Niagara Gazette

October 17, 2013

JENNINGS: Didgeridoos and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on tap this week

By Thom Jennings
Night & Day

Night & Day — This weekend features the return of a Buffalo songstress for a great cause, a pair of Grammy Award winning singer-songwriters, and a great ska band.

We are going to start Friday at Buffalo’s Armor Inn Saloon in Hamburg which will be hosting Harper and Midwest Kind. The venue typically hosts regional and local acts, but Harper and the Midwest Kind is the first national act I have seen listed there, and they are an interesting one.

Harper is worth checking out on YouTube, they are a really cool blend of blues and roots rock and are the only band I know of that features a didgeridoo — which is a traditional Australian instrument that looks like a long stick. If you are an adventurous music lover, this might be the show to see this weekend, and it will help support a local venue that hosts local bands. I could not find pre-purchase ticket info on their website, but you can call them at (716) 202-1315.

Also on Friday, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriters Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter will be performing as an acoustic duo at North Tonawanda’s Riviera Theatre. Honestly I can’t think of a better venue to host this show.

On Saturday, the University of Buffalo will be hosting Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as the final act in their free Tailgate Concert Series. The show begins around 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot next to the UB football stadium. They had an impressive lineup of acts this year, I hope they continue the series next year.

On Saturday evening, country star Rodney Atkins will be coming to Braun’s Concert Cove in Akron along with up-and-coming country star Frankie Ballard and country singer Rose Falcon, who is engaged to Atkins. I’ll be interviewing Ballard for an upcoming feature piece after checking out his show.

Atkins has had six number one singles on the country charts including “Honesty”, “If You’re Going Through Hell” and “Take a Back Road.” Tickets for the show are $30 and available through Braun’s website, It will be my first show at the venue and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

On Sunday, Doreen Taylor returns to Buffalo for a special performance for a great cause. Taylor has spent the better part of the last few years in musical theatre and is establishing herself as a nationally recognized country singer. The show at Asbury Hall in Babeville located in Buffalo benefits Andrews Army a charity named in honor of Andrew Gramza, who died in a car accident at age 21 and his heart valves were donated to save another person’s life. The charity was created by his mother, Alden teacher Lori Gramza, to raise money for organ donation awareness. Ticket information is available at the venues website, the charity’s website is

On Tuesday at The Waiting Room will be the final installment of “Skatober” with ska music legends Big D and the Kids Table. They are one of my son’s favorite bands, and their song “Try Out Your Voice” is one of my all-time favorite political protest songs. I’ve seen them and met them, great guys, great band!

Finally, fill up you tank and check out Jethro Tull singer Ian Anderson up at Massey Hall in Toronto on Friday at Massey Hall. He will be performing “Thick as a Brick” parts one and two. It’s a special event you will not want to miss.

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