Good news: Our long winter of torment is over. Woolen pea coats have been sent to the dry cleaner. Draft selections are being shifted from Southern Tier’s 2X Stout to Brooklyn’s Summer Ale, and the guilt of finding your couch while the sun’s still out is about to become a nightly occurrence.
But, since the Buffalo area’s events calendar likes to pack a 12-month schedule into a six-month window between May and October, you now have a seemingly never-ending supply of events to keep you off that sofa – and this alliteratively named Gusto-sponsored list will be here to help. It’ll get you out in the streets for an extended weekend, or simply push you into a night of Queen City chaos. Either way, here are one man’s suggestions. This is the Farrell Four:
Billy McEwen, Joe Head and Jimmy Brucato, 8 p.m. May 23 in Talty’s Tavern (2056 South Park Ave.)
Interested in transitioning from your Friday fish fry to a pint of Guinness amid bonafide Buffalo music legends – all jammed into the corner of South Buffalo’s coziest performance outpost? Then find power trio McEwen, Head and Brucato, whose decades of plugged-in Nickel City prominence have shined within such hallmark bands as the Soul Invaders and the Thirds; earned Buffalo Music Hall of Fame nods; and continue to bring the goods across multiple barroom genres.
Bar information on Talty’s Facebook page (or just show up).
Black Rock Zydeco, 10 p.m. May 23 in McGarret’s (946 Elmwood Ave.)
As an eclectic blend of blues, country, jazz, rock and anything else the Cajun-spiced dance gumbo feels like stirring into the mix, zydeco music can’t be called predictable. Neither can local “Two-Step Gorilla” heroes Black Rock Zydeco, whose Louisiana-flavored mélange of original tunes and inventive rearrangements will march their way to Elmwood’s Bidwell corner, get the local craft drafts flowing and boogie revelers into the weekend.
Bar information at facebook.com/McGarrets. Band info at blackrockzydeco.com.
Driftwood, 9:30 p.m. May 24 in the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.)
Binghamton’s Driftwood refers to themselves as “a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind.” Listen to songs like the rootsy stomp “The Sun’s Going Down” off their self-titled third album and you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about. Their percussion and pace has the tenacity of a punk rock jug band, yet their harmonies and string-laden aesthetic take you to an East Aurora artisan market. Put them all together and you have the makings of an Americana blast in Black Rock.
Show information at sportsmenstavern.net. Band info at driftwoodtheband.com.
Black Star Riders, 7 p.m. May 25 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.)
When members of the 2012 version of Irish “Jailbreak” rockers Thin Lizzy were told they’d no longer be recording under the name “Thin Lizzy,” they didn’t pout. They simply dusted off their Fenders, added former Alice Cooper drummer Jimmy DeGrasso to relieve road-weary founding Lizzy member Brian Downey, and reconfigured as the Black Star Riders, who’ll roll into town on the Sabbath with a trailer full of riffs off their 2013 debut, “All Hell Breaks Loose.”
Ticket and show information at buffaloironworks.com. Band info at blackstarriders.com.
– Michael Farrell