Thursday, May 19
Erik The Viking pushes his longship ashore at The Doggery tonight from 8 to 11. Before you paint your face and run screaming into the subterranean bar, though, check out his website, then check yourself. Erik plays a mellow, wisened breed of acoustic folk tinged with flecks of blues. It’s on full display in “Burn,” which you can stream on his site, complete with Erik’s clear guitar tones and voice brimming with earnest emotion.
Friday, May 20
Who doesn’t love a rooftop serenade after a hard week’s work? At 5:30 Friday afternoon, Kathy’s Pub presents its Spring into Summer rooftop party featuring music by Betsy & The Mongrels (facebook.com/betsyandthemongrels). Led by the considerable vocal talents of Betsy Lambert, the band flits between alternative, funk, blues, and rock styles. The event will also feature food by Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe.
Downstairs at Kathy’s, Suite inthesuite.com cranks up the heat and shimmies into your hearts with a dose of high-brow funk, original tunes and on-point covers. The band’s re-emergence at Kathy’s main stage is a sure sign of a hot summer on the horizon. If you’re somehow unaware, Suite’s name on a bill is a harbinger of frenzied dancing to come. Even if you don’t feel like getting down, the band’s impeccable musicianship is at least worth a passive listen.
If you make your way to Boomer’s on Friday night, you’ll find The Gopher Tones bringing the blues to life with a crew assembled from members of Doghouse Jon and The Misbehavors, The Neo Rhythms and The Annie Mack Band. Guitar picking courtesy of Charlie “Sugar Chuck” Lacy and the legendary abilities of blues guitarist Tom Kochie give band a serious competitive edge. Their name is taken from a piece of advice the band heeds, “Boys, don’t worry about playing all them fast notes, just go for tone and the rest will take care of itself.”
Saturday, May 21
The outdoor shenanigans continue Saturday, when The Half Barrel throws a block party from 3 to 11 headlined by country/rock act GB Leighton. Led by Brian Leighton, the band has modeled some of its approach to lighting up a crowd from Springsteen bootlegs, and it shows. Their website features a promo video of some concert highlights. There’s a “Wagon Wheel” cover early on in the video, which, meh… but it’s followed by a Tom Petty cover and the rest of the video looks promising, so I’m in. Hair of The Dog and The D’Sievers are also scheduled to play.
Sunday, May 22
Speaking of The D’Sievers, on Sunday evening from 5:30 to 8:30, The Rochester Civic Theatre presents a jazz jam with none other than Rochester’s leading jazz ambassadors. Part performance, part open mic, attendees are encouraged to bring along an instrument or vocal talent and take part. The theatre’s lobby bar will be open during the event, so anyone requiring a dose of liquid courage before taking the stage still qualifies for an appearance. If you’ve somehow avoided hearing about The D’Sievers before now, check out their Facebook page for an idea of what to expect from your backing band.