Arts & Culture

Wild Bob’s Musical Book Club

We visit a Springfield book club that’s ditching the traditional bookworm profile and unleashing its wild side.

By Ettie Berneking

Aug 2015

Photo by Anna Mattonen

This is not your average book club. Gone are the dog-eared pages and drawn-out conversations about plot, characters and setting. In fact, you likely won’t find many books here at all. Instead of arriving with the latest read tucked under their arms, members of Wild Bob’s Musical Book Club tote instruments along; cello, ukulele, guitar, mandolin and fiddle have all graced this group. That’s because instead of meeting to talk lit, this group performs songs inspired by that month’s book of choice. 

To get a taste of Wild Bob’s, I dropped in on the club’s last meeting at Lindberg's, pulled up a bar stool and spent the next two hours enjoying a mix of guitar, blues, keys and even one rap. 

Since starting in June 2014, Wild Bob’s has welcomed more than 40 songwriters to the stage. “Our goal is to explore how one creative work can inspire other creative works,” says Mallory Leicht, the group’s co-founder. Books have ranged from Pride and Prejudice to 50 Shades of Grey, which brought a packed crowd to Lindberg’s. 

The original group of 25 has ballooned into a crowd of 100— bibliophiles and music junkies alike. To top the evening off, Lindberg’s even whips up a book-themed cocktail each month. 

Slightly sauced from my book-inspired martini and emotionally moved to tears from the music, I left Wild Bob's vowing to return next month. Reading has never been so much fun!

Want to Join?

Learn More

The group usually meets the second Friday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Lindberg’s on C-Street. If you'd like to perform, just contact the group via Facebook.

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