Shows get added. Shows get cancelled. Things are changeable, so keep an eye on your favorite venues and shows of interest to make sure you know the latest. There were several late-breaking cancellations in August, and some pop-up shows. I always try to update the online version of this column, which you can find under the “Music” tab at thereader.com.
The Blues Society of Omaha’s BSO Presents series brings some heavy-hitters in for September shows, which may not be on the usual Thursday nights. Please check omahablues.com for details and visit facebook.com/bluessocietyofomaha for late-breaking announcements.
The Josh Garrett Band plugs in at The Jewell Thursday, Sept. 9, 6-9 p.m. Garrett was recently seen in Lincoln sharing the bill with Tab Benoit, and Benoit backed Garrett up as his drummer. Garrett and Benoit are both from Houma, La. [Writer’s Note: with the flooding and damge Houma has endured due to Hurricane Ida, double-check on the status of Garrett’s scheduled September shows as the dates get closer.]
The BSO teams up with The B. Bar for a show Friday, Sept. 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m., presenting Florida blues-rocker Sean Chambers. The Blues Society presents the rocking blues of Alligator Records’ Selwyn Birchwood at The Strut, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6-9 p.m. Accomplished California-born blues guitarist James Armstrong plays The Strut Saturday, Sept. 18, 6-9 p.m. The Strut is a newer addition to the local scene, located at 5402 N. 90th St., just northwest of 90thand Fort.
Sunday, Sept. 19, 7-10 p.m., the blues is back at The Dam Grill & Bar outdoor venue on the River City Star landing with popular blues-rock guitar star Albert Cummings. Omaha’s own 2020 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo winner HéctorAnchondo opens the show with a solo set. Vanessa Collier performs Thursday, Sept. 23, 6-9 p.m. at The Jewell. Collier is a triple-threat, acclaimed as a vocalist, songwriter and sax player. Hadden Savers is joining her band as guitarist on this tour and will open the show with his award-winning solo acoustic set. Renowned guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Coco Montoya hits the Stocks n Bonds stage for a show Wednesday, Sept. 29, 6-9 p.m. The BSO hosts the always fabulous Bel Airs at The Jewell Thursday, Sept. 30, 6-9 p.m.
Zoo Bar Blues
Lincoln’s historic Zoo Bar celebrated 48 years of live roots music with the successful mid-August return of its annual street festival. The Zoo Bar has also updated its website at zoobar.com, which includes a good history of the bar through the years. September schedule highlights include Josh Garrett Band Friday, Sept. 10, 5 p.m., followed by Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal after 9 p.m. Guitarist Dave Kalz, a contemporary of Mike Zito and a founding member of Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, plays Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6-9 p.m. Selwyn Birchwood is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m., James Armstrong is up Thursday, Sept. 16, 6-9 p.m., and Vanessa Collier, with Hadden Sayers on guitar, is set to perform Wednesday, Sept. 22, 6-9 p.m.
Every Monday features one of Lincoln’s best local talents, singer-songwriter Emily Bass, leading an “and friends” musical happy hour playing the bar’s upright piano. Bass can also be seen in the area fronting her band The Near Miracle. The Zoo Bar House Band plays Mondays from 7-10 p.m.
Nebraska Blues Challenge
The deadline is Sept. 6 to get your band or solo/duo act entered in the Blues Society of Omaha’s annual Nebraska Blues Challenge. The challenge will select a band and a solo or duo act to represent the BSO in the Blues Foundation’s annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2022. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain entry forms and rules. HéctorAnchondo, the winner of the 2020 IBC in the solo/duo category, will be coordinating entries and competition events. Fans should watch the BSO website, omahablues.com and facebook.com/bluessocietyofomaha for updates on the competition performances, which are open to the public.
The Jewell continues to present great artists in a world-class setting. See Nebraska’s own excellent band that performs traditional Cuban music, Andy William & the Nebraska All Stars, Saturday, Sept. 11, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Bandleader Andy Gomez has put together a fantastic band that performs different styles of Cuban music such as son, Latin jazz, danzón, guaracha, cha-cha-cha and guaguanco. I caught this band at ZOOFEST, and they are wonderful. Their music includes traditional songs performed by The Buena Vista Social Club, a group of senior Cuban musicians from “the golden age of Cuban music” captured by Ry Cooder’s 1996 recordings. Check jewellomaha.com for the complete schedule.
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal play The B. Bar Friday, Sept. 17, 10 p.m.
Larkin Poe is a young female duo that has won the acclaim of audiences beyond blues fans. They play Thursday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m. at Slowdown. The Wood Brothers are at Slowdown Friday, Sept. 24, 8 p.m. On Friday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m. at Slowdown, catch local blues-rocker and third generation blues man Sebastian Lane on an eclectic local bill opening for The Fey. Also performing is J. Crum.