Forager Brewery keeps things moving in the right direction by booking Joel Ward for its weekly Theraputic Thursdays sessions.
Ward’s voice is among the finest in the city and his distinctive soul, blues, and folk stylings have taken him throughout the region. Now he’s back where he came from and hoping to start something. You can sample his music at his Reverbnation page,reverbnation.com/joelward. I’ve plugged his cool version of Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man” before, but other cuts, like the soulful lo-fi slide guitar number, “Don’t Want You Around,” are more than worthy of a listen or two.
Suite heads back to Kathy’s Pub on Friday night with its impeccable combination of stagecraft and heated funk. Relief from the cold begins at 10 p.m. and continues well into the night. These guys get a lot of ink here, but it’s well-warranted, as anyone who has witnessed a set can attest to. Learn more at inthesuite.com and come prepared to boogie.
KnuFunk gives Suite a bit of competition for the rump-shakers of the city on Friday, with a set at the Wicked Moose from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. The band is comprised of locals who play originals and heat from acts like The Gap Band, Mary J. Blige, and Cameo, among others. If that’s not enough to entice you, listen to this: Bandleader Doug Porter wrote “Rochester is a Number One City,” at the behest of Mayor Chuck Hazama back in ’94.
Still not convinced? Head over to the band’s website, knufunk.com, listen to the available trio of songs, and check out how the crew replaces the “F” in “funk” with a most righteous ankh.
If you’re looking for new local talent, look no further than the American Legion on Friday night, where The Rares hit the stage at 8 p.m. A young quartet of rock ‘n’ rollers who have started popping up at more and more events in the city, this band brings Beatles-esque guitar work and chunky hooks to the foreground.
You can check out a bit of their sound at theraresband.wix.com/ricknrack, where they have made a snippet of “My Lover” available for streaming. According to its Facebook page, the band has been recording at McNally Smith College of Music, so expect to hear more soon.
• Cafe Steam hosts another C4 open mic night tonight starting around 7:30.
• Clay Ebertowski plays Cafe Steam on Friday night starting around 7.
• Mark Healey of Badfinger brings his classic rock expertise to the Canadian Honker on Friday night from 7:30 to 10:30.
• Baby Boomer Boogie Band hits the VFW from 8:00 p.m. until midnight on Friday.
• Blue Collar Collective rips up the North Star Bar stage on Friday night starting around 9.
• Hard Rock cover band DetraMetal roars into the North Star Bar on Saturday night at 9:30.
• The Volunteer Tomatoes play Cafe Steam on Saturday starting around 7 p.m.
• Fair Trade’s blues, jazz, and folk tunes supply the mood at the Canadian Honker on Saturday from 7:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
• On Tuesday night, Sothea Lam brings his sunny acoustic stylings to the Tap House from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Bryan Lund is a Rochester freelance writer.