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See You There!

See you There?

The Great Blue Heron Festival

9am Friday, July 3 - dusk Sunday, July 2361 Waits Corners Rd, Sherman ( Weekend Pass: $90 / Friday: $40 / Saturday: $40 / Sunday: $30

Now in its 24th year, the Great Blue Heron is as much about the music, as the culture and community that surrounds it. Besides having over 30 great bands on three stages, the festival’s culture espouses a certain openness and sense of community not found anywhere else. Started in 1992 as a small single-day event featuring the music of Donna the Buffalo, the GBH quickly became a 3-day event and has continued that way since. It is the largest festival in western New York that features bluegrass, Cajun, zydeco, African, Reggae, Americana, Irish, and old-time music. The music starts in the morning and continues on three stages until about 1am, when the dance tent takes over into the late hours. Buffalo Zydeco (the other name of Donna the Buffalo) is a must-see friday night dance tent performance. Led by the accordion wizardry of Tara Nevins, and guitarist Jeb Puryear, this Cajun/zydeco performance lies somewhere between a hootenanny and a hillbilly rave. Also, on Friday night, don’t miss Los Straightjackets and The Town Pants. Saturday, get to the main stage in the afternoon for Big Mean Sound Machine, mandolin-centric Big Leg Emma, Driftwood, led by violinist Claire Byrne, synth-rockers Jimkata, and finish off the evening with Donna the Buffalo. The Cabin Killers then take over the late shift at the dance tent. Taking place on 300 beautiful acres of woods and fields in remote Sherman, NY, the Great Blue Heron is truly a festival like none other.

> Greg Mach

Jamie Lissow

Thursday 7/2: 8pm / Friday 7/3: 7:30pm & 10pm / Saturday 7/4: 7:00pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $15-$28

If Jamie Lissow’s life went according to plan, he’d be a lawyer right now. The Rochester native attended University of Buffalo Law School for two weeks before learning he could get paid to be a comedian. “I got my first paying gig when living in Buffalo,” Lissow says. “It was only $50 to do five minutes, but up until then I had no idea you could get paid for comedy. I thought it was a hobby.” He took a year off from school, which then turned into two years. Fifteen years later he was appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as well most of the other late night talk shows. He’s been labeled as “the best comedy writer since Seinfeld,” and he’ll be performing for three days straight at Helium Comedy Club this weekend. Come on down to the cobble stone district to watch Lissow make you laugh your ass off as he shares his hilarious observations on his diverse educational experiences, family life, college-town night life, and every day occurrences. His energy is highly contagious and he’ll have you laughing all night long.

> Jeffrey Czum

Dirty Smile w/ Eye on Attraction

6pm The Forvm, 4224 Maple Rd. (831-3271 / $7-$10

Every time Dirty Smile performs in Buffalo, they play to a packed crowd. It’s clear that they’re quickly becoming one of the city’s favorite rock acts. On Friday night (7/3 @6pm) you can see what all the fuss is all about when they hit it off at The Forvm with Eye On Attraction. Formed in 2011, the lively five-piece is everything you’d expect from a classic rock n’ roll band. The combination of Gus Walters’ acoustic songwriting rhythms and the gritty, hard rock guitar leads perfectly performed by Dan Helbling set the stage and lead the way for Megan brown’s powerful and flawless vocals. The energy the band creates is refreshing and striking. Dirty Smile is currently working with Canadian songwriter Ron Hawkins of Lowest of the Low, for they’re second installment, Love Songs for the Damned: Vol II. The album is set to come out later this summer and if it’s anything like Love Songs for the Damned: Vol I, we’re all in for something special.

> Bill Pullman


8pm Mohawk Place 47 E Mohawk St. ( / (716)312-9279) $12

It’s a fact; Ceremony doesn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks it should sound like. Over the course of four full-length albums, the group has routinely smashed expectations. Beginning as a “power-violence” band, then slowly working its way back through hardcore’s history of subgenres. It’s as if Ceremony progressed through historically regressing. On their 2012 release Zoo, the band was at a crossroads, with one foot still in hardcore and the other attempting to embrace the Joy Division influences that its name always implied. Whatever the band was attempting, fans still welcomed the release with raging fists in the air and thrashing mosh pits. 2015’s The L-Shaped Man is the band’s first album to act as if hardcore never happened. Instead, the LP is more like the best album Ian Curtis (Joy Division) never made. Where singer Ross Farrar’s vocals used to sound like a gnarling junkyard dog, on The L-Shaped Man he’s taken to singing in his best baritone. A bit of his gritty howls surfaces here and there, but for most of the album he’s showing that he can make the jump from screaming to singing without losing his personality. Ceremony will definitely get the crowd going this Sunday (7/5 @ 8pm) at Mohawk Place.

