Inside. Outside. Music: 6.11 – 6.17

June 12, 2014
The Green Line of the LRT begins running this weekend.

The Green Line of the LRT begins running this weekend. There will be music galore.

It’s a big weekend for festivals, what with the annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival, music events at many of the stations along the Green Line LRT, the Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival on Saturday, and a few nearby-but-out-of town events. Don’t forget those day-to-day events featuring some of the very talented individual artists and groups in our fair cities, as well as the occasional visitors.

Jazz

Thursday, June 12 Melody Mendis Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s the vocal showcase at Jazz Central, tonight featuring Mendis, a Detroit vocalist who has been calling Minneapolis home for a few years now. She’s sung in a Parisian cabaret, and has toured England and throughout North America, bringing her own interpretation to originals, standards, and some pop/rock fare.

Kinghorn/Baldwin, Inc. @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This should be especially interesting for those who appreciate the intersection of jazz and soul music. A quintet of some of the area’s busiest young musicians will be interpreting jazz and soul standards, as well as songbook tunes and the occasional original. Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Andres Crovetti, drums.

Adam Linz/Paul Metzger Duo @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Grand at Snelling, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Emil Sherzad is host of Radio Duende on KFAI, a show that features much freely improvised music. As the owner of the Khyber Pass Cafe, he’s now providing a new venue for adventurous improvised music every Thursday. The initial show features bassist Adam Linz and guitarist/banjoist Paul Metzger in and evening of improvised music based on a set of African field recordings. Wine, beer, and small plates will be available.

Friday, June 13

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) This New York City native can sing gypsy jazz, as well as swing some standards and the occasional pop fare. The lounge at Parma 8200 has good cocktails and great bar fare. A fine combination.

Saturday, June 14

Jazz at Studio Z: NextGen Showcase @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) This is the last show of the season for this series, and they’re closing out with some bands featuring young players. At 7pm it’s the No Coast Quintet, with Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brian Courage, bass, and drummer Lars Larson. At 8pm The Kevin Gastonguay Trio takes to the stage, followed at 9pm by Steve Kenny and Group 47, celebrating the digital release of their new album. Led, more or less, by trumpeter Steve Kennyu, the band features saxophonist Thomas Strommen, bassist Adam Tucker, drummer Alex Burgess, and 17 year old piano phenom Will Kjeer.

Down in New Orleans

Down in New Orleans

Jack Brass Band @ Sibley House Lawn, Mendota. 7pm – 9pm. ($10/$7 for MNMHS members)This traditional/contemporary brass brand will be celebrating Mendota’s rich jazz history by playing the New Orleans jazz that filled the clubs in Mendota from the 60s through the 80s. Bring a blanket or chair and soak in the music. If the weather isn’t cooperating, it will be moved into the Mendota VFW, where seating is limited, so reservations are recommended at 651-3452-1596.

Sunday, June 15 Unknown-2Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: Cole Slaw @ Saint Albert The Great, E. 29th & 32nd Av S, Minneapolis. 1pm – 2:30pm ($15) It’s 123 years since the birth of Cole Porter (June 9, 1891) and Ms Hixson and Mr Carlson are presenting a An Afternoon Picnic of Porter, celebrating his music.

Capri Big Band @ The Como Lakeside Pavillion, Como Park, Saint Paul. 3pm (Free) An inter-generational big band, 25 pieces strong, directed by Faye Washington. They bring a hefty dose of soulfulness and brio to the big band sound.

Billy Hart Quartet featuring Ethan Iverson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Drummer Hart has played with Otis Redding, Jimmy Smith, The Montgomery Brothers, Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter Stan Getz, and Miles Davis, to name a few. He teaches at Oberlin Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, and Western Michigan University. In short, he’s got the chops and he knows how to use them. His quartet includes pianist Ethan Iverson, known around here for his work with the Bad Plus, Mark Turner on sax; and Ben Street on bass. If you want to know jazz, this is the gig to attend.

