Dayton is the Land of Funk for a Reason

Dayton, Ohio is the birthplace of funk, and man, do we ever live up to that reputation this weekend. I'm simply amazed by the amount of live music in this town over the next few days. There are some really incredible lineups on deck. Let's help these musicians keep it funky, and join in the fun!

Thursday, January 21st

Some weeks you just really need to let loose on a Thursday night - am I right? Tonight is one of the best Thursdays to get out there and do just that! Yosemight and SassafraZ are two of the hottest up-and-coming jam/improv bands in the region, and are coming to Canal Public House to make sure this town has got some heart! (Wink to the Dead fans out there!) And yes, they are certainly bringing the funk!

Kicking off the night is Ernie Johnson from Detroit, which is a new band that packed with cool people. Pro tip: This is all going to be very danceable, so bring comfy shoes! Doors 8 p.m. Show 10 p.m. Ages 18+, $5 cover. (SO worth it.)

Columbus-based super group SassafraZ will be performing at Canal Public House Thursday evening with Yosemight and Ernie Johnson from Detroit.

Another band in town along those same psychedelic, funk, jam vibe is Louisville's home grown band Vessel. They will be performing at Oscar's Bar in Vandalia. I'm hearing really great things about this band, and the bar, so don't be shy to drive up north. Plus, no cover! Music 10 p.m.

For those of you west of town, Taffy's of Eaton claims to have the best Open Mic Night around. Each week they have 12-18 artists perform 15-20 min sets. This week Harley Aaron Pemberton hosts this lively session at one the areas "meccas of music." Check it out! Musicians interested in performing, call 937.456.1381 to be in the line-up to perform.

Friday, January 22nd

Rock'n'roll fans, if you like the heavy stuff and getting crazy with your friends, here is a dream lineup if I've ever seen one, featuring local legends Legbone, Nightbeast, Reefer Hut, Jasper the Colossal and Throttle. (I just did an air guitar move after reading that line! Seriously! Ha!) This can all be had for the steal of a price - $6! Head over to Oddbody's Music Room, which has amazing sound by the way. Might even want to slip a pair of ear plugs in your pocket before you go. Protect those ears! Doors 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. See you there!

Speaking of local legends, you can catch Motel Beds, along with Speaking Suns and Birthday Boy (Athens) over at Canal Public House this evening. Sure to be a very full room, so I'd advise to get there early! Show 8:30 p.m., ages 18+, $7 cover.


Folk, indie up-and-comer Joshua Powell (Indiana) performs tonight at Trolley Stop. I've been so curious to check him out, as his recorded music is really solid. Looking for something a little more low key from all the craziness? This is an ideal spot. 9:30 p.m. Typically $5 cover.

Blind Bob's is hosting another one of their great line-ups of metal / hard rock bands, this evening including Grand Mammoth, Bison Machine, New Strange and Maharaja. This is going to be loud and awesome. 9 p.m. show. I'm assuming $5 cover.

More of a Blues mood this evening? Noah Wootherspoon is performing at Oregon Express tonight. $5 cover. Or head over and see Doug Hart at Hank's Pub. Both are excellent musicians!


Yellow Springs has an absolutely delicious night of music this evening, with Ohio Brass & Electric performing at Emporium Wines & The Underdog Cafe from 7-10 p.m. They promise delicious wines to taste, fascinating people to talk to, and enthusiastic dancers to dance with - what more could you ask for?!

When you wrap up there, make sure you check out the Grover CD Release Party at Peach's Grill. Grover is a simply fantastic hometown group that will keep you dancing all night long! Sending a big note of congrats to this group for finishing their album entitled "Tonight Only." They are one of my favorites, so please be sure to show them some love tonight. No cover! 9 p.m. Ages 18+.

Way out west, over in Richmond, Shotgun Surprise is hosting a birthday bash at The Sportsman. SS is a rock band through and through. Do enjoy! No cover tonight. 9 p.m.

Saturday, January 23rd

If you thought there were a lot of options on Friday night, we are just getting going. Saturday is packed with amazing live, original music options. There are so many options, I'm going to be fairly brief with descriptions. Remember, click hyperlinks for more info and links to samples of music!

One of the big shows this evening is the "Take to the Air" CD Release Party for Nasty Bingo. They are getting the party started with Trey Stone & The Ringers. That's going to be one heck of a party over at Oregon Express! The "cover" is $15 but includes a copy of the CD, which is a fantastic deal. Don't miss this one folks, it's going to be a very special night.


Another killer line-up from Canal Public House show tonight, featuring the eclectic rock sound that is Adam's Ale & JoJo Stella, as well as the laid back, southern funk stylings of Will C and Family. I really love all of all of this. Jam band friends, simply enjoy. Doors 8pm. Show 9:30 p.m. $7 at the door. Ages 18+.

The highly anticipated Winter Blues Showcase is tonight at Gilly's, featuring John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band, Joe Tellmann, Soul Fixers, and Chris Yakopic. Tickets are $15 for Dayton Blues Society Members and $20 for everyone else. Doors 7 p.m. Show 7:30 p.m.

Also in the Oregon District, you can find more awesome options (all typically $5 covers):

Outside of the immediate Dayton area, make sure to check out:

Sunday, January 24th

Feeling funky this Sunday? Top Secret will be performing old school favorites, along with some new originals, to keep you groovin' this evening. Music from 7-11 p.m. at American Legion Post 776 Ohio. $5 cover.

Phonophage is performing for their first time as a complete live band this evening, along with Anu Sava and Yikes A Band! over at Blind Bob's. Exciting! 8:30 p.m.
Tune in to hear my friend and co-writer of the Guided by Noises article, Vivienne Machi, perform with her band Babbling April on WYSO's Kaleidoscope show, with the lovely host Juliet Fromholt. Tune in from 8-11pm. (P.S....Check out our latest edition of Guided by Noises here.)
As always, thank you for supporting the live music scene in Dayton.

Your Dayton Music Insider,

Libby Ballengee

Note to Readers:   The information above is for Jan 21st - 27th. If I don’t list a price, it’s because I’m not sure what the price is. Generally cover charges for local shows are $5. Please click the hyperlinks to find out more about the bands, venues and events, including start times, directions, and ticket availability. As you can see, I try to promote as many shows as possible, but there will be some I miss. Keep me in the loop:  @LibbyBallengee. Check out the latest shows I’m promoting @theVenusChild. You can also keep up with my adventures on Instagram here.



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