Popular roots-swing-Tex-Mex bandleader Billy Bacon reunites with his Lincoln band, dubbed the Porkestra, this weekend. This is the very entertaining local configuration of Lincoln’s Tijuana Gigolos plus Dave Boye on bari sax. The ensemble gives Bacon a sizzling band with a horn section. Bacon now calls Austin home and performs infrequently due to severe arthritis issues. When he first performed with the Porkestra last year as part of the Zoo Bar anniversary, he proclaimed the return to the stage “the best medicine a guy could ask for,” and has returned for periodic gigs at the Zoo with his Lincoln friends. Billy Bacon and His Porkestra play an early show, 6-9 p.m., at the Zoo Bar Thursday, Nov. 11, and play the 9 p.m. slot Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and 13. See zoobar.com. Sarah & The Tall Boys Thursday, Nov. 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Chicago blues-folk-Americana band Sarah & The Tall Boys make their New Lift Lounge debut. The band has been building a name for itself in the Chicago area, including getting airplay on WXRT radio. Check them out at sarahandthetallboys.com. Brad Cordle Band Debut Recently returned to Omaha after living and working as a professional musician in Las Vegas, excellent vocalist Brad Cordle debuts his new band at The New Lift Lounge Thursday, Nov. 18, 7-8:30 p.m. Blues fans will remember Cordle from his many years leading popular local band The Jailbreakers. John Crews and Bucky McCann open with a duo set at 5 p.m. Cordle promises a mix of originals and choice covers with music ranging from R&B, soul and funk to blues. Band members are Craig Balderston (bass/vocals), Dave Steen (guitar/vocals), Johnny Gomez Jr. (Hammond B3/keys) and Bill Bolmeier (drums). Lincoln musician Dave Steen is a nationally recognized songwriter whose work ranges from regular collaborations with Coco Montoya to having his tunes covered by artists from Maria Muldaur to the late Junior Wells. Cordle’s band is working up some of Steen’s originals as part of its repertoire. Lash’s Toy Drive The details are coming together for this year’s seventh annual Lash LaRue Toy Drive events. LaRue’s annual Toy Drive works to bring toys and Christmas cheer to the children and families on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The area is one of the most impoverished in the nation, just a day’s drive from Omaha. You can find more facts and background on conditions on the reservation at lashlaruetoydrive.com. LaRue says that this year people can stipulate if they want cash donations to go toward toys or toward emergency heat funds. (newslive.com) The last couple years there have been enough donations to allow the Toy Drive to contribute funds to keep the clinic in Porcupine heated so it can operate. The Toy Drive has also donated funds to fill propane tanks to help keep the homes of the elderly heated during the bitter winter months. Wednesday, Dec. 1 at The Waiting Room is the CD release listening party. Christmas for Pine Ridge Vol. III was recorded at the Benson venue by Jim Homan of Screen Door Studio. Over 15 local artists donated songs to the CD this year. Thursday, Dec. 2, the acoustic show is scheduled for Slowdown featuring Matt Cox, Korey Anderson, Kyle Harvey and Dustin Clayton. Friday, Dec. 3, there will be a Toy Drive event at the GI Forum with artists including Mariachi San Juan and Dave Barger. Details are being finalized for the Saturday, Dec. 4, rock show at Waiting Room. Sunday, Dec. 5, is blues day for the Toy Drive with events in Lincoln at the Zoo Bar and in Omaha at The New Lift Lounge. The Dec. 5 show at The Lift will be headlined by national act Coco Montoya and admission is $15 for that event. I’ll have more details on these events in coming columns. Sunday, Dec. 12, LaRue, myself and many special musical guests join Rick Galusha for a special, always entertaining Toy Drive phone-a-thon edition of P.S. Blues on 89.7 The River. Hot Notes Rebecca Lowry of All Young Girls Are Machine Guns hosts a birthday show at the Barley Street Tavern Saturday, Nov. 13. She’ll be joined by Matt Cox, Cass Fifty & The Family Gram, Korey Anderson and other friends. Brad Hoshaw returns to Omaha Nov. 18 with a tour-ending show at Pizza Shoppe Collective. Hoshaw’s been on the road for several weeks through the upper Midwest, and from Chicago to Austin, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Slowdown has a big show with Reverend Horton Heat, Legendary Shack Shakers and Split Lip Rayfield Thursday, Nov. 11. Also Nov. 11, Yonder Mountain String Band brings its progressive bluegrass to Sokol. Lincoln’s Levi William Band is at McKenna’s Friday, Nov. 12.

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