More Big News, Update March 9: Curtis Salgado's tour dates have been put on hold due to the artist suffering a heart attack he suffered this week. Blues guitar slinger Eric Gales will replace Salgado for the March 16 performance at Chrome Lounge. See ericgalesband.com
A press release from Alligator Records Thursday, March 9, stated the below. Watch facebook.com/BluesSocietyOfOmaha, which will post additional updates as they are available. Alligator wrote:
Award-winning soul and blues singer Curtis Salgado will undergo triple bypass surgery at a Lebanon, New Hampshire area hospital on Friday, March 10, 2017. Salgado was admitted to the hospital on March 7 after what doctors described as a mild heart attack. A cardio catheterization revealed arterial blockage. According to Salgado's manager, Shane Tappendorf, "We expect the surgery to be successful and anticipate a full recovery."
All of Salgado's regular performance dates have been cancelled through May, though he still intends to perform at the 2017 Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis on May 11, where he is nominated for three top awards, including Album Of The Year (for his recent release The Beautiful Lowdown), Soul Blues Artist Of The Year, and Song Of The Year (for Walk A Mile In My Blues). He won the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Blues Music Awards for Soul Blues Artist Of The Year
Big news in the local blues community happened after the February Reader went to print. Omaha’s 21st Saloon closed abruptly Jan. 30. The venue was under Scott Kirks’ ownership. Since 2013, Kirk had run the venue in the tradition previous longtime-owner Terry O’Halloran had established at the 96th & L address. The 21st Saloon presented touring blues shows on Thursdays, as well as other nights of the week, and provided a welcome home for national blues artists and local blues fans. The initial announcement about the closing came from the Blues Society of Omaha, penned by O’Halloran, who is a board member of the BSO and is back in Omaha. The buzz was felt nationally, with many artists from Gracie Curran to Jim Suhler reacting on Facebook with praise for Kirk and his staff.
“Heart-felt appreciation goes out to Scott Kirk and his team for their support of BSO, BluesEd, and blues music,” O’Halloran wrote in the BSO press release. “Unfortunately, while blues shows were generally well-attended, it was not enough to pay the bills.”
The BSO leadership team quickly set wheels in motion to find a new home for the popular Thursday blues series, which has landed at Chrome Lounge, 8552 Park Dr., at least through the month of March. At present, the BSO is also taking the financial risk on booking and paying the bands, so it is more critical now than ever for fans to support these shows.
Weekly Blues Series
The Thursday “BSO Presents” blues series at the Chrome Lounge for March features harmonica virtuoso Jason Ricci Thursday, March 2. The Claudettes hit the stage Thursday, March 9. This band is generating a buzz for their self-described, piano-fueled “fanatical fusion of blues and soul-jazz—like Ray Charles on a punk kick” paired with a vocalist who sings often in French, reminding me a bit of the Austin band 8 ½ Souvenirs.
Thursday, March 16, Curtis Salgado Band hits Chrome, with Brad Cordle Band opening with a 5 p.m. set. WRITER'S NOTE: See the update that leads the electronic version of this column. Salgado has had to cancel a number of dates to a heart attack and heart surgery, his March 16 date will be taken over by guitarist Eric Gales.
Big-voiced K.C. vocalist/bassist Danielle Nicole plugs in Saturday, March 18, 5 p.m.
Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory mixes roots music from Southern fried rock to hill country blues Thursday, March 23. See ayhmusic.com.
Guitar star Coco Montoya rounds out the month on Thursday, March 30.
This month sees the return of treasured Portland, Ore., soul-blues vocalist Curtis Salgado. Salgado’s latest disc burns hot with plenty of funk and soul. The Beautiful Lowdown (Alligator), showcases the vocalist at his fieriest and delivers not only soulful muscle but also some forays into swampy blues and reggae. The disc is up for three Blues Music Awards this year including Song of the Year for “Walk a Mile in My Blues,” written by Salgado, David Duncan and Mike Finnigan. Get your soul-blues dance grooves on with Salgado and his superlative-inducing band Wednesday, March 15, at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar and Thursday, March 16, at Omaha’s Chrome Lounge. Both shows 6-9 p.m. See the update that now leads this column online. Salgado suffered a heart attack March 7 and is undergoing surgery and recovery. His area dates have been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
Zoo Bar Blues
Other shows of note at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar include Danielle Nicole Wednesday, March 8, 6-9 p.m. Webb Wilder is up Sunday, March 12, 5 p.m. Billy Bacon is back Thursday, March 16, 6 p.m., Friday, March 17, 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 18, 9 p.m., after an early 6 p.m. show by Denver-based keyboardist Andy Sydow. Sydow, influenced by New Orleans music and Mississippi blues, is well worth catching. The Bel Airs play Wednesday, March 22, 6-9 p.m., Kris Lager Band has a CD release party Friday, March 24, 9 p.m. and Coco Montoya plugs in Wednesday, March 29, 6-9 p.m. Earl & Them are back Friday, March 31, 5 p.m., and Saturday, April 1, 6-9 p.m.
The Sunday Roadhouse series is back Tuesday, March 7, 8 p.m., with the vocal-driven Lake Street Dive at Slowdown. Chuck Prophet is scheduled Tuesday, March 14, 8 p.m., at Waiting Room. See SundayRoadhouse.com.
Austin’s Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are up at Waiting Room Tuesday, March 7, 9 p.m., with Dams of the West. Lewis’ soul-blues rock with a punk edge is front and center with his new disc Backlash. See blackjoelewis.com.
Iconic Texas singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver is at Waiting Room Sunday, March 26, 7 p.m.
Lincoln’s Rococo offers a couple of notable shows. Rickie Lee Jones and Madeleine Peyrouz perform Friday, March 24.The legendary Kris Kristofferson plays Thursday, March 30. See rococotheatre.com for details.