State Fair Music: 8.27 – 9.7

August 27, 2015

STATE_FAIR_MUSICThis will be short and hopefully, sweet. There are many musicians playing the Fair. Some of them are on regular stages, while others are hidden within restaurants. This is a fairly good representation of who is playing where, but it is by no means a complete list, and I didn’t include the Grandstand shows, since they get plenty of mention.

At any rate, get yourself some corn on the cob, a mac n’ cheese cupcake, meatloaf on a stick, sweet corn ice cream, bacon to go, or whatever else tickles your food fancy, pick up a beverage, and enjoy the music along with everything else that the Fair has to offer.

PS: KFAI will be broadcasting from the Education Building from 9am – 9pm on Friday, the 28th and Monday, September 7. Stop by and say hi!

PPS: Thanks to Tim Nyberg for the graphic

State Fair Music

Thursday, August 27

Retro Swing Sister @ AFL/CIO Booth (Vocal swing jazz)

Thursday, Friday, August 27, 28

Reina del Cid @ Schell’s Stage, West End Market. 11am, 12pm, 1pm (Roots/Blues/Folk)

Charlie Parr @ Schell’s Stage, West End Market. 8pm (Delta Blues from Duluth)

Davina & The Vagabonds @ International Bazaar Stage. 7:30pm, 8:45pm (Trad Jazz/Blues)

Gaelic Storm @ The Leinie Lodge Bandshell. 8:30pm (Irish/Celtic)

Friday, August 28

Dirty Shorts Brass Band @ The International Bazaar. 12pm, 1:15pm (Second Line Jazz)

The Good, the Bad, and the Funky @ The International Bazaar Stage. 4:30pm, 5:45pm (Funk n’Soul)

High & Mighty @ Dino’s Gyros Stage. 8pm (Funk n’ Soul)

Saturday, August 29

Dirty Shorts Brass Band @ The International Bazaar. 10:45, 12pm. 1:15pm (Second Line Jazz)

Saturday, Sunday, August 29, 30

Janie Miller Band @ Schell’s Stage, West End Market. 11am, 12pm, 1pm (Country)

Pine Leaf Boys @ Leinie Lodge Bandshell. 3:30, 4:45 (Cajun)

Dirty Shorts Brass Band @ International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, 12 Noon, 1:15pm (Second Line Jazz)

The Good, the Bad, and the Funky @ The International Bazaar Stage. 3:15pm, 4:30pm, 5:45pm  (funk n’ soul)

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Shell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater. 8pm (Punk blues)

Sunday, August 30

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The AFL/CIO Pavillion. 4pm (Swing Jazz)

Monday, Tuesday, August 31, September 1

Sonny Knight & The Lakers @ International Bazaar Stage. 7:30pm, 8:45pm (New Retro Funk n’ Soul)

Lamont Cranston @ Giggle Campfire Grill. 7:45pm (Blues)

Andy Grammer @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm (Singer/Songwriter)

Wednesday, Thursday, September 2, 3

Haley Bonar @ Schell’s Stage, West End Market. 8pm (Singer/Songwriter)

Robert Everest Expedition @ The International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, 12 Noon, 1:15pm (Brazilian/World)

Blindado Norteno @ The International Bazaar Stage. 3:15pm, 4:30pm, 5:45pm (Tex Mex)

Lou Gramm @ the Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm (Rock – Formerly of Foreigner)

Friday, Saturday, September 4,5

The Bel Airs @ Schell’s Stage, West End Market. 8pm (Blues/Rockabilly Trio)

Kenny Neal @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 1pm, 2:30pm (Blues from Baton Rouge)

Innocent @ International Bazaar Stage. 7:30pm, 8:45pm (Reggae)

High and Mighty @ Dino’s Gyros stage. 8pm (Funk n’ Soul)

Reel Big Fish @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm (Ska/Punk)

Sunday, Monday, September 6,7

The Cactus Blossoms @ Schell’s Stage, West End Market. 8pm (Classic Country for the 21st Century)

Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers @ The International Bazaar Stage. 3:15pm, 4:30pm, 5:45pm (Pirate Songs!)

Malamanya @ The International Bazaar Stage. 7:30pm, 8:45pm (Cuban dance music)


Summer Music Isn’t Over Yet: 8.26 – 9.2

August 26, 2015
Though dusk is coming earlier these days, music is always available

Though dusk is coming earlier these days, music is always available

Well, the State Fair begins tomorrow, which means that Labor Day, the unofficial end of Summer, isn’t far behind. There is much music at the Fair, and I’ll post a separate, simple listing tomorrow, but there is also plenty of great music to enjoy outside of the fair. Here are a few examples. Have a great week. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 26

Joe Strachan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Strachan graduated from the U o MN a couple of years ago and has become a pianist-about-town, playing with The Adam Meckler Orchestra, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, Jake Baldwin’s Quintet, Charanga Tropical, and in other groups. Always inventive. Though the film quality on this video isn’t great, the sound comes through quite nicely.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 26, 27

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Sidran manages to live in Madison and keep up an international touring schedule and regular release of CDs. Tonight and Thursday he’s celebrating the release of Blue Camus. It’s a two family celebration with Ben on keys and vocals, son Leo on drums, Ricky Peterson on organ, and Billy Peterson on bass. The show is titled Jazz + Philosophy, which isn’t unusual for Sidran, who often interjects hipster rapping into his show, whether it’s about Dylan, the first caveman discovering a beat,  or how commercial radio uses music to deliver potential customers to advertisers. Here’s something from the new album.

Thursday, August 27

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The Detroit native has been singing jazz, R&B, pop, and more around town in a variety of cover bands like High and Mighty, and Boogie Wonderland. She recently released her second album, Love & Madness, full of twisted arrangements and dramatic, dark covers.

Bryan Nichols Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7 :30 – 9:30pm ($10) Given that saxophonist Michael Lewis is now living on the west coast, tonight’s performance is a rare opportunity to see this particular combination of players addressing the original music of pianist Nichols. With Brandon Wozniak, sax; James Buckley, bass; and JT Bates on drums.

Javi Santiago & Lucia Sarmiento @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 10pm ($5) Here’s a double bill of young talent. The Javi Santiago Trio includes Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Lucia Sarmieto Quintet includes Sarmiento, still a student at McNally Smith on sax; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Will Kjeer, about to set off for CalArts on piano; Ry Dill, bass; and Blake Huebel, drums. Here’s an example of Lucia’s playing.

Friday, August 28

Javi Santiago & Proper-T Present: Murkury @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Javi Santiago and his long time running mate, drummer Miguel Hurtado, team up with vocalist/pianist Taylor Johnson, aka Proper T to create Murkury  a group that performs improvisational music mining jazz and blues, while bringing pop and electronic innovations to the fore as well.

Charmin Michelle & Sam Miltich @ Third Place Gallery, 3730 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($15 Suggested Donation) Songstress Michelle and guitarist Miltich address the Ella Fitzgerald/Joe Pass connection in this tribute to both of them.

Patty & The Buttons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm – 11:30pm ($10) Some button accordion-driven swing from a group most often found at the Aster on Sunday mornings. The way the Vieux is set up, you’ll only have to shuffle a couple of tables aside to create a bit of a dance floor.

No Room for Squares @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) A group of veteran players get together to enjoy themselves playing originals and jazz standards. Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Jimmie Wallace, sax; Mikkel Romstad, keys; Adam Tucker, bass; and Bill Steiger, drums.

Saturday, August 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. At 7pm, the U of M Combo opens, featuring current and former students: Ryan Christianson, Joe Strachan, Matt McIntyre, and Andres Crovetti, followed at 8:30pm by The Dean Sorenson Sextet CD Release party: Dean on trombone; Steve Kennym, flumpet; Dave Milne, sax; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Hey, drums.

