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You can’t beat blues/funk at Five Rocks

August 6, 2015

You guys, I am seriously bummed!

There’s a blues/funk band – Blinddog Smokin’ – coming to play Five Rocks Amphitheater in Gering on August 20 for a fundraiser concert, and I can’t go!

*sad face*

Look at these folks. Don't they look like the instigators of a raucous good time?

Look at these folks. Don’t they look like the instigators of a raucous good time?

I attend a lot of charitable functions in this area, and I have fun, but I don’t always enjoy myself to the point that I would think, “Man, I would totally do that again, and invite all my friends!” I reckon I would at this particular benefit concert, though. (A couple of other fundraisers I would totally invite my friends to: that movie-themed costume party at the West Nebraska Arts Center and the Girls Night Out events at the Midwest Theater as well as the Greek Festival supporting the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Bayard – which is, incidentally THIS WEEKEND!)

Blinddog Smokin’ has some serious professional street cred (is “professional street cred” an oxymoron?) – they were nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for best blues album, which they worked on with Dr. John! (Those for those of you who don’t know blues, Dr. John is a funky N’awlins-influenced bluesman – NOT a sex shop on 27th Street in Scottsbluff. You’ll probably be familiar with his 1973 popular hit Right Place Wrong Time.)

Five Rocks is just an awesome venue. I think the flavor of blues comes out best either in a claustrophobic little club or out in the open air, where the notes can ring out and expand. And since the band has a good dose of funk, too – it’s better for it to be outside, where the music can have more room to breathe!

Kelly’s Liquor Cabinet will be at the event, too, selling adult beverages to further enhance the musical experience.

On top of all that, this event, with the help of sponsors Platte Valley Companies, Kelley Bean, Thrasher Music and media sponsors KNEB, Star-Herald, and Gering Citizen, will support Soroptimists International of Scotts Bluff County in their drive to help women and girls by supporting local charities with grant funding. You get to have a good time for a good cause – what could be better than that?

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Soroptimist club sponsoring the event. I happen to think the women and girls in this world could use a little boost. The frontman of Blinddog Smokin’, Carl Gustafson, agrees. Here’s a quote from him in a story in this week’s edition of the Gering Citizen:

“I have three daughters, a step daughter and two granddaughters,” he said. “They are the joy of my life.”

. . . He recalled when the band toured Egypt. He was appalled at the treatment of women.

“They were quite simply chattel creatures, subject in every way to men,” he said. “If the Soroptimists can bring some joy and enlightenment to the downtrodden women of the world, why on earth wouldn’t we be in favor of a benefit for them?”

Yes, this Chicagoland girl is sad to be missing Blinddog Smokin’. (Though I will have to admit, despite having grown up in the Chicago area, my personal blues street cred is pretty much limited to dressing up like a reasonable facsimile of Jake Blues from The Blues Brothers movie.)

jakeBut I will be happy again if I know that YOU, my readers, can go to the concert and have fun in my stead. I expect to have some tickets in my hot little hands this afternoon, 15 buck apiece – any takers?

Here are the deets on the event:

WHAT: Blinddog Smokin’ blues/funk concert

WHEN: Thursday, August 20; gates open 6:30 p.m., music begins 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Five Rocks Amphitheater, Gering

COST: $15 presale, $20 at the gate. Tickets available starting Friday at KNEB, Star-Herald, Gering Citizen, Platte Valley Bank locations, ABC Nursery, Gateway Realty, and Valley bank Gering locations, as well as from Soroptimist members (like me!)

FUN STUFF: adult beverages and food will be available, there will be a 50/50 raffle, and also an auction for a custom Husker guitar from Thrasher music. I’ll update the post if I can get a photo of said guitar.

HIGHER PURPOSE: to raise funds to help Soroptimist International of Scotts Bluff County help women and girls in Wyobraska

Go! Go, my pretties! Enjoy the music! And please – share this link, or the event on the local Sorpotimists Facebook page! Share away!

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

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