The Toy Drive for Pine Ridge hosts one of its main events this Friday, Nov. 21, at Sokol Hall’s ballroom, 6 p.m. Proceeds from the 12th annual event, organized by local musician Larry “Lash” Dunn, provide Christmas gifts for the children of the Pine Ridge Reservation. The area is historically one of the poorest zip codes in the United States. The toys donated by the Omaha community bring hope and encouragement to the children on the reservation, where Christmas would be bleak without the donations Dunn gathers. The event has expanded in recent years with additional funds available for emergency heating, clothing and food for elders and others in need on the reservation. Donations also go toward educational resources for young people.
The lineup Nov. 21 features Christy Rossiter & 112 North Duck at 6 p.m. Popular Nashville swamp-blues act Too Slim & The Taildraggers plays at 7 p.m. Kansas City’s Grand Marquis swings at 9 p.m. Admission is $15. Donations of new, unwrapped toys are encouraged. This event is sponsored in part by The Blues Society of Omaha, The Omaha Jitterbugs and The Reader.
I will join Dunn and Rick Galusha on Galusha’s “Pacific Street Blues” radio show on KIWR, 89.7 The River, Sunday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to noon. As in past years, we’ll have live musical guests. See toydriveforpineridge.com where donations can also be made.
The Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards’ annual nominee showcase is Friday, Nov. 21, in Benson. Over 40 bands perform at seven venues: The Waiting Room, The Barley Street Tavern, Reverb Lounge, Burke’s Pub, P.S. Collective inside the Pizza Shoppe, The Sydney and The 402 Arts Collective. A $10 wristband gets you into all participating venues all evening. It’s a great way to sample the work of very talented local artists on our scene. Selected work from visual arts nominees will be featured in on-street window displays. See oea-awards.com.
Rockabilly kings The Paladins play Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Friday, Nov. 21, 9 p.m.
The 21st Saloon hosts versatile Dallas guitarist Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch Thursday, Nov. 20, at a special 5:30 p.m. start time. Elmore opens for Boston’s blues-soul-gospel act Gracie Curran & The High Falutin’ Band. See thehighfalutinband.com. Jason Elmore also plays Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Wednesday, Nov. 20, 6-9 p.m.
The Sunday Roadhouse presents folk-blues singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave., Sunday, Nov. 23, 5 p.m. Ray Wylie Hubbard describe’s Bonneville’s music as “like gunpowder and opium.” See sundayroadhouse.com.