This week, the Tralf Music Hall is presenting a pair of blues legends from two separate generations.
First off is the John Hammond show scheduled for 8 tonight. Hammond emerged in the 1960s and has by this point fully earned his reputation as one of the greatest living bluesmen.
On Saturday, the Tralf will offer Robben Ford and his band, the Ford Brothers. Ford emerged as a major force roughly a decade after Hammond, through his work with Miles Davis in Davis' funky-electric period. In the time since, he's proven himself one of the most eloquent blues guitarists extant. If you're a blues fan, this weekend could well be your own little taste of Nirvana!
Tickets are available through www.tralfmusichall.com.
>Time to wander
Some slightly off-the-radar gigs this coming week. I say "off the radar" only because we are in the thick of the summer concert season, and one can only stretch oneself so far. I tend to frequent the same places on a rotating basis throughout the summer, which is only bad because I end up missing things that sound like they might have been very cool and hearing about them after the fact.
On Saturday, I plan to make amends by hitting the Armor Inn Tap Room (5381 Abbott Road, Hamburg) for "WNY Blues Fest 2012." The all-day event joins a host of killer local blues bands -- among them, the Willie Haddath Band, Dive House Union and the Blues Hounds -- to headliners Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings, John Primer and the inimitable Bobby "Blue" Bland. The show kicks off at noon and will run until 10 p.m. or so. You can grab advance tickets through armorinn.com.
Another off-the-beaten-path gig takes place at the Cove (4701 Transit Road, Depew) at 2 p.m. Sunday. The WNY Music Awards Ceremony will take place throughout the day, with with live music on two stages alternating, and 17 bands performing. This event is free and open to all ages before 8:30 p.m.; it's open only to those 21 and older after 9 p.m.
The other Dillon
Maybe you've seen him as part of bands led by the likes of Ani DiFranco and Les Claypool, or perhaps with the groups Critters Buggin' and Garage a Trois. However you first encountered rock's reigning king of the vibraphone, Mike Dillon, it's likely the experience stuck with you. Last time Dillon and his band played Nietzsche's, the buzz was considerable. Apparently, the Mike Dillon Band blew the roof off of the place. I missed that show, but I don't plan on blowing my second opportunity, when the Mike Dillon Band returns for an 8 p.m. show Thursday in Nietzsche's.
Tickets are $10 advance (through ecepresents.com) and $12 at the door. Oh, and do yourself a favor -- head to You Tube, type in "Mike Dillon Band" and hit search.
Give me Liberty
If you've been attending the Thursday at the Harbor shows with any regularity this summer, you may have noticed that, even after the last chord has finished reverberating across the water, the music never stops. Right on the Harbor, adjacent to the commercial slip, the Liberty Hound Bar & Restaurant (1 Naval Park Cove), has been packing 'em in after the Thursday shows, with a host of top-flight regional bands providing the music for the assemblage of folks who, let's face it, just ain't ready to go home yet!
Located inside the museum at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, "the Hound" presents bands on the patio overlooking the water. The setting is intimate and hip, the music even more so. I've managed to catch sets from soul-funk-jam singer/guitarist Anthony DeRosa, and "carnivorous space-funk" quartet Universe Shark, among others, and it has all been like a cherry on top of the Thursday at the Harbor sundae.
This week, following Salt 'n' Pepa's set, the Liberty Hound will present the always groove-tastic Rhubarb on the patio.