Niagara Gazette

March 6, 2014

JENNINGS: Willie Nile, Blues Brothers Revue highlight week

By Thom Jennings ngedit@niagara-gazette.com
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The artists keep flowing into the area and this weekend there are more than enough solid offerings to satisfy various musical tastes.

We will start on Friday at Buffalo’s Asbury Hall inside Babeville, where they will be hosting guitar legend Richard Thompson with special guest Teddy Thompson, the son of Richard and his former wife and singing partner Linda Thompson. Their “Shoot Out the Lights” album appears atop many music writers lists as one of the greatest of all time.

I was first introduced to Richard Thompson’s music in the mid 1980s. His “Across the Crowded Room” album was the first I owned and not long afterward, he performed at the Red Creek in Rochester while I was a bartender there. The solo acoustic show absolutely blew me away, and Richard as a person was one of the nicest musicians I have ever met.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 day of show and available at Tickets.com.

Over in Canada, The Niagara Fallsview Casino hosts a two night stand with The Lovin’ Spoonful starting Friday. They still have two original members from back in the day when they sang all those ‘60s pop hits like “Do You Believe in Magic,” and “Summer in the City.”

Tickets for their shows are available through Ticketmaster and start at just $20.

On Saturday at The Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, they will be hosting The Official Blues Brothers Revue. Before Belushi and Akyroyd graced the silver screen for one of my favorite movies of all time, they put out an impressive album called “Briefcase Full of Blues.” I imagine these guys will perform most of that album.

The Blues Brothers show is sandwiched between a couple of Irish acts just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day season. Gaelic Storm is at The Riv on Friday and The highly anticipated farewell performance from The Irish Rovers will be there on Sunday. The group has performed together since 1963!

Tickets for shows at the Riviera may be purchased at rivieratheatre.org or you can call 692-2413 for more information.

Also on Saturday, Buffalo’s own Willie Nile will be in town. I don’t have enough column space to talk about Nile’s extraordinary career, I will just say that when you have fans like Bruce Springsteen and Pete Townshend, you must be special. Nile plays the Tralf and if you are lucky enough to see Richard Thompson and Willie Nile on the same weekend it will be an amazing weekend.

Tickets for Willie Nile are just $22 in advance and $25 day of show.

I have not had a chance to write about the Rapids Theatre lately, but it looks like they have a great event coming up on Wednesday. It is called the “St. Practice Day Party” with The Fighting Jamesons, who remind me a lot of Flogging Molly and The Pogues. At just $10 for tickets it is a bargain!

Tickets are available through Ticketfly or call The Rapids at 205-8925 for more information.

Speaking of bargains, “friend of the column” Bruce Wojick sent me a few upcoming dates for his project called Bruce Wojick and The Struggles. This Friday they will be at The Sportsmen’s Tavern in Buffalo for a mere $3. Call 874-7734 for more info.

Finally, my show on a tank of gas will take me to see Kasim Sulton in Cleveland this weekend at The Beachland Ballroom and Tavern. It’s no secret I am a huge fan of Sulton’s former band Utopia, and any time that Kasim performs within a day’s drive I am going.

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.