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Four shows: Kickstart Rumble, Josh Flagg, The Barksdales, more

If a festival is initiated to celebrate the invention of an item, shouldn’t the facts surrounding this creation be indisputable? In most cases, yes. In the case of Hamburg’s Burger Fest and the hamburger, why let conflicting details spoil a good party?

The word “hamburger” didn’t appear in the Oxford English Dictionary until 1889, but Frank and Charles Menches claimed debut of the ground beef sandwich at the 1885 Erie County Fair—seven years before Akron, Ohio’s 1892 Summit County Fair apparently hosted the brothers’ same beef-laden reveal. Places likes Tulsa, Oklahoma and Athens, Texas have also claimed ownership of the burger, as has Hamburg, Germany chef Otto Kuase, who claims to have first prepared the delicacy (topped with a fried egg) for American-bound sailors, starting in 1891.

The Dizzle, a three-time champ at Hamburg Burger Fest, from Roaming Buffalo Food Truck.

The Dizzle, a three-time champ at Hamburg Burger Fest, from Roaming Buffalo Food Truck.

No matter. The Southtowns stalwart knows how to host a weekend bash, as will be proven with Saturday’s food- and music-flavored celebration along the Village of Hamburg’s Main and Buffalo streets, starting at 11:30 a.m. Set to all-day music from local performers like Terry Buchwald and Tom Stahl and the Dangerfields—and samplings of food and drink undeniably indigenous to the region—the event might not be able to prove the birthplace of the all-beef patty, but it can certainly celebrate its regional relevance.

Though if you’d rather eschew the burger blowout and, instead, order up sights on the local music scene, good news: there are plenty to absorb. Canalside rockers and Buckley-esque Brooklynites. Character-named cacophonists and outlaw country. They’re all on Buffalo’s performance menu, and each deserves placement on this weekend’s list of recommended gigs.

Kickstart Rumble at Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.), 5 p.m. Friday

Buffalo’s Kickstart Rumble is no new kid on the Queen City circuit. The Mike Pinelli-led quintet has been dealing out its own brand of Eddie Cochran-inspired rockabilly in corner bars and roadhouses since 2009. But thanks to its recent (and stellar) Battle of the Bands-earned opening set for Boston’s Street Dogs and Mighty Mighty Bosstones at a sun-drenched Canalside, more local fans of hot rods and Stray Cat struts are now on the lookout for the band’s next date.

On Friday, these searchers get their gig, as the Rumble will ride into the Cobblestone District with Johnny Cash covers and original rockers slated for its upcoming album as part of its headlining Happy Hour slot at Iron Works.

Before you go, listen to: their take on Charles Underwood’s “Ubangi Stomp”

Venue and show information at


Josh Flagg at Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.), 6 p.m. Friday

If you let your hearing and basic powers of association do your bidding, you may be able to form a connection between the late Jeff Buckley’s “Grace” and Brooklyn singer/songwriter Josh Flagg’s newest single, “Lights Out.” The two songs are not carbon copies, nor is the latter an obvious attempt to borrow from the previous.

But you can certainly hear hints of Buckley’s composition inside Flagg’s, which should give uninitiated parties an idea of what influences the artist due to take Waiting Room’s Friday night stage. And with the aforementioned track—as well as other hard chargers off 2011’s “Devastate Me”—these same attendees will hear plenty to like before the evening’s last goodbye.

Before you go, listen to: “Lights Out”

Venue and show info at


The Barksdales at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.), 9 p.m. Saturday

No HBO viewer would ever say Wood Harris’s Avon Barksdale—fictional drug kingpin of television drama, “The Wire”—was a meek dude. The guy handled West Baltimore with an iron and, at times, emotional fist. By the same token, most who’ve ever listened to Buffalo’s like-named Barksdales wouldn’t assign them docile status, either.

Does the punk rock quartet run towers, its own organization or send wild-eyed associates named Bird to settle scores? No. But with the thumping drums and Social Distortion-sized guitar dousing on singles like “In Our Hands,” the band fashions it own brand of ferocity, fit for amplification inside downtown dens like the Mohawk.

Before you go, listen to: “In Our Hands”

Venue and show information at


Whitey Morgan & the 78’s at Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.), 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Barroom brawls. Bedeviling women. Rounds of whiskey and traveling protagonists pulled from the pages of Thomas Cobb’s “Crazy Heart.” These are the scenes, characters and sights Flint, Michigan’s outlaw son Morgan sings about, and the chance to see him carve through these predilections against the backdrop of Amherst Street’s finest tavern should be enough to get you and others out for a Saturday night in Black Rock.

But if it isn’t—or the certainty to hear him and his 78’s scroll through offerings off this year’s “Sonic Ranch”—what about the chance to hear a heartfelt, honky tonk cover of Bruce Springsteen’s yearning “I’m on Fire”? It could happen, so get down to Sportsmen’s for the bourbon-hoisting splendor.

Before you go, listen to: his take on Townes Van Zandt’s “Waitin’ ‘Round to Die”

Venue and show information at

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