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.

So, I went online and checked their web page. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of exciting (at least to me) shows coming up in the next few months.

I’m not going to list every one. They have their own web site to do that! I’ll just comment on the ones I really like and let you know why.

In the very near future Robert Randolph and the Family Band is playing there. I’ve seen them a couple times and their high-energy show is always worth seeing. I’d imagine, with their show in December, they may include some Christmasy music, especially since their roots are in gospel-based music. It should be a Holiday show to remember.

Also coming up is Tom Stahl and the Dangerfields. I’ve seen them several times as well, including a holiday season show at the Tralf. It must be a tradition! They’re a local group and a popular band in the area. Tom is a gifted songwriter with a vast catalog of original material that will make you think as you tap your toe.

In January, there was a surprise that has me really excited. Eddie Cain Irwin has a show. I’ve never seen him live, although I’ve listened to and seen many of his video songs online. I even interviewed him for my old podcast. He had a project where he composed a song and shot a video using it each day for a year. It was called Eddie’s 1 Minute and it was such a cool, innovative project, I had to feature it on the podcast. I know he does play around the area some, usually small venues, such a Clarence Center Coffee, but this is the first big show I’ve heard of and I really want to go and see it.

At the end of January, a little-known legend is coming: Popa Chubby. He’s originally from NYC, but lives in France and is huge (no pun intended) in Europe. I came across a review of him on a web site somewhere and really liked his music. He’s an amazing guitarist, playing blues, psychobilly, and straight up rock. He’s married to his bass player, Galea a very interesting personna in her own right. Hope she’ll be there with him. Lockport band, Wanted By The FBI is the opener.

Those are just a few highlights of what is listed on the Tralf site. Typically, the further away dates are sparse, but more fill in as they get closer. Rarely a week goes by without three or four good shows there. You just have to check for them.