Bountiful Beats

From the jazz and swing of Johnny Boyd and Davina & the Vagabonds to great roots-rockers like the BoDeans and Jim Suhler plus plenty of meaty blues, soul and funk choices, November serves up a rich harvest of live music.


Johnny Boyd makes a return visit to Benson’s Reverb Lounge Thursday, Nov. 16. The former Indigo Swing front man and his current red-hot band can do it all: swing, jazz, jump-blues, rockabilly and more. His band is insanely talented and at turns breathtaking and rockin’ while keeping Boyd’s classic crooner stylings front and center. Fans can expect tunes from Boyd’s Indigo Swing days plus plenty from his solo recordings including 2016’s lush, elegant tribute to American songbook ballads, Someday Dreams of You. Boyd reports he has three recording projects in different stages of completion, and concert-goers may get sneak peaks at new material. His current projects include a live recording and a new EP, Jumpin’ With Johnny. Now based in Portland, Ore., Boyd doesn’t get to the Midwest too often. This is a true don’t-miss show. Thursday, Nov. 16, doors at 7 p.m. and show time at 8 p.m.

BSO Presents

Speaking of swing, jump and jazz, a highlight of the BSO Presents at Chrome Lounge Thursday blues series is the performance of Davina & The Vagabonds Thursday, Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m. The dynamic and talented Gracie Curran from Memphis via Boston opens. Davina and her knockout band also play an early show Sunday, Dec. 3, at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar.

The remainder of November’s Thursday shows include former Moreland & Arbuckle vocalist and harmonica player Dustin Arbuckle and one of his new bands, Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations, up on Thursday, Nov. 2. Omaha’s own Sailing in Soup, featuring great grooves and harmonies, is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 9. One of the Hammond B-3 keyboard world’s finest and most sought-after jazz-soul-blues-roots players, Bruce Katz, takes the spotlight Thursday, Nov. 16. There is no show on Thursday, Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day. Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 p.m., Heather Newman Band has their CD release party at Chrome for Newman’s first national release fronting her own band, titled Burn Me Alive. See heathernewmanband.com

Chrome Lounge is located in the Park Drive Shopping Center, 8552 Park Dr., just southwest of 84th & Q.

Zoo Bar Blues

Shows rockin’ Lincoln’s Zoo Bar stage include Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4, 9 p.m. The high-octane guitar and keyboard driven blues-roots gumbo stirred up by Texas’ Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat takes the stage Wednesday, Nov. 8, 6-9 p.m. Keyboard great Bruce Katz is in the house Wednesday, Nov. 15, 6-9 p.m. Rev. Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys are back Friday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m. Kris Lager Band is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 24, 9 p.m. Katy G & The Girls plug in Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6-9 p.m.

Waiting Room Highlights

Waiting Room makes it funky with a great double bill of Funk Trek and Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal Friday, Nov. 3, 9 p.m.

A classic rock and roots favorite, The BoDeans hits Waiting Room Monday, Nov. 6, 8 p.m. The wildly talented and audience-engaging Memphis soul band Southern Avenue returns for a show at Waiting Room Wednesday, Nov. 8, 8 p.m. They share the bill with SPAFFORD, Arizona’s self-described “ElectroFunkTherapy” jam band. Orgone plays the Waiting Room Friday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m., laying down their “dirty, organic California soul” and funk.

Sunday Roadhouse

The Sunday Roadhouse series presents Austin’s James McMurtry and his band Wednesday, November 15, 8 p.m. at Waiting Room. The series also hosts virtuoso guitarist Adrian Legg at Reverb Thursday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. Sarah Borges plugs in Sunday, Nov. 19, 5 p.m. at Waiting Room. See sundayroadhouse.com.

Hot Notes

Wednesday, Nov. 22, Blue House puts on their annual Thanksgiving eve bash at Ozone, 7-10 p.m. 

Don’t forget venues like Barley Street Tavern, Buck’s Bar & Grill in Venice, Nebr., The Harney Street Tavern in the Old Market, The Omaha Lounge downtown and the Corner Bar in Fremont all offer live music from local and national roots acts multiple nights of the week. The Growler USA, 16268 Evans St., is presenting local and regional acts of interest. The Blues Society of Omaha offers a curated events list at omahablues.com.

The OEAA Nominee Showcase is Saturday, Nov. 11, at multiple Benson locations. See Facebook.com/oeaawards for schedule, bands and venues.

Be on the lookout for more details regarding this year’s Toy Drive for Pine Ridge events. Watch toydriveforpineridge.com and Facebook.com/Toydriveforpineridge for details on this year’s BSO’s fund-raising concert and the annual appearance on Rick Galusha’s “PS Blues” show, 9 a.m. to noon, on 89.7 The River, which I am happy to help with every year. Both are currently scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 10. 

Matt Cox’s annual Thanksgiving eve songwriters showcase to benefit the Food Bank for the Heartland takes place at Barley Street Tavern Wednesday, Nov. 22, 8-11 p.m.


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