PopaChubbyJust the other night, my wife and I went out to hear some live music. We went to the Sportsmen’s Tavern for Robot Holiday, which is a loosely-formed group of local musicians who put out Christmas songs every year and give them away for free on their website. Jonathan Hughes has been doing this for ten years and each year, the list of contributors gets bigger. For the first time this year, they got together for a live show. It was great.

As we left, someone at the door was passing out sample CDs from Scott Celani, The Corrections and The Filter Kings. It was an EP and a couple of the songs on it were Christmas songs. I remembered that those groups had a show at the Tralf recently and said so to my wife. She said, “Is the Tralf still around? I haven’t heard much about it lately.” Of course it is, but I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to the shows there of late. Continue Reading…

Summer Winding Down. Pick of the week.

Let’s hear it for the Summer of 2010, it’s not gone yet, but it’s getting close. School is just around the corner for those young enough and things are winding down. Labor Day is only a couple weeks away. Thursday at the Square and the Molson Canal Concerts are done, but a few good shows are left and a couple festivals to finish things off with a bang.

Big Sugar - Kelly Hoppe
From Big Sugar

Last week’s Canal Concert with Big Sugar was, in my opinion, the best of the season. I was happy with the opening acts, but Big Sugar stole the show with a outstanding set. As I warned you, they were LOUD! but gave a great performance with songs representing all of their catalog. They really fed off the audience’s energy and fed it back in a long show going to at least 10:30pm.

The attendance was somewhat lower than the previous week. I don’t know why, maybe weather uncertainties, or other events, but a very respectable sized crowd nonetheless. It was a fitting turnout for the band without being excessively crowded and I got some good photos. I put my earplugs in and moved up as people were moving back because of the loudness!

Here’s next week’s lineup:

Monday: Artpark - Sara Evans, Amanda Nagurney
Tuesday: Artpark - The Trews, Aqueos
Tuesday: Gateway Harbor - No Excuses, Hit N Run
Friday: Artpark Main Stage ($) - Bachman-Turner
Friday: Pine Ave. Pavillion - Amanda Nagurney, Mason-Dixon Band 
        (7-9pm Niagara Falls)
Friday-Saturday-Sunday: Hamburg Fairgrounds - Buffalo Irish Festival
Saturday: Ulrich City Center (Lockport) - NYS Rock & Blues Fest - 
       Savoy Brown, Square Circle Triangle, Terranova Band, Wanted By The FBI, 
       Flyin' Blind Blues Band, more
Saturday-Sunday: Elmwood Ave. Festival of the Arts - 3 stages, over 20 bands 
       each day! Plus the festival!

Continue Reading…

Mid-August, you Pick!

Jeremy Hoyle Band
Boy, I’m late getting started on this, even by Al time, so here’s the schedule, you pick your own best show. (I know, that’s what you do anyway, I just try to give you a little more info to do that each week.)

[Left: Jeremy Hoyle Band/Strictly Hip at Finnans in 2006]

Tuesday: Artpark: Foreginer, Free Henry!
Wednesday: Artpark: Sloan, David Nolf
Wednesday: Gateway Harbor: Dreamland and That ’80s Hair Band
Friday: Gateway Harbor: Bleeding Hearts
Friday: Canal Concerts Lockport: Big Sugar,  Johnny Nobody,
                          Beggar's Best, Jeremy Hoyle Band 
Saturday: Amherst Scottish Festival (Amherst Museum): 
     ($10 admission to festival)
     Penny Whiskey, Celtic Circle Ceilidh Band, Stone Row, 
     Harpbeat, Hobson's Choice,  Step in Time, more

Continue Reading…

Picks for the Dog Days…

Peter CaseAn absolutely stellar week for local bands and homecomings for some Buffalo ex-pats.

Buffalo native Willie Nile plays at Artpark, plus a homecoming show for Peter Case (Wikipedia bio) at the Sportsmen’s Tavern on Friday, Aug. 13 makes it a week for reunions. The Sportsmen’s show is neither an outdoor festival or free, but should be on any local music fan’s wish list. Read the bios on these two guys and look at the names they’ve worked with and you’ll see if they’re not musical royalty, they’re at least in the King’s Court!

Top that off with some local bands playing with histories going back into the ’70s and you’ve got a local music week that’s hard to top.

Tues: Artpark: Doobie Brothers, Mick Hayes Band
Wed: Artpark: Willie Nile (Wikipedia bio), Alison Pipitone
Wed: Gateway Harbor: Fat Brat, Weekend Party of Nine
Thurs: Lafayette Square: The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Hit and Run
Fri: Lockport Canal Concert: Tears For Fears, Missing Star, 
                The Pillagers
Fri: Gateway Harbor: Naughty Dawg

Continue Reading…

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