Chi-Lites & Delfonics at Palace; Day 1 of Blues & Roots Festival; Chris Higbee Jams on Walnut (Sat., 7/22/17)


1) “Have You Seen Her?” was the refrain of the song of the same name that put Chicago’s Chi-Lites on the map in 1971. The group rose out of a band that the original members—Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, and Clarence Johnson—started at Chicago’s Hyde Park High School. A No. 1 hit for the band was 1972’s “Oh Girl.” They would rack up 11 Top 10 hits in their early ‘70’s zenith. Their sound is mainly that of a soulful slow jam with melodic harmonies and good arrangements. They are joined on the program at the Palace Theatre by another noted vocal group of the era, The Delfonics. The band formed in 1965 in a good town for soul sounds at the time, Philadelphia. La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” were their two biggest hits, reaching No. 2 and No. 10 respectively on the Billboard Pop Chart in 1967 and 1969. Their songs have been sampled by a variety of hip-hop artists, including the Wu Tang Clan, Boyz II Men, and the Fugees. 7 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (RH)


2) The inaugural Blues and Roots Festival will take place over two days at the Syria Shrine Center in Cheswick. The nonprofit group Band Together Pittsburgh organized the event. Proceeds will benefit post-high school vocational programming for Pittsburgh kids on the autism spectrum. The strong lineup of blues musicians includes headliners Tinsley Ellis (Saturday) and Kenny Neal (Sunday). Anthony Gomes, Stevee Wellons, Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns, Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors, Jimmy Adler, Jill West, and more perform. 2-10 p.m. There will also be a pre-festival party with Billy Price at Moondogs in Blawnox on Friday, July 21 at 8:30 p.m. Syria Shrine Center, 1877 Shriners Way, Cheswick. (RH)

3) For three Saturdays every summer, Walnut Street in Shadyside shifts its focus from the usual bustling bevy of bistros and boutiques to putting a bit of music in the air, courtesy of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce. The annual Jam on Walnut series brings some big names out for free concerts that stop traffic and pack the pavement. Tonight’s edition features former Povertyneck Hillbilly Chris Higbee. Widely known as one of the best fiddle-playing frontman since Charlie Daniels, Higbee has been going it alone since the rest of the Hillbillies broke away to form The Hillbilly Way in 2012. But Higbee has proven that he has the chutzpah to pull off a solo act, releasing his self-titled solo debut album in 2013 and has toured nationally. Since then he has released two additional recordings. All three of the Jams On Walnut are free to attend, and proceeds from food and drink sales benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The multi-talented Kelsey Friday opens. 7 p.m. 5442 Walnut St., Shadyside. (EC, RH)

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Rick Handler

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