Round One of the Blues Society of Omaha’s Nebraska Blues Challenge kicks off at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar on Sunday, March 24. Performing are Crimson Dawn (3:30 p.m.), Thrift Shop Radio (4:40 p.m.), Lou DeLuca & The R&M Blues Band (5:50 p.m.) and Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers (7 p.m.). Rounds Two and Three take place April 7 at Gator O’Malley’s and April 21 at McKenna’s with a total of 14 bands participating. Three bands will advance to the May 19 finals at The 21st Saloon. See omahablues.com for the full schedule. (Full disclosure: I am an advisor to the BSO Board.)
Sin City Festival
Longtime Omaha promoter and former Blues Society of Omaha president Terry O’Halloran’s Las Vegas festival is selling packages now. Set for Sept. 15-17 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, a 20 percent early registration discount ends March 31. The event offers 30 acts performing on two indoor stages, day and night, plus jams teaming up various artists. Acts scheduled include the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Tab Benoit, Jon Cleary, Malford Milligan & W.C. Clark, Ruthie Foster, Caroline Wonderland, Curtis Salgado’s Big Band, Tommy Castro, Royal Southern Brotherhood and James Harman. Local bands Kris Lager Band, Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers and Brad Cordle Band will play as well. See sincitysoulandbluesrevival.com.
Zito at The 21st
Popular guitarist Mike Zito has been busy with his side project, Royal Southern Brotherhood. In that supergroup he works with friends Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, Charlie Wooten and Yonrico Scott. This spring, many of the musicians are stepping out with solo projects. Mike Zito & The Wheel perform Thursday, March 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at The 21st Saloon.
National Blues Museum
Devon Allman, whose new disc Turquoise is out now, told me during the band’s recent February stop that he has joined the board for the National Blues Museum in St. Louis. The museum has launched a “Buck Up For the Blues” fundraising campaign to get the museum to a critical $14 million dollar goal. Successful fundraising will keep the 23,000 square-foot project on track for a planned late 2014-early 2015 opening. A March 4 interview with Allman at gibson.com put current donations at just over $12 million, closing in on the goal. See nationalbluesmuseum.org for plans and details.
Austin’s Guy Forsyth plays Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Sunday, March 24, after 8 p.m., following the Nebraska Blues Challenge.
Sunday Roadhouse presents Hayes Carll at The Waiting Room next Sunday, March 31, 5 p.m.