Josh Garrett, Roomful of Blues, Jumpin’ & Swingin’

Last week I got so wrapped up in wistful longing for Austin’s SXSW events that I failed to give a good preview to Josh Garrett & the Bottomline. The band’s horn-driven Louisiana music hits the Zoo Bar Wednesday, March 16, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. So if you have this column in your hands in time on Wednesday, head on out to the Zoo. You won’t be disappointed. Fans of Tommy Castro and Tab Benoit should really dig Garrett’s sound, an up-tempo mix of electric blues, funk and zydeco that’s built for dancing. Josh Garrett & the Bottomline rock The 21st Amendment Thursday, March 17, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Garrett is a fine songwriter and soulful vocalist. He’s also got some serious guitar chops and a band that’s fun and funky. Even though it’s St. Patrick’s Day, The 21st Amendment blues series still needs your support. If you haven’t seen this great band this is a great night to give them a listen. Look them up at Roomful of Blues It’s been a big month for national touring bands hitting the metro. The run continues when the swingin’ horn band Roomful of Blues rolls in for two shows. Roomful of Blues is led by longtime guitarist Chris Vachon and features Rich Lataille, who joined the band on sax shortly after its founding by Duke Robillard. The Boston-based band has been going strong for over 44 years, delivering horn-driven jump-blues, swing and jazz-inflected music to audiences everywhere. Phil Pemberton became the lead vocalist in 2010. Pemberton was a respected New England-area bandleader for over 20 years. Reviewers offer raves on Pemberton like WTKK’s Bill Smith’s comment, “This man could sing his way outta jail.” The Boston Globe wrote “his voice can ache with tenderness or rattle the rafters with power.” Guitarist and composer Chris Vachon has been leading the band for many years. He was co-producer on a number of their discs and has been producer for the group’s recordings since 1998. The band’s latest is Hook, Line & Sinker on Alligator Records. The eight-piece group’s press kit contains stellar quotes from both blues journalists and more mainstream publications like USA Today and Blurt. Noting that early rock and roll was “defined by swinging horns and jump rhythms” Blurt wrote, “Perhaps no group has kept the spirit of early rock and roll alive better than Roomful of Blues ... stronger than ever in 2011. And that is saying something about a band that as long ago as 1974 the immortal Count Basie called ‘the hottest blues band I ever heard.’ That heat still burns red hot on Hook, Line & Sinker.” Check the band’s press, history and sounds at Roomful of Blues hits Lincoln’s Zoo Bar next Wednesday, March 23, 6-9 p.m. The band plays The 21st Amendment Thursday, March 24, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Zoo Bar Music Lincoln’s Zoo Bar offers honky-tonk, classic and outlaw country for St. Patrick’s night with The Hangin’ Cowboys and Buck & Faver after 9 p.m. Earlier at 6 p.m. on March 17, the Zoo gets their green on with Irish music from Chris Sayre & The Laddies. The Lil’ Slim Blues Band featuring Shawn Holt, son of Magic Slim, takes the Zoo Bar stage on Friday, March 18, after 9 p.m. On Sunday, March 20, at 3 p.m. the Zoo goes gospel with a performance by the Quinn Chapel AME Gospel Choir. Sunday night from 6-9 p.m., longtime Zoo bartenders Hannah Voelker and Tony Demma have an art show of their original artwork. Sign up at for the club’s weekly email calendar plus updates and big shows on the horizon. Brostad’s TigerMega Last week’s Hoodoo mentioned former Omaha musician Cass Brostad has been doing well in the music scene of her new home in Austin. Brostad’s new Texas band TigerMega was recently recorded for the Austin section of Balcony TV. The URL for their performance is, info that came in too late to get into the print version of this column last week. Hot Notes Curtis Salgado headlines a big blues show May 14 at the Bourbon Theatre. More next week on that event. Lincoln Exposed brings many styles of local music to various Lincoln stages Thursday, March 24, through Sunday, March 27. Find the schedule at or under their Facebook event page. The next installment of Rockabilly Night is next Thursday, March 24, at Gator O’Malley’s, after 8 p.m. The free show features The Fall Down Drunks from Kansas City and Thad Sands from Iowa. Rockabilly dance lessons will be offered before the band starts and there’ll also be a performance by the Hot Tall Honeys Burlesque Troop. Find more information at the Omaha Rockabilly Facebook page. Check for the Blues Society of Omaha’s compiled calendar for all the live roots music at clubs on St. Patrick’s Day. HOODOO is a weekly column focusing on blues, roots, Americana and occasional other music styles with an emphasis on live music performances. Hoodoo columnist B.J. Huchtemann is a Reader senior contributing writer and veteran music journalist who has covered the local music scene for nearly 20 years.

posted at 08:29 pm
on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011


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