As mentioned in last week’s column, attendance has been off at local blues shows. To keep the scene alive and thriving takes commitment on the part of the fans as well as the venues. Get out and see some live music.
The Zoo Bar made a Facebook plea about two weeks ago asking fans to increase support of their touring shows. Likewise, The 21st Saloon does not seem to be seeing autumn audience attendance returning to usual levels. Last week’s 21st performance by John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band showcased superb Chicago bluesmen but the appreciative audience was somewhat smaller than usual. Reports are the Zoo had improved audience numbers the previous night for Primer and Lil’ Ed, but that’s just one show.
The Zoo Bar has exciting guitarist Nick Moss next Wednesday, Oct. 15, 6-9 p.m. This is the band’s only Nebraska appearance on this tour. Moss spins Chicago blues traditions with a contemporary edge that nickmoss.com promises is a mix of “blues, R&B, soul and a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll” with “face-melting guitar solos.” Moss is a 16-time Blues Music Award nominee and his latest disc is Time Ain’t Free. See zoobar.com and facebook.com/ZooBarBlues.
21st Saloon Blues
Popular blues-gospel-R&B vocalist-keyboard player Kelley Hunt hits the 21st stage in support of her new disc, The Beautiful Bones, Thursday, Oct. 9, 6-9 p.m. Blues Music Magazine calls the CD a “scintillating release by one of soul’s best-kept secrets,” proclaiming, “Kelley Hunt’s time has come.”
Coming up at The 21st is Luther Allison’s son Bernard Allison Thursday, Oct. 16. Acclaimed guitarist Bobby Messano, former musical director for Steve Windwood, plays Thursday, Oct. 23. Thursday shows are 6-9 p.m.
Matt Wallace & Friends
Local jazz sax man Matt Wallace’s impressive resume includes 11 years with Maynard Ferguson. This weekend Wallace plays with talented friends including the Hegg Brothers and Greg Ahl. Check their free shows at Ozone Thursday, Oct. 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and at Havana Garage Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10-11, 9 p.m.-midnight. See heggmusic.com.
Junkstock is back Oct. 10-12 near Elkhorn. The event has grown to include vendors from 11 states with art, vintage and repurposed wares plus live music. Check the schedule at junkstockomaha.com for sets by artists including Matt Cox, Brad Hoshaw, Sarah Benck, Midwest Dilemma and more.
Matt Cox Band hosts a Neil Young Tribute evening at Barley Street Tavern Friday, Oct. 10, 9 p.m., with a long list of local and regional guest artists performing.