Multi-talented East Chicago native Jamie M. Harrison officially released his solo debut single "Maybe I'll Write It Down" via indie label 829 Records. It's the same label that is now home to the music of his famous father, Jim Skafish.
Harrison is a guitarist, keyboardist, singer and musical director who tours full time as a member of the international touring groups Pink Flamingos and ARTRAGEOUS. The musician will remain with his two bands while also exploring his own solo music project.
"We are starting with this single and I am currently working on new songs that I will be recording soon," said Harrison, during a call from the road where he had just finished performing with T-Bone Burnett and actor/musician Jeff Bridges at the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience Festival. Harrison played keys for the all-star band that also included guitarists Stevie Salas (Mick Jagger/Rod Stewart) and Ricky Medlock (Lynyrd Skynyrd), as well as actor/bassist Wes Studi (Firecat of Discord).
"I did the festival last year with Nathan East (acclaimed R&B/Jazz bassist) and the director was so impressed with my contributions that he tapped me to participate in this year's show. Fortunately, I happened to be on break from touring and was able to accept his invitation. It was an amazing experience and an honor to play with Jeff and T-Bone, as I've been a huge fan of both for years."
Harrison's song "Maybe I'll Write That Down" is now available at online music retailers -- iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and others -- as well as on the streaming service, Spotify. More: 829records.com.
• Central Park (600 N. Broad Street) in Griffith will be the home of The Broad Street Blues Festival next weekend. The three-day blues festival will feature 16 blues bands, more than a dozen BBQ vendors and craft beer vendors, and runs 5-11 p.m. on June 30, 1-11 p.m. on July 1, and 2-11 p.m. on July 2. Among those performing: The Smiley Tillman Band featuring Kate Moss, Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater, Joanna Connor, and Grammy Award winner Bobby Rush. A BBQ Cook-Off at 3 p.m. July 1 features guest judges Dan Hampton and Steve McMichael from the 1985 Superbowl Champion Chicago Bears and WXRT radio personality, Emma Mac. More: broadstreetbluesfest.com.
• Leroy's Hot Stuff (333 W. U.S. 20) in Porter welcomes the blues and funk of Upside Down & Backwards at 8 p.m. Friday, followed Saturday by the 10-piece ensemble Heavy performing a variety of Latin, funk, and rock styles at 9 p.m. More: leroyshotstuff.com or 219-926-6211.
• The Portage 2017 Summer Music Series of free afternoon concerts at Founders Square Park (6300 Central Ave.) in Portage continues on June 25 with the 1 to 2:30 p.m. concert of folk, rock and blues of David Hernandez. Portage keeps the music free on Tuesdays with weekly concerts inside Oakwood Hall at Woodland Park, (2100 Willowcreek Road). This Tuesday features The Larry Spurlock Little Big Band performing big band standards. For more on both series: (219) 762-1675 or portagemusic.com.
• M&R Rush band members are actively recruiting golfers for their third annual Rock 'N' Roll Golf Outing on July 14 at the Scherwood Golf Club (600 E. Joliet St.) in Schererville. Cost is $90 per person/$360 per foursome, followed by an acoustic jam by the band and special friends. More: mandrrush.com.
• The Rockopelli Music Fest 2017 will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. on July 15 at Main Square Park in Highland. The all ages concert on the park's Gazebo Stage is free to the public and includes a variety of crafters, food vendors, and a beer garden. Performing this year is Tomiko Dixon, Nomad Planets, Oceans Over Airplanes, Dirtymac, Zodiac, President Hooch and The Jades. Rockopelli Music Festival has raised nearly $56,000 for local charities in its 5 years of operation. This year's charities are Planting Possibilities, Emma's Footprints and Murph's Gift of Music. More: rockopellifest.com.
• Five artists from Chicago's Alligator Records received a total of 11 nominations for the 2017 Living Blues Awards. Toronzo Cannon received four, Shemekia Copeland, Curtis Salgado, and Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials each received two nominations and Marcia Ball received one. The blues loving public can vote on the awards online at: livingblues.com.
• Today is the final day to submit your original songs to Acorn Theater's 5th annual Singer Songwriter Competition, which pays off with cash prizes totaling $1,000, plus recording and performing opportunities. Info: acorntheater.com.
• Music has been flowing at Schneider, Indiana's The Spot Studio. Owner/engineer John Huber has been busy recording a batch of new tracks with fast-rising NWI country singer/songwriter Jerica Paliga and her band. Also logging hours there on his new project has been finger-style guitarist Steve Pulvers. In the coming weeks, The Chicago Kingsnakes and Big Dog Mercer have each booked time to record their respective brand of blues. Both of those artists' last albums made this columnist's Regional Top 10 Albums of 2016 list. Expect good things from these sessions.
On Tuesday, John and Liz Breslin of the Highland Council of Community Events will be in-studio at 7 p.m. on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio's weekly program, "Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges," to talk about the live music being presented at Highland's Fourth of July Summer Festival. A few artists from that line-up will also be featured. Stream live at: lakeshorepublicmedia.org.