Musical storyteller Ellis Paul brings his acoustic sound to Front Porch Music (505 East Lincolnway) in Valparaiso for an 8 p.m. all ages concert on March 7 (tickets, $18).
Paul's latest album, "Chasing Beauty," is a set of songs which detail stories of people and places that reflect larger truths about us all. Some of its best tracks are "Kick Out the Lights (Johnny Cash)," a tribute to the American icon name-checked in its title; "Plastic Soldier," a homage to a wounded soldier returning from Afghanistan and the tale of a real-life barnstorming pilot shared in "Jimmie Angel's Flying Circus."
Paul has told musical tales such as these for more than a quarter century, over the course of 19 albums, featuring songs that have been included on various movie soundtracks. Like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan before him, Ellis Paul is a true troubadour, a tireless road dog that has spent most of his adult life strumming and singing in music haunts across the land.
"I've got a car with over 475,000 miles on it, and it's my third road vehicle," said Paul of his life on the road. "I've been doing at least 200 shows a year for over 20 years. There isn't a town in the country where I won't find a friend. I'm a nomad. And I'm gonna write and play until I'm gone. More: (219) 464-4700 or frontporchmusic.com.
• Bugsy's Tavern (4489 Broadway), on the corner of 45th & Broadway in Glen Park, referred to by owner Cary Darnell as a Harley-Davidson Museum with a liquor license, recently added live music to its menu every weekend. Although I have not ventured there myself yet to catch a band, Bugsy's March 7 rock roster is tempting me. Headlining the night will be The Killer Jâz, which for the most part is the reunited line-up of the popular early '80s region club band, Stanza. Opening the show at 8 p.m. will be Bob Seger tribute act, The Double-Bullet Band. Need an extra nudge to get off the couch? How about this - no cover. More: (219) 887-2847.
• My favorite Midwest R&B singer, Kanisha K, had notable success in 2014 on Top 40, urban and dance radio playlists, but 2015 is shaping up to be her breakthrough year. The Holland, Mich. native who frequently pops across the state line to visit her steadily growing fan base in Northwest Indiana (she performed last summer at the U.S. Steelyard and the Lake County Fair) will debut her newest single to Top 40 radio on March 2.
The song ("Oh D...Yeah") was written and produced by Joe Vulpis (Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Love Hewitt etc.) and mastered by Tom Coyne (Adele, Beyonce, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Pink, Ariana Grande).
"Working with Joe (Vulpis) and bringing his songs to life through the recording process was an enormous honor for me," Kanisha told The Times. "I really fell in love with the song and another of Joe's songs 'Never Stopped Loving You' that we also recorded. We worked hard and I think we have some hits here." Fans can get an early listen to the tune at: https://soundcloud.com/kanisha-k/
• A lot of positive email came my way after The Local Scene reported three weeks ago that former NWI resident Pamela Moore - best known to heavy metal fans worldwide as Queensryche's Sister Mary from the "Operation Mindcrime I & II" albums would be returning to rock Chicagoland at Tailgator's Sports Bar (431 W. Boughton Rd.) in Bolingbrook.
A world class vocalist who has recorded some great albums on her own, Moore gave the world her best yet in 2014 with the release of "Resurrect Me," a collection she co-wrote with longtime Chicago guitarist Michael Posch (of Radakka fame), now anchoring down The Pamela Moore Band. The PMB will be playing the entire disc when they hit the stage at 8 p.m. for their Tailgator performance. Tickets are $12 gen admission and $20 VIP. More: (630) 679-1994 or pamelamoore.net
• Theatre At The Center in Munster (1040 Ridge Road) is bringing back the doo-wop musical, The Signal, on April 4 for two performances (4 and 8 p.m.). The Signal, written and produced by Gary native Henry Farag, recounts the stories of legendary influential R&B icons, while performing their many hits. The 11-member cast includes Rhythm & Blues Pioneer Award winner The Spaniels, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Willie Rogers of The Soul Stirrers, and well-known acappella group, Stormy Weather. More: (219) 836-3255 or theatreathecenter.com.
• Former Paul McCartney & Wings guitarist Denny Laine will guest Tuesday, March 3 on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio's Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges program. Then drummer Carmine Appice and vocalist/keyboardist Mark Stein - founding members of iconic psychedelic band Vanilla Fudge - will guest on a special Thursday edition of the program on March 5. Both shows air at 6 p.m. Lakeshore Public Radio is streamed live in real time online at: lakeshorepublicmedia.org.