Before Buffalo’s current craft beer boom was in full bloom, there was Flying Bison Brewery, repetitiously dealing out servings of Rusty Chain and Aviator Red across a city that once boasted an impressive fleet of small, large and thriving breweries.
Fifteen years later, Tim Herzog and Co. are still standing, now in new Larkinville digs, and ready to celebrate their resilience from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday with a music-backed 15th anniversary bash inside and around their Seneca Street location. While the brewery’s expanded offerings of craft beer are flowing, local German collective the Frankfurters will give attendees an Oktoberfest feel on the first weekend of May.
But if you’re not wild about raising craft pints aside the beer-hall hum planned for Flying Bison, there are plenty of other performance options across the city. Rustic brothers near the riverfront and a Nashville-bred songwriting star. Punk-leaning Celtic rockers and local purveyors of Rage. They’re all in town for the taking, and their all part of this weekend’s live line-up.
Tough Old Bird at Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.), 5 p.m. Friday
With the incoming Eric Church due to bring in an influx of revved up, country-reared rockers down to his First Niagara Center show tonight, there may be those either looking for a folk-blues Happy Hour to hit pre-show—or simply an introspective combo to team with a few post-work beers. Enter songwriting brothers Matt and Nathan Corrigan, who formed Tough Old Bird two years ago to make music that reflects the rural landscape reminiscent of their Fillmore, NY upbringing.
Earlier and minimalistic tracks like “By The Morning Sun” echo such a background, as do the tracks off their winter EP, “The Barn Sessions,” chocked full of material that could transition well after a worn copy of Springsteen’s “Nebraska” on your tabletop turntable. The Corrigans will tour through this and past material when they greet the Cobblestone District and Church’s superfans early this evening.
Before you go, listen to: “Busted Up Blues”
Venue and show information: buffaloironworks.com
Jim Lauderdale at Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.) 9:30 p.m. Friday
Being quietly prolific like Jim Lauderdale is the story of many renowned songwriters. Their words are exhaled by others, and in some cases, their brilliance isn’t fully appreciated until they step from the notepad to the microphone and deliver their own goods. After first arriving in Nashville to write hit songs for the likes of Shelby Lynne and George Strait, the Grammy and Americana Music Association-winning Lauderdale carved his own recording path, with 26 albums full of tracks sure to be on display when he joins the Stone Country Band to kick off Buffalo’s weekend inside Sportsmen’s Tavern.
His last release—2014’s critically acclaimed double album, “I’m A Song”—featured collaborations with such country artists as Lee Ann Womack and Patty Loveless, as well as the type of meandering across folk, country and bluegrass lines Lauderdale’s become known for. Expect more of the same when he commands Sportsmen’s stage for solo and full-band sets to kick off Western New York’s weekend.
Before you go, listen to: “Mighty Lonesome”
Venue and show information: sportsmenstavern.com
1916 at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) 8 p.m. Saturday
Many Irish-Americans are raised with the traditional ballads of their ancestors. They memorize the lyrics like Sunday hymns, sing them with family and, eventually, grow to appreciate each line.
Then some of them buy guitars and a pile of Pogues albums—and all hell breaks loose.
This may have been the progression for Rochester’s Easter Rising-themed 1916, a band that started with Bill Herring and Steve LaDue playing the acoustic standards of the Dubliners and Wolfe Tones. Now with Herring (guitar) and LaDue (drums) joined by bassist Chris VanCleve and accordionist Rayce Malone, the quartet’s blossomed into a full-blown hooley in the vein of noted Celtic-themed contemporaries as the Fenians and Dropkick Murphys. Those interested in this kind of punk-shaded celebration can catch the band when they descend on the Mohawk this Saturday night. With tracks off 2013’s “Stand Up and Fight” and a psychobilly bend that sets them apart from electrified Clancy Brothers cover bands, 1916 strives to honor its Irish heritage with rebellion true to the year in its name.
Before you go, listen to: “No Surrender”
Venue and show information: buffalosmohawkplace.com
Anger is a Gift at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.) 10:00 p.m. Saturday
One (or I) could argue that, over the last 35 years, there isn’t a band that delivered a heavier cocktail of hard truths, history and snare hits than Rage Against the Machine. Whether because of Zach de la Rocha’s scalding vocals or Tom Morello utilizing his guitar chords for inventive chaos, listen to the tunes like “Killing In The Name” or “Bulls On Parade” today and their sound and message are just as amplified as they were when first released in the early and mid-1990s. This makes their catalog still thrilling, but not exactly easy to duplicate by ambitious musicians eager to pay tribute.
Buffalo’s Anger is a Gift is such a band, and through quality covers of some of the de la Rocha and Co.’s most politically charged material, the Matt Holla-led outfit is giving local crowds a taste of what the now-defunct Rage’s previous might. Opening for Tool tribute act Schism, they’ll team to give Allentown some of the thickest feedback they’ve heard all year.
Before you go, listen to: their cover (of Rage’s cover) of “Maggie’s Farm”
Venue and show information: nietzsches.com