> Jeffrey Czum

Steve Earle & The Dukes

8pm Iron Works, 49 Illinois St. (200-1893 / $40

At the age of 60, songwriter Steve Earle has over 1,000 stories, six ex-wives, and 16 studio albums recorded over three decades. His latest release, Terraplane, is a collection of blues-based songs he wrote during a difficult separation from his recent wife, songwriter Allison Moorer. Earle is an artist whose deft song structures juggle incisive characters, personal confession, and passionate politics. His career began in Nashville during the late 70s, where his mentors Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark¬–along with the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson¬–were pushing the creative, personal edge of songwriting. After years as a songwriter-for-hire, Earle found commercial success with his 1986 debut, Guitar Town, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts. Earle frequently struggled with addiction and was arrested twice in the 1990s for drug possession and sentenced to a year in jail, serving 60 days before being released and going into rehab. Today, he’s clean and sober. It’s been a turbulent road for Earle, but since his transformation, he has maintained a steady output of albums supported by a passionate fan base. Don’t miss your chance to see Steve Earle & The Dukes perform at Iron Works this Tuesday night (7/7 @ 8pm).

> Jeffrey Czum


6:30pm Artpark, 450 South 4th St., Lewiston (754-4375 / $12-$27

For the Atlanta-bred electronic rock group Sound Tribe Sector 9, better known simply as STS9, innovations is at the core of their musical modus. After forming in 1998, the band has been creating mind-bending improvisational live music experiences for at least two generations of concertgoers. With fusion-heavy performances designed to appeal to a variety of tastes, it’s an experience you won’t find anywhere else. Although the instrumental quintet can’t seem to shake its “jam band” associations (and all the dreaded hair, hemp clothing, and hacky sacks that come with it), fans of techno, jazz, funk and even hip-hop would be hard pressed to overlook such a diverse outfit. STS9 blends progressive rock and primal funk styles with spacious ambient motifs and programmed beats to ensure the bass is pumping and the music is grooving. “There’s a lot of people who haven’t checked us out yet because they’ve pigeonholed us into a category already,” bassist David Murphy admits. “We take it with a grain of salt. Every artist deals with that to a certain degree.” See for yourself when STS9 comes to Artpark on Wednesday evening (7/8 @ 6:30pm). > BY russell casse

> Russell Casse

Devon Allman

9pm Iron Works, 49 Illinois St. (200-1893 / $15

Devon Allman is the next generation of The Allman Family. “Nobody wants to get to the top of the mountain and be asked how the helicopter ride was,” says Devon. “The common misconception is that I grew up on a tour bus and never had to work a real job, and that’s so wrong.” Devon actually didn’t even meet his father Greg Allman until he was 16. “Growing up without my dad proved to be very good for me. It made me develop a work ethic and it also gave me an organic path to my musical career” since breaking out into the scene, Devon has balanced his time between his two bands¬–Honeytribe and Royal Southern Brotherhood (a blues-rock super group featuring Cyril Neville and Mike Zito). Both outfits prominently feature Devon’s excellent guitar skills and songwriting. Turquoise, Devon’s first solo album was released in 2013 and focuses away from fancy fretboard work and sets it sights on true American songwriting. The opening track, “When I Left Home” offers a chance for the audience to reflect back on Devon’s life. “I never really has a song that dealt with my story,” Devon says. “I left high school and went on tour with my dad. The day that I split high school, I flew out to New York to hang out with my pops for a few weeks and then started touring with the Allman Brothers. It was, for me, to see what it would be like because I was kind of struggling between choosing acting, theater, or being a touring musician and making albums. A soon as I got out there, I was like, ‘yeah, I know what I want to do.’” Come out to Iron Works on Wednesday night (7/8 @ 9pm) to see Devon Allman perform an intimate set.

> Jeffrey Czum