Playing With Fire concert-promoter Jeff Davis has finalized the line-up for the July 16 free concert. As previously reported here, there will be only one show this year but it is going to be a remarkable night of music focused on some serious soul. Music fans are buzzing about headliners Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. Jones has been called “the queen of American revivalist soul” with a knockout stage show that harkens to classic acts like Tina Turner and James Brown. Also on the bill is Austin’s amazing soul-blues vocalist Malford Milligan and his band. Milligan has played Omaha several times including PWF and with his acclaimed band Storyville in the 1990s. His work with Storyville helped land him the honor of “Best Male Vocalist of the Decade” from the Austin Chronicle . Opening the July 16 PWF show will be local powerhouse quintet the Brad Cordle Band. Vah-Vah-Davina! Sultry and swingin’ jazz-blues vocals, keyboards and horns make Minneapolis-based Davina & The Vagabonds a real show-stopping band. They mix jump-blues, swing and New Orleans jazz for a high-octane show that puts DATV among my new favorites. Davina’s sweet, sassy, sexy voice owes as much to jazz as blues. She mixes cool, innovative covers with a mostly original repertoire. DATV offers a show that is equal parts serious musicianship and non-stop sizzle. Catch them the night the paper hits the streets and the internet, on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 6-9 p.m. at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar. Davina and the boys are at The New Lift Lounge on Thursday, Feb. 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m. The City Pages raves, “Davina takes ‘retro’ back further than [Amy] Winehouse and her Phil Spector reminiscing. She beckons an age when bad girls wore red lipstick and pin curls. Her music may be adorned with exceptional groaning trumpets, rat-a-tatting drum rolls and staccato piano lines, but nothing deserves the complementing position to her voice. She’s in a league of her own.” Giveaway Gets Noticed I made Jesse Hayes’ long-distance acquaintance because he’s a fellow music journalist, writing for Jesse also creates original music with his wife Arielle. They call it “urban Americana” but their shimmering fusion of jazzy, vibey R&B is much more than that. At the center of the sweet, ballad-oriented sounds are evocative, thoughtful harmonies layered over Jesse Hayes’ lead vocals. Jesse’s voice retains a distinct quality while managing to conjure overtones of artists from Chris Whitley to Prince. There’s a breathless, blissful intimacy to their harmonies that seems driven as much by their deep musical partnership as by the fact that they’re husband and wife. Local fans may hear echoes of the sort of stylistic fusion fans love from Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies. The Hayes duo likewise blends genres with some magical results. Their music places them among the growing number of artists working outside conventional musical genre confines and finding innovative ways to get their music to the public. Recording as Hayes, they released Chasing Strangers as a free download months before offering an expanded version of the recording for sale in December at You can still listen to it there for free. Jesse Hayes calls it “10 tracks of lo-fi goodness” and says that the original free offering has worked. “For an artist at my stage it’s still about ‘finding’ my audience,” Jesse Hayes says. “Our album has had a lot more plays according to the stats than sales, but the plays are also all the way through, usually, which is a good sign. It means people like the record and are returning to listen to it. What is interesting is that we have received a lot more attention now that we are selling the album. I think the main thing is to win back the music fan … and as artists, innovate and excite with what we offer our audience. Give them a real reason to buy your record.” With creative thinking and the power of the Internet, this East Coast duo is gaining fans from Ireland to Argentina. Where’s Mick? Michael Campbell, local musician and former owner of Mick’s, has a new hangout. The first Wednesday of every month he’s taking the stage at the Side Door Lounge, 35th and Leavenworth, for a free show with a special guest. On Wednesday, Feb. 2, he’ll be joined by the superb Korey Anderson from 9-11 p.m. Hot Notes The irresistibly danceable genre-crossing jam band Euforquestra plays The Waiting Room on Wednesday, Feb. 2. Two more notable female artists are coming up at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar for the Wednesday 6-9 p.m. shows. On Feb. 9 it’s electric guitarist Ana Popovic and on Feb. 16 it’s fine vocalist Gina Sicilia. The Kris Lager Band hits The Waiting Room on Friday, Feb. 4. Opening acts are Funk Trek and Rock Paper Dynamite. See 8 Days for more info. The Scott Keeton Band brings their roots-blues to The New Lift on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

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