Okay, if you were in any doubt about it being summer concert season, it’s now in full swing with the Independance Day holiday behind us and the rest of the season ahead. What’s on this weeks slate?

[Left: Amanda Nagurney]

Tues. - Artpark - The Guess Who, Son of the Sun
Wed. -  Gateway Harbor - Wanted Dead or Alive and Beatle Magic
Thurs. - Lafayette Square - Ozomatli, Rebelution
Fri. - Lockport Canal Concert - Gretchen Wilson,  Bareback Jack, 
                     Amanada Nagurney
Fri. - Gateway Harbor - Shadows Motown Review with 
                     Barbara St. Clair & Billy McEwan
Sat. - Hard Rock Cafe - The English Beat, with Giant Panda 
                     Guerilla Dub Squad and Floozie

Great holiday weekend, now it’s time to get to business. Let’s run through the who’s-who of the week:

The Guess Who The Burton Cummings/Randy Bachman group of the 60’s is what you know. What will you get? Everyone else. The founders and big names of the group won’t be there. What you’ll get is the name franchise.

But, the opener, Son of the Sun is a local success story. I hope this band goes places, they’ve got a great sound and lots of talent. I attended their EP kickoff a couple years ago and they’re now playing to promote their new CD “The Happy Loss.” Go for this act, if you still enjoy the Guess Who, it’s a bonus.

Wanted Dead or Alive This band plays all over WNY, yet it’s impossible to find anything out about them on the internet. Why? Because they chose a Bon Jovi song title for a band name. Basically, a bar band playing covers, from what I recall.

Beatle Magic Here’s the epitome of a cover band, complete with costumes. While they may be good – their regular shows at the Tralf might attest to that – it’s still all covers. If you want something to do while waiting for the impossible Beatles reunion, then go see them, maybe they’ll have a new George in time.

Ozomatli LA-based Ozomatli brings their Latin-based Funk sound to the Square this week. It should have the place hoppin’

Rebelution will open for Ozomatli with a slightly more reggae sound, but one that fits the bill perfectly.

Gretchen Wilson The Redneck Woman brings her estrogen-soaked country sound to Lockport this week. If Country’s your thing, this won’t dissappoint!

Opening is local act Bareback Jack, whose website was slick, but wouldn’t play any songs for me. You’ll have to go and hear them. Whatever you do, don’t accidentally go to barebackjack.com…

Also opening is Amanda Nagurney No Diva Show here, this is full-on Country Amanda. She’s pretty, she’s got a decent voice, she’s from Buffalo, but I just always get the feeling she just tries too hard to fit some stereotype. Another dreadnaught-toting, skirt-and-cowboy-boots singer is the last thing we need. If she’d relax a little and find her own style, she’d be great. But maybe that’s what you’ll see at a live show, opening for Gretchen Wilson… give her a chance.

Shadows Motown Review with Barbara St. Clair & Billy McEwan Buffalo’s own Queen of Soul and 1991 inductee to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame along with Billy McEwen should make for a great time. If you like 50-60’s R&B with a blues flavor, this should be a good time with some of Buffalo’s best musicians at Gateway Harbor.

Finally, The English Beat comes to the Hard Rock. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad will keep the vibe going and fit with The Beat perfectly! If you like the English Beat’s style of music, this will be a show not to miss.

Local flavor will be provided by one of my favorite local bands, Floozie. Pure pop/rock and roll/power pop, these guys have their own unique sound and have matured a lot, musically, since I first heard them. Turn it up and rip the knobs off!

My pick this week. It’s gotta be the show at the Hard Rock on Saturday with the English Beat. The Molson Canal Concert is just too country for me, but if you’re into that, it might be your choice. Thursday at the Square with Ozomatli/Rebelution is a close second choice. Artpark continues to offer comfort-food, old familiar names with little effort to bring anything new. The Tonawanda shows do pretty well, despite the low-budget limitations by bringing some great local names.

Now, if I could wave my magic wand and move time and space, wouldn’t it be great if we could combine the Thursday and Saturday shows into one big concert?