A recent weekend of music at Lincoln’s historic Zoo Bar reminded me how much serious, national-level talent we have locally. Matt Cox & The Marauders played the early show on a Friday, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal played the late show that night and an early show the next. These are two of the best local bands going. As we hopefully get to maintain more normal routines, get out and don’t forget to buy the CD of a band you like, or at least tell them you appreciate their music. In this digital age of streaming platforms and social media, that in-person interaction and support is even more important. And the energy and joy of live music played by real musicians six feet away from you is where it’s at. Liberating, invigorating, inspiring.
I met a guy in town for the Husker game who said in Virginia, where he’s from, there’s no place like The Zoo Bar, and he has to travel to Austin, Texas, or New Orleans to hear music like Hoyer’s. Seeing this kindred spirit so moved by the music and filled with joy on the dance floor got me back out there too, reminding me, after all we’ve been through, of the truly spiritually elevating experience that actively participating in a live music performance offers and how I need that. Hopefully, you do too.
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal celebrate a new CD, “Green Light,” with Omaha and Lincoln shows. This band is as good as or better than any funky soul-blues group working on the national scene. Catch their CD release shows at The Jewell in Omaha on Friday, Oct. 21, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. They play Lincoln’s Zoo Bar, Saturday, Oct. 22, with two shows, 5-8 p.m. and 9 p.m.-midnight.
“Green Light,” their sixth CD, was recorded mostly in live, full-band performances at Denver’s Mighty Fine Productions and features Hoyer’s signature blend of thoughtful lyrics, distinctive, gritty vocals and heavy, funky soul from accomplished players. Glide Magazine says “Green Light” is “Brimming with down and dirty old-school soul instrumentals, [and] finds Hoyer laying down his usual brand of feisty vocal prowess … [The music] offers yet more proof that Josh Hoyer continues to be a vital force in the soul-music community who should be touring large venues around the country.”
Even as reviews like this are hitting, Hoyer announced in September on Facebook that “after completing our 2022 schedule, we will no longer be doing club-date tours across the country … We will, however, continue to play locally in Nebraska and will be available to play larger festivals and concerts throughout the United States and abroad if it makes sense for us.” He added “We are very proud of this record and think it is our best work yet.”
Follow the band at joshhoyer.com and facebook.com/joshhoyerandsoulcolossal.
Blues Society of Omaha Shows
October’s BSO Presents shows start with K.C.’s award-winning Danielle Nicole Band playing Rathskeller Bier Haus on Thursday, Oct. 6. Ken Valdez opens. This is an outdoor show, bring your camp chair due to limited seating. Catch the Canadian group HOROJO Trio featuring guitarist JW-Jones at The Jewell on Thursday, Oct. 13. Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations play the Philly Sports Bar and Grill, 8116 South 84th St., on Thursday, Oct. 20. The LA Jones Quartet with blues legend Boo Boo Jones perform at The Jewell on Thursday, Oct. 27. Davis is one of a dwindling number of the genre’s earliest Delta-born blues artists. Alligator Records’ guitar-star Jarekus Singleton plugs in Thursday, Nov. 3 at The Strut. All Thursday shows are 6-9 p.m.
Find all the BSO listings and a curated calendar of local blues-roots music events at omahablues.com and late-breaking announcements at facebook.com/bluessocietyofomaha.
The Sunday Roadhouse concert series hosts a band that should appeal to fans of The Iguanas or Los Lobos and Latin-infused music. Making Movies gigs Friday, Oct. 7, 8 p.m., at the Reverb Lounge. NPR calls their sound “sensual, smoky, and seductive,” and the band says their sound “crunches classic rock into Latin American rhythms — African-derived percussion and styles like rumba, merengue, mambo and cumbia.”
On Sunday, Oct. 9, 5 p.m., the return of The Lowest Pair Band is scheduled at Reverb. See sundayroadhouse.com.
Blues-jazz-soul keyboard / Hammond organ wizard Bruce Katz and his band play The Jewell on Sunday, Oct. 16, 6-9 p.m., and Lincoln’s Zoo Bar on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6-9 p.m.
John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett hit Lincoln’s Rococo Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m. Tickets at rococotheatre.com. Lincoln’s Zoo Bar presents the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 6 p.m. Todd Snider plays the Scottish Rite Hall on Saturday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m. Tickets at etix.com.
Kris Lager Band plugs in with their rockin’ roots-blues at The Zoo Bar on Friday, Oct. 14, after 9 p.m., and at Waiting Room on Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 p.m.
“Remember the Drumstick,” the documentary about Lincoln’s iconic ’80s chicken restaurant turned rock club, will run at The Ross theater on the UNL campus for one week beginning Friday, Nov. 4. See theross.org for details.