Welcome to "Barjammers.com," your most up-to-date source for finding live music in the stateline area.
Having been raised in Rockford, I've been fortunate to witness the strength and vitality of its live muisc scene. I grew up a couple of blocks from what was known as the Stardust Lounge, which was the epicenter of live music during my formative years.
Over time, the name changed a few times, having also been known as the Phoeniz and the Great Illinois Purchase. The Barn and the Continental Lounge were just next door. Together, they provided a mix of up-and-coming bands that complimented each other for years.
They're long gone now, but their legacy remains, having been championed by a variety of venues from one side of town to the other. Mary's Place, Tad's on the Rock, Rascals, and Town Hall, are just the tip of the iceberg.
A multitide of bands have come and gone, too, but who could forget local favorites like "The Names," "The Boyz," "Ript," "Bare Bones," Teenage Tarzan," and, of course, "Cheap Trick," our hometown heros, who were recently elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
There aren't many communities who can stake that claim.
Today, we have "Minimal," "Miles Nielsen," "Three Good Men," "New Image," and, of course, "Bun E.Carlos and The Monday Night Band."
His band plays regularly at Mary's Place, usually on the first Monday of each month.
I began writing about music on my high school newspaper, the Rockford West High Owl. I continued to do so during college, as the Features Editor of the Western Courier, and, eventually, for the Freeport (Illinois) Journal-Standard.
However, I first majored in broadcasting at Western Illinois University, where I became a founding member of the student-run radio station. Before switching to journalism/public relations while attending graduate school at Northern Illinois Universityl, I served a short stint as a studio engineer for 104.9 in Rockford, when it was known as WYBR.
So, as you can see, I've had a passion for music and the written word for nearly 45 years. They've been a constant throughout my life. As a result, I've embarked on this labor of love referred to as a website.
I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the contributions being made by a few new friends.
Darrell Chumley, aka "DC," was kind enough to allow me to link this site to "Barside Jive," his amazing YouTube channel. Watch his epic interview with Bun E. Carlos conducted at Mary's Place.
Then there's Rockford's own Todd Houston. and Mark Ricotta, who have both graciously accepted appointments to serve as ambassadors for this site. The material they publish on their respective Facebook pages is virtually unparalleld. I'd better mention my faithful sidekicks, Elizabeth Ducette and Jennifer Asprooth, or there'll be hell to pay. Nobody has more fun than we do. Bet on it!