MARCH 2024                                                                JOURNAL OF AMERICANA MUSIC

Any day of the week, if you want to get out and enjoy some live music in Buffalo and throughout much of WNY, you can do that.  Of course, there is more happening on weekends but even on weeknights and often during the day as well at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, you can find incredibly talented performers in taverns, breweries or music clubs.

It may be more difficult to find those shows than in the past when Gusto with the Buffalo News or Artvoice and other local publications would run a calendar of music events broken down by genre or venue.  It seems to me that Facebook and other social media have become the go-to place to find out what’s going on.  It surprises me that some people who are music fans are not on Facebook.  I know there are some philosophical objections to the idea of social media but if you’re totally tuned out from it, I don’t know how you keep up with what’s happening.

Another idea is a blog from Jeff Miers, “Where the Bands Are.”  It’s a weekly email and Facebook post, in which Jeff details some of the upcoming highlights of the week.   It’s not fully comprehensive but there is a lot of information in each post.  It’s free but you can also subscribe for a nominal fee to a couple different blogs from Jeff, all about music.  Look him up and support his efforts.  Jeff Miers is one of the best writers about music in all its forms that have ever shared a part of themselves via the written word.

Kudos also to Dan Ward, a local music fan who sends out a weekly email to those interested, listing many venues that have live music and breaking it down day by day.  Dan does this just as a labor of love; ask him to include you when you see him around.

Where else can you get this information?  I don’t know, but back several years ago when I started The JAM with Angela Hastings, we had high hopes of turning The JAM into that kind of music guide.  And then when Elmer Ploetz did his turn as Editor, it brought an increased level of professionalism.  There’s still a real need for a live music guide to exist in Buffalo and WNY.  Both the artists who work very hard at their craft, and the venues who take the financial risk of paying the musicians in the hope that the audience shows up, deserve to be able to get the word out.

In any event, until that happens, we’ll keep plugging away and one of the things the SAM Foundation does is offer free tickets every month to our members to some shows in WNY.  Our partners every month have been the Sportsmen’s Tavern, Babeville and Buffalo Ironworks.  Also, in the past that has expanded to Artpark when the weather gets better and a few other venues on a sporadic basis, like UB Center for the Arts, MusicalFare Theatre and others.  The way this generally works is SAMF buys a pair of tickets to the shows and the venues give us a pair, so we give away two pairs of tickets to the shows being offered.  So, for this month we’re offering seven different shows, see below.  If you regularly read this column, you know the drill.  This month’s JAM is scheduled to be out on March 8, so you have until Friday night March 15th at 9 pm to enter the drawings.  You can enter as many as you’d like but just put your name into those you can really attend.  Send me an email at and tell me what you’d like to win.

Good luck to all of you.  I hope to see you out there supporting live music.

Robert J. McLennan

SAMF member


Wayne Hancock:   March 21st – Sportsmen’s Tavern

“Wayne has a genuine affinity for stomping rockabilly, Western swing, blues, and old-timey country”

The Pine Dogs:   March 30th – Sportsmen’s Tavern
“The Pine Dogs are a roots rock band from Western New York.”

Samantha Fish:  March 24th – Babeville
“Samantha Fish is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri. While often cited as a blues artist, Fish’s work features and draws from multiple genres, including rock, country, funk, bluegrass, and ballads.”

Start Making Sense: April 5th – Babeville
“Always playing the music of Talking Heads.”

Dopapod: March 19th – Buffalo Ironworks
“The group’s hypnotic hybrid of funk, rock, jazz, bluegrass, and electronica……”

Jackson Stokes: March 29th – Buffalo Ironworks
“Guitarist, Songwriter, and Singer from St. Louis, MO!”

NICKEL CREEK March 23rd – UB Center for the Arts
“Featuring Grammy® Award-Winning recording artists – mandolin player Chris Thile, violinist Sara Watkins, and guitarist Sean Watkins – the group revolutionized bluegrass and folk music, ushering in the Americana Music era. Enjoy hits from their chart-topping albums and tunes from their latest Grammy nominated recording, Celebrants.” 

Angela Hastings

Author Angela Hastings

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