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) I would normally list Jacox under Blues and Roots, but the versatile singer’s appearance tonight at Crooners is more likely to be filled with Nat Cole and jazz-inspired acoustic Motown than full-blown R&B. Even in a trio format, Jacox’s balladry is likely to coax a few couples onto the dance floor.

Sunday, August 30

Tootie Heath Trio, w/Ethan Iverson & Ben Street @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) Talk about an entertainment deal. The 79 year old Heath has been an active participant in the nation’s jazz scene since the 50s. The younger brother of Jimmy on sax and Percy on bass, Heath continues to be a force in jazz. His first recording was with John Coltrane in 1957, and his subsequent work encompassed most all of jazz royalty, such as The Modern Jazz Quartet, JJ Johnson, The Jazztet, Bobby Timmons,  Thelonious Monk, and dozens of other artists. Now he’s teamed up with pianist Ethan Iverson, of the Bad Plus, and bassist Ben Street, who spent the 90s exploring free jazz, for three albums, the latest of which is Philadelphia, named for Heath’s home town. Here is the trio at theChicago Jazz Festival.

Monday, August 31

Terrence Blanchard E Collective @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Trumpeter Blanchard has appeared a leader or co-leader on over 30 albums, including soundtracks for Spike Lee and his moving, post-Katrina masterpiece A Tale of God’s Will. He and his band are now receiving much praise from the likes of both Downbeat and Jazz Times for Breathless, his latest album. It’s an electrified fusion of R&B and fusion-influenced jazz. It’s has slow jams, deep grooves, a hip-hop/jazz fusion of Les McCann’s “Compared to What,” and a reworking of Hank Williams’ “I Aint Got Nothing But Time.”

James Buckley Trio + One @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Bassist James Buckley and his long-standing trio including Bryan Nichols, keys; and JT Bates, drums, are given the chance to provide new takes on their repertoire with the addition of Jacob Hanson on guitar. Hanson has long been a fixture in many bands around town, providing licks that are twangy, reverb-laden, and imaginative.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 26

John Till on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Whether he’s playing bottleneck slide, banjo, or acoustic guitar, Till  elivers country blues from the Great Plains to the Delta, with side trips to Appalachia and Chicago. Listen in and head to the 331 afterwards.

Gabby Z @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Gabby Z is a sixteen year old singer/songwriter who is about to release her debut album. Her soulful singing reveals influences of Joss Stone, Sara Bareilles, and Amos Lee.

Mother Banjo @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul 8pm ($5) Get yourself some bluegrassy gospel and poetic lyrics as Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  brings her full band to the underground confines of the Vieux Carre.

Thursday, August 27

Flamin’ Ohs & The War Poets @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The Ohs had a strong following back in the day, and can still deliver their smart pop/punk/new wave sounds with vengeance. Openers The War Poets are a protest band for this generation, writing about homelessness, poverty, and other social issues of the day. Music will be followed by a screening of Dispatched, a comedy action thriller presented by the Twin Cities Film Festival. Here are the Ohs doing a cover of the Rolling Stones.

Joe Ely and Alejandro Escovedo @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Here’s a double bill of Texas singer/songwriters with a punch to their music. Alejandro Escovedo left Texas for California in the 70s and played guitar with the Nuns and the punk-meets-country Rank & File. After returning to Texas, Escovedo began a steady but slow rise to prominence, working with producers like Chris Stamey and John Cale, and collaborating with Chuck Prophet. Nowadays, Escovedo says he just wants to write “cool pop rock songs.” Ely is a rockin’ troubadour, who has traveled the country singing  about his travels in honky tonks, hook joints, and concert halls. Bruce Springsteen, Raul Malo, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore (with whom he worked in the Flatlanders) have all contributed vocals to his albums.  Here’ Ely at work.

Friday, August 28

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Willie’s latest CD, If Nothing Ever Changes, was produced by bluesman/slyman Rick Estrin, of the Night Cats, and it’s terrific. Walker is still a soul master, able to evoke emotion with the slightest change in his gravely voice. He’s brought a good crowd to the Fridley lounge in the past and tonight should be no different. Here he is on a recent tour of South America.

Hipshaker 13th Anniversary @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the talcum powder and your best dancing shoes. And get there early to claim a spot to rest and have a drink every once in a while. Brian, Greg, and George will be pulling out the best of their rare 45s tonight.

Saturday, August 29

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($8) Jimmi & the Band of Souls use mandolins and banjos, as well as the usual guitars, slide guitars, and rhythm section found in a blues band. As a result, they have a unique sound which is strengthened by their winning blend of blues, R&B, and roots music.  Here they are with a classic Memphis Minnie tune.

Sunday, August 30

RAMM Band @ Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter, Stillwater. 3 – 6pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich  together with ace time-keepers John Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets, drums, deliver such blues-based favorites, including Motown, funk, R&B, and even some Rock n’ Roll and Americana. You get to hang out and avail yourself of the Hunter’s favorites, like goulash, all manner of sausages, spatzle, burgers, and more. Since this is an outdoor gig, all bets are off if the weather doesn’t permit.

Charlie Parr & Dave Moore @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This great two-fer is part of the Eclectic Electric series, and features two of Red House Records’ premiere artists in an intimate setting. Parr  of course, is the Duluth bluesman who has captured the imagination of both young and old with his Duluth-meets-the Delta acoustic blues. Moore is the somewhat reclusive singer/songwriter from Iowa City who used to play with Greg Brown and has become a stellar writer and performer in his own right. You might want to get advance tickets for this one, since the Cabaret is a bit small. Here’s Moore at work.

Tuesday, September 1

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Father Hennepin Bluff Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) The sad sounds of Doug Otto’s expressive voice backed by the rootsy/acoustic sounds of the Getaways will undoubtedly feel just right in an outdoor setting.

Halley DeVestern Band @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm (No Cover) This five-piece from New York City delivers some rock/funk/blues with verve. Leader/vocalst DeVestern has a big voice, well supported by band members who’ve been members of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Zen Tricksters, and the bands of Roger Waters and Shawn Mullins. Refriogerager opens at 9pmn, followed by DeVestern and company at 10:30pm.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Summertime Blues, Jazz, and More: 8.19 – 8.25

August 19, 2015
Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Whether you bike, kike, swim, or boat, summertime offers many options to Twin Cities residents, including many music options this week, with some terrific visiting artists as well as some unique events featuring resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 19

New Music Wednesday  @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30  ($10 Suggested Donation) at 8:30 it’s the Lucia Sarmiento Quintet. Sarmiento, from Lima, Peru, is a talented saxophonist who is studying at McNally Smith under the mentorship of Pete Whitman. Her band consists of a number of young players: Trevor Wiest, guitar; Ry Dill, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; and Blake Huebl, drums. Their wide-ranging repertoires includes contemporary jazz and funky twists to Afro-Peruvian music. At 9:45pm, The Blue take the stage, with Adrian Larkin, alto; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Eric Clifford, bass; and Tyler Kloewer, drums.

Kami Lyle @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Lyle is a singer/songwriter and trumpeter/pianist who has appeared on CDs by Patty Griffin, Julie Miller, and NRBQ, among others, and has had songs on a number of TV and film soundtracks. Although born in Mpls, she now lives on Cape Cod, and will be playing with longtime friend Dean Magraw on guitar, and her nephew, the talented young bassist Charlie Lincoln. Steve Katz will open.

Jack Brass Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Ahh, some New Orleans brass funk, from traditional second line tunes to brass band versions of contemporary pop hits, by a group of highly talented musicians.

Thursday, August 20

Joel Shapira and Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8pm (No Cover) The Vieux’s concept of having solo and duo acts early some evenings is creating some fun combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s duo. Gutiarist Shapira and pianist Lomheim are two musicians who can trade bop licks with ease, while turning around and performing airy, sensitive pieces.

