THE REX GRANITE BAND featuring SARAH BENCK Vocalist/guitarist Sarah Benck fronts Omaha’s own original music group The Rex Granite Band, with slide guitarist Rex Granite, bass guitarist Dain Armbrust, and drummer Anton Divis. The band won the 2017 OEAA award for Omaha’s Best Blues Band as well as the 2018 and 2020 IBC Nebraska Blues Challenges, and were semi-finalists at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN. Their album “Spirit/Matter/Truth/Lies” was released Nov.22nd 2017, and charted at #101 of The Top 200 Albums of 2018 on The Contemporary Blues Charts. Their new album “Electric Combo” features 9 new original songs, and was released December 2019.
Lilly Hiatt sounds strong and self-assured on her performances, conjuring the smoke of Bonnie Raitt and the sweet clarity of Dolly Parton, but she can show her scars when she wants or needs to. The daughter of Americana icon John Hiatt, Lilly is making her own mark with her latest album “Walking Proof” which walks the line between Hiatt’s rough, rock and roll exterior and her tender, country roots, exuding a bold vulnerability as she takes a deep and unflinching look in the mirror. What emerges is a newfound maturity in Hiatt’s writing, an abiding sense of calm in the face of chaos as she learns that sometimes, you have to let go in order to get what you want most. Her love of 90’s rock along with growing up steeped in roots music Hiatt delivers a powerful live performance. She is clearly a rising star in the alt-Nashville music scene, comfortable on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry and in a gritty night club!
Mike Zito is one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today and rightfully so, but for him, the thing that counts the most is maintaining integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since. “Pearl River,” the title track of his 2009 album for the Echo Groove label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville, with whom he’d later work in the super group Royal Southern Brotherhood which brought him together with Devon Allman! Mike Zito’s latest CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if we’d all just stick together. His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, which drew critical and fan acclaim!
Founded over 15 years ago with the simple desire to play original and powerful bluegrass, this quartet now finds themselves at the intersection of performance, diplomacy and education.
The Prowlers have now been to more than 25 countries across the globe, working with the U.S. State Department and under their own nonprofit, Bluegrass Ambassadors – incorporating music from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and more into their already robust repertoire of unique traditional American music.
On stage, in workshops and wherever they are, the Henhouse Prowlers find and spread the commonality we share as human beings through the universal language of music.
Dustin Arbuckle and The Damnations are not a band you can easily associate with one specific genre, and that’s how they planned it. Arbuckle, a veteran of the progressive roots music scene whose singing and harmonica playing first came into prominence in Moreland & Arbuckle, has been kicking up fresh dust with The Damnations since 2017. A musician of vast appetites, he’s long held an appreciation for traditional American music in the vein of Charley Patton as well as the cross-pollinated sounds of The Band or Stax-style soul. The diverse musical sensibilities of The Damnations (Brandon Hudspeth on guitar, Caleb Drummond or Mark Foley on bass, and Kendall Newby on Drums) allow for all of that along with occasional forays into deep country and even jazz. “When we started playing together we all wanted the band to be a space where we could play anything we wanted to,” Arbuckle notes, “and that’s created this cross-genre electric Americana vibe.”
Laura Rain is a product of the tough, hard-working Motor City environment, a hard driving soul singer who uses the power and finesse of her own voice to inspire and electrify your spirit. Born and raised in Detroit, where her father engineered conveyor systems for the auto plants, she delivers her original music with fearless emotion and excitement. Along with her creative partner George Friend, the pair have released four albums with a unique blend of contemporary funky soul, blues and r&b worthy of Detroit’s rich history of musical innovators. It is the Motor City where Aretha Franklin, Parliament-Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye all lived and created. A town where singers are continually influencing and defining the world around themselves. Laura Rain creates her own environment of expression through her music.
Born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Indigenous front man Mato Nanji (Ma-TOE NON-gee) dedicates his latest release Time Is Coming (on Blues Bureau International) to the indigenous youth and all young people on the indigenous reservations. Mato Nanji’s father, the late Greg Zephier, Sr., was an accomplished musician and a member of the musical group, The Vanishing Americans. Mato was exposed to Greg’s vast collection of blues records by legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King. Consequently, Mato embraced and began utilizing his own musical talent at a young age. With the experience, love and wisdom of their father to guide them, Mato, his brother, sister and cousin formed the band Indigenous while in their late teens. Since then, Mato has carried on the Indigenous sound with a variety of band mates. In addition to his Indigenous ‘day job’, Mato Nanji has been a member of the critically acclaimed Experience Hendrix Tour since 2002. Playing alongside original Jimi Hendrix band members Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell, the tour roster includes some of today’s blues greats including Buddy Guy, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (Double Trouble), Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, and Robert Randolph.
End your week with the best line-up of music from downtown Sioux City’s premiere summer concert series, Downtown Live*. Now back on the best day of the week “Friday.”
Bring your lawn chairs because the weekend starts here. So get there quick…you don’t want to miss a beat.
*Formerly Fridays on the Promenade, which moved to Thursdays in front of the Sioux City Public Museum**. It’s still at the Sioux City Public Museum but now on Fridays. Sorry for the confusion, we promise not to change it again…unless we have to because of unforeseen circumstances but know deep down that we aren’t doing this because we want too, its just that things happen…but we digress. Just come and enjoy yourself. We promise you’ll have a good time.
**The name “Thursdays in Front of the Museum” just didn’t have the same emotional pull as “Fridays on the Promenade” so we just came up with something that sounded as fun and as exciting as “Fridays on the Promenade”. Honestly we’re glad we didn’t call it “Thursdays in Front of the Museum” now that we changed the day back to Friday. If you have a better name please feel free to call and let us know.
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