Thursday, July 28, 2011

Free Concerts: Aretha Franklin Next Week; Taj Mahal Tonight; Eugene Mirman/They Might Be Giants Tomorrow

Aretha Franklin is confirmed for a free show in Coney Island next Thursday.

The Seaside concert series today announced its "mystery guest" for its show next Thursday, August 4th: Aretha Franklin. Some people had speculated that the performer might be Peter Frampton, but the Queen of Soul has been confirmed and is featured on the Seaside website (above).

Franklin had been scheduled to play the Coney Island free concert series last summer, but had to cancel it and a number of other shows due to illness. For a while there were rumors that Aretha had some kind of fatal disease, but happily those were just speculation and the soul pioneer is back on the road.

Other news in free summer concerts in New York City in the next couple of days:

* the inaugural Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival starts tonight at the World Financial Center with the legendary Taj Mahal and his trio, singer-songwriter Amy LaVere, and the new band featuring Mike Farris, who was the frontman of Double Trouble and the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies. 6 to 9:30 p.m., WFC Plaza, outside the Winter Garden, near West & Vesey Sts. (see maps of WFC area)

Friday night the festival continues with James Blood Ulmer and the Memphis Blood Blues (featuring Vernon Reid of Living Color); The Growers, and The Beauties. 6 to 9:30 p.m., WFC Plaza.

The Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival concludes Saturday with Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra and Henry Butler featuring Dean Bowman and Sandra St. Victor; Hazmat Modine, Ryan Shaw; Danny Kalb; and Citigrass

* Actor and comedian Eugene Mirman will be doing a free show Friday at the Williamsburg Waterfront with special guests, including They Might Be Giants, who will be playing a full-length concert. The show, called Eugene Mirman and Pretty Good Friends, featuring Todd Barry, Patton Oswalt, and Kristen Schaal. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; no ticket needed, but admission is first come, first served. Williamsburg Waterfront, East River State Park, 110 Kent St. (map of Williamsburg Waterfront with link to get directions)

They Might Be Giants says that the show will span their entire career, including their new album, "Join Us." And the band notes that the show is a homecoming of sorts, since the Williamsburg waterfront is where they filmed their very first video 25 years ago.

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