Reuben and Dan Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This Father/Son Duo have been performing together since Dan was a young boy. Rueben  on guitar and Dan on vocals are celebrating the release of a new CD, “70/30,” so named since 70% of the album is with a jazz band and 30% is just the two of them. Here they are doing an American version of a French song.

Rhonda Laurie @ Public, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (No Cover) The downstairs lounge at Public Restaurant has been having music of late. Tonight it’s the vocal stylings of Ms Laurie, who has a propensity for singing lesser known songs, and is equally adept at interpreting gypsy jazz and standards.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 20, 21, 22

Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording Project @ Various Venues, Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Trumpeter Meckler and his Quintet will be playing for three nights in a row, and recording each night. On Thursday, they are at Studio Z in Saint Paul at 8pm ($10). Friday finds them moving to the Nicollet Cafe in Minneapolis for a 9pm show (Donation), and finally, on Saturday, they finish up at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar at 8:30pm. Here’s are some samples of their songs, prepared for this project.

Friday, August 21

Bob Bowman Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8 – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Bowman is from Kansas City and has come to town a number of times with Karrin Allyson as well as playing some dates with Laura Caviani. He’s a heavy hitter, having played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and Carmen McRae. Joining him tonight are Daniel Leahy on piano, and Mac Santiago on drums. Here’s an example of his playing (and composing).

Saturday, August 22

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Songs Of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Walesch  who is playing at Crooners a lot these days, ups the ante with nine additional members for his band, as they honor Ol’ Blues Eyes during the centennial year of his birth.

Siskind, Harms, & Pino @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($12) Pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind explores the concept of what it means to be “Home” in his latest recorded project, Housewarming. This is the second release for Siskind and his partners in this project: vocalist and former Twin Citizen Nancy Harms  who has been working steadily in both Europe and NYC, where she’s now based, and reed player Lucas Pino  who has worked with Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Green, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and a host of others. Exquisite chamber jazz. Here they are from a house concert a few years ago.

Sunday, August 23

Louis & Clarke (and Bisonette)

Louis & Clarke (and Bissonette)

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm ($10) Saxophonist Steve Clarke,  an eleven time recipient of the MN Music Award, gets experimental tonight with collaborator Louis Sinclair  aka Rundio, who plays the chapman stick. They’ll add some looping, and processing technology, along with drummer/percussionist Michael Bissonette. The result is 21st Century jazz.

Monday, August 24

Joe Mayo Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They’ve gone from being an opening act to featured act: Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar, Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Reichert, Glenn, & Roach @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) An evening of improvised music from three multi-instrumentalists: Tom Reichert, guitar, bass; Tim Glenn, percussion, Stephen Roach.

Tuesday, August 25

Cyrus Chestnut Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Chestnut thrilled the audience when he headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back. Whether he’s doing the songs of Elvis Presley or jazz standards, his gospel-infused improvisations evoke Jay McShann, Count Basie, yet are thoroughly modern. His music reverberates with all manner of listeners.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, August 19

The piano player himself

The piano player himself

John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist/vocalist Beach is a long time fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, playing with groups like Willie & the Bees, Dave Ray & Bamboo, Snake, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, Joel Johnson, and the Blackburn Beach Blues Band. He’s a blues and R&B player, but goes beyond those as well when needed. Liz and I had him play for our wedding reception many years ago.

Willie Murphy & Claudia Schmidt @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy holds this songwriter night once a month, inviting others to exchange music with him. Tonight the guitarist/bassist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter brings out Ms Schmidt  who has been delighting folks with her stories and songs for a number of decades now.

Afrobilly, with guest Jacqueline Ultan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Mikkel Beckmen has been having such a ball playing with Zairean soukous guitarist/vocalist Siama Matuzungidi and vocalist/percussionist Dallas Johnson that they’ve formalized the group with the name Afrobilly. Tonight they are joined by the imaginative cellist Jacqueline Ultan, of JelloSlave and many other boundary-pushing groups. Here is Mikkel and Siama.

Thursday, August 20

Pop Remix @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6-10pm. It’s a free evening at the Walker, and you can hang out on the patio, where the Robert Everest Expedition will be playing world jazz, Deejay Paul Harding will be spinning world music, and there will be a screening of Pulp Pop Clips.

Jerry Douglas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30-$40) Lots of plectorists will be in the audience to watch Douglas  considered to be the best dobro player in the world, due in part to groundbreaking work Allison Kraus, Elvis Costello, and on over 2000 recordings by folks like James Taylor, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, Bill Frisell, and Phish! He’s recently released Traveler, his first solo recording in six years, featuring guests like Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Keb Mo, Dr. John, Bela Fleck and more. Whew!

Friday, August 21

Harmonica Hoedown @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Attention Blues Lovers! Two mighty blues harpist are on the bill tonight. First up is Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr & the Knockouts, followed by Curtis Blake and Don Scott at 9pm.

The Pines @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) It’s summer in Minnesota, time to listen to the rootsy sounds of The Pines  Sit back and relax on the band hell’s benches, or score a spot on the rise north of the bandshell and enjoy a picnic while listening.

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

Farewell Milwaukee & Young Frankenstein @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) It’s a back to the 70s night. Start the evening with the Midwest folk-rock sounds of Farewell Milwaukee, whose music is shaped by artists from the late 60s and early 70s. Then, sit back and laugh at the 1975 Mel Brooks picture, Young Frankenstein. Oh yeah, you can order food and drinks from the bar inside.

Saturday, August 22

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm. (No Cover) Nikki & Rich (of Nikki & the Rue-Mates  perform folk-rock in a manner inspired by the late 60s. Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich’s inspired slide playing make for an entertaining early evening experience.

Saturday, Sunday, August 22, 23

Nye’s Outdoor Tent Party @ Nye’s Polonaise Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Saturday), 2pm (Sunday) If you’ve never been to Nye’s, here’s your last chance to see some of the acts that have performed there over the years, both in the Piano Bar and in the Old Side. Daina DePrez, The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, St. Dominic’s Trio, Doug Otto & the Getaways, The New Primitives, and Molly Maher are all on the bill.

Sunday, August 23

Gaby Moreno @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This may be the Under-The-Radar Gig of the Week. Moreno  s a Guatemalan-born singer/songwriter who won the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her song “Escondidos.” She’s been touring the world, appearing at festivals, and collaborating with a who’s who of stars.  The New York Times says she has “A tangy, bluesy voice with the feistiness of Edith Piaf.”

Monday, August 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) LaVette is one of the few soul singers from the 60s who is still performing. In fact, she’s doing better now than in the 60s, due in large part to her ability to infuse any song with the right amount of emotion and pleading. When she pours herself into a song, it’s done to expose the truth of the song, rather than to impress with her pipes. LaVette is touring behind her latest CD, Worthy, which contains her versions of songs by Dylan, Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney, and producer Joe Henry, among others.

Tuesday, August 25

Tinariwen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) NPR calls Tinariwen “just about the best guitar based rock band of the 21st Century.” Natives of the Saharan desert, Tinariwen was formed in Tuareg camps in Libya, where the nomadic people gathered to find new work outside of their native Mali. After their music was passed around via bootlegs, western musicians discovered them in the late 1990s and they’ve been delivering the aching beauty and restless energy of their music to worldwide audiences. Body Omara, with Joseph Damman, guitar, Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru on percussion, opens, playing Damman’s own compositions, which are influenced by Ali Farka Toure, as well as American folk and jazz musicians.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Summer Nights: 8.12 – 8.18

August 12, 2015
As the sun sets earlier each day, we can check out indoor music.

As the sun sets earlier each day, we can check out indoor music.

