin Cities, via an ISU Braden Auditorium show in the spring of 1995.

He'll return to that same stage for his long-awaited encore, at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Though he was unavailable for an interview this time through due to the demands of touring, the 75-year-old singer spoke with The Pantagraph last time, which fell on the 25th anniversary of his breakthrough Top 10 hit, "If You Could Read My Mind."

If we could read his mind a quarter-century later, he was asked, what story would it tell?

"At the time I wrote the song, I was going through a divorce," he confessed.

And the pain of that experience was firmly embedded in that signature song, remaining palpable with each subsequent performance.

"I'm a reflective kind of guy, and my personal life has had some interesting twists and turns," he added, the byways of which can be mapped through subsequent hits like "Carefree Highway," "Early Morning Rain" and "Sundown."

The one hit that might be set apart from those -- 1976's biggie, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" -- is still tied to his Canadian heritage, as a native of Orillia, Ontario, who cut his musical teeth as a kid, singing in the church choir.

In the years since his 1995 ISU show, the major event in his life was his brush with mortality in 2002, when he suffered a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and went into a six-week coma.

Two years later, he was back performing ... but then he suffered a mild stroke in 2006 and lost use of several fingers of his right hand.

Once more, he came back, regaining the use of the fingers and remaining committed to live performances.


(c)2014 The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.)

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Source: Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL)

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