Monday, June 16

Peter Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This should be fun for those fans of the sometimes maligned trombone, as Enblom has been playing the instrument, in all genres, for over 40 years. He’s played for such legendary performers as Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and Harry Connick, Jr., and is currently the lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He performs as well with the JazzMN Orchestra, the Explosion Big Band, and the Bill Simonsen Orchestra, as well as with numerous other groups.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Thursday, June 12

John Gorka and Michael Johnson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) A night of singer/songwriting without peer. Both Gorka and Johnson have been at it since the 70s. Gorka has recorded eleven albums, including a 2010 album with Red House label-mates Lucy Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson which was one of the most played folk albums of the year. Johnson scored a top ten hit with Bluer Than Blue in 1978 and since then has had four tunes on the Hot 100 and nine on the country charts. He spent 20 years living here, doing annual Christmas shows at the Guthrie, though he now lives in Nashville, where he continues to write.

Friday, June 13

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) That’s Booker T as in Booker T and the MGs. The MGs may be no more, but Booker T plays on, recording his latest album, Sound the Alarm, with a number of contemporary R&B voices, and . Before that, his album Potato Hole, with the Drive-By Truckers received an Grammy for the Best Pop Instrumental album. I expect he’ll be playing some old favorites, like Green Onions and Time is Tight in addition to newer tunes.

New Sound Underground @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Here’s a funk-laden group whose inspiration draws from genre-crossing jazz like RH Factor, Weather Report, and Soulive. Member include: Kevin Gastonguay, Keys; Trent Jacob Baarspul, Electric Guitar; Christopher Ray Hunnicutt, Electric Bass; Kenyari Steele-Jackson, Drums; Sten Johnson, tpt, Flugelhorn, & Trombone; and Nelson Devereaux on Saxophones.

Left Lane Cruiser w/Sex Rays @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($12) Left Lane Cruiser has been a favorite of Bayport BBQ owner Chris Johnson since before Johnson started the Deep Blues Festivals some years ago. LLC is a duo that plays raw, bluesy rock, and is heavily influence by musicians from North Mississippi Hill Country. Sex Rays open, with a sound that combines the Sex Pistols and Link Ray. Get there early for some fine BBQ and maybe a few tastes of “white lightnin”.

images-4Friday, Saturday, June 13, 14

5th Annual Howlin’ Wolf Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 each night, $15 for both nights) Friday line-up: Chris Holm, Tonny Manno (Chicago), Rev. KM Williams (Dallas, TX), Black Diet, The Fattenin’ Frogs. Saturday line-up: Minke Munson, The Crooked Saws, The Flood Brothers, Ross Kleiner & the Thrill, Javier & the Innocent Sons

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 13, 14, 15

Stone Arch Bridge Festival @ St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis. 6pm-10pm Fri, 10am – 7pm Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun. This annual festival is an art show and music festival, along with a car show and motorcycle showcase (To attract Dads on Father’s Day), and of course, food. It’s held across the river from downtown Minneapolis and will feature many singer/songwriters in a variety of styles that encompass folk, indie rock, Americana, and roots music. You can go to the website to find out schedules.

Saturday, June 14

Lowertown’s End of the Line Block Party @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 2pm – 9pm (Free) The Green Line LRT opens for business today, and to celebrate, Lowertown businesses and artists are joining together to present art, food, henna painting, and more, including music by The Brass Messengers, Zacc Harris Group, The Person and The People, Orkestar Bez Ime, The Pete Hennig Group, and The Maurice Jacox Band. Hosted by Hot Date.

Monday, June 16

The Fairlanes @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) An afternoon delight as four guys harmonize to songs from the 50s to the present. It’s acapella doo-wop, for want of a better term.

