Over the past five years or so, the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.) has grown from a fun and funky hole in the wall, where you just might catch an intimate show from one of the finest roots musicians in the country, into a beautifully remodeled and expanded central hub for lovers of Americana music and those abundantly talented musicians who play it.
Roots music helped to make the Sportsmen’s Tavern, and owner Dwane Hall – a fine musician in the idiom himself – knows it. Already, the club is a highly sought venue for performers, and a home-away-from-home for regulars. Now, the Sportsmen’s has launched plan to give back to the musicians who have helped make the club the first stop for local and national roots music.
The Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation Inc. will launch soon, its goal to foster the talent of Western New York roots and Americana musicians by organizing high-profile gigs, seeking broadcast partnerships and generally working to raise the profile of the music and the musicians who make it.
The foundation’s mission statement reads, in part, that it was founded “to foster, promote and expand community appreciation for Americana music through the production and sponsorship of performances, broadcast events and seminars and workshops.”
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Sportsmen’s will host an inaugural event for the SAMF, designed to raise “seed money” for the foundation’s launch. Scheduled to perform are Stone Country, the Informers, Mr. Conrad and the Excellos, and Fair Forgery with guest Willie Schoellkopf. Tickets are $20. Anyone wishing to make a donation to the evening’s auction should contact the Sportmen’s Tavern.
Dr. Dog has evolved from its alternative-leaning, indie-rock beginnings into a first-rate hippie-soul band with funk underpinnings. The group’s most recent effort, “B-Room,” revealed a maturity that belies the band members’ tender ages, and brought a loose, rollicking sense of spontaneity to the Dr. Dog formula.
Not surprisingly, the album earned the band some of the most positive – if not downright glowing – notices of its career. With the addition a few years back of former Adrian Belew Power Trio drummer and child prodigy Eric Slick, Dr. Dog can now boast one of the strongest, most versatile and funky drummers of the band’s generation. The “B-Room” material promises to explode in the concert setting, which is what I’m predicting will happen when Dr. Dog and guests take over the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) at 8 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $18 advance, $20 day of show (box office, www.tickets.com).