Alvin & Zoo 38, Blues Fests, OEAA Showcase

It’s a huge weekend for music with three big festivals for blues and jazz fans and the OEAA Summer Showcase in Benson.

Dave Alvin’s Friday night set at The Zoo Bar 38th Anniversary Street Fest is a don’t-miss show. A searing guitarist and songwriter, Alvin only hits the metro every two years or so. He’s a Zoo Bar favorite and his 9 p.m. set on Friday, July 8, on the big stage is sure to be a barnburner.

Alvin is touring in support of his new release Eleven Eleven (Yep Roc). Alvin describes himself as “a barroom guitarist” and on Eleven Eleven he

delivers more of the sizzling guitar fire bursts, simmering emotions, stories of old bluesmen and lost lovers, of heartache and hard times that are signatures of his work.

“The usual stuff,” as Alvin observes wryly in the liner notes.

The tracks feature great players from Alvin’s bands through the years. Hardcore Blasters fans will love the raucous and humorous duet between Alvin and his big brother Phil on “What’s Up With Your Brother?”

Fans of Alvin’s “other older brother” and late, great Hacienda Brothers Frontman Chris Gaffney will appreciate the inclusion of “Two Lucky Bums.” It’s a duet with Gaffney, recorded before Gaffney became ill that was previously only available online. Gaffney died in 2008 after a short battle with liver cancer.

Preview the disc for free online at via the Facebook link provided.

Look up Eleven Eleven at for music samples and to purchase digital downloads. Homer’s downtown has the CD in stock.

The rest of the Zoo’s weekend schedule includes four great bands inside on Thursday, July 7. Catch Kill County (5 p.m.), Kris Lager Band (6 p.m.), Matt Cox Band (8 p.m.) and Lil’ Slim Blues Band (10 p.m.)

Friday night’s festival kicks off with the Tijuana Gigolos inside the bar at 5 p.m.

On the outdoor stage it’s the Brad Cordle Band (7 p.m.), Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones (9 p.m.) and Brave Combo (11 p.m.) Saturday the lineup for the outdoor stage is Academy of Rock Showcase (1 p.m.), Son del Llano (3 p.m.), The Derailers (5 p.m.), Stone River Boys featuring Dave Gonzalez (7 p.m.), Kelley Hunt (9 p.m.) and the much-anticipated reunion of Lincoln legends The Self Righteous Brothers (11 p.m.) The outdoor street fest is an all-ages show and a great chance to introduce kids to some of the best roots and blues music around.

See for admission info.

Road Trip Blues

The 18th Annual South Loup River Blues Festival also takes place at Old Mill Park in Arnold, Nebraska on July 8 and 9. See Baby Jason Davis makes his annual appearance, playing this year with Earl Cate’s band, Earl & Them, Saturday at 7 p.m. The rest of the bands on Saturday, July 8, include the Matt Cox Band, Lil’ Slim Blues Band, Kris Lager Band and old-school blues from Clarksdale, Miss., musician Super Chikan & The Fighting Cocks.

Riverfront Jazz & Blues

The annual Riverfront Jazz & Blues Fest has relocated to the Orpheum Theatre for performances on July 8 and 9. Omaha’s own Karrin Allyson returns for a Saturday night set in support of her acclaimed new disc ‘Round Midnight’ (Concord Jazz). The festival focuses on jazz with artists on Friday night including Rick Braun, Gerald Allbright, Peter White, The Whispers and TIZER. Appearing Saturday night in addition to Allyson are Jonathan Butler, Eric Darrius and vocalist Maysa. See for ticket prices and details.

OEAA Summer Showcase

Also this weekend, the OEAA Summer Showcase takes over Benson with more than 55 bands at five venues Friday and Saturday. Check or for the schedule. A two-night wristband good for all

venues is only $15. Wristbands may be purchased at the door at The Waiting Room, The Sydney, Barley Street Tavern, Burke’s Pub and Pizza Shoppe Collective.

Jon Dee Graham Co-Op

There is no Omaha show with Hoodoo hero Jon Dee Graham this week, but the Austin legend plays Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines on Thursday, July 7, at 8 p.m. Graham appears in Sioux City at The Promenade concert series on Friday, July 8, at 6 p.m. (see The three-time Austin Music Hall of Fame inductee has launched a new opportunity for fans to support his music and receive exclusive access to special music offerings via his JonDeeCo Co-Op. See

Hot Notes

Check for more music updates from me. Remember the Blues Society offers a pretty comprehensive calendar of blues and roots shows at

Former Hacienda Brother and Paladins co-leader Dave Gonzalez and his current band The Stone River Boys play a last-minute 5:30 p.m. show at The 21st Saloon on Friday, July 8. Earl & Them featuring Baby Jason Davis with Earl Cate plays the 21st on Thursday, July 7, at 5:30 p.m. The Lil’ Slim Blues Band has their Omaha CD release at the 21st on July 14.

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