Smoke ’em if you got ’em. Credit: Luis Santoyo/Unsplash

Windy City Smokeout kicks off a weekend of beer, barbecue, and bands representing both new faces in country music and some old favorites; tonight’s 9 PM headlining set by Willie Nelson and Family, his longtime touring and recording group is a great chance to see a master at work–accompanied by at least one actual Nelson family member (his son Lukas contributes vocals and guitar). The Smokeout is generally a family-friendly affair, with children ten and under enjoying free admission (must be accompanied by a paying adult), and part of the appeal beyond the music is a huge array of barbecue and other food available from nationally known pitmasters. Chicagoland alone is represented this weekend by Bub City, Green Street Smoked Meats, Lillie’s Q, Pearl’s Southern Comfort, Smoque BBQ, Evanston’s Soul & Smoke, and Plainfield’s Station One Smokehouse. Bring your appetite! Today’s festivities are sold out but tickets are still available for the following days at the festival’s website. Gates open at 2 PM today with music starting at 4 PM; Friday gates also open at 2 PM with a 3:10 PM start for music, and over the weekend gates open at 1 PM with music starting at 4:20 PM Saturday and 3 PM Sunday. The whole event is hosted at the United Center’s Parking Lot C (1901 W. Madison; with festival entrance at Madison and Wood). See Reader senior writer Leor Galil’s recent article on summer music festivals for more recommendations of who to check out in this year’s lineup. (SCJ)

Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation hosts Theo Huff tonight as the latest offering in their Record Row Concert Series, which features local blues musicians and bands in concert in the foundation’s outdoor garden, adjacent to its headquarters in the historic Chess Records building (2120 S. Michigan). Huff’s set tonight is in tribute to Marie Dixon, Willie’s widow and the original driving force behind the foundation, who sadly passed away in 2016. Music starts at 6 PM with doors opening at 5 PM; it’s free to attend but donations for the foundation’s work are appreciated. (SCJ)

Music, circus, and dance combine in Dancing at River Park tonight at 6:30 PM at . . . River Park (5100 N. Francisco)! Alt-country/Americana musician Mike Reeb plays live, and Perceptual Motion offers dances “about camping, cleaning, and serpents,” along with a circus arts demonstration by Perpetual Motion ensemble member Saydi Ogden. The company will also teach the audience some dance moves. It’s free, but you can check for updates at perceptualmotiondance.com. (KR)