Monday, Tuesday, June 16, 17

Maceo Parker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55), 9pm ($35, $45) The embodiment of funk. Maceo was a sideman who was immortalized in 1965 when James Brown said “Maceo, I want you to blow” during the recording of I Got You (I Feel Good). Since then he’s been in and out of the JBs, had his own hit as Maceo and His Men with Soul Power, recorded with Parliament/Funkadelic, Keith Richards, 10,000 Maniacs, Ani DeFranco, Prince, and others, as well as recording his own albums of funk and jazz. You can read an interview I did with him a few years ago here.

Tuesday, June 17

Rich Lewis Band @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Some more noon-time fun in the summertime, this time from the New Orleans-ish, Motown-ish R&B band led by Mr. Lewis.

 

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Dancing in the Streets, Parks, and Clubs. Music: 6.4 – 6.10

June 4, 2014
The Lyn-Lake Street Festival a couple of years ago.

The Lyn-Lake Street Festival a couple of years ago.

Music lifts your spirit, especially when dancing. Outdoor festivals will surely break out in dancing, whether to rock n’ roll, funk, or big bands. However, those of you who prefer the indoors, or simply listening, will have plenty of opportunities to indulge yourselves.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 4

Happy Spirits @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anthony Cox curates first Wednesdays at JC, and tonight he’s bringing in one of his own bands. Happy Spirits will be playing contemporary jazz inspired by electric Miles, Primetime Ornette, and David Holland’s Prism. The band will include Soloman Parham, trumpet; Peter Schimke, keys; Kevin Washington, drums; and Anthony Cox on bass and cello.

Thursday, June 5

Joyce Lyons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Lyons, who moved to the Twin Cities a few years ago, has sung all over the country, and even for the Supreme Court.  Her singing seems straightforward, yet her interpretation of classic standards shows nuance, as well as an understanding of the words and the emotions behind them.

Friday, June 6

JT Bates Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The versatile drummer Bates, gets together with Kevin Gasonguey on B3, and Zacc Harris on guitar, who is no stranger to B3 trios himself.

Unknown-3Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm  (No Cover) Vicky is a well-known and well-appreciated singer and educator who is equally comfortable scatting bebop, singing the Great American Songbook, or providing a new interpretation to the lyrics of rock n’ roll chestnuts. Well worth hanging out at the lounge of this D’Amico restaurant.

 

What Would Monk Do @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This is the fifth year of performing for this quartet, featuring Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; Steve Kenny, trumpet; and Kenny Horst, drums. It’s the first public performance for Horst since the closing of the Artists’ Quarter. As usual, this high-powered quartet will present both well-known and obscure tunes by Thelonious Monk as well as Monk-inspired compositions by Steve Kenny and Kenny Horst.

Fall of the House of Usher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) A octet of jazz musicians playing groove music: Afrobeats; 70s Psychedelic Miles, New Orleans funk, and 80s No Wave, among others. Christopher Cunningham, guitar; Chis Bates, bass; Greg Schutte, drums; Jon Davis, clarinets; Nelson Deveraux, saxes; Adrian Larkin, alto; Elliott Wachs, baritone sax; and Ivan Cunningham, alto.

Friday, Saturday, June 6, 7

Dave King Trucking Company @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 advance/$12 door) I could probably highlight a different Dave King group each month for a year if the groups in which he’s a founder and/or major player performed enough. As it is, for two nights, King and Co. will be turning up the heat at the Icehouse with ferocious, sonically dense music from Chris Speed & Brandon Wozniak, saxes; Eric Fratzke, guitar; Adam Linz, bass; and King on drums and cymbals.

Sunday, June 8

24th Annual Jazz on the Prairie Festival @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie, 2pm – 8pm. (Free) Here’s a chance to fully sate your need to hear big bands. Starting at 2pm, the Bend in the River Big Band takes the stage, followed hourly by the Just Friends Big Band, The Good News Big Band, The River City Jazz Orchestra, The ACME Jazz Company, and host Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Ribs will be available to ease your hunger pangs. More information on location and parking can be found at: http://www.jazzontheprairie.com/jazzfestival.aspx

Firebell @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, perform Park’s originals as well as jazz standards for a Sunday afternoon.