Greetings and Salutations to one and all;

While I am sure you can find some outdoor events around town (Movies & Music in the parks, Bandshell concerts, etc.), this week finds us with many indoor events worth your perusal and time. Especially since, dare I say it, we are beginning to see darkness around 9pm or so, when many indoor events take place. Whatever your inclination, get out and hear some of the great talent we have in our towns. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 12

Kameron Markworth’s Claw Machine @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a new trio, headed by bassist Kameron Markworth  who is originally from SE Wisconsin, and is now based out of Mpls after five years in Indiana, Philly, and NYC. Markworth plays with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, the Zacc Harris Trio, and the Bill Simenson Orchestra, among others. Joining him in Claw Machine is Trent Baarspul, guitar; and Lars-Erik Larson, drums. Her is Markworth in another setting.

Axis Mundi World Jazz Quintet @ Starring Lake Park, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Here is a group playing mainstream jazz interpreted using a variety of rhythms from around the world. Glen Helgeson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Gary Schulte, violin; Dave Stanoch, drums; and Daryl Boudreaux, percussion

Thursday, August 13

Ted Olsen and Joe Strachan @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Two of the town’s young lions – bassist Ted Olsen and pianist Joe Strachan play for the early evening/suppertime crowd at the Vieux.

about_singersShoop! @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Shoop! (with the exclamation mark) is a five piece vocal group operating in the style of the Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices, singing jazz and the occasional pop song (hence the name). Three females (two sopranos and an alto) and two males, accompanied by trumpet, reeds, and a rhythm section.

Michael Janisch’s Paradigm Shift Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Michael Janisch was raised in Minnesota but is now based in London. He brought an outstanding New York Quartet to Studio Z last year and now returns to perform with some of our own talent – 3/4 of the Atlantis Quartet: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Peter Hennig, drums. An excellent evening of music. Her is Janisch with another of his groups.

Le Percheron and Sound Skirmish @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Another weekly installment in the Khyber Pass Thursday night jazz series. Sound Skirmish opens. I wrote about them last week: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Patrick Adkins; Drew Stinson; and Ben Ehrlich. Le Percheron is: Adam Linz, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Corey Healey, drums; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes. Listen to Sound Skirmish.

Friday, August 14

Zacc Harris & Michael Janisch @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Guitarist about town Zacc Harris teams up with the well respected bassist Michael Janisch after last night’s performance at Studio Z (see above).

UnknownAnthony Cox Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Cox is one of the nationally prominent artists who happen to live in the Twin Cities. He’s played with Joe Lovano, Dewy Redman, Dave Douglas, Pat Metheny and many more. Don’t know who will accompany him, but he certainly has good taste in sidemen.

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Steve Kenny, a veteran musician, has taken a page from Art Blakey and in this group surrounds himself with a number of young, very talented musicians. This will be the final performance of this group until pianist Will Kjeer is back in town from college. Along with Steve on flumpet; there is Thomas Strommen, saxophones, Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Here they are with a Will Kjeer original.

Healey, Baldwin, & Bates @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Formerly known as Señor Wong’s the SW Craft Bar on 4th Street in downtown Saint Paul is experimenting with live jazz on a regular basis. Tonight drummer Corey Healey is working with Jake Baldwin, trumpet, and Chris Bates, bass, to play originals and a few standards.

Saturday, August 15

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Though he is inspired by Bill Evans, pianist Lomheim has his own natural, relaxed sound. A great booking for dinner hour at the Vieux.

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Jazz continues at the Black Dog with the Will Kjeer Summer Band opening at 7pm. Besides Will on piano, the band will feature his uncle, the hard driving Kenny Horst on drums, and Dave Brattain on sax, as well as a number of special guests. Following Will and his band at 8:30pm are the Larry McDonough Quartet, a group that has played together for a number of years now. It includes McDonough on piano and occasional vocals; Richard Terrill on sax; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums. Their first set will be acoustic, with music by Jobim, Cole Porter, Bill Evans, and others, while the second set will be electric jazz-rock fusion by the likes of Sting, Spinal Tap, Steely Dan, and others. Here’s McDonough and his quartet.

Charmin Michelle @ Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Ms Michelle brings her honey-coated voice to the intimate space that feels a bit like a small NYC bar of the 60s, right down to its popovers. Reservations are recommended, since it only has about 10 tables and seating for another 10 or so at the bar.

Sunday, August 16

Andrew Walesch @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley, 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Pianist and vocalist Walesch will be leading the brunch crowd through standards and Sinatra-esque songs. He’ll have a couple of A-Listers helping him: Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums.

Monday, August 17

Eric Harland and Rude Unkal @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 – $20) Drummer Eric Harland is only 36, yet he’s been on almost 200 recordings, and has been nominated for a Grammy multiple times. He’s played with veteran artists like McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Terence Blanchard, both Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Dave Holland, and Charles Lloyd, as well as with new artists like Esperanza Spalding, Julian Lage, and Jane Monheit. Tonight he gathers six funky players to perform what he terms “garage jazz.” To get an idea of what he means by that, listen to this YouTube cut of the Buddy Miles song, “Them Changes.” There’s a bit of an interview with Harland that lasts about two minutes before the music begins.

Tuesday, August 18

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) The singer/flautist is once again performing after having a baby boy a few months back, Nyberg and her group, which includes husband/trumpeter Adam Meckler, do a fine job of presenting original music, as well as interesting arrangements of jazz standards and occasional pop songs. Here they are doing an original.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 12

Katy Vernon Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Raised in London, and based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Vernon is a guitarist/ukelelist and singer/songwriter who uses folk and country stylings for her often sad, but always heartfelt songs. She’s got a top notch band backing her up. As Harold would say, you know the drill – tune in and then head to the 331 Club. BTW, I’ll be sitting in for Harold on the show and at the 331 Club.

Black Diet @ Mill City Museum Courtyard, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5) If you like the music that emanated from STAX Records in the 60s and early 70s, AND you also liked the garage band sounds of the 60s, then Black Diet  s the band for you. They take the musical forms of STAX, and add the energy and attitude of garage bands to create a jumpin’ bumpin’ swirl of music that will make you dance. It takes place in a most unusual venut: the ruins courtyard of the Mill City Museum on the Minneapolis riverfront.

Thursday, August 13

Tab Benoit @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Born in Baton Rouge, Benoit plays Cajun-influenced blues, blending the music of the swamp and that of East Texas. He learned the blues by playing alongside legends like Tabby Thomas, Raful Neal, and Henry Gray. He’s also a founder of Voice of the Wetlands Foundation, dedicated to preserving Louisiana’s wetlands and swamps. Benoit has recorded about 17 albums, and in 2007 was received the BB King Entertainer of the Year award.

Friday, August 14

Original Wailers @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Okay, the name is a bit strange, since this group contains no members of the Wailers prior to Marley going solo in the late 70s. However, it is led by guitarist Al Anderson, who played on No Woman, No Cry, Dem Belly Full, and other hits. He’s also played with Peter Tosh, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Steel Pulse, Aswad, and the Rolling Stones. If you keep your expectations in check, this will be a very Irie concert. Dred I Dread Opens.

Paul Metsa and Willie Walker w/Sonny Earl and the Sisters of Mercy @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. 8pm ($10) Paul and Willie are a known, terrific factor. Paul and singer/harpist Sonny Earl have also done a number of highly satisfying performances together. The unknown factor is the Sisters of Mercy, which I’m inclined to think will be much fun, given Paul’s track record.

Worldwide Discoteque @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engel are moving their monthly pan-tropical vinyl dance party from Clubhouse Jaeger to the larger space of the Nomad World Pub. You’ll hear (and dance to) it all, from Afrobeat and Hi-Life to reggae, sambas, salsas, cumbias, and festejos. Tonight’s special guest is Rambo Salinas, whose collection undoubtedly includes Tex-Mex and Norteno music.

