The summer free concert events are ramping up with Lockport’s Canal Concert series kicking off as well at the first of several Buffalo waterfront concerts in the Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor series. Let’s see what we have:
Tuesday – Artpark – Jimmie Vaughan & the Tilt-A-Whirl Band
Thursday – Lafayette Square – Martin Sexton, Ryan Montbleau Band
Friday – Buffalo Place Rocks The Harbor – moe., Keller Williams
Friday – Lockport Canal Concerts – Rusted Root, The Funky Beets, The Ragbirds
Saturday – Buffalo Place Rocks The Harbor – moe., Donna The Buffalo
There are some tough choices here. You’d better clear your calendar and try to make more than one!
Jimmie Vaughan, brother to Stevie Ray and long-time front man of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, is an accomplished bluesman on his own. If you like the T-birds style, or blues, you’ll want to see him.
Syracuse native, Martin Sexton is an interesting acoustic rock act. Strong voice, strong lyrics. Should be a good show. Buffalo Place again picks an act on the way up. I’m just as excited about the opening act, Ryan Montbleau Band. I saw them play a couple years ago at Nietzches and they are amazing. A good fit with Sexton as well.
Friday will be a tough choice for jam band fans. You’ve got to choose between Lockport’s show featuring Rusted Root and the Buffalo Harbor show with moe. moe., the band that can’t affors a capital letter, is familiar to the Buffalo fans, they got their start while students at UB. They also play shows here fairly frequently to full houses. The opener, Keller Williams, is a well-known name himself and if you didn’t get enough Martin Sexton the night before will please with a similar sound.
Rusted Root, the big name for the Canal show is joined by The Funky Beets and The Ragbirds. The Funky Beets are a Buffalo group with a few familiar names in the lineup. They sound like a capable opener for RR. The Ragbirds, a name I had heard before, but couldn’t conjure up where, will make an interesting mix. Equally at home in a Bluegrass, Folk-Acoustic or Jam setting, their music should please a wide audience while fitting in easily with the whole show. Their MySpace page doesn’t say where they are from, but more familiar names like Erin and T.J. Zindle, make me think they’re well-known to the Buffalo area. They’re also playing on of my favorite summer music festivals – Greatfulfest at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Ohio.
Finnally, Saturday brings moe. back at the Buffalo Harbor series along with Donna The Buffalo one of the staple bands from the Great Blue Heron Festival over the years. With their herd in attendance, it’s bound to be a hopping party. moe. and DTB together will be Jam nirvana.
If you had to choose only one of these shows to attend, it would be a really tough choice. You may have to go by musical style. If you prefer blues, Jimmy Vaughan is a clear winner. If you like more acoustic rock, you won’t go wrong with Thursday at the Square. If you’re a jam-fan, Friday and Saturday are going to be you’re weekend, the only problem is you can’t be in two places at once on Friday. I’d say do Lockport on Friday and catch moe. on Saturday.
Not one of these shows are any less appealing than the rest, if you’re a diehard music fan with lots of time on your hands, you might want to catch several, if not all of them. The price is right, after all. All it’s going to cost is, perhaps parking and of course, your food and beverages. Please support the venues with your purchases.
Myself, I will be in Rochester for the weekend, so I won’t be at the Friday or Saturday shows. Maybe, I’ll make it to Artpark or TATS.