Emily Bear @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Quincy Jones is producing this 12-year old, whose talent as a piano player far outstrips her years – she’s already written over 350 songs, and has performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the White House, Carnegie Hall, and on numerous TV shows. She’s also showing promise as a singer. Here she is at Montreaux.

Monday, June 9

Mary Louise Knutson Trio w/Debbie Duncan @ Crowne Plaza Hotel Regency Room, 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth. 7pm – 8:15pm. (Free) This performance is part of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association Convention, but is open to the public and free. Joining pianist Knutson will be bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Greg Schutte. Debbie Duncan will join the Trio mid-way through the set.

Adam Rossmiller @ Jazz Central, Minnepolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Trumpeter Rossmiller plays with the Jack Brass Band, Mambo’s Combo, Snowblind, and several other groups, including the occasional tour with Doc Severinson. He’s played with the JC trio before, so I expect this will be a relaxed, swingin’ set.

Tuesday, June 10

A Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Olson is on the faculty at McNally Smith, and also teaches at MacPhail and the Shell Lake Jazz Camp during summer months. He may be best known for his work in the trio Framework, with Chris Bates and Jay Epstein, where his clean lines shine through. Each month at the  Black Dog he’s joined by a special guest.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 4

7632Joe & Vicki Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) These Delta-inspired blues artists make their home in Northern Iowa, and lucky for us, make regular trips to the Twin Cities to appear in a number of venues over the course of the week. Joe & Vicki kick off this month’s semi-residency with an appearance on Harold’s House Party during the 5pm hour, then head over to the 331 Club to perform from 7pm – 9pm.

Thursday, June 5

Todd Clouser @ The 318 Club, Wayzata. 8pm ($10) Minnesota born, educated in NYC, and living in Mexico City, guitarist/composer Clouser plays jazz with a number of artists, and leads his own A Love Electric, yet doesn’t fit into a neat jazz category, since his playing and writing reveal rock and other influences as well. Tonight he’ll be playing solo at this intimate west metro coffeehouse with wine & beer.

Jacox, Mosher, Wells, & Bobby E @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 1pm (Tip Jar) Maurice Jacox, vocalist extraordinaire, has been doing a few gigs with guitarist Bobby E and Tom Wells on tuba. As might be expected with musicians of this calibre, the results have been entertaining and enlightening. Now they’re adding Cathy Mosher, a long-time singing partner of Bobby E to the mix. Add in the cozy, low-key confines of Dusty’s and you have an intimate evening of music.

Friday, June 6

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters and Chris Holm @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Jackson Buck of KFAI presents another Freewheelin’ Friday. This one features the legendary Willie Murphy and his band, playing their unique blend of blues, R&B and rock n’ roll. Chris Holm, of 4 on the Floor and the Fattenin’ Frogs, will play some blues to open. There’ll be a food truck, of course, and the weather should allow for opening the warehouse doors and spreading the music outside. Here’s Murphy:

Playing for Change @ O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40, $60) This is a very successful high-concept band, brought together with the idea of inspiring and bringing peace to the world through music. Its ten musicians come from New Orleans, The Netherlands, South Africa, Congo, Japan, Zimbabwe, Los Angeles, Cuba, and Israel. They’ve played major festivals on four continents and opened for Robert Plant throughout Australia.

Saturday, June 7

Figuring out consensually agreed-upon areas

Figuring out consensually agreed-upon areas

Dirty Curls CD Release, w/The Beavers @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9pm. Courtney McClean’s “Naughtybilly” band puts the blue in bluegrass. They play fast and loose with double and triple entendres, even winkingly using a single entendre or two to sing about lust and love. The all-female Beavers (that’s the name they chose) start things out with more blue/newgrass at 10pm, but attendees are encouraged to show up early to chat and, to quote Ms McClean, “give the Curls a squeeze in a consensually-agreed upon area of our bodies.” Definitely 21+.

