Friday Night On the Town


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This has to be the busiest Friday night ever, what with the Pack 12 Championship and Chris Robinson Brotherhood in town.  There’s plenty of other choices as well in our little hamlet; something for every taste in music and venue.  Let’s get out into the night and find the hot spots, no excuses.

Last year, I needed to find a good place to watch the Pac-12 Championship game.  I ended up at the Wetlands where the crowd is big and enthusiastic, the brew and bar food served with a smile and the screens are everywhere.  I had my trusty laptop with me and put on Sebastian Bach singing the Duck POWER BALLAD.  We all joined in, complete with waving lighters and rolling on the floor laughter.  Even when the Ducks fell short, the crowd was loyal and supportive.  I’m headed back tonight because some experiences just have to be shared.

I suppose one or two citizens would rather avoid the football action.  Luckily, there are few good options for Friday date night.  Top of my recommendations would be Saginaw Vineyard’s Friday Night Live in the Barn.  Petri Dish is providing the musical back drop for wine tasting and simple hors d’oeuvres.  The owners encourage folks to “bring your own dinner basket if you want”, kind of a novel idea that could turn into a romantic picnic in a 100 year-old barn with great bluesy jazz floating in the rafters.  A scene like that would definitely melt this cougar’s heart.  Event starts at 6:00, $10.

The Granary is a good choice tonight for a simple dinner date.  I’m talking about pizza and folk rock with Robert Meade.  Meade puts me in mind of Neil Young only fuzzier in the face.  His harmonica interludes make me feel frisky and nostalgic at the same time.  Nice prelude for the rest of the evening. No cover, show starts at 7:00.

Jazz lovers have a couple of picks tonight. Part of the First Friday Art Walk, early at the Jazz Station is Lotus Jazz, a local quartet that comes out with a melodic, smooth sound that can help ease away the tension of a busy day.  Really, quite a treat for a no cover show at 5:30.  Stick around for the South Eugene Jazz Sextet at 8:00.  I am extraordinarily curious about this group of young musicians, all teenagers.  This could be a real treat and I love to support developing musicians.  Something tells me that the Jazz Station is featuring them for a reason.  Only $5.

South Eugene Jazz Sextex at the Jazz Station tonight.

Mac’s is hosting Franco Paletta & The Stingers, down from Portland, at the club tonight.  Polished comes to mind about this blues band.  I’m a total pushover for blues harmonica and Frank blows some of the best in the country.  Along with his hearty vocals that have to be described as flat out sexy, this will be a dynamic show.  He sings “I’m crazy about you baby, it just don’t mean a thing” and I want to jump him.  Show starts at 9:00, $5.

Now it’s time to come clean.  All of these truly great recommendations for a wonderful evening aside, I’m headed to the WOW Hall for Chris Robinson Brotherhood.  Definitely a throw back to my youthful tastes, I wouldn’t miss an opportunity for a little Southern rock that of course has its roots in blues.  Once at the front of the Black Crows with his brother Rich, Chris will no doubt play some of the favorites from their work.  However, Chris is making his own mark with a more folksy, bluesy sound. I sincerely hopes he plays “Sunday Sound”, a song that will no doubt run through my head for the next few days.  When he sings “Well, I’d like to dance with you …as the band plays on,” I intend to grab my guy and make a spectacle of myself on the dance floor. Neil Casal and Chris Robinson both on guitar makes for some great licks that get the hips a-swaying.   Always a romantic, his lyrics are often about love, including the heady good times along with the excruciating challenges.  He also covers blues favorites like Otis Redding’s  “That’s How Strong My Love Is”.  Still a hirsute, barefoot hippie after all these years, I’m looking forward to an evening of awesome, nostalgic southern rock.  I will so be there, no excuses.  Show starts at 9:00; $17 at the door.

The Robinson Brotherhood

LA Thompson, EDN

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