Soul-gospel sensation Mavis Staples takes the stage at Lincoln’s Bourbon Theatre Friday, March 22, 8 p.m. Writer’s Note: On Thursday, Feb 21, the Bourbon Theatre posted that this show has been cancelled due to a death in Staples’ family. They hope to reschedule. Refunds are available at etix.com. If you caught the tribute to Levon Helm that closed the recent Grammy Awards, that was petite powerhouse Mavis Staples whose fierce vocals were at the center of the all-star proceedings. Staples is a 2011 Grammy winner for best Americana Album for her disc You Are Not Alone, produced by Jeff Tweedy. Opening is Americana songstress Pieta Brown. See bourbontheatre.com.
The Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards were handed out in ceremonies at the Omaha Hilton Sunday, Feb. 17. Awards included Kris Lager Band for Best Blues, Matt Cox for Best Country/Americana and The 9’s for Best R&B/Soul/Gospel.
BBQ to Honor Troops
The Fourth Annual Winter Blues & BBQ fundraiser is Saturday, Feb. 23, 6 p.m. at Chance Ridge, 506 Skyline Drive in Elkhorn. Money raised goes toward Operation BBQ for Our Troops, an organization providing free BBQ meals to honor deploying and returning service members and their families. See operationbbqmw.org for ticket information and details on the group’s efforts. There will be a BBQ dinner and blues music from Des Moines’ Bella Soul and BluesEd band Mojo Bag.
Dean Dobmeier’s and Gary Grobeck’s Sunday Roadhouse concert series presents Tom Russell at the Waiting Room for a special show Wednesday, Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. Russell is a storytelling songwriter who should appeal to fans of artists like Dave Alvin and James McMurtry. Russell is the songwriter behind “Blue Wing,” a song Dave Alvin fans will recognize. Russell’s material has been recorded by Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, k.d. lang and Doug Sahm. Russell’s latest disc, Mesabi, was Number Two on Mojo magazine’s 2011 Top 10 playlist. The Washington Post says “The album consistently confirms Russell’s status as one of the best songwriters of our time.” The San Francisco Chronicle observes “Tom Russell is the last wandering Beat [poet]…a prolific and venerable artist writing the best songs of his career.” See tomrussell.com for more and sundayroadhouse.com for tickets.
Guitar-driven Damon Fowler Group is at The 21st Saloon Thursday, Feb. 21, and Memphis harmonica player Brandon Santini performs Thursday, Feb. 28. Both are 5:30 p.m. shows. Runny Nose Pete hits Gator O’Malley’s Thursday, Feb. 21, after 9 p.m. Austin soul-funk band Mingo Fishtrap is scheduled for Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Thursday, Feb. 21, 6-9 p.m. Chicago’s Studebaker John & The Hawks plugs in at the Zoo Wednesday, Feb. 27, 6-9 p.m.