Sunday, June 8

Chastity Brown, The Ericksons, & Molly Maher w/Eric Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) An Americana brunch with the folk blues of Chastity Brown; the close, sisterly harmonies of the Ericksons; and the country-rock of Molly Maher, w/guitarist/soinger/composer Eric Koskinen.

Lyn-Lake Street Fest @ Lyndale & Lake, Minneapolis. noon – 7pm. (Free) The outdoor festival season is well upon us, and today we have a chance to experience a variety of music starting with the children’s music of Adam Levy’s Bunny Clogs at noon, followed at 1pm by Ashley Gold; Ginko at 2pm; Toki Wright & Big Cats at 3; Dosh at 4; Rogue Valley at 5; and concluding with the Secret Stash Soul Revue at 6pm.

Sambanova @ Saint Paul Central Library, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Brazil has given us a number of highly rhythmic, often sensual music styles. Two terrific guitarists, Joan Griffith, and Sam Militch, will explore explore them.

Ladies Sing the Blues @ Roseville Central Park, 2540 N. Lexington, Roseville. 4pm (free) Here’s an afternoon of blues from Lady J. Griot & her Root Doctors, and the Groove Merchants, featuring Jimi Prime Time Smith, and the “Duchess of the Blues,” Dee Miller. The C-Notes will make a special appearance as well.

Monday, June 9

The Secret Someones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) This NYC includes three singer/songwriters and a drummer/multi-instrumentalist. The singers, Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, and Hannah Winkler, create sunny harmonies reminiscent of the Bangles & Bananarama, and with the solid support of drummer Zach Jones, the group’s catchy music is, to borrow a phrase, pure pop for now people. See for yourself.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk. Music: 5.28 – 6.3

May 28, 2014
A little humor from the Zits comic strip

A little humor from the Zits comic strip

We don’t have many visiting artists this week, but the few that are visiting are outstanding, from jazz pianist Bill Charlap to music insider Peter Asher. A passing glance at the resident artists appearing around town will show that we have more than enough high quality talent of our own. However, we have to remember to support our resident artists by attending their shows. As we encounter life’s challenges, we all need to refresh, and music certainly lifts the spirit. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 28

Wolverines Trio w/Maud Hixson @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm The ever-tasteful Wolverines, together with Ms Hixson’s clear voice and impeccable diction will win out over the Kitchen’s sometimes noisy environment. It always helps to sit close to the stage.

Dean Magraw & Praire Rhythm Section@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7)  With Gary Raynor, bass; and Peter Johnson, drums. Dean Magraw is arguably the most versatile guitarist in town, able to go from psychedelia to John Coltrane to Irish jigs and Indian ragas all in the course of a couple of songs. No wonder he’s been a favorite of Mr. Keillor. Tonight he has a couple of other Prairie Home regulars backing him up.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Peterson is a first-call bassist in town, and has been a sideman in a variety of configurations, from trios to big bands. He’s recently been writing his own music, and has gathered Adam Mecler, trumpet; Vinnie Rose, guitar; and Adrian Suarez on drums to give voice to his melodies.

Thursday, May 29

Bill Charlap Trio @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30), 9pm ($20, $25) W/Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums. Pianist Charlap is known for his interpretations of The Great American Songbook, and though he’s imaginative, he also gets to the essence of a song. His trio with the non-related Washington’s is rock solid.

 

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Thursday Night is Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Ms Laurie is a prime example of the wealth of vocal talent in town. She can swing gypsy jazz, straight ahead, and modern material with equal ease.

Friday, May 30

Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve been paying attention to Twin Cities Jazz for a few years, you probably know of Gravatt’s stints with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Charles Lincoln, bass; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Davu Seru and Song Click @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) w/Donald Washington, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Marc Anderson, percussion. A great gathering of musicians who are master improvisers, whether they’re working with variations on written pieces or freely improvising.

