Blues Travels Lighter at Innsbrook
Maybe being lighter makes you go faster and need a lot of protection. After losing 180 pounds through gastric bypass and plastic surgeries, Blues Traveler's John Popper (in sunglasses, left) was arrested in March after his Mercedes SUV was clocked at 111 mph with a cache of weapons and a small amount of drugs inside. Not to worry -- Popper's lilting nasally voice and wild harmonica will not be silenced. The Grammy-winning platinum-album-toting group has released 11 albums since 1990, the most recent being 2005's "Bastardos!" Blues Traveler will be rocking at the Blue Moon Festival at Innsbrook After Hours Sunday, Oct. 14. Local favorite Fighting Gravity will open the show at 4 p.m. $10-$15. Call 794-6700 or www.ticketstobuy.com. Olivia Beatty
Michael Franti & Spearhead at Toad's Place
Protest songs are about as fashionable as Michael Vick jerseys these days. Most of today's voices of dissent are discouraged, discredited and Dixie-Chicked into silence. But not Michael Franti. Since his rap roots as the leader of The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Franti has thrown scathing social and political commentary in his music, railing against injustice and abuse. After his rap group lived up to its name, the California native created a new band, Spearhead, and continued to deliver his frank messages amid a more soulful and funky backdrop. Over the years, he's maintained his relevance with extensive touring and through producing the annual Power to the Peaceful Festival in San Francisco. Michael Franti and Spearhead bring the revolution to Toad's Place Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. Blue King Brown opens. $23-$25. Call 648-TOAD or visit www.toadsplacerva.com. Craig Belcher
Coco Montoya at the Capitol Ale House
Protégé of Albert Collins and sideman to John Mayall for 10 years, Coco Montoya has since established himself as a notable blues performer in his own right. "Dirty Deal" is Montoya's sixth solo album since the mid-'90s, a rich mix of toe-tapping blues-rock and slow, soulful ballads. The bluesman serves up passionate, smoky vocals and red-hot guitar riffs. While his guitar-playing far surpasses his vocal range and lyric-writing, the combination proves more than adequate to satisfy a craving for fiery blues. Catch Montoya and his beautiful long brown hair at Capital Ale House's Downtown Music Hall Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. $12-$15. Call (800) 594-TIXX or visit www.capitalalehouse.com. O.B.
Tower of Power at Toad's Place
Power is hip especially when it comes from 10-piece funk outfit Tower of Power. In it's nearly four-decade career, the band has become known for its soulful, harmonic vocals and solid funk sound. Half of the band's members play brass instruments -- all manner of saxophones to trumpets and fluegelhorns. Completing the lush, layered sound are keyboards, guitar, flute, clarinet, bass and a slew of vocalists. All this noise is beautifully orchestrated to produce dense, tight funk rhythms and tender soul ballads. The band's eclectic mix has found audiences in soul, rock and funk lovers alike. Tower of Power performs at Toad's Place Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. $25-$40. Call 648-TOAD or visit www.toadsplacerva.com. O.B. Click here for more Calendar Events