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The stirring blues-soul-R&B-rock-jam outfit Dive House Union has developed into a formidable live band over the past few years, and is now ready to pack it all into the van and hit the highway. The band won the Western New York Blues Society’s annual Memphis Bound competition, and will represent our area at the Blues Challenge concert in Memphis later this month.

Prior to that endeavor, DHU will perform a string of shows as the group makes its way south. DHU throws itself a party at the Aurora Theatre (673 Main St., East Aurora) at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and then plays a send-off gig Jan. 19 in the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.).

Saturday’s concert in the Aurora Theatre is a special show for a number of reasons. First off, the band will be recording its show at the Aurora, for a live follow-up to 2011’s “Live At Kleinhans” disc. Secondly, various VIP ticket packages are available for the gig, which you can investigate via DHUmusic.com. Every ticket holder will receive a copy of the “Kleinhans” CD at the door on Saturday, too.

This show is a fundraiser, aimed at helping the band defray the costs of making it all the way to Memphis as ambassadors of Buffalo blues at the end of the month, but a portion of the proceeds will also benefit New Beginnings Food Pantry of Amherst, a division of the Food Bank of Western New York.

West does the blues

While we’re on the topic of the blues, it should be noted that 97 Rock/WBFO DJ and blues aficionado Anita West has taken her blues ministry on the road – West is now hosting her own blues night at 7 p.m. every Thursday in the Central Park Grill (2519 Main St.). West and her “Bobble Heads Crew” host each show, and in the process, present some of the area’s finest blues and blues-based bands and artists from week to week.

Gig picks

Ron LoCurto and Chuck DeRose team up for an evening of jaw-dropping musicianship at 5:30 tonight in the Wagon Wheel (7201 Niagara Falls Blvd.).

The Canal Street String Band welcomes Buffalo-born traveling songsmith Greg Klyma back to town for an opening set at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Village Meeting House (5658 Main St., Williamsville). The show is sponsored by the Buffalo Friends of Folk Music. Tickets are $8 members, $5 students with ID, and $10 general public. Visit www.canalstreetstringband.com for additional information.

The Grace Stumberg Band, with guests Sammy & Roxanne, play the Nickel City Bar & Grill (1 Letchworth St.) at 9 tonight.

Cages, the duo comprised of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Nola Ranallo and guitarist David Bailey, brings its evocative, experimental post-rock to the Backroom at Allen Street Hardware (245 Allen St.) at 8 p.m. Saturday. Check out Cagesmusic.com.

Finally, legendary alt-country outfit Freakwater returns to Buffalo for a show at 7 tonight in the Ninth Ward at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $13 (box office, Tickets.com). Unfamiliar with Freakwater? I recommend a visit to www.freakwater.net. Enjoy!

email: jmiers@buffnews.com