Tuned In: In the clubs and under the radar - The Buffalo News

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Tuned In: In the clubs and under the radar

Long-serving Buffalo blues guitarist Tommy Z and his band will be headed to Memphis in January to represent the Western New York Blues Society in the annual International Blues Challenge. That’s a well-deserved honor for the guitarist, as well as legendary bassist Jerry Livingston and funk drummer supreme Damone Jackson, who bring a groove-centric fire to the Z Band’s performances.

However, the all-volunteer WNY Blues Society is in no position to fund the entire trip for the Z Band. Transportation and lodging costs for a trip like this one are not inconsiderable. So at 5 p.m. Sunday, a blues/soul marathon will take place in the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.), the proceeds from which will go to defray the costs associated with the trip.

What a bill this is, too, with the Tommy Z Band being joined by area roots music icons the Jony James Band and Dive House Union, all in the interest of helping some of our finest musicians represent our city.

Tickets are $25 advance and $30 day of show (box office, Ticketmaster). If you visit www.tommyzband.com, you can purchase discounted presale tickets, and be rewarded for your trouble with a free download of the “Sometimes” album.

Thanksgiving Eve revelry

Well, music lovers, if you haven’t made it down to the newly renovated Hotel @ the Lafayette yet, now’s the time. The building looks beautiful, and it’s great to see it rebounding and bustling with activity. But all of that activity will hit a new high on Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve, when “The Night B4 Thanksgiving” will transform three floors of the building into a multigenre, multi-idiom mini-festival. Three stages with three separate performance/art spaces will afford dozens of artists the opportunity to ply their wares.

The Pan-American/Mezzanine Space will find Lazlo Hollyfeld, the 12/8 Path Band, DJs Cutler, LoPro and Josh, Funktional Flow and others performing on a balcony stage.

The “Upstairs Den of Debauchery” will host the Knowmatic Tribe Soundsytem featuring God Morgen, Marcos Udagawa, XOTEC, 3PO and DJ Matty. This hip-hop/DJ collective holds a special place in the history of Western New York dance music of the underground variety.

The “Igloo Music Room” will gather artists together beneath the umbrella of Buffalo House Music. Artists include Paul Keunzi & Rufus Gibson, 222Oceans, Cloud11, Greg Howze & Bill Bacon, DJ Lalka & Joyhn Patrick. The third floor also will house art installations. Advance tickets are $20 (www.mnmpresents.inticketing.com).

A son of ‘Anarchy’

You might not know who Jake Smith is, but if you watch TV’s gritty “Sons of Anarchy” series, you’ve heard him sing. Beneath the moniker the White Buffalo, Smith writes heart-stirring songs that split the difference between hard-won Romanticism and unadorned realism. “Anarchy” has used Smith’s songs in a grimly effective manner, and they underscore the often desperate and doomed action on the screen.

Smith/White Buffalo is no newbie who got lucky through an association with a hit television show, though. He’s a seasoned troubadour who has been at this whole songwriting thing for a good while now, in the process earning himself positive comparisons to the likes of Ryan Adams, Waylon Jennings, Tom Waits and Elliott Smith. None of this is mere hyperbole, either.

The White Buffalo performs at 8 p.m. Friday in the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.). Wanted By the FBI will open. Tickets are $14 advance, $15 day of show (box office, Ticketmaster).

email: jmiers@buffnews.com

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