Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Respect, Praise, Music, Don't Forget to Dance

Well, with the tremendous Sept. 23 Zoo Bar memorial and celebration of Larry Boehmer's life, the family that Larry brought together through years of amazing music and Zoo Bar camaraderie came together again in powerful fashion.

Like the birthday event Larry threw in August 2011 in Eureka Springs for himself, that drew over 100 people from Lincoln, Omaha and across the country, this event brought together generations of Zoo Bar family.

Folks like Jon Emery, Billy Dye and Baby Jason Davis came from out of town...guys who played with Larry in the early days of Little Jimmy Valentine & The Heart Murmurs like Cid Cidlak,  Sean Benjamin and "Hollywood" Doug Rosenkrans got back together on stage....the music started at 3 p.m. with a rousing blast of gospel from the Quinn Gospel Choir and the music went on and on from there. 

 I truly felt Larry was with us in spirit and enjoying the celebration of music, friendships and family that he helped bring together and nurture.

Link to my updated history of the Zoo Bar, if you haven't read it...

The 21st Saloon and the Blues Society of Omaha host a Tribute to Larry Boehmer on Thursday, Oct. 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at The 21st Saloon, 96th & L. Several generations of Lincoln's Zoo Bar all-stars will perform including Larry's son and current Zoo co-owner Jeff Boehmer, plus Sean Benjamin, Dave Robel, Dave Boye, Josh Hoyer, Ll' Slim, Kris Lager, John Fairchild and Levi William. Brad Cordle will be a special guest.

I realize I have been writing a lot about Larry the last few weeks....all I can tell you is that he changed MY life and so many more, by the very existence of the Zoo Bar...the music I saw there, the music I learned from, the friendships and music family I made...and he certainly changed my life by virtue of his example of grace, class, humor and how he conducted himself both in business and in his life,  including how he handled his illness. 

To keep all this info together, here is the info on memorials and efforts to remember Larry. 

Memorials to the Larry Boehmer Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank, to be divided among American Cancer Society, Academy of Rock and Eureka Springs Humane Society. Cards can be sent in care of Zoo Bar, 146 N. 14th St., Lincoln, NE 68501.
In addition to -- and not to detract from the family’s choices listed above -- a fund has been set up to create a UNL scholarship in Larry’s name.
Checks should be made out to: “Memorial Account for Larry Boehmer” and sent to:
Union Bank & Trust Co.
121 S. 13th Street
P.O. Box 82535
Lincoln, NE 68501

There is also a letter and email campaign to have 14th Street between O and P renamed in Larry's honor. If you support the idea please send your letters or emails to  Mayor Chris Beutler, c/o Mayor's Office 555 South 10th St., Suite 301  Lincoln, NE 68508  Email: 402-441-7511  Fax: 402-441-7120 

In other blues news, there are two big shows coming up that you don't want to miss. Curtis Salgado, Tommy Castro and Joe Louis Walker at Slowdown Friday, Oct. 12, for the Playing With Fire fundraiser. A $35 ticket is a margin to see these top-flight contemporary blues artists. See for details.

Please note the show starts at 7:30 p.m. and the performance order is Tommy Castro, Curtis Salgado and then Joe Louis Walker as the final act of the night. You can also check out the event page at

I am also super-excited to see the Dr. John/Blind Boys of Alabama collaboration at The Bourbon Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 20. This is a Zoo Bar and Bourbon Theatre collaboration and is going to be one helluva show. Tickets are on sale now at the Zoo, the Bourbon, at Here is a clip of the Blind Boys in action...they are a force to be reckoned with!

Thursday night after the Larry Boehmer tribute at The 21st, head on over to the Waiting Room Thursday, Oct. 4, to catch John Fullbright opening for The Devil Makes Three. Fullbright is a young Oklahoma roots singer-songwriter who gets nothing but raves from folks who've seen him live. I think this is his first Omaha performance. 

Also, Friday, Oct. 5, is the final show for Josh Hoyer's Sons of 76 9 p.m. at Lincoln's Zoo Bar. 
Mezcal Brothers will have the FAC 5-7 p.m.

Josh is one of the most remarkably talented songwriters, vocalists and bandleaders on the local scene, and while I am excited to see what he's up to next, I have sure enjoyed following and dancing to Sons of 76 over the last few years.
Here's a clip of Josh's song Imaginary Man (incorrectly titled in the video clip) with Jon Dee Graham joining the Sons a few months ago onstage at the Zoo.

I was re-listening to Peter Karp and Sue Foley's fine CD Beyond The Crossroads again this week....great writing, great performances, great chemistry. The whole disc is very good, if you don't have it -- check it out. Here's a track...

I also go back periodically to Kevin Welch's excellent disc Patch of Blue Sky. This track has a lot to say about the Power of Love... don't take it for granted, don't let it slip by you, don't think that tomorrow will be the day, the time, the hour....tomorrow may not come...and love is the answer. Don't let the very wonderful things this life has to offer pass you by!

Oh, and it's October!

This week's READER HOODOO column is online here, much the same content but be sure to check it out.

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