A Month Just Made for Live Music

From Electric to Acoustic, Soul to Blues, Blues-Rock to Honky-Tonk, May Is Jumpin'

Two of the finest songwriters working today return to Omaha and Lincoln to share music from their timely and timeless release of covers and new material, Downey to Lubbock (Yep Roc). Dave Alvin, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & The Guilty Ones play Sunday Roadhouse at Waiting Room Sunday, June 2, 5 p.m. and Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Monday, June 3, 6 p.m. Photo courtesy Tim Reese Photography.

The BSO Presents Thursday series continues at Chrome Lounge with rich blues vocals front and center when Gracie Curran & The High Falutin’ Band return Thursday, May 2. The Chris O’Leary Band is not to be missed with a festival-caliber show featuring the versatile, riveting soul-blues vocals of O’Leary, who was the singer for Levon Helm & The Barnburners for six years after the late Helm’s battle with throat cancer. The Chris O’Leary Band throws it down Thursday, May 9. Blues-rock from veteran rock guitarist Gary Hoey is up with his blues project for a special Saturday show May 11, 5 p.m. with Tim Budig Band opening. (Note: the start time is incorrectly listed in the print version of the column as 8 p.m.) Popular blues-rock guitarist Albert Castiglia plugs in Thursday, May 16, touring in support of his new recording, Masterpiece, dropping May 24. The record was produced by Mike Zito and is on Zito’s Gulf Coast Records label. Canadian guitarist Chris Antonik, a multiple Maple Blues Award nominee, takes the stage Thursday, May 23, and Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are back Thursday, May 30. Powerhouse rising guitar star Jarekus Singleton is scheduled for Thursday, June 6. All Thursday shows play 6-9 p.m. The BSO hosts a Riverfront Blues Festival in the big tent on the River City Star landing Sunday, May 26, 3-9:30 p.m., featuring Austin-based Eve Monsees with Mike Buck and Chris Ruest. Also on the bill are Hector Anchondo Band and BluesEd performances. See OmahaBlues.com for details on admission and a curated list of local blues-roots events.


Zoo Bar Blues
Lincoln’s Zoo Bar has a terrific schedule with the great Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling on Saturday, May 4, 6-9 p.m., Claire Adams, formerly bassist for Katy G & The Girls, opens the night with the Claire Adams Trio. The Tommy Castro Band turns up the heat Sunday, May 5, 6 p.m. Rockin’ guitarist Gary Hoey brings his blues project to the Zoo on Wednesday, May 8. Orphan Jon opens at 6 p.m. Guitarist Albert Castiglia plugs in Tuesday, May 14, 6-9 p.m. Honky-tonk from Dale Watson is up Wednesday, May 15, 6-9 p.m. Other calendar highlights include Matt Cox on Saturday, May 25, 6 p.m., Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials on Wednesday, May 29, 6 p.m., and The Bel Airs on Saturday, June 1, 6 p.m. Keep up with the latest at ZooBar.com.


Alvin & Gilmore
Iconic American folk-roots songwriters Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore return to the metro for two shows backed by Alvin’s crack band The Guilty Ones. The songwriters teamed for a record and tour last year that produced two of the most remarkable shows of 2018, full of stellar musicianship, heart, soul, wit and music that was timely and timeless. Advance tickets are recommended for their upcoming shows. For their Sunday Roadhouse appearance at Waiting Room, June 2 at 5 p.m., visit SundayRoadhouse.com, and for Lincoln’s Zoo Bar show Monday, June 3, 6 p.m., find the Zoo Bar at etix.com.


Hadden in the House
Popular blues-rocker and 2019 Blues Music Award nominee for Acoustic Artist of the Year, Hadden Sayers brings his solo acoustic show back to The B Side of the Benson Theatre on Wednesday, June 5, 6 p.m. Admission is $20. Visit haddensayers.com for ticket information and details on a Lincoln house concert June 6.

Outdoor Stages
Dwight Yoakam
is featured at Stir Cove Thursday, May 23, 8 p.m. The 15th Annual Soaring Wings Blues Fest is Saturday, June 1, 4-10:30 p.m., at Soaring Wings Vineyard south of Springfield. Performing are Stan & the Chain Gang (4 p.m.), Heather Newman Band (5:30 p.m.), Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start (7 p.m.), the Blues Foundation’s 2019 International Blues Challenge winner representing St. Louis. Rounding out the night is The Good The Bad & the Blues (8:30 p.m.). See soaringwingswine.com. The annual Bel Air Blues Fest at Bel Air Plaza, 120th & West Center, is Sunday, June 2, 2-8 p.m., with The Bel Airs, Hector Anchondo Band and more.

Hot Notes
Buck’s in Venice rode out the flooding and opened for business quickly while honoring contracts with artists at some alternate venues until roads to Buck’s were open. Buck Bennett continues to bring in a lot of talented roots and country artists who often end up snagging opening slots on big arena tours as their careers progress. There’s also a kitchen offering nightly specials. Keep an eye on the calendar at bucksbarandgrill.com.

Don’t forget all the local clubs during the festival season because they are working hard to bring you live music. They still need your support. The high-octane blues of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band is at Waiting Room on Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m. Reverb presents Tennessee’s Matt Woods plus Township & Range May 28, 8 p.m.

The Allman Betts Band performs at the Bourbon Theatre on Wednesday, May 8, 7 p.m. Roots band Devil Makes Three is at the Bourbon on Wednesday, May 22, 8 p.m. Todd Snider plays the Bourbon on Wednesday, May 29, 8 p.m., and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears rock the venue Tuesday, May 28, 8 p.m.

Sunday Roadhouse brings fine Austin blues guitarist and songwriter Ray Bonneville back to The Reverb on Sunday, May 5, 5 p.m. Thornetta Davis, “Detroit’s Queen of the Blues,” entertains at the Holland Performing Arts’ 1200 Club on Friday May 10, 7:30 p.m.

Keep tabs on The Jewell at jewellomaha.com for excellent shows, including Kelley Hunt Friday, May 3, and  The Russell Malone Quartet on Thursday, May 30, and Friday, May 31. Both artists play shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Added to the schedule since the deadline for our print issue is the phenomenal Scottie Miller Band out of Minneapolis. Miller brings his keyboard-driven blues, soul, boogie and more to The Jewell Saturday, May 25, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

The 40th Annual Blues Music Awards happen in Memphis on May 9. Keep your eyes on the Blues Foundation’s Facebook page and the website at blues.org for announcements of the winners.

Category: Music

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