Niagara Gazette

March 13, 2014

JENNINGS: Chieftains kick off St. Patrick's Day weekend

By Thom Jennings
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — We are less than two weeks from Artpark’s unveiling of their Tuesday and Wednesday headliners, and there is little doubt they will continue to get bigger and better. While you are waiting to make your summer concert plans, there are a ton of fantastic shows coming this weekend, covering many genres.

Country fans have an impressive triple bill tonight at the UB Center for the Arts featuring Craig Morgan, Cassadee Pope and Parmalee. I have seen all three of them over the last few years, in fact I saw Parmalee just last week in Rochester. It is an acoustic performance, and if you don’t have tickets already it is sold out.

There are two great shows on Friday, The Chieftains bring their unique brand of traditional Irish folk music to Kleinhans Music Hall and Holly Cole will be at Seneca Niagara’s Bear’s Den.

The Chieftains come to town just in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Their “Long Black Veil” album is one of my favorite albums and features a stunning rendition of “The Foggy Dew” sung by Sinéad O'Connor that the Dropkick Murphy’s play before every show.

Holly Cole is a Canadian singer known for her eclectic section of cover songs. Early in her career the Canadian born singer focused on jazz, but her catalogue includes rock and country songs as well.

Kleinhans and The Bear’s Den both have great shows on Saturday as well. Trumpet legend Chris Botti will be at Kleinhans and blues guitar legend Keb Mo will be at The Bear’s Den. Both artists are Grammy Award winners.

Botti has toured with an impressive list of artists including Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Paul Simon, and Sting. Botti seamlessly blends jazz and pop music to create a unique sound that is instantly recognizable.

Blues guitarist Keb Mo has a sound all his own and is a favorite amongst blues fans. He has worked with Buddy Guy, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt. Keb Mo also sings the theme to the popular television show “Mike and Molly.”

Tickets for Seneca Niagara shows are available on Ticketmaster and Kleinhans shows may be purchased at or call 885-5000 for more information.

Fast forward, to Tuesday and there are a pair of my favorites, Johnny Winter at The Tralf and The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band over at The Waiting Room.

Winter will celebrate his 70th at The Tralf (his birthday was Feb. 23, but it’s close enough). I interviewed Winter a few years ago and he is a man of few words but when you play guitar the way he does you don’t have to do a lot of talking. He also performed at Woodstock.

Tickets for Winter’s birthday at The Tralf are available through Ticketmaster. They are $26 in advance and $29 day of show.

I first saw The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band when they opened for Flogging Molly a few years back. I have caught them a few more times over the years and had the opportunity to interview them as well. They are one of the hardest working bands I have ever met, they tour constantly and play high-energy shows every evening.

General admission tickets are $15 and may be purchased at

Finally, our show on a tank of gas, Eric Burdon and The Animals will be at Casino Rama in Rama, Ont., Friday night. The Animals have a stack of great hits including “House of the Rising Sun” and “We Gotta Get Out of this Place.” Tickets for the show are available through Ticketmaster.

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