Saturday, May 31

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, have been delivering weekly doses of high quality music for the d’Amico Brothers for years, first at the Chambers Hotel, and now at this Italian restaurant in the SW quadrant of 494 & 100. They appear in the restaurant’s cocktail lounge, where you are still free to order dinner or one of the smaller plates from the bar menu.

Sunday, June 1

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc, Matt Peterson, and Peter Hennig have been playing Sunday Nights at the Riverview for quite a while now. All three are such great players that they continually surprise, and have yet to fall into a rut.

Monday, June 2

Tom Rainey & Ingrid Laubrock @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Germany-born Ingrid Laubrock now lives in Brooklyn, where she composes and plays soprano and tenor sax. She and drummer Tom Rainey have recorded an album  of ten improvisations entitled And Other Desert Towns. They’ve played together in various bands since 2009, when Laubrock arrived in Brooklyn, yet this is their first duo record. Expect closely communicated, freely improvised music. Here they are in a trio format:

 

Tuesday, June 3

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Well, if you missed Dean at the Dakota and Eric at Jazz Central, you now have a chance to see them both playing off each other, and having a good time.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

 

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 28

Unknown-1Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($5?) Jimmi & the band are an energetic quartet that plays blues that stick in your head. They’re going to the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, representing Minnesota. This evening they’re celebrating the release of a new album, Live From the Park Theater, by bringing in a couple of special guests for this early evening show.

Thursday, May 29

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Here in Minnesota you’d be hard pressed to find a Cajun group with a history as long as the Ramblers. They’ve been together for twenty years or so, and have studied or performed with many of the genre’s veterans. So get out your dancing shoes and twirl, spin, and dip to your heart’s content.

Friday, May 30

Falderals CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnepolis. 9pm ($10) This husband and wife team of Andrew and Rebecca Andestic met in Armenia, where they were both serving in the Peace Corps. Since then they’ve busked on the streets of Chicago, and have performed regularly around the Twin Cities. They write deeply felt, melodic folk songs (with a touch of folk-rock) that resonate with all ages. The CD is called Witness, and includes Shane Akers, dobro; Jim McGuinn, lapsteel & keys; and Derek McCullum on ukelele; all of whom will be special guests tonight.

Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) A five piece string band that updates that traditional sound with original songs as well as creative arrangements of traditional bluegrass tunes, and untraditional tunes from folk, rock, and blues. They’re celebrating the release of their third studio album, Way Back Home.  Opening is The Last Revel, a passionate trio using three-part folk harmonies supported by an attitude that borrows freely from rock n’ roll rebels.

Saturday, May 31

Moe’s Folk & Blues Festival @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 3pm – Midnight (No Cover) Okay, you’ve got Paul Mayasich, Randy Webb & Dave Baab, Gene LaFond, Spider John Koerner, Paul Metsa & Sonny Earl, and inside, The Scottie Miller Trio to round out the evening. Who knew the West Bank has moved up to Mounds View?

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Well the All Stars vary according to whoever is in town, but don’t worry, Harold’s been at this so long he can always find simpatico players.

Sunday, June 1

Sherwin Linton @ Famous Dave’s, MInneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No cover) How ‘bout some country music to go with those biscuits, gravy, waffles and rib tips? Linton has been performing for some 58 years now, bringing an unmatched authenticity to classic country and rockabilly. Check out his version of Tennessee Stud:

Samantha Harlow @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul., 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) This Saint Paul native spent a decade pouring drinks in a Nashville honky tonk, and countless nights touring and singing as a solo act. All that work has helped Harlow  learn how to write classic country tunes.

Jimages-2oe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27, $35) Rockin’ honky tonk from Texas, by a guy who has played with Springsteen, Uncle Tupelo, The Chieftains, Lyle Lovett, and John Hiatt. Early on, he and his band toured with The Clash, and he even supplied background vocals on Should I Stay or Should I Go. Plus, he wrote the music for The Horse Whisperer. He and guitar slinger Jeff Plankenhorn will be performing mostly acoustic versions of Ely’s songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 3,4

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Asher is the ultimate music industry insider, from the days his sister was dating Paul McCartney, to his own singing career with Peter & Gordon, to producing records for a wide variety of artists (two Grammys), as well as musicals, PBS features, and various award shows. He’ll share his story, sing a few songs, and generally be one of the most entertaining dinner guests you’ll ever run across.

