By Michael Farrell
Special to the News
In 1976, Willie Nelson scooped up country legend Lefty Frizell’s debut single “If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time” and turned it into a chart-topping smash—thanks in large part to its direct correlation between supply (time) and demand (money).
Such sound economic singles have made a legend out of the 81-year-old Red-Headed Stranger, who’ll join Allison Krauss and Union Station, Jerry Douglas and special guest Kacie Musgraves at Artpark on Saturday night to deftly pick through decades of crossover country classics.
But if you can’t make it up to Lewiston, here’s the good news about this weekend: You don’t need too much money, honey, to have a good time. With country covers, soul claps, barroom festivals, and gumbo-cooking bluesman – all available on the cheap – there’s plenty of music to see across the western slice of the state. Rest easy, but get ready. This is the Farrell Four:
A Band Named Sue at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.), 6 p.m. June 6
If you’re looking to get your Willie fix somewhere outside Niagara County this weekend, look no further than Buffalo’s finest purveyors of whiskey-soaked licks and outlaw country hits. Led by Dave Kimball and fellow Steam Donkey John Weber, the quartet will kick your workweek memories to the curb with Nietzsche’s-hosted takes on Sun Records-era Elvis and Johnny Cash, as well as hits from Abbott, Texas’s favorite ginger, Willie Hugh Nelson.
Bar and show information at nietzsches.com.
Sugar City’s Soul Night at Milkie’s (522 Elmwood Ave.), 10 p.m. June 6
Don’t feel like spending a dollar to hear the likes of Handsome Dan, DJ Press and DJ Salinger spin the hits of Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and Wilson Pickett? Then grab your bike helmet, oil up your Raleigh and roll down to Milkie’s on Elmwood, where those capping their craniums will receive free admission to the night’s soul shuffle. But if you do want to support one of Buffalo’s finest arts and cultural organizations, you can leave your wheels at home and donate a $5 cover to the colorful efforts of Sugar City.
Bar information at milkiesonelmwood.com. Show information at buffalosugarcity.org.
Never Ben at Bar Bill Tavern (185 Main St., East Aurora), 9 p.m. June 6
For its second annual East Aurora Music Festival, the Town that Elbert Hubbard Built will feature 34 bands inside 10 neighborhood venues. Starting at 3 p.m., guests can pop into spots like Brothers Pub and Riley St. Station, get an earful of live tunes, then skip off to Vidler’s for an armful of irreverent lawn ornaments. The event’s highlight might be the town-pleasing party pulsations of Never Ben, who’ll give attendees a side of Zeppelin, Petty and U2 covers to go with an order of Bar Bill’s signature wings. Other bands performing at various venues throughout the festival include JJ Swing, .22 Calibre, Busted Stuff, West of the Mark, Electric Church, Jony James and Breckenwood and Leeron Zydeco.
Show and festival information at eamusicfest.com.
The Sauce Boss at Balloons (20 Monroe St., Ellicottville), 2 p.m. June 7
Interested in taking a 45-minute afternoon cruise from Buffalo to Ellicottville to bask in the presence of America’s foremost swamp blues-playing gumbo chef? That’s the kind of multitasking you’ll get with Florida’s Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton on Sunday. A favorite of Jimmy Buffett, the one-man-band’s distinctive ’53 Telecaster slide guitar sound will soothe your afternoon and whet your appetite for gumbo—which the musician makes while performing. And yes: everyone in attendance gets a bowl after the show.
Show information balloonsrestaurant.com. Artist info at sauceboss.com.