Saturday, August 15

Blues, Brews, & BBQs @ Mt Olivet Lutheran Church, 12235 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 4pm – 10pm ($15) Here’s a blues-influenced roots music festival that benefits Habitat for Humanity, and Prism, of Golden Valley. As the name states, there will be beer from three different brewers (as well as wine), BBBQ from Mr. Pig Stuff, Von Hanson’s, and The Chuck Wagon, and blues: Jacy Pelstring at 4pm; The Lisa Wenger Band at 5:30 and 7:30, The Soul Tight Committee at 6:15, and Lamont Cranston at 8:30. Here’s Wenger and her band.

PaviElle @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($10) PaviElle performs modern soul music, but don’t be surprised if she throws in her own version of a Fleetwood Mac song. Listeners may be reminded of Bill Withers at some point, and her band can easily launch into an extended jam a-la Parliament/Funkadelic.

Sunday, August 16

Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) When talking about Southern blues-rocker Ellis  the words, fiery, searing, and incendiary often come to mind. But then, he was born in Atlanta, grew up in Southern Florida, and was inspired by a BB King performance as a teenager. Ellis averages over 150 live shows a year, and as a result, he’s honed his chops to the point where Rolling Stone Magazine says he rivals Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

Jesse Lége, Joel Savoy, and Kelli Jones-Savoy @ The Eagles #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) When it comes to Cajun music, this trio is the real deal. Lége grew up in rural Louisiana without electricity, learned the accordion from relatives and neighbors, and has earned many awards from the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA). Joel Savoy is the son of Marc and Ann Savoy, Cajun Music Royalty, and grew up in the midst of the Cajun renaissance of the 80s. Savoy and his wife Kelli had a South Louisiana hit a couple of years back with their version of a Ray Price country song from 1954: I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me). This is a Krewe de Walleye event, and as such there will be dance lessons during the break.

Monday, August 17

Minneapolis Fire Collective Pre-Burning Man Performance @ Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 8:30pm (Dry Run rehearsals), 8:30 – 10pm (Burn) (Donations Accepted) Here is an intriguing event that’s not a music performance, yet will certainly get your attention. The Minneapolis Fire Collective will be heading to the Burning Man Conclave in the Nevada desert at the end of the month to take part in the Great Circle just prior to the Conclave-ending Burn of the Man.  They are making their dress rehearsal a public performance. I’m not sure what it entails, though I’m sure it involves burning a lot of something. Here’s an example.

Tuesday, August 18

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) Cajun dancing fueled by the twin fiddles of Eric Mohring and AJ Srubas, and goosed along by the Cajun accordion of John Terr. Karen Kleinspehn, on rhythm guitar; Doug Lohman, bass; and Paul Loughridge, drums, complete the mix. There will be dance lessons at 6:30, and refreshment will be available. Of course, you can pack a picnic.

Robert Cray, w/Sonny Landreth @ the Weesner Family Amphitheater, MN Zoo. ($45 – if not sold out) An outstanding double bill. Cray’s soulful blues have earned him five Grammys, recordings with John Lee Hooker, and his name on a signature model of the Telecaster. In 2011 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Landreth is a guitarist who deserves more fame. He first played in Clifton Chenier’s band, and then with John Hiatt as well as John Mayall. His penchant for slide guitar and the zydeco influence in his playing have earned him the nickname of “King of Slydeco.” Eric Clapton says he’s one of the most advanced and most under-appreciated guitarist in the world, and has had Landreth play at a number of the Crossroads Guitar Festivals. Here’s an example of Landreth at work.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Summer Days, Summer Nights. Music:8.5 – 8.11

August 5, 2015
The Lowertown Guitar Festival

The Lowertown Guitar Festival

It’s been a great summer for music so far. This weekend, those of you who aren’t attending the Bayfront Blues Festival will have a chance to hear hot guitars at the Lowertown Guitar Festival, which features guitarists from a number of genres. We also have a jazz artist celebrating his 96th birthday and music and movies in the parks at Como Dockside on Friday, and at Loring Park on Monday (see below). Though I didn’t list them, the Powderhorn Art Fair, the Uptown Art Fair, and the Loring Park Art Festival will all have performance stages as well. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 5

Gypsy Mania Hot Club @ Wolf Park, Saint Louis Park. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Pack a picnic and head to this close-in Western suburb of Minneapolis to catch Gypsy Mania: Greg Helgeson, guitar; Greg Schulte, violin; Reynold Philipsek, guitar; and Matt Senjem, bass, and the play hot club swing music that seems fitting for a warm summer night.

Elephant Crossing @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a new band, led by medical resident Ari  Nahum on piano. He’s joined by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Gus Sandberg, sax; Ryan Hayes, bass; and Zack Schmidt, drums.

Thursday, August 6

George Brooks Bombay Jazz w/Larry Coryell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Saxophonist George Brooks gathers forces with guitar legend Larry Coryell  Ronu Majumdar, a master of the Indian bamboo flute; and tabla virtuoso Aditya Kayanpur to create a blend of Indian classical music and American jazz. Given that the classical music of India features improvisation, rich melodies, and dynamic rhythms in non-American time signatures, this should make for a very interesting and  solid evening of jazz. Here’s Brooks and Coryell.

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cardenas recently impressed many at the opening of Vieux Carre. Now she’s back at Jazz Central, where she and Andrew Foreman, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; and Zach Schmidt, keys will be trying new things with songs by Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and others.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Peterson started this quartet a few years back with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez, drums, and finally released a very well received CD last year. Tonight they’ll be performing Peterson’s original compositions as part of the Jazz Original Series at Studio Z.

Friday, August 7

Atlantis Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($8) The Atlantis Quartet returns to the space where they recorded their 2011 release, Lines in the Sand and where they last played about two years ago, though now, there’ve been a few changes, including ownership and the name.  What isn’t changed is the quartet’s ability to improvise and perform the thoroughly modern jazz that is their hallmark.

Public Music for Friday @ Public Kitchen + Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (No Cover) The Public is a relatively new restaurant and lounge facing Mears Park in Saint Paul. They’ve slowly been adding music to their late nights in the downstairs lounge/bar. Tonight, starting at 8pm, it’s Donald Washington, sax; Doan Roessler, bass; Nathan Hanson, sax, and Tim Duroche, drums. Then at 10pm it’s the Orchestra for Ants, a three guitar outfit with a humorous bent. 

Saturday, August 8

Jeremy Walker Trio & the Ted Olsen Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, featuring two trios. The first is the Ted Olsen Trio at 7pm: Olsen, bass; Javi Santiago, keys; and Miguel Hurtado, drums; followed by Walker’s trio at 8:30pm: Jeremy Walker, keys; Jeff Brueske, bass, and Tim Zhorne, drums.

Sunday, August 9

Irv Williams 96th Birthday Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Like the Energizer Bunny, “Mr Smooth” just keeps going and going. Unlike the drumming Bunny, Williams is a superb saxophonist, who doesn’t seem to have lost his ability to create romantic music. May we all be able to create such great, happy moments at his age. Here’s a video from earlier this year.

Monday, August 10

Sound Skirmish and Drift @ The Acadia Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Sound Skirmish is a young group, some of whose members have yet to reach 21, yet their talent is undeniable. Members include Patrick Adkins, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, Ben Ehrlich, drums; and Drew Stinson, bass. The Acadia only features artists who play original compositions. While Sound Skirmish will be playing jazz, Drift is a singer/songwriter duo consisting of Ryan Hedblom and Madelyn Hirschuber.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s been a year since young Mr. Kjeer, a fabulously talented pianist, graduated from high school, during with time he studied (mostly classical) piano at Interlachen School for the Arts in Michigan. He’s been playing around town this summer, but will soon be heading out to Cal Arts in Southern California, so catch while you can and hear his original compositions.

