Some weekends there's just a whole lot of great music to choose from ... this is one of those ... so here's what jumps out for tonight ...
Joe McMurrian continues his week at Al's Den with some special guests from 7-10 pm ... no cover
The Aladdin has a great run of shows in March that continues tonight with Ladysmith Black Mombazo. (btw, that run continues on Sunday with the fabulous James Hunter Six) This is the premier South African township vocal group that has been making compelling music for well over 40 years, though they didn't come to the attention of most Americans until Paul Simon's Graceland album and tour in the late 80s. Since that time they have been globetrotting musical ambassadors for the people of a country wrenching itself from apartheid to racial equality. Their acapella delivery of both secular and spiritual music of black South Africa has a timeless quality that should be experienced live ... and there's probably still a few tickets left ... 8 pm, $35
Ironic that on the same day, the Lion of Zimbabwe, Thomas Mapfumo, and his band, the Blacks Unlimited, are playing in town at the Mount Tabor Theater. His music (Chimurenga) ushered in much of what's now called "Afro-pop." Mapfumo is now based in Eugene, but mostly tours internationally. With him is Portland's Luveness Wesa (Bantus Band) - they'll be laying down some extremely danceable grooves ... 7 pm, $20
There's another musician benefit this weekend - this time at Jimmy Mak's for former Tower of Power guitarist Bruce Conte (raising money for his leukemia treatments). It features Soul Vaccination and a host of guests in shows on Friday and Saturday ... 8 pm, $20
Home with a short pause from the road with Tom Russell (who will be at the Alberta Rose in two weeks), Thad Beckman checks into O'Connor's with Kurtis Piltz (harmonica) and Joe Cahoon (bass) ... catch him while you can ... 8 pm, $7
The Secret Society will rock with roots and rockabilly tonight with the High Flyer Trio (happy hour @ 6 pm, no cover), and then Jon Koonce and The Twangshifters for the late show ... 9 pm, $8
The Shanghai Woolies do a swingin' tribute to Louis Armstrong at Tony Starlight's ... 8 pm, $15
.... and Billy D & the Hoodoos will keep the dance floor occupied at the Trail's End ... 9 pm, $??
... ok, maybe another post for Saturday and Sunday coming, but the way I've been sporadically writing lately, who knows ... so in case I don't get to it, keep these in mind:
Saturday: The James Low Western Front happy hour at the Laurelthirst, Lloyd Jones at Halibuts, Freak Mt Ramblers and Garcia Birthday Band at the Goodfoot, the Midnight Serenaders at Tony Starlight's, and one of my all-time favorite Texas talents, Joe Ely (with Joe Pug opening) at Mississippi Studios.
Sunday: Three great touring acts in town with the aforementioned James Hunter Six at the Aladdin, Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings at the Alberta Rose, and the Blind Boys of Alabama at Mississippi Studios!