Guitarist Albert Castiglia hits Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6-9 p.m., and Omaha’s 21st Saloon Thursday, Sept. 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Raised in Florida, Castiglia’s big break came when the late Junior Wells hired him as his guitarist. Castiglia worked with Wells until his passing in 1998 and continued to perform as a sideman while furthering his solo work on Chicago’s blues scene. In 2002 Castiglia launched his solo career. With several self-produced discs to his credit, his 2012 recording Living The Dream landed at Number 12 on the Roots Music Reports’ Top Blues Albums of 2012. Music & Musicians magazine praises his “joyful showboating” on guitar with “ fast, fluid playing.” See albertcastiglia.net.
Jumpin’ with Jamborama
Cowtown Jamborama XI, the Omaha Jitterbugs’ annual celebration of swing dance and music, is Sept. 19-22. Dance classes are available at all levels and nightly dances feature live music. I’m really excited about the Omaha stop for San Francisco crooner Johnny Boyd and his current band Sunday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m., at the Eagles Ballroom, 24th & Douglas. Boyd was the charismatic leader for Indigo Swing, one of the best acts of the 1990’s swing revival. See johnnyboyd.com. Also performing are Street Railway Band, Grand Marquis and Shotgun Jazz Band. See jamborama.com for schedule and options that include a full weekend pass, individual classes or only the social dances.
If you remember the older, larger River City Star boat that used to cruise the river, good news. That boat is back and getting a makeover. Dubbed the Kon-Tiki-O Party Barge, it will remain docked but have bar service on the three main decks. There is a sneak preview on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 5-9 p.m. North Carolina blues guitarist Justin Johnson entertains. Johnson is praised for his slide work, winning first place in the Slidestock International Slide Guitar Competition as well as praise from Guitar World magazine. He is considered one of the finest cigar box guitarists working today. See reverbnation.com/justinjohnsonlive and rivercitystar.com.
Venue 51, the former Hive at 1951 St. Mary’s Ave., is reviving Tuesday Bluesday events with Lil’ Joe & Big Trouble scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 24. No cover charge and music begins about 8 p.m. Trampled Under Foot plays Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Friday, Sept. 20, 9 p.m. The Kinsey Report is at the Zoo Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6-9 p.m.
Remember Shawn Holt & The Teardrops’ debut CD Daddy Told Me on Blind Pig Records is in stores Tuesday, Sept. 24.