The Music at the Museum Concert series welcomes roots musician/songwriter Ivas John to the stage in the auditorium of the Illinois State Museum. A musician with local roots and worldly chops and purist who can play the dirtiest blues, Ivas John is a musician’s musician. He has a style of effortless authenticity that is both a breath of fresh air and a link to days of yore, imbued with the same sense of timelessness as the shores of the Mississippi River he now calls home.
Born as a first generation Lithuanian American into a music-loving Chicago home, his earliest influences came from European folk dancing, melodies hammered out on the family piano, and playing trumpet in the school band. Long before picking up the guitar, taking to the country, and becoming the public figure Ivas John, his musical future was being shaped, at least in part, by the living room record player. In his teens, Ivas got hooked on blues guitar and began making forays to the inner city clubs to get a fix. By means of jamming along with the available record collections, and the sporadic tutelage of his older brother, he learned to play.
In the early years, John was known exclusively for playing the electric blues with finesse, and a maturity well beyond his age. While away at Southern Illinois University, he earned a place in the local music scene, and began backing blues luminaries three times his age. About that time, a new side of Ivas emerged writing, arranging, and performing original music. In historic Cape Girardeau, MO the roll of the Mississippi towed him under the influence of past masters in folk and country music. Ivas studied the world of Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, Doc Watson, The Delmore Brothers, and Balladeers like Tom Paxton and Gordon Lightfoot. While immersing himself in the techniques of acoustic flatpicking and fingerstyle guitar, he began to traverse the vast musical landscape of his surroundings, bringing to life dusty, forgotten visions of the American past with elegant acuity.
Ivas’ most recent project, Good Days A Comin, put him on the map in the world of acoustic music. No Drepression Magazine said “Ivas John is a young man with the heart of a venerable troubadour. The music is chock full of authenticity and a joy to behold.” While Flatpicking Guitar Magazine “wonderful” and his voice and guitar work “bold, distinct, and refreshing.”
The Music at the Museum Concerts are hosted by Illinois singer/songwriter Chris Vallillo and take place every 2nd Thursday of the month all year long at the Illinois State Museum Auditorium. Concerts start at 7:00 pm, admission is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for museum members and kids under 12. There will be a variety of desserts and drinks available during the break. Performers of the series stay at the Carpenter Street Hotel in Springfield.
You can see the full 2019 Music at the Museum schedule at www.museumconcerts.com.