Tuesday, August 11

Javier Santiago Trio @ Vieux Carre Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Pianist Santiago has been playing a lot around town, in groups that range from neo R&B to salsa, to straight ahead jazz. Tonight he’s joined by Miguel Hurtado on drums, and bassist Ted Olson, two other talented players in their early 20s.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 5

Indeed Brewing Fundraiser for KFAI @ Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm. Okay, I don’t normally publicize a fundraiser without a band, but this has a live broadcast and a singer for part of a show, and the proceeds of all sales for the day will go to KFAI, where I have my radio show. Both Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ and Harold Tremblay’s House Party will be broadcasting live, with Harold featuring barrelhouse pianist & vocalist Stephanie Nilles during the 5 o’clock hour, so you can watch broadcasting and a live performance while enjoying the beverages of Indeed Brewing. She’ll then head over to the 331 Club to perform from 7pm – 9pm.

Jillian Rae Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) The acoustic music fiddler and vocalist with a bent for rock n’ pop will be performing at the Vieux for the first time. Opening will be talented singer/songwriter Brianna Lane, whom Jim Walsh, of the STRIB, called a “star in the making.”

Thursday, August 6

MNSKA Presents @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar?)  The neighborhood bar on Nicollet & 44th will be jumping to the sounds of three ska bands tonight, with the Skruffians, and Rat Rod Ruckus, and from Rochester, New York, Mrs Skannotto. Here is Mrs. Skannotto.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Get your fill of Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop tunes from our very own Swamp Poppas. Bring Dancing Shoes, cuz the Eagles Club has one of the best wooden dance floors around.

Friday, August 7

Patio Party featuring IDK @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4pm – 9pm (No Cover) Taps and music on the Black Dog Patio on a summer night. Oh, and food available from inside. IDK is a band led by Ukelelest (?) Keldon Ancheta, and includes drummer Aaron Tafoya.

Right Track Vinyl Dance Party Anniversary @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) DJs Benjamin Mena, Mike Elias, and Brian Engel have been hosting this First Friday Vinyl dance party for a year now, spinning soul, blues, R&B, and more.

Saturday, August 8

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 2pm – 10pm. (Free) McNally Smith College of Music is presenting the 3rd Annual Festival, today featuring bluesman Greg Koch, jazz rocker Johnny A., Nashville session guys JD Simo and Guthrei Trapp, and two National Fingerstyle Guitar Champions: Muriel Anderson and our own Tim Sparks. That’s on the Main Stage. On the Sixth Street stage there will be sets by Park Evans, Toni Lingren, Jerry Kosak, and more. There’s an after party at the Vieux Carré, featuring the Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound, and very likely, some jamming.

Summer of Love @ Harriet BrewingTap Room, Minneapolis. 3:30 – 5pm:  Recall those days of yesteryear, when pot was way illegal and much less potent, folks were discovering meditation, Indian gurus, LSD, and peace, love, and harmony, beginning with a split set of 60s folk songs by Roady Tate and Dan Israel; 5:15: Steve West and the Northern Stars perform 60s folk, pop, and rock. 6pm British and America Rock, Garage, Animals, Steve West and Friends; 7:15: 60s British and Amierican Pop and Rock by the Lanes; and finally, at 9pm: 60s Psych and Rock by the Tommy Bentz Band.

Sunday, August 9

Support Live Music Summer Jam @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – 10pm ($10) Here’s an event that’s easy to get behind. MMC is featuring a whole day of many of it’s regular performers, including Mary Elias, The School of Rock, Willie Walker and We R, w/guest Maurice Jacox, The Chris Lawrence Band, JayBee and the Routine, Boogie Wonderland, and who knows who else. The MMC has been highly supportive of Twin Cities musicians for years, providing a space for fundraisers many times each year. The club, and its owner Karen Palm, are even talked about in the book Invisible Prey, by John Sandford, copies of which are always on sale at the club along with lots of other merchandise. Check out Jaybee & the Routine.

Monday, August 10

All Tomorrow’s Petty & Batman @ Loring Park, MInneapolis. 7pm (Free) Holy Moley! Pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and head to Loring Park for Movies and Music in the Park. Tonight it’s All Tomorrow’s Petty, a loose-knit group of musicians from a number of Twin Cities bands see their FaceBook page) who give a 21st Century spin on Tom Petty songs. They’ll be followed at about 8:45 by the very first Batman movie from the 60s, wherein Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) take on your favorite bad guys: The Penguin, Catwoman, the Joker, and the Riddler.

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Get your surf/rockabilly/R&B fix for the week with this very twangy trio, aka M.O.R.T, with special guest Shannon McDonough on vocals.

Tuesday, August 11

Javier Matos & Bill Bateman @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 6pm ($15 includes dinner) Here’s a very rootsy gig for an early week dinner. Blues guitarist Matos takes a night off from his band Javier & the Innocent Sons to bring his bottleneck playing and more to the Bayport BBQ. Bateman was the original drummer for the Blasters. They met while Matos was in Los Angeles early this century and performed together in the Blue Shadows.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


So Much Music, So Little Time: 7.29 – 8.4

July 29, 2015

imagesI am continuously amazed at the amount of music found in our fair cities. For instance, there are ten different places having jazz on Friday, and much more featuring Blues and Roots music almost every night of the week, not to mention outdoor events. So, it’s summer and we have to take advantage of the weather, vacations, and the opportunity to support artists of all kinds and lift our spirits at the same time. Enjoy the week.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 29

Lila Ammons @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) With a blues-based approach to jazz, vocalist Ammons is a natural fit for the confines of the Supper Club just North of 694 and NE Minneapolis.

images-1Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Three Basses! Brian Courage is back in town for a while, so he, Jeremy Boettcher, and Graydon Peterson are reprising their three-bass music. How low can you go

Shoop! @ The Village, Mendota Heights. 6:30pm (Free) Five part harmonies from three women and two men, featuring jazz standards and the occasional pop song.

Thursday, July 30

Mississippi @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s a band that throws some Peruvian Lando music into its rich stew of jazz. It’s A-list members include Pete Whitman, sax; Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

da-ke-breo-da @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series continues with this group named with syllables from the names of each of its members: Dave Brattain, sax; Kevin Daley, guitar; Bruce “Pooch” Heine, bass;  Dave Stanoch, drums.

Charmin & Shapira @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pmn (Tip Jar) The silken voice of Charmin Michelle and tasty guitar of Joel Shapira go together as tastefully as burgundy and brownies, both of which are available at the Black Dog.

Friday, July 31

Charlie Lincoln Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The young bassist is having a busy summer before he heads off to Berklee in Boston. This may be the last performance of this particular group, which includes Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; Peter Coggin, alto; Levi Schwartzburg, vibes and/or piano; and Joey Hayes, drums. Here they are with a different trumpeter:

Rare Medium @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  The popular jazz funk group is back from a performing hiatus. Members include Jaim Zuber, guitar; Jesse Mueller, keys; Aaron McCabe, trumpet; Joan Hutton, sax, bass clarinet, and flute; Joshua Stallings, bass; and Ryan Johnson on something called the H-Dial.

Kogan and friends at rehearsal

Kogan and friends at rehearsal

Peter Kogan CD Release @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 10:15pm (Free) Kogan  a drummer with the Minnesota Orchestra, is releasing his second jazz record. His first, 2013’s Cornucopia, was a delight. The new CD, Some Monsterful Wonderthing, promises to be even more so, with a group that includes Cory Wong, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Sean Turner, piano, Charles Lazarus, trumpet; Brian Courage, bass; and Scott Agster, trombone.

