The Mental Health Association of Nebraska presents the fourth annual Jammin’ Away the Blues concert at Lincoln’s Bourbon Theatre Saturday, April 7, with headliner Kenny Neal. A member of Louisiana’s musically acclaimed Neal family, Neal’s awards are numerous. Recent highlights include induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the 2011 Living Blues magazine Critic’s Poll Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album of the Year. See kennyneal.net. Lil’ Slim Blues Band and The Blues Project open the 7 p.m. show. See bourbontheatre.com for tickets.
Musical force of nature Carolyn Wonderland plays a special Blues Society of Omaha show at The Waiting Room on Sunday, April 8. Wonderland’s soulful vocals have equal roots in blues, gospel and rock. The Dallas Observer writes, “One of the most impressively powerful voices recently heard anywhere, regardless of sex. Able to boom, cajole, promise and growl with equal power, she plays guitar with much the same forcefulness.” Her latest CD is Peace Meal and she’s been featured on NPR. Doors open at 4 p.m. with roots-Americana music from Omaha’s The Electroliners at 5 p.m. Wonderland goes on about 6:15 p.m.
Jon Dee Graham’s side project The Hobart Brothers with Susan Cowsill and Freedy Johnston plays Knuckleheads in KC Friday, April 6, 8:30 p.m. As a bonus, Sarah & The Tall Boys, Carolyn Wonderland and Kenny Neal are on Knucklehead’s outdoor stage Friday night. See knuckleheadskc.com.
The high-energy of Louisiana guitarist-singer-songwriter Josh Garrett rocks Lincoln’s Zoo Bar next Wednesday, April 11. Garrett’s band shares the 6-9 p.m. slot with the rockabilly and swing of Southern California’s Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys. Carolyn Wonderland also plays a 6-9 p.m. show Saturday, April 7, with Sarah & The Tall Boys opening.
Billy Bacon & The Forbidden Pigs reunite at The Zoo beginning Thursday, April 12.
See Facebook.com/RestoreTheBensonTheater for details on fundraising efforts at the Pizza Shoppe in April and May to benefit the restoration of the Benson Theater, 6054 Maple St., immediately east of the Pizza Shoppe. A project of the Omaha Community Foundation, fundraising brunches will be held at the Pizza Shoppe beginning Sunday, April 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Matt Gagne & The Blues Experience plug in at The Observatory Lounge Saturday, April 7.
JP Soars, nominated for the Blues Music Award for Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the Year, is at The 21st Saloon Thursday, April 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m.