Sounds Good: Blueprint Jazz@I-Bar, Dave Shelton’s Holiday Jam@8th Street TapRoom

I know most of you are probably nesting down this weekend, spending time at home with the family, or making that dreaded road trip to the relatives’ house that you spend the rest of the year largely ignoring.

But after all that small talk and pretending to care about your second cousin’s promotion in the HyVee meat department, you may need to cut loose with a stiff drink and some chill music to calm those frazzled nerves.

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Or maybe you’re just a hopeless barfly who can’t get away from the scene for just a moment, even on the one weekend that’s supposed to be all about friends, family, and counting your blessings. 

Either way, here are a few things to distract you from the twisted train wreck that is the holidays…

Friday, December 23rd

Blueprint at the I-Bar in Lawrence

If you want to keep it mellow tonight, this might be the spot for you.  Blueprint is a local jazz combo led by trumpet master Tommy Johnson, that also features some great trombone from Brian Scarborough, Lucas Parker’s swanky guitar, Max Allsbrooks on the kit, and Dave Wasecha on the standup bass.  I’ve also seen other musicians sit in with these guys, for example a killer tenor player last time I was out. 

I-Bar is the bar that adjoins Ingredient in downtown Lawrence.  The joint features an ample wine list, some kind-of-upscale food options, like fondue for example, and bunches of other desserts.  The vibe is laid back, there are plenty of tables to go around, and groups can easily converse while Blueprint does their thing, supplying a jazzy backbeat to make you seem more interesting. 

Saturday, December 24th

Dave Shelton’s Holiday Jam at the 8th Street Tap Room in Lawrence

Though not highly publicized, this Christmas Eve tradition is a hipster must.  After you’ve done your family stuff-  you know the white elephant deal, or the fruitcake eating contest- mosey your way downtown to catch some local musicians throwing down some soul and funk into the wee hours of Fat Man Day.

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