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Music

Neal Francis playing keyboard on his new single "These Are The Days"
Neal Francis / YouTube

Chicago keyboard player Neal Francis said he was knocked out by rootsy New Orleans and Chicago music at a very young age.

Steve Albini, left, with his band Shellac
Vladimir / Flickr

One of America's top music engineers and producers said hearing the pop-punk of the Ramones as a teen changed his life.

The Twin City duo Stone & Snow performs their song "Love Is A Weapon" for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
YOUTUBE / STONE & SNOW

Karen Bridges and Clint Thomson of the Bloomington-Normal folk duo Stone & Snow are on a roll with their original song "Love is a Weapon."

Sunday Afternoon, from left: Logan Berg, Jacob Labertew, Austin Willis, Nick Saathoff, DiMari Fennell
Sunday Afternoon

Members of the Bloomington-Normal neo-eclectic band Sunday Afternoon said winning a couple Battle of the Bands confirmed their retro sound was finding an audience.

Cindy Youngren and Dan Diefendorf with Hoosier Daddy at Crusens in Peoria
TJ Dehn

Members of three established Peoria-based bands have come together as the Americana trio Hoosier Daddy.

C.J. Chenier
Karen Murphy / Chicago Blues News

CJ Chenier is known as “The Crown Prince of Zydeco.” But the son of the man known as “The King of Zydeco” said the music he plays isn’t technically zydeco.

Dave Simonett, at the piano, with Trampled By Turtles
David McClister

Dave Simonett of Duluth, Minnesota-based Trampled By Turtles is a talented musician, vocalist, and songwriter. He’s also got some game as a collector of vinyl.

Sarah & the Underground performing at The Limelight Eventplex in Peoria
Ian Lester / Alek Photography

The implications of being gifted the raw recording of their live August show on WTVP-TV in Peoria didn’t dawn on Sarah & the Underground members Sarah Marie Dillard and Brandon Mooberry. At least not right away.

Denny De Bourbon, circa late 1970s at the Lazy-J Saloon near Cooksville when he worked at New Age Entertainment
De Bourbon's Facebook page. Photographer unknown.

Central Illinois musicians and music fans are mourning the death of longtime band manager, booking agent, and event manager Dennis "Denny" De Bourbon, who passed away Saturday at age 69 after a long illness.

Edward David Anderson
Edward David Anderson

Since 1992, GLT’s Acousticity has explored the world of “flexible folk,” with a distinctive mix of bluegrass, Celtic and songwriter music.

Heartland Trio founder and bassist Hannah Marks’ introduction to music performance had spiritual beginnings, if by accident.

Acousticity 12/13/18

Dec 17, 2018

Bruce Bergethon plays songs in tribute to his longtime friend and bandmate, Ken Holder. The popular artist, educator and musician was 82 when he passed away on Dec. 7, 2018.

Edward David Anderson
Kim Anderson

2018 was a great year for the Bloomington-Normal music scene.

GLT's Jon Norton was with you all year long, bringing the best artists onto GLT's Sound Ideas as they passed through Bloomington-Normal music venues.

Matthew Curry performing at the 7th annual Ride Festival in Telluride, Colorado.
Maryelle St. Clare

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Matthew Curry is tweaking his sound as he opens up to new styles on his listening reportoire.

Sufjan Stevens performs
Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

Since 1992, GLT’s Acousticity has explored the world of “flexible folk,” with a distinctive mix of bluegrass, Celtic and songwriter music.

The Bottle Rockets
Cary Horton

The new album from roots-rockers The Bottle Rockets explores technology and other changes that have occurred since the band formed in 1992.

Leah Marlene performing at Canada Day Festival in Richmond, BC
Shea Grehan

Leah Marlene said her debut EP “Arrows” is intended as her opening statement to the world as to who she is. At least right now.

Jared Rabin
jaredrabin.com

Jared Rabin's family has deep roots in music. Both his parents and grandmother were musicians, and his violinist grandfather Samuel Magad recently retired as first chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Jack Dupp & the Empty Bottles performing at the 2017 Silver Ball
Morgan Shulte / Gabriel Events

Two Bloomington-Normal bands are again adopting English personas for the annual Toys For Tots Silver Ball Fundraiser at the Castle Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 24. This year’s title: Bowiemian Wrapsody.

Brandon DaZ (Right) with Futuristic.
Ryan Kindig

A hip-hop artist with roots in Bloomington said he wanted to dig into an emotion on his latest EP not often expressed in rap music. Nor by men … at least in public.

Groovement performing at the Caloundra Music Festival in Queensland, Australia.
Martin Schmidt

Groovement describes its sound as “what you’d hear if Led Zeppelin caught a Soul Train with Grouplove and they threw a party while headin’ down the tracks to Motown.” The six-man funk-rock outfit based in Fayetteville, Ark., makes a stop at Jazz UpFront in Bloomington on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Moon in concert
Moon

The Chicago-based progressive, atmospheric prog-rock band Moon has reference points that include Superchunk, Radiohead, Rush, and even the now Bloomington-based punkers Poster Children.

Childsplay performs
Childsplay / Facebook

Since 1992, GLT’s Acousticity has explored the world of “flexible folk,” with a distinctive mix of bluegrass, Celtic and songwriter music. Here are Acousticity host Bruce Bergethon’s Top 20 songs for November, via a Spotify playlist.

Lee Ann Womack
Ebru Yildiz / Shore Fire Media

Lee Ann Womack’s 2017 album “The Lonely, The Lonesome, And Gone” turns to darker themes than her critically acclaimed 2014 release “The Way I’m Livin’.”  And those darker lyrics are often accompanied by a swampy blues not heard on a lot of country music today.

Intrail, left to right, Micheal Hill, Trefan Owen, Tommy O'Donnell, John Ganser.
Scott Harrison

Two instrumental, improvisational bands have become two of the bigger musical draws in the Twin Cities over the past couple years.

Miles Nielsen performing  in "The Hallowed Hall" October 11, 2018
Karen Bridges

Bloomington-Normal musicians continue to create new ways to promote their events and are even creating new venues for performances.

Jay and Jenae Thomason
Taylor Christian Brooks

“Then just weeks later, boom.”

Jenae Thomason was flashing back to June 30, the Saturday night she and husband Jay simultaneously were rear-ended at a stoplight en route to a private event and sidelined from their full-time foray into music they initiated just weeks prior.

The Smokers Blues Band at Buddy Guy's Legends
The Smokers Blues Band

Peoria's The Smokers Blues Band hopes its blues-rock music can be part of a broader scene helping unite deep political divisions among Central Illinois music fans.

Brett Conlin
Brett Conlin

It’s not that Brett Conlin secretly eavesdrops on conversations in his downtown barbershop to mine material for new songs.

The Dead South perform a recent show in Salt Lake City, UT
runawaytroutman / Instagram

The folk/bluegrass quartet The Dead South has been described as "the evil twin" of Mumford & Sons for their twisted lyrics that often depict violence and gruesome deaths.

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