The month kicks off with more exponential growth for Hector Anchondo’s brainchild, In the Market for Blues, happening Saturday, August 3. Assisted by E3 Marketing and now boasting a host of additional sponsors, the event has expanded each year. Last year’s attendance exceeded expectations, with venues running out of wristbands, according to organizers. This is the fifth year, and there are 12 venues spread over The Old Market and The Capitol District plus an outdoor stage at the Holland Performing Arts Center. There are more than 40 bands, local, national and international, and some longer set times. A wristband gets you into all the venues, all afternoon and evening long with music starting as early as 2 p.m. and running until 2 a.m. Venue schedules vary. Advance tickets are $10 at eventbrite.com. Day-of-show wristbands are $15. See all the details and schedules at InTheMarketForBlues.com.
Playing With Fire
The second of promoter Jeff Davis’ 2019 Playing With Fire events takes the spotlight at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing Saturday, August 24. Opening the show is the Blues Society of Omaha’s BluesEd band Far & Wide at 4:30 p.m., followed by Sebastian Lane Band. The U.K.’s jam, rock and blues artists Willie & The Bandits play next followed by headliners and longtime local favorites, Mato Nanji’s Indigenous. Details are at PlayingWithFireOmaha.net. The event is family-friendly and free.
BSO Presents at Chrome Lounge
The Blues Society of Omaha’s Thursday early-show series, in partnership with Chrome Lounge, continues, 6 to 9 p.m. each Thursday. There’s a particularly exciting show Thursday, August 15, when veteran blues artists Kansas-based Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations open with special guest, Texas guitar great Mike Morgan. Morgan was the longtime bandleader for Mike Morgan & The Crawl, and the band had a series of excellent releases on Black Top, Hep Cat and Severn Records. He rarely plays outside of Texas anymore, so this is a rare treat. Do a little homework on these artists; you don’t want to miss this show. The rest of the BSO/ Chrome schedule: Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method plus Deltaphonic Thursday, August 1. No show August 8 (Gary Clark Jr. at Stir), Jeremiah Johnson Thursday, August 22, and Mississippi Heat with Lurrie Bell Thursday, August 29. Find more on these shows and a curated list of local blues events at OmahaBlues.com.
Zoo Bar Blues
Lincoln’s historic Zoo Bar forges into its 47th year with more great bands on tap. See ZooBar.com for all the latest shows. Acts on the schedule include The Blues Beatles Tuesday, August 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. and the phenomenal Chris O’Leary Band Wednesday, August 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. O’Leary was the longtime vocalist for Levon Helm after Helm’s battle with throat cancer. Shaw Davis & The Black Ties are up Sunday, August 11, at 5 p.m. The Derailers are scheduled Sunday, August 25, at 5 p.m.
Blues at the Metro takes place Sunday, August 4, at 7:30 p.m. Anissa “Big Sexy” Hampton plays at 7:30 p.m. followed by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist T.K. Soul at 8:45 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door at Metropolitan Community College 5730 North 30th St., Building 22.
Don’t forget the great jazz, blues and funk happening at The Jewell in The Capitol District, including Ron E. Beck Saturday, August 3, and Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal Saturday, August 24. Shows are 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. See JewellOmaha.com.
Popular Texas singer-songwriter-guitarist Hadden Sayers plays a solo acoustic show at Jerome Brich’s FolkHouse Concert series. The show is open to the public. See FolkHouse.com for details and to RSVP.
Soaring Wings Winery south of Springfield features blues at the Edge Festival Saturday, August 10, from 5 to 10 p.m., including Annika Chambers (8:30 p.m.), Tony Holiday & The Velvetones (7 p.m.) and two BluesEd openers. Adult admission is $20 and includes one glass of wine or beer. See all the details at SoaringWingsWine.com.
Fans of The OK Sisters will want to mark their calendars for the band’s return to Omaha. They gig at the B Side of Benson Theatre Saturday, August 10, from 7 to 10 p.m.
Funky soul duo The War & Treaty are up at Waiting Room Monday, August 5, at 8 p.m. Their new CD is produced by Nashville great Buddy Miller.
Gary Clark Jr, the guy making hipsters like the blues, even though they don’t realize that’s what they are listening to, takes the stage at Stir Cove Thursday, August 8, at 8 p.m. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue create an intriguing double-bill at Stir Cove Thursday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m.
Gov’t Mule plays Sumtur Amphitheater Thursday, August 15, at 7 p.m.
Kansas City transplant to Nashville Lauren Anderson has quickly established herself as a popular blues belter in the music city. She gigs at the B Bar below Castle Barrett, Friday, August 23, at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday Roadhouse presents the iconic BR549 co-founder Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys at Reverb Lounge Sunday, August 25, at 5 p.m.