Des Moines has a plethora of entertaining events going on this weekend. From the Latino Heritage Festival to the Des Moines Renaissance Festival there is a little something for everyone. If you prefer music over tacos or jousting, the Metro has still got you covered. Here are four can't miss roots concerts to check out this weekend.
On Saturday, twenty-something blues prodigy Samantha Fish brings her latest solo tour to town for a show at the Gas Lamp (1501 Grand Avenue in Des Moines). The 21-and-over show is only $10, and starts at 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online through MidwesTix or at the door. Fish was a part of the Ruf Records "Girls with Guitars" tour and was the 2012 Blues Music Award winner for "Best New Artist Debut". The Kansas City native's new album, Black Wind Howlin’, is due out in four days.
Iowa Blues Hall of Famer and Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bob Pace brings The Dangerous Band to the Gas Lamp on Sunday afternoon for a special benefit show. Pace plays the venue's "Work Release Party" every Friday, but this show will be a more personal one for the band. The concert will raise money for The Dolan family, friends of the band who are dealing with the high costs of cancer treatments. The event will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Gas Lamp will hold a drawing and a silent auction, as well as having food and drinks available. If you cannot make it to the benefit, but would like to make a donation, please contact Craig Stafford at (515) 577-3431.
Later Sunday, bluegrass/folk stars Trampled by Turtles will play a show in front of Wooly's (504 East Locust in Des Moines). Folk/soul/blues artist (and Montrose, Iowa native) William Elliott Whitmore will open the show. Gates for the event, dubbed "Live on Locust", will open at 6 p.m., and the music will kick off at 7 p.m. Tickets for the all ages concert are $25, and they may be purchased online through Ticketfly. TBT's last two albums have topped the Bluegrass charts, and the band has played just about every major U.S. music festival from Lollapalooza to Coachella, and Bonnaroo to Austin City Limits. 35-year-old Whitmore has grown a huge U.S. following over the past decade and change. He has toured with the likes of Chris Cornell (Audioslave, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog), Murder by Death, Clutch, The Pogues, and Frontier Ruckus.
Sunday evening is capped off with an all ages performance by Grammy Award-winning blues/gospel/rock musician Jonny Lang at West Des Moines' Val Air Ballroom. Lang, who started playing guitar at 12 and joined his first band at 14, has toured with some of the biggest names in music, including the Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Blues Traveler, Jeff Beck, and Sting. Lang's long-awaited new album Fight for My Soul drops on September 17. Doors for this show will open at 6:30 p.m., and the music will start at 8 p.m. Reserved seat tickets are $30 to $75 (plus taxes and fees) through Ticketmaster.
If you are a fan of roots music, this will be your weekend to get out on the town. Blues, folk, soul, bluegrass—Des Moines has it all covered for you. Grab some friends and catch a show.