Saturday, August 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Opening at 7pm is Joe Smith AM Trio with Smith on sax; Dick Studer on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. at 8:30, it’s the Babatunde Lea  Quintet, with Lea on drums and congas; Phil Aaron, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar, and more. Here is Lea in a quartet setting.;

Sunday, August 2

Doug Little @ Alexis Bailey Vineyard, Hastings. 1:30pm (Free) If you’re looking for a little drive and a pleasant afternoon, head down to Hastings to check out the Bailey Vineyard and the music of saxophonist Doug Little of Charanga Tropical, Seven Steps to Havana, and other Latin bands. Pack a picnic or buy some food, and sit on the deck listening to great music and enjoying the fruits of the vineyard. Here he is at the Vineyard a couple of years ago.

Minneapolis Latin Jazz All Starz @ Arnellia’s, Saint Paul. 6:30pm & 8pm ($5) Latin Jazz you can dance to (is there any other kind?), featuring Jimmieapolis (Jimmy Wallace) on saxophone, by a band dedicated to Augie Garcia.

Solomon’s Sessions @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($5) Trumpeter Solomon Parham leads a jam session featuring a number of students from McNally Smith, so you can expect some contemporary rhythms and songs along with standards. A little bit of Parham

Boney James @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $65), 9pm ($35 – $65) After working with the Isley Brothers, Morris Day, Randy Crawford, and Teena Marie, saxman James released his first album in 1992. Since then he’s received 4 Grammy nominations, and a Soul Train Award, along with selling 3 million CDs and receiving four gold album awards. James calls his latest CD Futuresoul, as he uses modern production and the melodic and rhythmic trappings of vintage soul.

Monday, August 3

Courageous Endeavors @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) As noted in Wednesday’s listing, Brian Courage is in town for a bit and tonight is playing with the band he started. Courage, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums; Nelson Deveraux, sax; Joe Strachan, piano.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 29

Steve Sullivan & the Factory @ Como Park Zoo, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) Grab the kiddies and head over to the zoo where you can catch Sullivan and his band, playing blues and rock n’ roll that draws from Tom Waits as well as Jimi Hendrix.

Pure Praire League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) During the 70s and 80s, PPL  as a steady presence on both country and pop charts with their easy-going lyrics, Eagles-type harmonies, and tap your toes rhythms. After disbanding in the mid 80s they reunited in 1998, and though they’ve experienced personnel changes through the years, they still deliver their distinctive sound. Here they are doing a Lowell George tune.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) The underground vibe of the new Vieux is a good setting for the intimate folk/rock sounds of Nikki & the Ruemates. Here they are in a noisier environment.

Thursday, July 30

Three Minute Hero with Church of Cash @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) First, get yourself some stripped down country/rockabilly with the Church of Cash, playing the music of the Man in Black. Stick around for some energizing ska from the 8-piece Three Minute Hero, and then watch The Unearthing, a film about misfit teenagers in Stillwater. Check out the Church of Cash

Friday, July 31

John Beach @ Big Daddy’s BBQ, Saint Paul. 4:30pm (No Cover) With his gravelly voice and a long history of playing R&B keyboards, Beach’s patio performance at Big Daddy’s will be a great accompaniment for the BBQ.

Secret Stash Records Revue @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm doors ($20) Secret Stash Records is a Twin Cities label that has made some impact with its releases of obscure funk from around the world and the Twin Cities. In fact, the release of old Twin Cities funk has led to the formation of a number of bands including Sonny Knight and the Lakers, and Black Market Brass, both part of tonight’s all star show featuring Cameron Kinghorn of Nooky Jones and the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Black Market Brass, Maurice Jacox, Pavielle French, Wanda Davis, and headliners, Sonny Knight & the Lakers.

Romantica @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Romantica frontman and leader Ben Kyle is an immigrant Irishman who uses American country and folk music to underly his songs about his homeland. Their initial release, Your Weakness, received tons of play on Twin Cities commercial and non-commercial stations and received numerous MN Music Awards in the early aughts. Kyle’s solo effort in 2013 also received much praise, including an article in the Huffington Post. Opening are Jayanthi Kyle and Wes Burdine of Gospel Machine.

Saturday, August 1

Choro Borealis @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5) Choro Borealis plays Choro (pronounced SHOW-doo), high energy music that was popular in Brazil prior to the Bossa Nova craze of the 60s. The highly talented musicians in the group include guitarist Robert Everest, who is well schooled in many world rhythms, as well as multi-instrumentalist Pat O’Keefe, and percussionist Tim O’Keefe.

Eric Gales @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) It’s a guitar fanatic’s night at Famous Daves tonight. Gales was a child prodigy on guitar, picking it up at the age of four, and learning from older siblings. The Memphis native has recorded 14 albums as a leader since 1991, and has appeared on dozen of others. Gales is a Hendrix disciple, though he can draw all kinds of sounds from his guitar, as evidenced on his work on tributes to Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, and others.

Sunday, August 2

dfd49e_8d4b20a8925040a0b60cc622cab0ad5f.jpg_srb_p_1343_754_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srbViva Brazil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) The members of this eight-piece band hail from Rio, Bahia, Missouri, Maryland, Detroit, and upstate NY, though they all live in the Twin Cities. The group includes Altimair Coelo, director, bass; Keving Washington, drums; Josue Alfaro, percussion; Dan Musselman, piano; David Feily, guitars; Cory Wong, guitars; Eliezer Freitas Santos, percussion and Will Lopes, lead vocals. There’s no doubt you’ll be swaying to the insinuating rhythms of bossa novas, sambas, and more.

Tuesday, August 4

Kong/Shu Project @ MN History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) The History Center always includes one or two world music groups in its lineup for Nine Nights of Music each summer. This time they have The Kong/Shu Project, two brothers from North Carolina who perform a hybrid of folk, 80s rock, and pop in Hmong. They are appearing in conjunction with the History Center’s exhibit Hmong in Minnesota which had the largest opening day numbers in the Center’s history.

Bombino @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm $22 – Desert Blues from another guitar master. Omar “Bombino” Moctar released Nomad in April of 2013. It was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and debuted at #1` on the Billboard World Music Charts. Rolling Stone calls Bombino, member of a nomadic Tuareg tribe, a guitar hero. American Cream opens.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Outdoors. Indoors. Music: 7.22 – 7.28

July 22, 2015
Lowertown Blues Festival. One opportunity for outdoor music

Lowertown Blues Festival. One opportunity for outdoor music

It’s Summertime, and there are many outdoor events featuring great music. I’ve included a few here. But don’t forget some of the indoor venues as well. We abound with opportunities to lift our spirits through music. Take advantage of them. And if you’re going to an outdoor event, take a picnic.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 22

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Trumpeter Kenny has assembled a group of excellent young players to play with him. The result is invigorating jazz. Thomas Strommen, sax, is in his third year of studies at UW River Falls; pianist Will Kjeer was a member of the Dakota Combo and led his own groups before graduating high school and going off to study at Interlachen in Michigan for a year; Adam Tucker, bass, slightly older, but still in his 20s, and has worked with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, and the Jana Nyberg Group, in addition to being a producer; Drummer Alex Burgess is also a student at UW-river Falls. this is what they sound like.

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7-m (No Cover) This is becoming a regular gig for young Mr. Walesch  and he deserves it. The singer/pianist always has stellar accompanists who help him swing so well that couples are inspired to dance.

APE:Adrian Peterson Ensemble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Adrian Suarez, drums; Joe Strachan, keys; and Graydon Peterson, bass will present some surprising versions of unlikely songs. It’s bound to be a playful evening of jazz.

Thursday, July 23

Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm (No Cover) Lozier  on trumpet and vocals; Steve Pikal, bass; and Steven Hobert, piano provide a bunch of Louis Armstrong and New Orleans jazz for the dinner hour at the new Saint Paul venue.

