Check my blog at for some thoughts on the Red Sky Music Festival, July 18-23 in TD Ameritrade Park. See for event details. Also visit last week’s blog post (Friday, May 20) for a preview of Texas-born blues-rocker Hadden Sayers’ new CD Hard Dollar (Blue Corn Music) due out June 21. It’s Sayers’ best work and you can hear some of the tunes and check out two new videos at Playing With Fire Meanwhile, many outdoor events bring blues and roots music to our area this summer. There is only one Playing With Fire concert on Omaha’s riverfront this summer, but it’s a big show. The event Saturday, July 16, features a band that’s crossed over to indie and rock popularity and been on “Austin City Limits.” The high-powered soul and funk of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings headlines the event. Austin powerhouse soul-blues vocalist Malford Milligan is the second national act on the bill. Omaha’s Brad Cordle Band opens the night. See for details. Wine & Roots Music The picturesque Soaring Wings Vineyard south of Springfield hosts their annual Wine & Blues Festival June 4, 5-9:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for those 21 and up, $10 for ages 12-20 and free for those under 12. The event will feature Elwin James & The Way Outs (5:30 p.m.), Kansas City’s Shannon & The Rhythm Kings (7 p.m.), and Iowa band The Candymakers (8:30 p.m.) They also offer live music on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. See for all the details. Sugar Clay Winery in Thurman, Iowa, presents Winestock 2011 on Sunday, May 29. The Matt Cox Band headlines a day of music. Admission is $10. See Davies Amphitheater Fundraiser Concerts Playing With Fire founder Jeff Davis is working with the Davies Amphitheater in Glenwood, Iowa, to raise monies for further improvements on the facility. There will be three concerts this summer. Saturday, June 25, Carolyn Wonderland performs. Saturday, July 9, the featured artists are Dawn Tyler Watson, Paul Deslauriers and Trevor Finlay. Saturday, Aug. 13, Grammy-nominee Ruthie Foster takes the stage. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at For more information select the Glenwood header at Road Trips Sites such as can get you started on summer music road trips. The 15th annual Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest in north Kansas City at 76th & N. Troost June 10 and 11 offers a great line-up for nearly free. Parking is $5. Friday night’s acts are excellent with the Lionel Young Band opening for guitarists Stacy Mitchhart and Tab Benoit. See for details and the Saturday schedule. The prestigious Chicago Blues Festival takes place June 10-12. This year the event commemorates Robert Johnson’s centennial. Main stage events include a celebration of Alligator Records 40th Anniversary. Visit for details. Lincoln BBQ & Blues Fest Closer to home there’s a lot going on including a special June 4 event in Lincoln. The second annual Lincoln BBQ & Blues Fest happens in the parking lot east of Famous Dave’s in Southpointe Pavillions at 27th Street and Pine Lake Road. Headlining the event is one of my favorite new bands, Davina & The Vagabonds from Minneapolis. Their jump-blues, swing and New Orleans-influenced jazz is old school and fresh at the same time. Also performing are the Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings and The Blues Orchestra featuring Honeyboy Turner. See In The Clubs The Zoo Bar hosts a special early show Tuesday, May 31, 6-9 p.m. with Vagabond Swing from Lafayette, La. The band mixes swing, gypsy jazz and Afro-beat sounds. See for the complete schedule. Remember the Zoo celebrates its 38th Anniversary July 5-9. The weekend outdoor stage will feature Dave Alvin July 8 and Kelley Hunt July 9. The 21st Saloon presents the wildly popular Bel Airs Thursday, May 26, at 5:30 p.m. Get ready to hit the dance floor for vintage R&B, New Orleans sounds, Delta blues and early rock ‘n’ roll from one of the great trios on the touring circuit. Kansas City’s Trampled Under Foot brings their family band blues to the 21st Thursday, June 2. Rockabilly Night takes over Gator O’Malley’s Thursday, May 26 with The Reckless Ones from Minneapolis headlining the free event. Music starts at 9 p.m. Hot Notes Be sure to see last week’s blog at for the details on the Nebraska Blues Challenge finals. The Lil’ Slim Blues Band received the most votes from the judges and will represent the Blues Society of Omaha in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February 2011. KIOS 91.5 FM will present an encore of the radio documentary “The Robert Johnson Centennial Celebration” Monday, May 30, at 2 p.m. The program airs as part of Mike Jacob’s “Blues In The Afternoon” program that is broadcast Mondays from 1-3 p.m. Remember, when you can’t find the Hoodoo column in print, please look for me at

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