Evan Bartels

Evan Bartels and the Stoney Lonesomes play during Lincoln Exposed at the 1867 bar on Feb. 10, 2017. Lincoln Exposed returns for its 13th year in February 2018.

Journal Star file photo

Lincoln Exposed, the annual festival featuring only Lincoln solo artists and bands, will be Feb. 7-10.

The 2018 version will be the 13th installment of the festival founded by the Zoo Bar’s Pete Watters to showcase local music. It’s expanded from five nights in Watters' club to four nights in five downtown clubs -- Bourbon Theatre, Duffy’s Tavern, Zoo Bar, 1867 Bar and Bodega’s Alley.

About 100 bands and solo artists were part of Lincoln Exposed 2017, the largest number ever. Expect about the same number of performers for the 2018 version.

Lincoln Exposed is the first festival to hit Lincoln each year. Others likely to return in 2018 are Zoofest, the Nebraska Folk & Roots Festival and Lincoln Calling, another multi-night, multi-venue festival but featuring national, regional and even a few world artists along with Lincoln performers.

Arena home to Grammy nominees

One of the arguments made against the construction of what became Pinnacle Bank Arena was that even if a large, state-of-the-art building was built, top-level shows would never come to Lincoln.

That has been repeatedly disproved since the day the arena opened. But last week’s Grammy Award nominations announcement definitely showed that top contemporary artists -- not just the expected heritage acts and country shows -- are becoming PBA regulars.

Receiving seven nominations was Kendrick Lamar. Bruno Mars got six nods. Both of them played Pinnacle this year.

Lamar is nominated for both Record of the Year and Album of the Year for the song “HUMBLE” and the album “DAMN!” Mars is nominated for all three major awards for which his work would be eligible -- Record and Album of the Year for “24K Gold,” (single and album) and Song of the Year, the songwriter’s award, for “That’s What I Like.”

A third Album of the Year nominee -- and the only woman among the five -- will be at the arena next year. That’s Lorde, nominated for her album “Melodrama.” She’s set for a PBA concert on March 24.

Had Jay-Z not canceled his PBA show, the list would have been even more impressive as Hova has eight nominations including nods for Record, Album and Song of the Year.

The nominees for Best New Artist, the fourth major category for which all Grammy voters can cast a ballot, aren’t likely to turn up in arenas. But one of them did play Lincoln this year -- SZA, who was at the Bourbon Theatre in September.

Link Wray has a shot at Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will announce its 2018 inductees Wednesday. And there’s an outside shot that a pivotal artist, who played one of his last shows at the Zoo Bar, could get in.

The artist would be Link Wray, the man who “invented” distorted guitar and set the foundation for decades of rock guitar. Wray, who died in November 2005, played a “Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble,” at the Zoo a few months before he passed -- one of the more memorable Lincoln shows of the past couple decades.

I really don’t think Wray’s got much of a chance of being inducted, which is a shame. But the rock hall has consistently failed to recognize the real rock ‘n’ rollers who haven’t yet been inducted. But if I was a voter, he’d have been on my ballot along with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Zombies, MC5 and Nina Simone.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.

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Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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