One of the biggest shows of the month comes early with the long-anticipated return of Curtis Salgado to the metro. Salgado hasn’t performed locally in almost two years. He’s back with his bad-ass band and a powerful new record, The Beautiful Lowdown (Alligator). Salgado wrote or co-wrote almost all the songs himself. The tunes range from sleek and lovestruck to gritty and raw with Salgado’s perfectly placed vocal interpretations at the driving center of smokin’ production that includes horns and back-up singers. Salgado is quite simply one of the best, most passionate and heart-felt vocalists working today in any genre. His shows are joyous throw-downs that fill the dance floor and celebrate his love of music from blues to soul to funk to gospel and beyond. Check YouTube for a video of the track “I’m Not Made That Way” and see curtissalgado.com for more on Salgado. Curtis Salgado fires up a special show Tuesday, June 7, 6-9 p.m., at The 21st Saloon and hits the stage at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Wednesday, June 8, 6-9 p.m.
Deming, Gruenling & The Jewel Tones
Hoodoo favorites, Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones featuring Dennis Gruenling, play The Waiting Room Tuesday, June 28, 7-10 p.m. This band is as good as it gets if you like jump-blues, Chicago blues and swingin’ blues. Deming is one of the rare contemporary guitarists who can swing with spark and precision in the tradition of great artists like T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian. Dennis Gruenling is a monster harmonica player who draws inspiration from blues harp greats like Little Walter and George “Harmonica” Smith but also takes some cues from the great jump and swing saxophone players. Gruenling has a brand new disc Ready or Not (VizzTone), featuring all-original tunes with Gruenling taking the vocal duties on music in a “1950s rock ‘n’ roll/rhythm ‘n’ blues vein.” Deming and Jewel Tones’ bassist Andrew Gohman back Gruenling on the disc.
It’s a busy month for live music in the metro, with more great shows and festivals than can fit in here. The Nebraska Folk & Roots Festival is in Raymond, Nebr., June 10 and 11. Summer Arts Fest happens June 10, 11 and 12 in downtown Omaha with great free music. See summerarts.org. The 11th annual OEAA Summer Showcase for music is Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11 in Benson. See oea-awards.org/blog.
The inaugural River City Music Festival takes place in Bellevue’s Sokol Park Saturday, June 18, with multiple acts including headliner George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. See omaharivercitymusicfestival.com.
Midtown Crossing presents its second annual Zydeco Festival Saturday, June 25, with a package of Louisiana artists including Cedric Watson, Lazy Lester, Kenny Neal and C.J. Chenier. See midtowncrossing.com/events.
In The Clubs
Let’s take a look at some highlights and remember you can hit thereader.com for digital-only updates.
Lincoln’s Bourbon Theatre presents the great Buckwheat Zydeco Friday, June 3.
Dale Watson makes a rare Omaha appearance at Reverb Lounge Monday, June 13, 8 p.m.
The 21st Saloon schedule includes Hector Anchondo Band, Amanda Fish Band and Delta Sol Revival Thursday, June 9, Markey Blue Thursday, June 16, and amazing keyboard virtuoso Bruce Katz and his band Thursday, June 23. The house-rockin’ good time of The Golden State-Lone Star Revue featuring Mark Hummel, Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty heats things up Thursday, June 30. Thursday shows are 6-9 p.m. with BluesEd youth bands getting a showcase slot at 5 p.m. The 21st also has blues shows Saturdays 8-11 p.m. and will feature a variety of bands Fridays at 9 p.m. Follow The 21st Saloon on Facebook for scheduled shows.
Bluesman James Harman has been added to Lincoln’s Zoo Bar calendar for a special show Sunday, June 5, 5 p.m. Some of the other big shows on the calendar include Jason Ringenberg (of Jason & The Scorchers) Wednesday, June 15, 6-9 p.m., keyboard wizard Bruce Katz Wednesday, June 22, 6-9 p.m. Reverend Raven Thursday, June 23, 6-9 p.m., and Zydeco great C.J. Chenier Friday, June 24, 9 p.m. Remember Lincoln’s Zoo Bar hosts live roots music Monday through Saturday. See zoobar.com.