by B.J. Huchtemann, The Reader
Ownership of the New Lift Lounge has officially been transferred to John Anderson and Chad Kelderman. The formal announcement came from Terry O’Halloran on Saturday, along with word that the new owners will change the name to The 21st Amendment Saloon. Regulars will remember that O’Halloran originally reopened his old 18th Amendment Saloon at the 96th and L location when he sold the original 18th in the 82nd and Center area. The name never quite made sense to me since the 18th Amendment was the amendment that started the Prohibition era. The 21st Amendment made drinking legal again.
In his last Blues Society of Omaha email as proprietor of The New Lift O’Halloran wrote, “The blues will continue on Thursdays at The Lift under the new ownership only if it continues to receive adequate support. Please support it if you can. I’ve got some great acts booked for them in the coming weeks, including The Bel Airs, Smokin’ Joe [Kubek] & Bnois King, and Debbie Davies. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude to all of you for reading these emails each week, and especially for supporting my shows, in addition to all the other shows in our area.”
O’Halloran will continue to book the Thursday series at the newly christened 21st Amendment at 96th & L. Those shows begin at 5:30 p.m. Coming up this Thursday, Feb. 24, is the popular and irresistibly danceable blues, boogie and New Orleans-flavored music of The Bel Airs from Columbia, Mo. Thursday, March 3, the Texas blues-rock of Alligator Records artists Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King take the stage. March 10, it will be powerhouse guitarist Debbie Davies, and St. Patrick’s night, March 17, it’ll be the return of blistering bayou blues from Josh Garrett & The Bottomline. Thursday, March 24, will feature the legendary horn-driven jump-blues and swing of Roomful of Blues.
Watch for schedule updates and any other news about the Thursday series at omahablues.com, the Blues Society of Omaha’s website. O’Halloran will continue to function as the BSO’s president in the short term. He and his significant other, Lilly Broders, have tentative plans to relocate to Austin, Texas, when Broders is done with school in about a year.
BBQ & Blues For Our Troops
Operation BBQ is a volunteer organization that hosts celebration dinners for area troops when they deploy and when they return home. The group hosts a public dinner to raise funds for their efforts this Saturday, Feb. 26. Doors open at 6 p.m. at The Barn, located at Military and State Streets. Your ticket price includes a barbecue dinner and live blues music from The Avey Brothers, who represented Iowa and were finalists in the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Find more info at operationbbqmw.org.
Side Door Lounge
Michael Campbell, Omaha musician and former proprietor of Mick’s in Benson, has launched a monthly show featuring some familiar faces. The shows are on the first Wednesday of each month at The Side Door Lounge at 35th and Leavenworth. The cozy club reminds me of Mick’s with its candlelit tables, art on the walls and warm, upscale feel. Campbell’s guest Wednesday, March 3, is Gunnar Guenette, who will play from 9-11 p.m. The Side Door is owned by Steve Jamrozy and the focus is on hand-crafted, old-school cocktails. A small stage and sound system allow for intimate music shows too. Find them atfacebook.com/sidedoorlounge.
Omaha Rockabilly Night
The 2nd Omaha Rockabilly Night is Thursday, Feb. 24, at Gator O’Malley’s “after 8:30 p.m.” The free show features Billy Beale plus Des Moines rockabilly band Rumble Seat Riot. Look up the Omaha Rockabilly page on Facebook to find out more.
The Matt Cox Trio plays McKenna’s Friday, Feb. 25, 9 p.m. to midnight. The Matt Cox Band is featured at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar next Thursday after 9:30 p.m. along with The Betties. The Bel Airs hit the Zoo Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26, after 9 p.m. Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King play the Zoo Bar Wednesday, March 2, 6-9 p.m. Also on the horizon at the Zoo is guitar great Walter Trout, who plugs in Tuesday, March 15.
Tickets are on sale at omahaperformingarts.org for the March 5Big Head Todd tribute to Robert Johnson at the Holland. The tour includes special guests and legends of the blues James Cotton,Hubert Sumlin, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm. Cotton has replaced Honeyboy Edwards for this leg of the tour.
Willie Nelson & Family perform at the Orpheum Friday, March 11. Tickets are on sale while they last at ticketomaha.com.
The Drive-By Truckers gig is at Slowdown Sunday, Feb. 27.
Mark your calendars for Ryan Bingham & The Dead HorsesTuesday, March 8, at The Waiting Room. Bingham took home the Oscar last year for his song “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart.