Lift Update, Blues Music Awards, Lots of Local Shows

Since last week’s column hit there have been new developments in The New Lift Lounge story. Terry O’Halloran reports he and the new owners of The New Lift, John Anderson and Chad Kelderman, are working out final closing details on the bar. So O’Halloran will continue to operate The New Lift for a short period. He expects the ownership transition to take place later the week of Jan. 17 or within the next two weeks. O’Halloran also has good news for local blues fans. “The new owners have agreed to give the Thursday blues matinees a shot, which will give me time to move it to a suitable venue if necessary.” So if you value this local series, get out and support the coming shows. A good audience turnout may extend the life of blues at The New Lift. The Thursday blues shows begin at 5:30 p.m. Keep an eye on omahablues.com and sign up for the weekly email update that O’Halloran issues in his role as Blues Society of Omaha president. Coming Thursday, Jan. 20, is popular Texas blues-rocker Hamilton Loomis. Loomis has been featured in Guitar Player magazine and Blues Revue magazine. The Delta Blues Festival raves, “Hamilton is the future of the electric blues.” Music News in Houston, Texas, writes “he’s a singer, musician, composer, actor, and all-around high-powered entertainer who puts his own personal stamp on blues.” Thursday, Jan. 27, catch the Randy Oxford Band from Washington. They performed as part of last summer’s Playing With Fire concert series. Trombonist Oxford is veteran bandleader and multiple Pacific Northwest award-winner. His horn-driven group features sultry vocalist Jada Amy. They’re headed to Memphis where they compete in the International Blues Challenge, representing the Washington (state) Blues Society. The Randy Oxford Band goes on at 7 p.m. Come early and catch The Lil’ Slim Blues Band at 5 p.m. Lil’ Slim is Magic Slim’s son and has soaked up his dad’s gritty Chicago blues sound. The band features some of Lincoln’s best players including Zoo co-owner Jeff Boehmer (bass), occasional Reader contributor Josh Hoyer (sax/keys), Chris Siefkes (harmonica) and Bo Rose (drums). Thursday, Feb. 3, the series brings back one of my new favorites, Davina & the Vagabonds. This horn-and-keyboard-focused ensemble has a refreshing sound that combines jump-blues and New Orleans piano jazz. Davina Sowers fronts the Minneapolis-based quintet with a rich, versatile voice that is equal parts jazz and blues. They’ll knock you out. Thursday, Jan. 20 Mash Up There are a couple other great shows Thursday, Jan. 20, besides the Hamilton Loomis performance at The New Lift. At the Waiting Room it’s a funk and rock extravaganza with Voodoo Method, The Whipkey Three and Son of 76 & the Watchmen. Son of 76 is fronted by occasional Reader contributor Josh Hoyer. Down the street at Pizza Shoppe Collective, the Benson eatery celebrates its 16th Anniversary. Matt Cox Band opens for the Jalan Crossland Band. “Trailer park troubadour” Crossland is an acclaimed fingerstyle guitarist and banjo player whose humorous songs “about 21st Century rural life” include “tales of hobos, tires, mobile homes, strippers motorcycles, trucks, cars, vice-presidents and methamphetimines (‘Drugs are bad,’ says Jalan.)” Crossland performs in Lincoln at The 7th Street Loft Saturday, Jan. 22, at 7:30 p.m. See lafta.net. Rockabilly Night Local fans have formed an Omaha Rockabilly page on Facebook and are launching a monthly rockabilly night. The first event is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 27, at Gator O’Malley’s, 12143 West Center Rd. K.C.’s rockabilly DJ Johnny 2Tone spins music 8-10 p.m. At 10 p.m. The Blacktop Ramblers perform. Blues Music Awards You can vote in the 2011 Blues Music Awards. All you have to do is join the Blues Foundation. Nominations were announced Dec. 15. Go to blues.org to see the nominations as well as join and cast your vote. Voting ends March 1. Happy to see Hoodoo favorite Curtis Salgado is nominated again in the Soul Blues Male Artist category, which he won the award for last year. Hot Notes New Orleans trombone masters Bonerama gig at the Holland Center Saturday, Jan. 22. Also at the Holland Saturday, Feb. 5, catch trumpet icon Wynton Marsalis performing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. See omahaperformingarts.org. Matt Gagne & the Blues Experience rock Gator O’Malley’s Friday, Jan. 21, 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, catch popular bands Satchel Grande and Midwest Dilemma headlining a benefit for Habitat for Humanity at the Waiting Room. Vago presents its First Annual Burns Night at the Barley Street Tavern Saturday, Jan. 22. It’s a celebration of all things Scottish, named for poet Robert Burns. See 8 Days for details.

posted at 12:22 pm
on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

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