Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

May 8, 2014

JENNINGS: Joe Bonamassa highlights weekend acts

Niagara Gazette — There are three well respected national artists coming to the Buffalo area this weekend, but before we get to those shows I wanted to spread some love to a couple of Buffalo-area artists associated with the Hard Rock Café in Niagara Falls on the American side.

First, congratulations are in order for Buffalo-based Dirty Smile. The group — man- aged by a great local musician, Jeremy Hoyle — was chosen to represent Western New York in the annual Hard Rock Rising contest. The voting ended May 7, and I am proud to say I case my vote for the band, and win or lose, they are a band that has a bright future.

On Friday at the Hard Rock Café, they continue their “Free Music Friday” series with a performance from the Jamie Holka Trio. I have been playing Jamie’s “Git in Where You Fit in” CD to all of my friends and it has been getting universally great reviews. If you have never seen Jamie perform live, you ought to check this show out.

We now move over to Buffalo on Friday at Shea’s Performing Arts Center and the return of Joe Bonamassa. I go back many years with Joe, I saw him open up for B.B. King on May 24. 1990, just a few weeks after he turned 13 years old! (Joe turns 37 the day before he comes to Buffalo).

Watching Joe’s playing progress over his 25-year career has been quite a treat. Joe’s publicist recently sent me his four-disc video release “Tour de Force: Live in London” and it has provided me with endless hours of enjoyment. The set came out in audio format this week, and any of the shows are well worth buying. I love Joe’s studio albums, but his live material is my favorite.

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