Vince’s Notes: Highlighting some new musical events in the area

By Vince Chiarelli

This week, I’ll highlight more exciting new musical events for our area, including a new concert series that features an unusual variety of musical styles performed by some of the Midwest’s most accomplished artists; a new First Friday all-originals event; and busking on Fridays.

Spring Creek UCC, 4500 Spring Creek Road, is making its facilities available for a 7 p.m., Saturday, concert series that features a variety of music performed by some of the Midwest’s most accomplished artists. The auditorium can seat about 200 people and has hosted numerous concerts in the past, including Charlotte’s Web events. There is plenty of parking, and concertgoers are welcome to stroll the beautiful courtyard adjacent to the auditorium. Emily Hurd and her band start the series June 7 with a night of original songs, instrumental and vocal virtuosity, and wonderful dialogue. Emily is an area favorite with a national audience; the chance for an overflow crowd is good, so please arrive early if you go. There is no admission charge, although a donation opportunity is provided, and musician CDs will be on sale. Refreshments are available, too. Future concerts range from bluegrass to jazz to country performed by such notable and accomplished artists as Randy Sabien, Harlan Jefferson and the Dean Moriarty Jazz Band. The URL is and the concert information number is (815) 979-1949. Check out the schedule online; you’ll probably find some of your favorite artists listed.

June 6, from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m., The Irish Rose Saloon, 519 E. State St., is hosting the inaugural night of what I hope will become an ongoing “all-originals” First Friday series. Between Planes is featured June 6, playing songs from their Emery Christiansen and Aerial Roots CDs as well as new, unrecorded songs. I hope lots of folks visit The Rose and support original music. Rockford is home to many excellent composers, and it will be great if the June 6 experiment is so successful that it becomes an ongoing series. See you there.

All summer long, there’s great outdoor music to be heard in Rockford on Fridays. The songs start with Kryptonite patio music at lunchtime. Next, it’s City Market music in the afternoon. Then, in the early evening, there’s Edgebrook Mall as well as frequent downtown special events. Another music location recently caught my attention. It’s the busking series at the patio of Salvaged By Sonya’s at 110 N. First St. Some of my favorite musicians play solo on the patio from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Rising country star Olivia Dvorak started the series last Friday. This Friday (June 6) bluesman Dan Phelps provides the music before he heads out to play the Chicago Blues Festival the subsequent week.

Live outdoor music produces wonderful vitality for our community. Many thanks to the musicians and venue hosts that make it happen.

Tune in” next week for details about alternative country music icon Mark Stuart, and a special chance to see him perform a solo concert June 15.

Please contact Vince Chiarelli if you have any original Rockford music or radio suggestions. He can be reached at

Posted June 4, 2014

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