Digging the Scene

National Bands Are Hitting Local Stages and Local Artists Are Making Themselves Heard


BSO Presents at Chrome Lounge kicks into September with the return of popular vocalist Reneé Austin. She performs Thursday, Sept. 6, at Chrome. The Minneapolis-area-based singer returned to the stage in 2015 after being sidelined for more than a decade from complications of a 2005 thyroid surgery that left her unable to sing. Visit reneeaustin.org to find out more.

Up and coming blues vocalist Mary Jo Curry, from central Illinois, takes the spotlight Thursday, Sept. 13. See maryjocurry.com. Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys are up Thursday, Sept. 20. Zac Harmon Band brings their groove-laden blues and R&B to Chrome Thursday, Sept. 28. All Thursday shows are 6-9 p.m.

More Shows of Note

Lincoln’s Bourbon Theatre has some great shows in September. The iconic singer-songwriter Neko Case performs Saturday, Sept. 8, 8 p.m. Another great show happens Sunday, September 16, 8 p.m. with The Reverend Horton Heat featuring Big Sandy. The Marcus King Band has been getting the attention of a lot of blues fans and they plug in Tuesday, Sept. 18, 8 p.m. Fantastic Negrito, the 2017 Grammy Award winner for Best Contemporary Blues, hits the stage Friday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m. with Edem Soul Music opening. Popular Americana act Drive By Truckers are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m. T. Hardy Morris opens. See bourbontheatre.com.

Raining Soul

Sizzling soul-blues from Detroit, Laura Rain & The Caesars features stellar guitarist George Friend alongside Rain’s fierce, soulful and funky vocals. This seasoned and versatile band doesn’t get to our area often but plays the Zoo Bar Wednesday, Sept. 19, 6-9 p.m. And Thursday, Sept. 20, they drop into the Corner Bar in Fremont, 6-9 p.m. Listen up at laurarain.net.

Zoo Bar Blues

Other highlights from Lincoln’s Zoo Bar schedule include audience favorite and Cate Brothers co-leader Earl Cate fronting Earl & Them Friday, Sept. 7, 5 p.m. Blues veteran Hurricane Ruth plays Wednesday, Sept. 12, 6-9 p.m. Vocalist Ruth LaMaster has performed with John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Willie Dixon, Taj Mahal, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Sam & Dave, Fenton Robinson and with contemporary acts including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Royal Southern Brotherhood, and Ronnie Baker Brooks. Check out hurricaneruth.com.

Rockin’ Johnny is up Friday, Sept. 28, 5 p.m. Nashville’s bluesabilly-rockabilly showman Webb Wilder returns Sunday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m.

Lincoln Calling takes over downtown Lincoln again Tuesday, Sept. 18 through Saturday, Sept. 22. A variety of genres showcase their sounds at multiple downtown venues including the Zoo Bar. For artists and venues see lincolncalling.com/music/.

Femme Fest 2018

The annual BFF Femme Fest organized by Becky Lowry and E3 Music Management is back at The Waiting Room Friday, Sept. 7, 6 p.m.-1 a.m. celebrating women making music. For $10 hear The Wagon Blasters (6 – 6:45 p.m.), Domestica (7 – 7:45), Uh Oh (8 – 8:45), La Guerre (9 – 9:45), Jocelyn (10 – 10:45), Histrionic (11 – 11:45) and Queerniverse Burlesque (12 – 12:45). For more details see Facebook.com/bfffemmefest.

Sebastian Lane’s Debut CD

A current Omaha resident who is following in the family blues business, Sebastian Lane released his debut CD, Walkin’ by Myself, this summer. Lane is the grandson of the great Chicago blues master Jimmy Rogers and the son of blues-rocker Jimmy D. Lane. In town attending medical school, he has been lighting up stages with his powerful guitar-driven blues. Catch him hosting the First Friday blues jam Friday, Sept. 8, and the first Friday of each month at Benson’s Barley Street Tavern after 9 p.m. In September, his schedule includes The Rustemberfest Car show Saturday, Sept. 8, in Pacific Junction, Iowa, the Farnam Festival Saturday, Sept. 15, and the 7 Oaks Music Festival Sunday, Sept. 30. Find out more at sebastianlaneband.com.  

7 Oaks Music Festival

The 2nd Annual 7 Oaks Music Festival is Sunday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m. til 9:30 p.m. at 13302 West Center Rd, in the parking lot of sponsor Paul Weggener’s 7 Oaks Investment Corporation and co-host Thunderhead Brewing Taproom. The Blues Society of Omaha is also a host of the event, featuring live music from Sebastian Lane (3 p.m.), California guitar star Alastair Greene (4:15), The Danielle Nicole Band (6) and Electric Voodoo (7:45) with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Greene’s latest disc Live From the 805, celebrates his 20 years as a West Coast blues power trio band leader. Electric Voodoo is an up and coming Southern California band celebrating all types of roots music started by Scott Tournet, a founding member of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. Admission is free and all ages are welcome, but please do not bring in outside food or beverages and show support for the vendors.

Hot Notes

Looking for cool mid-week hangs? The Mitch Town Jazz Organ Trio has a Tuesday night residency at Jambo Cat, 7:30 p.m., in Dundee. The Groovin’ with Grover & Friends Jam at The Opollo has become a Wednesday night happening scene. The jam, led by Grover Lipkins, takes place at The Opollo Music Hall, 6052 Maple St., Wednesdays 9-11:30 p.m.

September 9 is the deadline for bands to enter the Blues Society of Omaha’s Nebraska Blues Challenge that will send one band to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Jan. 22-29, 2019. Contact the BSO volunteer coordinator at NebraskaBluesChallenge@OmahaBlues.com for rules, details or entry forms.


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