I fully expected to have a very low-key weekend last week. Somehow, that didn’t happen. When it was all over and I looked back at the photos, I realized that though I barely touched the immense amount of live music that was available, I had covered a lot more ground than I thought. Here’s how it went down…
Last weekend was the annual Ya Maka My Weekend festival in the District of Rock Island. I managed to stop by for a little while both days. There were no local bands scheduled at all this year for the festival, and some of the visiting bands were scheduled for more than one time slot. Friday night (and Saturday afternoon), I caught a bit of the Bishops’ show in front of RIBCO.
I caught up with the Blue Riddim Band on the main stage Friday night. Their two-man horn section held my attention most.
And Saturday afternoon on the main stage, Chicago Reggae band Lion Heights provided a lively show. Though they were performing for the thin afternoon District crowd, they put on a show worthy of an evening slot.
Playing a little rock, a little blues, some funk and a whole bunch of their original music, Orangadang started the weekend party in the RME Courtyard for Friday Live at Five. They have quite the fan base, as there were plenty of people in the audience dancing and singing along to even the original tunes.
Cobalt Blue was at the 11th Street Precinct Friday night. The stage was full with an additional vocalist, a harmonica player and a saxophone player added to the regular lineup. The full stage created a very full sound, although Cobalt Blue already has a well-rounded sound. The additional musicians were icing on the cake.
Meanwhile, just down the street at Bleyart’s Tap, Fire Sale could be found outside on the new patio. Fire Sale has a fun reggae sound. The audience was dancing on the patio, and the band was dancing on the stage. The patio of the neighboring bar was dancing too. Oh – and thanks to a single halogen worklight pointed at the stage, the shadows were dancing on the wall! There was just a whole heck of a lot of dancing going on at Bleyarts.
A stop by The Muddy Waters finished Friday night with The Curtis Hawkins Band. TCHB has had an additional percussionist with the band for a short time. James Culver has played with them the last couple of times I caught their show. He has been a welcome addition to the band, filling out the already tremendous sound. It is a shame he is not a permanent member. I learned Friday night that he was moving on, with Friday’s show being his last.
In an early start to Saturday evening, Danika Holmes and Jeb Hart could be found at The Grape Life. As you may have read in an earlier post, Danika and Jeb made the big jump to Nashville in the past year. Unfortunately for them, their home was flooded last week in the flooding that happened in the Nashville area. Their studio was destroyed, as well as Danika’s car. The good news (as Danika always seems to look on the bright side) was that they were not there when it happened, and the instruments and equipment they carry to gigs were with them. Nancy and Jim, owners of The Grape Life, leveraged the show that night to raise money to help Danika and Jeb – and a mystery benefactor offered to match the funds.
The Phat Cats are a new blues band out of Davenport. They are: L. C. Johnson (drums), Reggie Webster (Bass/Trumpet/Vocals), Albert Hines (Rythmn guitar/Vocals/Bass), and Shon Harris (Lead guitar/vocals). Joined by keyboardist Dan Kelly, they opened the Collection of Misfits show at Brady Street Pub Saturday night. There will be more Phat Cats shows, with their next show at Blueport Junction at the end of the month.
The Collection of Misfits show is a blend of the Harris Collection and the Mississippi Misfits. Usually, the bands take turns, but this week the two bands really did blend together to create a new sound, with members of both bands on stage at the same time.
It’s River Roots Live Weekend! This (nearly free) concert festival combines local musicians with well-known and lesser known touring bands. I discover something new that I like every year. Here’s a list of this year’s bands:
Friday – Busted Chandeliers, The Gallery, David Mayfield Parade, BoDeans, Shooter Jennings, Old Shoe.
Saturday – Frank F. Sidneys, OSG, The Multiple Cat, Chicago Farmer, Magic Box, The Dead Leaves Travelin’ Band, Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts, The Big Wu, Vintage Trouble, The Wallflowers, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas.
And don’t forget those after parties at the Redstone Room! Friday night is the premiere show of the Joy Avenue Music Society (AKA JAMS) and Saturday night is Patio. Both shows start at 11:30, and have discounts if you have a RRL hand stamp.
Once again, local live music doesn’t stop for festivals, so here’s a rundown of some local shows to check out as well:
Today – Johnny Don’t is at RIBCO, Crazy Bad is playing at Bass Street Landing, and Rozz-Tox has The Black Lillies and Milltown Wranglers.
Friday – Pieces of Candy will be at Wide River Winery, The Rusty Nail has Terry & the Loan Sharks, and Powell is playing Rustic Ridge. Dirt Road Rockers are at Martinis, Brady Street Pub has The Low Down and Phamily Berzerker /Have Your Cake will be at RIBCO. The Mississippi Misfits will be at The Muddy Waters.
Saturday – Crossroads is at the Mound Street Tap, The Muddy Waters has Dave Chastain, and North of 40 is playing at Mulligans. Wild Oatz is playing the Depot, Martini’s on the Rock has Cheese Pizza and The Knockoffs are at the Office. Tangent is on the Community Stage at the RME, River House has the Funnies, and Funktastic Five are playing Rascals. Caught In The Act are at Generations, The Daiquiri Factory has Chuck Murphy, while Trenty Avery and Buckshot are at Shannons. RIBCO has Rehab with As Big As A Mouse and 1380, and Rozz-Tox has Epidemic.