BW Picks

Wally Ingram Benefit • Firefighter Bachelor Auction • Country Legend Merle Haggard

Wednesday 14-Thursday 15

Wally Ingram Benefit

Treat your favorite other to a night--or two--of music down at Reef. Join the likes of musicians Jerry Joseph, Marc Ford of The Black Crowes, DJ Logic, Eric McFadden, James Whiton, Juan Nelson and Leon Mobley (and a third member Innocent Criminal yet to be named) for two nights of aural and visual bliss. These musicians have come together for their good friend and well-known drummer Wally Ingram, who was diagnosed with cancer in June of last year, in an effort to raise money for his medical bills. During the performances, artist Norton Wisdom will be creating interpretive visual art to be auctioned off at the end of the event.

This show is well worth a Jackson.

Feb. 14-15, 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Tickets are available through Ticketweb outlets and Reef. Reef, 105 S. 6th St., 208-287-9200.

Friday 16

Firefighting, in Tuxedos?

Presenting the first annual Firefighter Benefit Auction, in which over 15 wildland and structure firefighters will be dashingly dapper and eagerly awaiting your bid. The Idaho Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health is sponsoring the event, and all proceeds will help assist in various areas of federation budgeting, including parent and youth support groups, parent and professional training and enabling parents and youth to attend conferences.

Tickets include a dessert and a hosted beverage bar, and the real prize: an opportunity to bid on the firefighter of your choice. Ladies, here's your chance to wear that semi-formal outfit you've been dying to show off and have an evening out with the girls.

7:30 p.m., $25. For tickets, call 208-433-8845, www.idahofederation.org. Rose Room, 718 W. Idaho St., Boise.

Sunday 18

Country Legend Merle haggard at the morrison center

Legendary grumbly-voiced country singer/songwriter and major contributor to the electric country sound, Merle Haggard had experienced the best of a bad world by the time he was 20. The early death of his father (at age 9) was the start down a rough path that led from a couple of stays in a juvenile detention center to working odd--often back-breaking--jobs. His unruly behavior eventually wore down after a stint in San Quentin prison (1957-1960), where he was part of Johnny Cash's audience. Haggard was so inspired by Cash that he decided to direct his focus toward music, and quickly aligned with the growing outlaw country movement. In 1972, Gov. Ronald Reagan pardoned all of Haggard's past crimes and, in 1977, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Haggard continues to release successful albums geared toward familiar country themes--jail, betrayal, drinking and wandering.

7 p.m. $39.50, Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, Boise State University, 208-426-1494.

Tuesday 20

who you callin' fat?

Mardi Gras: Fat Tuesday, the party of all parties. New Orleans is in overdrive right now, but that doesn't mean you have to sit at home wallowing in woe over the fact that a trip down wouldn't fit in this year's budget. Instead, throw on some gaudy colors--preferably gold, green and purple--and head over to a couple of venues that are stepping up to bring the spirit of Mardi Gras right here to Boise.

Begin the day with a stop by the Boise State Student Union patio for free refreshments, music and beads. While you're there, try some traditional King Cake brought in specially from New Orleans. A staple of Mardi Gras celebrations, King Cake is usually round and made from sweet Danish dough. The one who finds the baby in the middle will have good luck.

11 a.m.-1 p.m., FREE, held on the patio. Boise State SUB, 1910 University Dr., www.union.boisestate.edu.

Later in the evening, visit the 3rd Annual Mardi Gras Jazz Celebration, featuring a memorable evening of live jazz music from internationally known saxophonist Dave Pietro, local jazz artists Chuck Smith, Rod Wray and Scott Reusser. Numerous other local jazz bands will also be performing, including the Boise State jazz band, the Hewlett Packard jazz band, the Capital High School jazz band and Riverglen Junior High's award-winning jazz band. The ticket price includes a supper of pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee.

Once your belly's nicely filled, check out the silent auction and relax to music with the entire family.

5-8 p.m., $7.50 person, $30 family. Riverglen Junior High School, 6801 Gary Ln., Boise, 208-938-3145.