I’m seeing all kinds of good concerts coming to Wichita this summer. And the lineup is surprisingly free of washed-up acts trying to squeeze the last dollars from their fleeting fame. Instead, we’re being treated to musicians with a lot of hipster cred, including some rising stars.
We’ve already had Black Joe Lewis, Yonder Mountain and Ani DiFranco. Coming up are a bunch of A-listers like Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Talib Kweli and Flaming Lips. Even the Wu-Tang Clan are coming to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their seminal album Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers.
And there’s more: Lake Street Dive, Gogol Bordello, Hot Club of Cowtown, Trombone Shorty and St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Riverfest is continuing their fine work; Music Theatre Wichita and Chamber Music at the Barn have great summer seasons planned.
Music: Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, “Sugarfoot,” Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is (2009)
All this is thanks to people who take the financial risk to bring these bands to us: promoters, presenters, managers, club owners, festival organizers — and I think it’s time we showed them some appreciation. Putting on a show is a nightmare; these acts aren’t cheap, and then there’s advertising, equipment rental and security, not to mention the artist’s catering rider.
Wichita concert presenters have been sticking their necks out for us, and doing it with taste. I don’t think they’re even expecting you to personally thank them — better to just go out and hear what they’re doing.
Gogol Bordello, “Let's Get Crazy,” (2012). (Written for Coca-Cola.) These guys are coming to Riverfest.
The Hot Club Of Cowtown - Dark Eyes / "Ochi Chornye" Rendezvous in Rhythm (2013). Coming to Wichita June 11.
Lake Street Dive, "Good Kisser," Free Yourself Up (2018). Rachel Price is my favorite living singer. They’re coming July 2.
Wu-Tang Clan “Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'” Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993). Coming July 31.