Héctor Anchondo’s first trip to Memphis for the 2015 International Blues Challenge was the inspiration for In the Market for Blues, an Old-Market-based, multi-venue, multi-band event that has grown exponentially each year. The festival is now supported by the Blues Society of Omaha and a variety of sponsors. After a year off with pandemic closures, the festival is back, promising “14 hours of music at 14 venues,” which now include The Capitol District locations and the Holland Center outdoors space. More than 50 acts are currently scheduled, featuring local, regional and national artists. Guitarist/vocalist Ana Popovic is the event headliner. Chicago’s Nick Moss Band, K.C.’s popular artists Heather Newman Band, Womanish Girl and Old No. 5’s and Pacific Northwest trio Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method are all on the schedule as are local favorites like Matt Cox & The Marauders, The OK Sisters, The Rex Granite Band featuring Sarah Benck, Tim Budig Band and, of course, 2020 IBC solo/duo winner Héctor Anchondo and his band. Wristbands allowing entry to all venues are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show, Saturday, Aug. 7. See all the details, including a VIP ticket option at omahablues.com. Watch for the latest updates at facebook.com/inthemarketforblues.

Zoo Bar Anniversary
Plans are underway for Lincoln’s historic Zoo Bar’s annual anniversary event. The bar began presenting live music in 1973 at the suggestion of the late Larry Boehmer, who eventually became the main owner of the club until his retirement in 2000. A special show Wednesday, Aug. 10, features Austin’s Beth Lee at 5 p.m. The spotlight is on a 7 p.m. performance from the remaining Hacienda Brothers. This national country-soul band was a beloved act among Zoo Bar regulars. The diagnosis of vocalist Chris Gaffney with liver cancer sidelined the charismatic Southern California singer-songwriter-musician. Gaffney passed in 2008, and the return of the remaining band led by co-founder Dave Gonzalez (also guitarist/vocalist for The Paladins and The Stone River Boys) is a much-anticipated event that was put on pause last year due to the pandemic.

Due to the scheduling of the Garth Brooks show at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 14, the ZOOFEST street festival is taking place Thursday-Friday, Aug. 12-13. Here is the schedule: Thursday, Aug. 12, see Tony Meza & Chupacabra (5 p.m.), The Hacienda Brothers (7 p.m.), Nikki Hill (9 p.m.) and Myles Jasnowski (11 p.m.). Friday, Aug. 13, catch Earl & Them (5 p.m.), Eric Gales (7 p.m.), Mike Zito Big Band with special guest Tito Jackson (9 p.m.) and Andy William & Nebraska All Stars (11 p.m.). Aug. 12 tickets are $20 advance/$25 day of show; Aug. 13 admission is $25 advance/$30 day of show. A two-day pass is $40. Find the most current information at facebook.com/zoobarblues.

WRITER’S UPDATE: An email went out on Wednesday, Aug. 3, from promoter Jeff Davis cancelling the August Music for the City Event. “Due to the dramatic increase in Covid variant infections in Omaha we are no longer comfortable with producing the Music for the City show at the Dam Bar on 8/21/21,” the email read. “We are sorry to have to cancel this event but feel it is appropriate in order to protect the artists, fans, volunteers, and staff.”
The final free Music for the City concert, organized by promoter Jeff Davis, was set for Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Dam Grill & Bar on the River City Star’s landing. All three national acts are worth checking out and watching for on the road in the future. Headlining the night Patrick Sweany was scheduled — he has been on the touring scene for more than 20 years. Sweany’s gritty, soulful vocals have raked in glowing reviews from publications ranging from American Songwriter to Paste, Esquire and Mojo. The Nashville Tennessean described his sound as “effortlessly cool, sunburnt soul.” Check out patricksweany.com. Blues-rockers the Terry Quiett Band were also scheduled. Hadden Sayers, a local audience favorite with deep Texas blues-rock roots, was set to kick things off with his solo show. Sayers’ acoustic work was recognized with a 2019 nomination for best Acoustic Artist in the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards. Find more information at musicforthecity.net and facebook.com/musicforthecity.

BSO Presents On The Move
The long-standing Thursday blues matinee presented by the Blues Society of Omaha is now going to be moving from venue to venue, according to talent booker Terry Sedivy. And notable shows may not be on Thursdays. Keep an eye on facebook.com/bluessocietyofomaha and omahablues.com for the latest updates. Highlights include Danielle Nicole Band at Barnato Saturday, Aug. 14, 8 p.m. and Orphan Jon at The Strut, 5402 N. 90th, Thursday, Aug. 26, 6-9 p.m.

Hot Notes
Hadden Sayers
is still scheduled to perform a solo show Friday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m. at FolkHouse. Find all the details, any updates and the venue’s Covid policy regarding proof of vaccination at folkhouseconcerts.com.
Austin’s powerhouse, Grammy-nominated blues-rockers Black Pumas plug in at Waiting Room Outdoors Sunday, Aug. 8, 7 p.m. Neal Francis opens.
Austin singer-songwriter-guitarist Jackie Venson, who has been featured on Austin City Limits, is scheduled at Reverb Lounge Saturday, Aug. 28, 8 p.m.
Sunday Roadhouse is back with their second 2021 show at Reverb Lounge. The Claudettes perform Sunday, Aug. 22, 5 p.m. See sundayroadhouse.com.
Willie Nelson & Family and The Avett Brothers play Lincoln’s Pinewood Bowl Tuesday, Aug. 10, 6:30 p.m. Tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Hadden Sayers
A long-time favorite of local roots audiences, Hadden Sayers is scheduled to showcase his solo acoustic blues at FolkHouse. Photo courtesy Hadden Sayers Band Facebook page.

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