Dive House Union, a smoking-hot soul-blues-jam outfit that has spent the last several years earning a reputation as one of the Buffalo music scene’s must-see live acts, took a hiatus a few months back – a move that proved to be an incredibly smart one. During the break, members of the band dug in their heels on various solo projects and could be seen “sitting in” at various clubs around town.
Vocalist/guitarist David Michael Miller recently completed a monthlong weekly residency at the Central Park Grill on Main Street. The occasion for the residency was a build-up to the release of Miller’s album, “Poisons Sipped.” These shows found Miller joined by members of Rochester Sacred Steel and jam-band legends the Campbell Brothers. The word-of-mouth veered between the simply ecstatic and the downright hyperbolic.
Well, that is, hyperbolic until you listen to “Poisons Sipped,” an extraordinary collection of 12 Miller compositions performed by an all-star ensemble that includes members of the Campbell Brothers and a handful of our city’s finest soul, blues and rock players. (Dive House Union saxophonist Barry Arbogast shows up on three tunes.)
Miller is one of the finest soul-based singers in our region, and throughout “Poisons Sipped,” he proves he’s also one of our most vibrant songwriters. Elements of gospel, R&B, electric blues and singer-songwriter leanings collide here to form a collection of elegant, stately and eminently grooving songs, delivered with consistent passion. This is incredibly spirited stuff, and it represents a new high-watermark for Buffalo-born recordings.
“Poisons Sipped” is available through iTunes, or via www.davemillermusic.com. Miller performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Howdy’s (8166 Main St., Clarence).
The ever-inventive keyboard auteur Marco Benevento returns to his favored Buffalo haunt, Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.) at 9 p.m. Friday. A restlessly inventive songwriter, record-maker and sonic experimentalist, Benevento will be in town in support of a new studio album, “TigerFace,” a typically eclectic and inventive set boasting widely varied textures and a diversity of sonic approaches.
Benevento is highly regarded as a live performer whose joyful irreverence and sense of playfulness are matched by his consistent musical depth. Lazlo Hollyfeld and Weazildust open. Tickets are $12 advance, $15 day of show (www.showclix.com).
The Shuffling Madness, a locally formed tribute to the music of Jethro Tull, takes over the Evening Star Concert Hall (8810 Niagara Falls Blvd.) at 9 p.m. Saturday. The recently formed band has already earned a reputation as a daring ensemble, one given to tackling the most complex and ambitious entries in the Tull catalog, among them the epic “Cold Wind to Valhalla.” Admission at the door will be $5.