The now five member blues-rock outfit Old Smoke has been headlining central Illinois shows and opening for national acts including Samantha Fish and Tommy Castro at the Castle Theatre for roughly three years -- despite no album to sell or promote.
Cody Diekhoff as his alter ego Chicago Farmer is a riveting live performer who has cultivated a loyal following with folk songs and stories about the American heartland. And especially central Illinois.
It's the Illinois bicentennial, and as a result the 10th year of Lincoln's Festival in Bloomington-Normal will be richer and more nuanced, according to organizer Barb Adams and grant writer Marcia Young.
The Something Brothers guitarist Edwin Pierce said it was surprisingly easy for band members to create and record new music together despite a nearly 30-year studio hiatus, and missing a key band member.
UPDATED 3 p.m. | Back when the state budget crisis was just kicking off, the Department of Natural Resources announced more than $1 million in grant money for Bloomington-Normal museums and the Miller Park Zoo. That money never came, as Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers refused to compromise on a budget and years of standoff turned into years of cuts.
This season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival deftly combines the thrill of both a battle and a heart won, familiar faces revisiting cherished roles, and a chance to imagine "what if" about The Bard.