North Township Trustee Frank J. Mrvan presents The First Responders Appreciation Fest Saturday at Wicker Memorial Park (2215 Ridge Road) in Highland. A trio of top regional bands will be performing to salute those who put themselves at risk when they come to the public's aid.
The roster includes the guitar-driven blues-rock of The Corey Dennison Band, the funk-jazz-jam fusion of The Joe Marcinek Band and a rare live performance by Marrakesh Express (a tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), whose vocal harmonies are remarkable.
The 21 and older outdoor concert starts at 4 p.m. with a rain date of Sept. 10. Admission is free to all First Responders of Lake County Indiana (ID required) and $15 at the door (general admission lawn seating). A special $20 Premier Patio Package is also available. More: (219) 932-2530 (ex 331) or wickerparkmemorialpark.com.
• Congratulations to long time Chicago radio jock Mitch Michaels on the release this week of his new memoir -- "Doin' the Cruise: Memories Of A Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll" (Eckhartz Press) -- which was written with assistance from Highland resident/author Ken Churilla. I've known Michaels and Churilla for a lot of years and have just dived into the pages myself, expecting nothing less than an excellent read as Michaels shares many great stories. Watch for my interviews with these two local talents in this column. More: dointhecruise.com or eckhartzpress.com.
• Leroy's Hot Stuff (333 West U.S. 20) in Porter welcomes the blues rock of Head Honchos at 8 p.m. Friday, which also is the birthday celebration for Honcho's guitarist/founder Rocco Calipari. On Saturday, Leroy's welcomes party rock band Five Guys Named Moe for a 9 p.m. performance. Biker note: On Sept. 17, Leroy's will host one of the final bike runs of the summer, The Critter Run, benefiting the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana. There is an 11 a.m. sign up with a 4 to 8 p.m. live music/buffet after party. More: leroyshotstuff.com or (219) 926-6211.
• Alias Brass Company will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at Portage High School East Auditorium (6450 U.S. 6) in Portage as the first of four live music concerts scheduled for the Fall 2017-Spring 2018 Concert Season. It's the 28th annual season presented by Portage Township Live Entertainment Association. Admission is free to students and $15 for adults at the door. Alias Brass Company is a collaboration of five uniquely talented music artists from across the nation. Featuring two trumpets, a French horn, trombone, and tuba. More: Linda Hardin at 219-762-5025 or visit portagemusic.com.
• Word has come in that the original founders of Chicago's '80s band Gambler (also known as Buster before its Capitol/EMI recording contract) will be reuniting for a special one night tribute/reunion show at The Wire in Berwyn, Illinois on Oct. 20 The show will be a benefit for the Oak Park School of Rock Scholarship Program. The line-up will feature four of the founding members - Warren Mays, Chuck Schwartz and brothers Bruce Breckenfeld and Del Breckenfeld. Alexander Kariotis will step in for his late brother Tony Breckenfeld, the group's last singer who replaced original vocalist Nathan Shaffer. More: facebook.com/gambler.chicago
• One time Chicago-rooted bluesman Benny Turner, younger brother of blues legend Freddie King, was presented with the Little Milton Lifetime Bluesman Award at the Jus' Blues Music Awards. It's just been announced Benny will also be inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame in October. Turner's new album "My Brother's Blues" (Nola Blue Records) finds Turner paying tribute to his big brother King. More: bennyturner.com
• Long running veteran classic rock group, Fox, a group who formed in the 1960s and has retained its all original membership, has announced a Sept. 23 gig at Byway Brewing in Highland will be its official farewell to live performing. "It's not like we're breaking up, I think more like discontinuing being so active," noted guitarist David Owen of the quartet of friends who first formed in the late 1960s as college students. "Byway Brewery may be our last official job, but we may come out again from time to time."
• Brad Peterson is an indie-pop singer-songwriter who has shared stages with the likes of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead. He stopped making music after a spinal injury left him partially paralyzed and unable to record or perform for several years.
“It became a struggle to brush my teeth and get dressed, so playing guitar wasn’t really on my list of priorities at that point," said Peterson of his hiatus from performing. "I withdrew into isolation, and it was an arduous journey back, but things are better now than ever. With the help of skilled doctors, long months of rehabilitation, and painful hard work, I’m back to physical – and musical – health with 'The Ellipsis Album', which I've done completely on my own, from writing, to playing all the instruments, to engineering, producing and mastering." "The Ellispsis Album," a 13 song collection, is set for release in September.
• On the 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio's weekly program "Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges," listeners will hear tunes from vintage Chicago bands like Holland, Cheap Trick, Enuff Z'Nuff, and others from the '80s era who were part of the scene alongside in-studio guest, rocker/author Billy McCarthy, former drummer of Atlantic Recording band, D'Molls. Billy will talk about his musical youth as a Chicago native who relocated to L.A. in search of rock stardom, and his new book "Beat Me 'Til I'm Famous," that chronicles the journey. The program streams live at: lakeshorepublicmedia.org).