As the winter winds die down, it’s time to break free from your hibernation and get the energy flowing again. Shake off that slumber with some rockin’ music brought to you by locals and touring bands alike. Check out some bluesy folk, artsy cover music, spicy rock and, of course, annual St. Patty’s day cheer. The cold’s not stopping you any longer, so go explore all the sounds that Harrisburg has to offer.
START MAKING SENSE – TALKING HEADS TRIBUTE, 3/1, 8PM, THE ABBEY BAR, $12-15
As I’m writing this article, I’m enjoying the sounds of one of my favorite albums on vinyl—“Speaking in Tongues” by the Talking Heads. My parents used to play it for me while I was growing up, and I was lucky enough to score a copy recently. So it’s only fitting that, this month, I make a tribute to a great tribute band covering one of my childhood favorites. Start Making Sense hails from Bethlehem, Pa., and they want to bring back the ‘80s with a bang. Don’t miss their hot performance as they take on some classic Talking Heads tunes. Front man Jon Braun, backed by a six-piece band, rocks the stage, masterfully creating their own versions of legendary David Byrne works. Look for crowd favorites like “Burning Down the House,” “Life During Wartime,” and, hopefully, my favorite, “Slippery People.” If you’re like me and wish that you had the opportunity to see the Heads in their glory days, you don’t want to miss this show.
MARTIN GROSSWENDT & SUSANNE SALEM-SCHATZ, 3/2, 7:30PM, FORT HUNTER CENTENNIAL BARN, $12-24
Harrisburg’s been getting real bluesy lately, and, frankly, I’m on board. Hectic city life can bring out a part in people that yearns for slower, heartfelt tunes from another time and place. Martin Grosswendt’s focus lies in prewar blues and roots styles, internationally recognized for his traditional renditions of southern acoustic music. His fiery fingerpicking and soothing voice combine with the honky-tonk liveliness and soulful blues of Susanne Salem-Schatz. A native of Boston and its roots music scene, Susanne brings her love of classic, American-born music to the stage and performs it with mastery, joy and poignancy. Together, you get a tour de force of skill and passion that is worth experiencing.
JOHN NOLAN, 3/4, 7PM, H*MAC STAGE ON HERR, $15-20
For a moment, transport yourself back to the early 2000s, to the emo and indie rock era. Taking Back Sunday was getting its start and making waves on the growing scene. During their career, the band has released seven albums, toured extensively, appeared on many shows, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and even scored music for films, such as “Spider Man 2.” Return to the present day, and we’ve got a treat for you. John Nolan, current guitarist for Taking Back Sunday, is bringing his solo works to H*MAC for a night of something nostalgic and something new. During his recording process, Nolan has shaped his sound into an exciting, fresh new genre brought together by his many music connections. Relive your punk days and try something new with an iconic guitarist at a favorite local spot. What’s not to love?
Hot Jam Factory, March 9, H*MAC Stage on Herr;
Buckcherry, March 11, H*MAC Capitol Room;
Six Bar Break, March 16, Capital Gastropub;
Kilmaine Saints, March 16, The Abbey Bar;
Erica Everest Duo, March 17, Ad Lib Craft Bar & Kitchen;
The Tommy D Trio, March 24, River City Blues Club
START MAKING SENSE
THE ABBEY BAR
50 N. CAMERON ST., HARRISBURG
STARTS AT 8PM
MARTIN GROSSWENDT & SUSANNE SALEM-SCHATZ
FORT HUNTER CENTENNIAL BARN
5300 N. FRONT ST., HARRISBURG
STARTS AT 7:30PM
H*MAC STAGE ON HERR
1110 N. 3RD ST., HARRISBURG
STARTS AT 7PM
ERICA EVEREST DUO
AD LIB CRAFT KITCHEN & BAR
1 N. 2ND ST., HARRISBURG
STARTS AT 9PM
THE TOMMY D TRIO
RIVER CITY BLUES CLUB
819 S. CAMERON ST., HARRISBURG
STARTS AT 9PM