John Raymond’s New York Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) It’s been about 10 years since Raymond  a Minneapolis native, left to study at Eau Claire, and six years since he relocated to NYC, where the young trumpeter has successfully integrated himself into the music scene. He plays with Orrin Evans Big Band at Smoke, as well as with Ethan Iverson and Linda Oh, leads his own quartet, and was recently profiled in Downbeat. Tonight he’s celebrating his second CD, Foreign Territory, an album of mostly originals. He’ll be accompanied by Dan Tepfer, piano; Chris Tordini, bass; and Jay Sawyer, drums. I did a phone interview with him this past Saturday (the 18th) which you can hear at http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts at about 23 minutes into the show.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Livingston is equally at home with gypsy jazz, the blues, the Great American Songbook, or the Beatles. She’s been singing a lot with the Parisota Hot Club.

Nichols/Bates/Bates @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bryan Nichols  piano; Chris Bates  bass; and JT Bates, drums. They’ve been friends and musical collaborators for many years. Expect originals and very interesting takes on jazz standards.

Friday, July 24

Zacc Harris & Javi Santiago @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Vieux Carré are wisely featuring early evening music for those who want to sample their New Orleans – inspired food, as well as early evening music fans. Tonight its pianist Javi Santiago, whose becoming a mainstay in the area, along with guitarist Zacc Harris.

Jon Pemberton’s Tribute to Lee Morgan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Pemberton is a composer, pianist, and trumpeter. It’s the last artistry that he’ll be employing tonight as he and his cohorts present an evening of music by and dedicated to trumpeter Lee Morgan. He’ll be joined by Dave Brattain, tenor sax’ Mikkel Romstad, piano; Tom Lewis, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums.

Friday Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The fun begins with Mississippi, a quartet of intense players whose interests range from modern jazz to Peruvian festijos, to hip hop. Members are: Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Pete Whitman, saxes; and Kevin Washington, drums. Then at 9:30 Six Families Presents: Piss Lasso will take over. It’s a large experimental group whose music includes minimalist drones. Members include: JT Bates, Cory Healey, Jake Baldwin, Andrew Thoreen, Adam Zahller, Cole Pulice, Joseph Strachan, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Nelson Devereaux, and Michelle Kinney, among other

Atrium Jazz Trio @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 10pm – 11pm (Free) This group is led by Jeremy Walker on piano, and often includes JT Bates on drums, and Anthony Cox on bass. It’s an after-concert performance, presented as part of Orchestra Hall’s Sommerfest

Saturday, July 25

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sit close to hear the sweet vocals of Ms. Shorai.

Corey Healey Beautiful Sushine Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Rather than going with two different bands, tonight’s band will do two sets. The band is led by Corey Healey, drums; and includes Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax. Two sets

Jazz @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. (Free) More Sommerfest Jazz in the Atrium:  JT Bates Trio performs from 6pm – 7:45pm, and the Chris Lomheim Trio performs from 10pm – 11pm.

Monday, July 27

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Pedalty doesn’t play out enough, as far as I’m concerned, though I’m sure she’s inhibited by her day job. At any rate, she’s got a fresh sound, a great sense of rhythm, and impeccable backing from her dad, pianist Bruce Pedalty, who has long played jazz and blues around town. His song If Nothing Ever Changes, was chosen as the title track for the new Willie Walker album.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 22

Lynn O’Brien and Steven Hobert @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Lynn O’Brien is a singer/songwriter with a charming way with words and music. Steven Hobert is a jazz pianist around town, though he occasionally takes side trips into other genres. Together, they’re a promising duo that will surprise.

I Like You on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This six-piece band creates Sunshine Pop for the 21st Century, incorporating bits of world music into their upbeat sounds.

James Cotton Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) The 80 year old Grammy winning blues harpist is among the last of the original Chicago Blues legends of the 50s and 60s. Though Cotton has been playing since he was 9, and his voice is just a hoarse croak, and he leaves the singing to Darell Nullisch, a fine blues singer in his own right, as evidenced from his time with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. Hoars or not, Cotton still blows a mighty strong harp.

Thursday, July 23

Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned BBQ, University & Dale, Saint Paul. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) While away the afternoon with Big Daddy’s Blues on the Patio series, today featuring Big George  a singer/harpist whose booming voice will shake the ground on which you’re standing.

Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm. (Tip Jar) Papa John returns to his neighborhood haunt, aka, Best Neighborhood Bar in Mpls, to entertain with his dry wit, excellent guitar playing, and vast repertoire of blues and acoustic swing.

Womenfolk Live @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($8) This benefit for KFAI features Vicky emerson, Mother Banjo, Katy Vernon, and Sarah Morris, a quartet of talented singer/songwriters having fun with the proceeds going to KFAI, where Mother Banjo (Ellen Stanley) hosts Womenfolk.

Friday, July 24

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders & Zoo Animal @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm. (Free) The annual Thursday night series ion Lowertown’s park continues with the minimalist grunge of Zoo Animal (opening) and Crankshaft’s “pork net” style of stripped down, raucous blues at about 7:15 or 7:30. Followed by a film.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Next month will be a big blowout as the Hipshaker deejays celebrate another anniversary of this long-running 45rpm dance party. Rare and not often heard funk and soul for your dancing pleasure from Greg, Brian, and George, though there may be a guest deejay.

Friday, Saturday, July 24, 25

Palmfest @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm Friday, 2pm Saturday. This annual event at the “Best Dive Bar in the US” (Esquire) always features a wide variety of roots, rock, and blues and this year is no different, with Friday bands ranging from the Liquor Pigs and duet of Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr to Wain McFarlane, while Saturday’s line up starts with the Palmerceuticals, and features The Changeups,  Rising Side, Cadillac Kolstad, McNasty Brass Band, Eleganza, Sister Claypso, and more.

Saturday, July 25

Lowertown Blues Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 10pm (Free) Main Stage: McNally Smith FunkHeads; Dee Miller Band; Lisa Wenger & Her Mean Mean Men; Jimmi & the Band of Souls; Walter Trout; Elvin Bishop. Juke Joint Stage & Food Court: Jimi Prime Time Smith and Big George Jackson. At 10pm head to the after-parties at various clubs around Lowertown, including Willie Murphy @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar.

Butanes @ Big Daddy’s BBQ, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 7:30pm (No Cover) Meanwhile, you don’t have to go to downtown Saint Paul to catch some blues, as Big Daddy’s continues their Blues on the Patio events with Curt Obeda and his talented cohorts.

Battle of the Garages! @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Rock your socks off to the sounds of headlining garage band legends the Pandoras, and all-female band from LA, and the Lyres of Boston. Of course our own Mighty Mofos, L’Assasins, and Beebe Gallini, will get the evening started right. Here are the Pandoras in the 80s.

Sunday, July 26

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 6:30pm (Free) Bring a picnic and recall (or imagine) time in Paris as Dan Newton and his pals play musettes, tangos, and French favorites in the outdoors

Eleni Mandell @ Treehouse Records, Minneapolis, and The Turf Club, Saint Paul Noon (Treehouse – Free) 7pm (Turf Club – $12) Mandell is a successful indie singer/songwriter who peppers her songs with hints of jazz and country, and who writes smart lyrics, whether about motherhood or wanting to be a mistress. She’s currently touring behind Dark Lights Up, a brand new release on Yep Roc Records She’s played more in-stores at Treehouse than any other artist. Then in the evening she’ll appear at the Turf Club, with Courtney Marie Andrews opening.

Tuesday, July 28

Scottie Miller @ Lowell Park, Stillwater. 6pm (Free) Another outdoor event for music lovers, this one featuring Scottie Miller  that singing piano player whose music has touches of New Orleans, rock n’ roll, and Americana. Don’t forget your picnic.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance


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