Werksgiving and The Last Waltz


Most people understandably have warm feelings towards Thanksgiving weekend because it's filled with good food, football, and family time. Live music fans love this extra long weekend because of its provides a unique opportunity to see their favorite bands 4 nights in a row, and arguably some of the best music events of the year!

Two of my annual favorites are: Werksgiving and Such A Night: The Last Waltz Live. Every year I look forward to these musical extravaganzas with the delight of a small child waiting for Christmas Day. Check out these events yourself to see why they are so special!

Wednesday, November 25 (aka "The Biggest Bar Night of the Year")

For those who are outside the improv/jam scene, local band The Werks have been making their way around the country (several times!) on back-to-back tours. They have emerged as a band solidly in the forefront of the national "jam band" scene, for lack of a better term. Their new album, Inside a Dream, is on solid rotation on Sirius XM Jam On station, and they are certainly on their way, recently selling out large regional venues and hosting their own summer music festival every year.

The Werks, at their annual Werk Out Music Festival. Photo by Joshua Timmermans / Noble Visions

The Werks emerged from a very interesting improv scene that popped over a decade ago. I was fortunate to be on the of the people who got to witness the bands that formed during the incubation period. Since their rise, they have always made it a tradition to come back and play a hometown show for Thanksgiving, fondly referred to by longtime fans as Werksgiving.

Typically this show is held at smaller bars and venues, and not highly publicized, due to size of crowds it would attract. This year the band is able to play at a nice size venue, since the opening of Oddbody's Music Room, just over a year ago. My promotional company, Venus Child Productions, is proud to be partnering with The Werks, Oddbody's, and opening band, The Goods, to bring this special event to a larger audience. What a party this is going to be!

Admission is $15 at the door. Music from 8:30 - 1 a.m. Remember - please be safe out there this weekend! I've arranged for anyone who is a new user to Uber (car service) to get a free ride this evening! It's up to a $20 value. This is a great way to arrive in style and stay safe! Use code: t.uber.com/THEWERKS15

Want to learn more about The Werks? Check out: 5 Things You Need To Know About The Werks

Such a Night: The Last Waltz is a benefit for WYSO

The other event near and dear to my heart, is the annual Such a Night: The Last Waltz Live benefit for WYSO. Not only is it hosted in the gorgeous and cozy Dayton Art Institute's Renaissance Auditorium, it features nearly 30 local musicians that will once again recreate the historic performances of The Band's Last Waltz. There will be two performances again this year, on Wednesday, November 25 and Friday, November 27.

Important note: As of current publication time, the Friday performance is sold out. Currently there are tickets available for the 25th show, but do check ticket availability before you go! If you don't get tickets, mark it on your calendar and get the early! It always sells out. And there is good reason, it's one of the most fantastic live music spectacles you'll see in Dayton! Tickets are $25 and up. There is a VIP option as well.


More of a Blues fan, or looking for an after party when The Last Waltz lets out? Check out The Doug Hart Band at Tumbleweed Connection. For those of you who are fans and miss him, he'll also at Oregon Express Friday night!

Got some friends in town and want to attend a throw back party? There is an Asylum Reunion at Vex! Yes! If you were around for the Asylum days in the 90s, that means you're old like me! ha! So curious about this dance party. Sounds like a blast!

I have to give a shout out to Mainline Funk for playing a "Funky Turkey" show in my hometown, Brookville, at O'Riley's. There are going to be a lot of old school chums that will be stopping in for a pre-Thanksgiving beer, and will be delighted by the such contagious funk will be filling the air! Enjoy!


There is a show on Thanksgiving, and it's for a GREAT cause! This year's Tryptophan Jam is a benefit for the Aids Resource Center. Organizers recently lost a dear friend to addiction, and the donation will be made in the name of Anton Frederick, and the friends who have fallen before him. ARC has a program that is dispensing Narcan to people who need it, and this will help that program. They have many door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.

Special guests Chris Houser and Dino Dimitrouleas from The Werks, Chuckie Love, Kevin Dumont, Eric Henry, Joshua Miller, and many more will come together for this very special night of improv and jamming! Doors 7 p.m. Music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets: $5 at the door. Ages 18+ This event is taking place at the VFW at 5441 Marina Dr.

Friday, November 27th 

Rock & Indie fans, there are some music events this weekend for you too! Celebrate Black Friday with a sweet line-up including Manray, Frontier Folk Nebraska, and The Zygotes at Blind Bob's. Doors at 8 p.m. 21+, 18+

Oddbody's is hosting Native American rapper from Detroit ABK & Havknots, along with Big Hoodoo, Bonez, and Flagrant. 7 p.m. Doors, 8 p.m. Show. Tickets are $15 advance, $18 at the door.

North of town, in downtown Troy,  Square Roots Records will hosting the Hometown Getdown featuring members of Lost on Iddings, Grover, Elektrobek, former members of Jah Sol, and Mr. Scott Lee. Bring the kids downtown for the Tree lighting and a sneak peek of the music as we will be playing the during the festivities on the square also. $10 BYOB... Doors at 8 Show at 9

South of town, a rowdy Black Friday party is going to go down with Glostik, Subterranean, and The MuckleBuck at Old Crow Bar in Middletown. This is a wild bunch, and some of the most talented musicians I know. Great value and definitely worth the drive! $8 at the door. Doors @ 7 p.m. Show @ 8:30 p.m. 18 and Up

Saturday, November 28th


Another great option in the Oregon District is Buddy Danko & The Tokens at Trolley Stop, along with special guest, mandolinist Brian Spirk. This will be a perfect option for folk and Americana fans out there. Perfect setting for this type of show too!

Blues fans, one of the best is going to be over at Riff Raff Tavern this evening. Mr Scott Bratcher is back in the house, and it's always a delight. Just take a listen outside the window if you are next door at the Belle. It will be hard to resist going inside to seeing him in person! So talented!

Next door, Tagd, Jonny Dreads & The Mystiks, and The Willy Clark Band are planning to make Canal Public House very lively this evening! Should be a fun night of reggae and good vibes.

Friends in Yellow Springs, get thyself to Peach's Grill to see beloved local band Fam!ly! You know why we love them, so show them some love back!

Bonus for Readers: Ever wonder what "back stage" is like? Take an inside listen to back stage interviews by the The Gem City Podcast here , from the Venus Child Productions / Square Roots show last weekend with Trey Stone & The Ringers, The Boxcar Suite, and Jack Ballengee Morris. Some great interviews in here - and a wonderful way to pass time traveling this holiday weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving! 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 November 25th-28th. 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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