Blues shows coming to The 21st Saloon include the return of a former BluesEd kid who is now part of Kansas City’s Nick Schnebelen Band. All grown up, Heather Newman has been singing with Schnebelen, one of the founders of the popular band Trampled Under Foot, for over a year. Catch The Nick Schnebelen Band featuring Heather Newman Thursday, Feb. 4, at The 21st. Another regional crowd pleaser, Kansas City’s Kelley Hunt returns to the venue Thursday, Feb. 11. Hunt’s soul-and-gospel-infused blues is always a big draw with fans. Hoodoo favorite and Chicago blues mainstay Studebaker John is a quadruple threat: an innovative songwriter, blistering slide guitarist, fine vocalist and excellent harmonica player. Make a point to catch Studebaker John & The Hawks Thursday, Feb. 18. Randy McAllister brings his big-voiced, blues-Americana back Thursday, Feb. 25. Popular blues-rock guitarist Chris Duarte returns Thursday, March 3. Thursday shows are 6-9 p.m.
Lincoln blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Tim Budig steps out front with his new Tim Budig Band focused on scorching, classic blues sounds. They have a CD release party Saturday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m. at The 21st.
Speaking of the Blues Society of Omaha’s BluesEd youth performance program, the auditions for their 2016 program will be held Feb. 21. Audition registrations close Feb. 18. The program is entering its 15th year and is open to students 12-18 years old currently in middle school or high school. Find all the information at bluesed.com/audition-information.html
Lincoln’s Zoo Bar also presents The Nick Schnebelen Band featuring former Omahan and BluesEd program alum Heather Newman Wednesday, Feb. 3, 6-9 p.m. Other notable shows coming up at The Zoo include Steepwater Band Saturday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m., The Bel Airs Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6-9 p.m., Moreland & Arbuckle Friday, Feb. 19, 5-7 p.m., Hector Anchondo Band Saturday, Feb. 20, 9:30 p.m. following guitarist Michael Charles who performs at 6 p.m. Earl & Them featuring Earl Cate and Baby Jason Davis are back Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. & 27 at 6 p.m. Don’t forget the Zoo Bar House Band, featuring some of the best local players, takes the stage Mondays, 7 p.m.
Alvin Brothers on the Horizon
Americana icons Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin are touring in support of their second recording together since Dave left The Blasters some 30 years ago (aside from some recordings around The Blasters’ reunion gigs in the early 2000s). The CD is Lost Timeon YepRoc. Dave, Phil and The Blasters were at the epicenter of the American roots music revival that happened in Southern California in the late 1970s. See davealvin.net.
They are making their first trip to Nebraska since The Blasters days with Dave’s band The Guilty Ones. They perform Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. in a Sunday Roadhouse show at The Waiting Room. Tickets are on sale now at sundayroadhouse.com. They hit Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Thursday, March 3, 6-9 p.m. I’m telling you now because these are don’t-miss gigs and by the time the March Readercomes out, tickets may be gone for these rare shows.
The Harney Street Tavern mixes it up with a variety of music but often puts a spotlight on local roots, Americana and soul. Catch Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal at Harney Street Tavern Friday, Feb. 5, 9 p.m. See facebook.com/harneystreettavern.
The Omaha Lounge features a focus on smooth jazz and solo-duo blues, 7:30-10:30 Sunday through Thursday and 8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Check out their schedule at theomahalounge.com.
Legendary songwriter and guitarist Peter Case plays a Sunday Roadhouse show Sunday, Feb. 14, 5 p.m. at Reverb Lounge. Case is a Grammy-nominated artist whose work has been covered by everyone from Dave Alvin and Alejandro Escovedo to The Go-Go’s. See petercase.com and sundayroadhouse.com.