The remarkable alchemist Jon Dee Graham brings his luminous music to Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Monday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Graham’s songs cut to the core of real, daily joys and pains. His music delivers quicksilver flashes that are light in the darkness and even light in celebration of light. Graham’s music makes a difference. He’s also a three-time inductee into the Austin Music Hall of Fame and a veteran Texas musician who was part of the three-guitar onslaught of True Believers with Alejandro and Javier Escovedo. Graham has just released Do Not Forget, a collection of live recordings. The album is available as a digital download at jondeegraham.com. Lincoln’s own Josh Hoyer appears performing with Graham’s trio at the Zoo Bar on one of Graham’s iconic tunes, “October.”
These live recordings shine with Graham’s extraordinary ability to do musical conjuring. His music distills fears and trials into hope that the listener’s heart and soul can hang onto.
Mike June also performs Monday. June is a fine songwriter whose blues-inflected roots-rock takes an unflinching look at gritty, real life and today’s issues. Jon Langford of Mekons and Waco Brothers says, “Mike June has an iron spine and is unafraid enough to mix tricky realism and genuine outrage in his songs.” See mikejune.com.
Toy Drive on the Radio
Larry “Lash” Dunn and I will be joining Rick Galusha on “PS Blues” Sunday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to noon on 89.7 The River. We’ll be talking about this year’s Toy Drive for Pine Ridge and sharing live music from studio guests. Each Christmas, the drive delivers donations including toys for the children, blankets and outerwear for families, emergency heating for the elderly, educational resources and more to one of the poorest zip codes in America. Visit toydriveforpineridge.com to learn more or donate.
21st Saloon Blues
Trampled Under Foot plays their final Omaha show Thursday, Dec. 4, 6-9 p.m. at The 21st Saloon. Danielle and Nick Schnebelen are each starting their own bands. See tufkc.com. Popular Texas guitarist Hamilton Loomis plays Sunday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m. Royal Southern Brotherhood has a show Wednesday, Dec. 10, 6-9 p.m. The band now features Bart Walker filling Mike Zito’s shoes alongside Devon Allman and Cyril Neville. See royalsouthernbrotherhood.com.
Powerhouse harmonica player, singer and bandleader John Németh gigs at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Wednesday, Dec. 3, 6-9 p.m. and plays a free show Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 p.m., at Barley’s, 114 W. Broadway, Council Bluffs. Kris Lager Band plugs in at the Zoo Bar Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 p.m.