Few who frequent the regional music scene are unaware of the guitar virtuosity of Northwest Indiana's Joe Marcinek.
From his long run with the local jazz-rock fusion group Fresh Hops and guest appearances with various jam ensembles to to his solo albums and live performances with his band, Marcinek refuses to go unnoticed.
It is not surprising to see a major buzz already surrounding Marcinek's latest album "JM3," which is being released on Nov. 16. Helping fuel that buzz has been a video of the album's first single, "Mojo," via YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=e_gcPVTmrA0.
This new 8-song collection recorded in California, was self-produced and as with past Marcinek releases, the great sequencing of tracks makes the album flow smoothly for an enjoyable listening experience. Personal favorites are "Mojo," "Terre Haute Blues," "What Cha Gonna Do," and "Mercy Boogie."
"As 2018 began, I started thinking about making a new record," said Marcinek. "It is my third album in an organ trio setting and I am unbelievably honored to have worked on it with two of my favorite musicians; organist Wil Blades and drummer Terence Higgins. We recorded it with (engineer) Ari Rios at Laughing Tiger Studios in San Rafael, California. We started recording on April 1 and had fun in the studio. The recording perfectly captures the loose, funky vibe we were all feeling."
The overall sound of the album owes a heavy debt to Alan Evans (of Soulive) who he performed with a few times over the past year during Joe Marcinek Band shows. "Alan mixed the record at Iron Wax Studios and then recommended a few key people to help me finish things," added Marcinek. "He connected me with Brad Smalling at Evergroove Studios for mastering and Charley Robinson at Iconoclast Design Company for the amazing artwork."
An all ages Nov. 17 record release party happens at Patrician Banquet Hall (410 E. U.S. 30) in Schererville, where Marcinek's combo will be joined by jam band Chester Brown, with a special reunion set by Region psych-funk group, Groovatron, who disbanded in 2010. The Groovatron reunion is reason enough to spring for the $20 ticket, but add in hearing Marcinek play this new collection of songs live, makes it a must see event. More: joemarcinekband.com.
• The 21st annual Jeff Buckley Tribute Weekend at The Uncommon Ground once again benefits The Old Town School of Folk Music. The back to back 7 p.m. dinner/8 p.m. concerts each have a $55 ticket, but include a three- course meal with performances by several artists influenced by Buckley. Among them are Ashley Peacock, Fiona McMahon, Laura Gylda, and V.V. Lightbody. The full line-up is at uncommonground.com.
• The free Sunday afternoon Live From The Record Bin acoustic concert series at The Record Bin (218 Main St.) presents an all ages 4 4 to 6 p.m. performance by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Nick Kazonis (facebook.com/Nicholaskazonismusic). The weekly series is a live internet radio broadcast originating in the record shop's intimate back room, airing on its 24-7 in-store radio channel "The Vintage Lounge," heard online at RegionRadio.Live. Space for this free series is very limited so early arrival is recommended. Complimentary light refreshments are served and the store offers 10 percent off between 4 to 6 p.m. on all vinyl LP and CD purchases. More: facebook.com/LiveAtTheRecordBin.
• The Region Ale Jazz Sunday Brunch at the Region Ale Tap House & Eatery (1080 U.S. 41) in Schererville from noon to 3 p.m. features multi-instrumentalist Alex Akers as this week's guest host. Akers directs the Scott Middle School Band and also performs in other music projects, including the band Caught On Cline and hip hop artist Christian Esteban. Local musicians are welcome to sit in with Akers and the house band; guitarist Nicholas Gerasimos Kazonis, bassist Kris Lohn, pianist Daniel C. Talion and drummer Andy Sutton. More: facebook.com/suttonmusicco.
• Renown Region bassist Keith Jackson, a cousin of the famous Jackson siblings, brings his band, Triple Dose, to the Region Ale (1080 U.S. 41) in Schererville on Friday for an 8 pm performance. More: regionaletaphouse.com or 219- 322-2337.
• Leroy's Hot Stuff (333 W. U.S. 20) in Porter serves up rock band 14th & Lincoln at 8 p.m. Friday before bluesin' it up with blues-rock favorites Duke Tumatoe & The Power Trio at 9 p.m. Saturday. More: leroyshotstuff.com or 219-926-6211.
• The Picks perform classic rock covers at Track Lounge (318 N. Jackson St.) in Crown Point on Friday at 9 p.m. Co-lead guitarists and lead vocalists Jack Cunningham and Lewis Rea are well anchored by the quartet's rhythm section of bassist Josh Hanchar and drummer Jason Martin. More: facebook.com/thepicksband.
• Singer/guitarist Steve Villagran does a 9 p.m. solo acoustic show at The Dam Bar & Grill (4665 W. Main St.) in Lowell on Friday. More: facebook.com/steve.villagran.
• Northwest Indiana party rock band, The Ropers, performs at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Buddy & Pals Place (1206 E. Summit St.) in Crown Point. The group features local guitar-star and showman, Mark Rongers, along with his guitarist/vocalist daughter Corey Girnus, her guitarist/vocalist hubby Ben Girnus, bassist Michael Andrew Miller, keyboardist/sax man Rich Ficekand, and drummer Joe Venegas. More: facebook.com/pg/ropersband.
• Lake Effect Band offers a classic rock soundtrack for a fish fry on Friday at The American Legion Hall (13050 Washington St.) in Cedar Lake starting at 8 p.m. More: 219- 374-9815. Catch them on Saturday at Jack's Sports Pub & Eatery (3325 Ridge Rd.) in Lansing. More: 708-418-0800
• Jimmy Ryan -- a Chicago-based session man and original member of The Critters - guests Friday from noon to 1 p.m. on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio program "Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges." Ryan has been touring with other top session musicians as The Hit Men since 2010. The group performs an 8 p.m. concert Nov. 10 at Governors State University (1 University Parkway) in University Park, Illinois. Tickets: $30-$35. Friday's Lakeshore broadcast will also feature saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair from 1 to 2 p.m. chatting about her new holiday album, "All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues," and her holiday tour with Dave Koz; stopping at Chicago Theatre on Dec. 7.
Then Chicago-based disco music queen Linda Clifford guests on Lakeshore's "Midwest BEAT" on Tuesday (7 to 8 p.m.), to talk about her career and the recent re-issuing of her four classic 1977-1980 albums -- "Let Me Be Your Woman," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Here's My Love," and "I'm Yours." Lakeshore programs stream in real time at: lakeshorepublicradio.org.