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Fiddlerick Johnson

Fiddle Rick and the Bourbon Boys will play a show in September that will benefit the Friends of Morris Library. 

CARBONDALE — The annual Friends of Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale fundraising effort is set for Sept. 22.

This year’s event features a buffet dinner, concert and silent auction. The benefit will be at the Copper Dragon, at 720 E. Grand Ave.

The evening starts with a silent auction, appetizers and cash bar at 5:30 p.m. The buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. includes smoked pork loin, spinach lasagna, ivory chicken, twice-baked potatoes, mixed vegetables, strawberry orange salad, bread and assorted mini-desserts.

The concert, featuring Fiddle Rick and the Bourbon Boys, begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available online for $35 each. Tickets are available only in advance and sales end Sept. 8.

Sponsors are welcome.

Fiddle Rick and the Bourbon Boys perform an eclectic blend of Cajun, country, blues, Celtic, Klezmer, Irish, and folk music. Fiddle Rick, also known as Rick Johnson, provides vocals and plays fiddle in the band that has been together nearly five years. Joining him are Matthew Borowicz with vocals and guitar, Sam Bates on accordion, Beto Franca on bass and Josh Kidd playing percussion.

The group writes and performs assorted tunes to appeal to all ages and tastes. A regular on the regional music scene, performing at wineries, breweries and bars, the band has released two full-length albums since 2016 and has another album underway at MisunderStudio in Murphysboro.

Event proceeds go to the Friends of Morris Library, an organization that supports in numerous ways the library’s mission of providing information services to students, faculty, staff and people from all around the world. Recent purchases include a 3-D scanner, a book scanner to facilitate interlibrary loans and the acquisition of a first edition, first printing of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” the library’s 3 millionth book.

In addition, the fund sponsors a variety of special events and programs each year, including a Constitution Day program, the Delta Award presentation to recognize a noteworthy local author, and a recent program honoring Willie Jim “Jimbo” Slaughter, who died tragically in 1963 as the result of a fall during the library’s construction.

Morris Library is not only an expansive, modern study and research facility for SIU students, faculty and staff, but it is also utilized by readers and researchers from the region and throughout the world. The library has more than 3 million volumes along with nearly 400,000 e-books, in addition to print and online journals. Its Special Collections Research Center has a vast collection including nearly 80,000 rare books and more than 20,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives. Treasures including a page from the Gutenberg Bible, a handwritten copy of an Abraham Lincoln speech, a clay tablet from Senkereah (now Iraq) believed to date to 2400-2200 B.C., and various documents pertaining to Charlie Birger’s criminal activities.

The library’s annual circulation is more than 80,000 and staff make hundreds of educational presentations each year.

For more information about the Friends of Morris Library fundraiser, call 618-453-2522. Learn more about Morris Library at

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