Hot Music in January - Roberta's Blog

Happy New Year! There was live music in every nook and cranny of the Quad Cities this year for New Year’s Eve celebrations. Locations that are not typically live music venues brought us live music. And many regular venues kicked it up a notch for the occasion.

Last year I attended two of the largest, most boisterous NYE parties on the Iowa side of the river. While I stayed in Iowa again this year, I dialed it back some and checked out a couple of smaller celebrations.

The Dam View has regularly hosted live music, but if you haven’t been there lately, it is worth a stop to check out the changes. New Year’s Eve we found Doug Brundies playing a solo show for a small group of revelers in the newly remodeled bar. Doug’s acoustic show was a fun way to ring in the New Year without the crush of a huge club.

On the north end of Davenport, the Jersey Grill was host to Soul Storm. Soul Storm provided a happy mix of musical genres, with pop, R&B and rock. The groove they laid down was picked up by many who couldn’t help but dance. Although it isn’t a common occurrence to find live music at Jersey Grill, I’ve heard of the occasional event there. There were not many seats open, which means a solid crowd rang in the New Year.

My partner-in-crime for the evening was Jaqulyn Darin, Local Scene’s newest writer. We actually started our evening out at an open-house style event that later in the evening sported a DJ spinning vinyl. But we stopped in early, before the music started in order to get a tour of what could become the Quad Cities newest live music venue. The Mansion, located at 718 Bridge, is a river view home that has been zoned commercial for some time. It has been without use for about two years, but is expected to come alive quickly as a space for artists and musicians. The man responsible, Jose Delucio, showed us around and explained his vision for the space. Upstairs there are rooms with fantastic river views that would make great work/showcase studios for artists. There is also a space that could be used by a band as a recording and practice studio.

Downstairs there are larger, open spaces that could be used for music events and gallery showings of artwork. And there is a conference room available to rent. Delucio suggested it would be a good place for a weekly crafts class. There is a space downstairs that boasts floor-to-ceiling windows along the entire wall, with a view of the river. For the local music community, Delucio, also a local musician, envisions smaller musical gatherings in the downstairs space with a listening room feel. He has partnered with Jaye McGilvrey, who will be putting together art exhibits and assisting in promoting the space. Contact Jose Delucio for more information about the space available in this old river mansion with a new destiny. And watch for information about upcoming shows. I know we will!

The New Year festivities sort of ran over into the weekend this year. Friday night there were several great local shows with multiple bands, which made for a tough decision on where to go. This time around, I chose RIBCO for Slacker’s New Year’s Eve, a multiple band celebration of the New Year. The night started out with Seth Knappen. Knappen's very technical, intricate music was showcased with his full band.

Next up was Evol Backwards. This indie folk band has a very unique blend of instruments, and haunting vocal harmonies. Sara’s accordion blends well with Melinda’s violin and Jeff’s guitar, with bottom line being provided by Lucas on upright bass.

Unfortunately, my evening had to come to an early close, so I missed Tambourine and White Zephyr. It was a great local show, and I look forward to catching the other two bands sometime soon.

Saturday night found me back at RIBCO for the Old 57s and 3 on the Tree. It was a lively night of Rockabilly and oldies. The Old 57s have a lot of fun with oldies music, and play up the 50’s theme. Vocalist Alissa Howerton adds a lot of animation and energy to her perfected 50’s “bop” voice to create a vivacious package, complementing AJ Haut’s Elvis-style character.

What can I say about 3 on the Tree? They always, always put on an entertaining show, and this night was enhanced by a drummer who took things to a higher level. When Randy Noy set up his standing drum kit, I knew we were in for something different, but when he jumped out from behind the kit and began playing everything but the drums… holy cow! That guy has a ton of energy.

It is mighty cold today - warmer weather is on the way. In the mean time, hit up a local show, where the music is guaranteed to be hot. We have a few listed on the calendar.