 

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

 

 


Remembering & Anticipating. Music: 5.21 – 5.27

May 21, 2014

images-2Greetings to one and all. All of a sudden, Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a time to remember loved ones and those we’ve lost to wars. It’s also the unofficial beginning of summer – grilling and festival season. If you’re not heading Up North and enjoy a wide variety of music, there’s a weekend outdoor event at Memory Lanes. We’ve also got a couple of CD release parties and a visiting artist or two to supplement the wealth of music we have here in the Twin Cities. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 21

Century Jazz Ensemble @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Century Jazz Ensemble has a long history, a large repertoire, and a deservedly great reputation. It’s members meet weekly in a class called Music 1017, which is just an opportunity to jam and rehearse for two hours. Here’s a chance to hear them outside of the school and their special events. Plus, it’s a chance to check out the big band Tuesdays that MMC is having these days.

McNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Pete Whitman leads this eleven piece student ensemble playing an eclectic mix of material ranging from classic hard bop to 21st century sounds.

A musical and sartorial inspiration

A musical and sartorial inspiration

Thursday, May 22

Irv Williams’ CD Release Party @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Like the Energizer Bunny, Irv Williams just keeps on going. The tenor saxophonist may be 90+ but he’s still “Mr. Smooth,” with a beautiful sound and an ability to glide among notes with the greatest of ease. On the new CD, Pinnacle, he plays with Billy Peterson, bass, and Steve Blons, guitar.

Friday, May 23

Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, perform tunes from Monk, Mingus, & Coltrane, as well as originals. Exquisite jazz.

Andrew Foreman @ Jazz Central Late Night, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Andrew Foreman is leaving town for the summer, and is having a going-away party of sorts. The night begins with the Ben Abrahamson Quartet performing their interpretation of Sea Changes, the Beck album. Chomsky, Foreman’s quartet, will then take the stage to play a mix of originals and indie rock covers.

Saturday, May 24

JoAnn Funk & Jeff Brueske @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/Vocalist Funk and bassist Brueske will be taking off from this weekly gig during the summer, though they’ll return for three nights of Jazz Fest. Anyway, this is a chance to hear some high quality jazz as Funk sings from a songbook that includes tunes by Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie, and Dan Penn, among others.

Saturday, Sunday, May 24, 25

Unknown-2Davina & the Vagabonds Album Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) In the ten years since this Florida native settled here in the Twin Cities, Davina has gained thousands of adoring fans, who turn out to see her in a wide variety of settings, from the honky-tonk surroundings of Lee’s Liquor Lounge, to the swank Dakota, where she fills the house with every performance. Thanks to incessant touring, her legion of fans stretches across the nation and around the world. She and the Vagabonds will be spending a lot of time in Europe this summer, and cap the season with two appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Unlike most of her previous albums, the new album, Sunshine, was recorded (analogue!) in the studio, yet ably captures the excitement and sass of a DATV performance. Reservations recommended.

Sunday, May 25

Butch Thompson Blues, Rags, and Stomps: An Homage to the Emporium of Jazz @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Pianist/clarinetist Thompson got his start with the Hall Brothers Jazz Band, who opened the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota back in 1966. It was an important tour stop for anyone playing traditional jazz, where you could buy set-ups, dance, and listen to the Hall Brothers backing some of the founders of the tradition. Thompson will be backed by some of the original members of the Hall Brothers: Charlie DeVore, cornet; Russ Hall, trombone; Mike Polad, piano; and Bill Evans, bass. They’ll be joined by drummer Peter Johnson and vocalist Hilary Thavis, who will sing some classic blues.

Monday, Tuesday, May 26, 27

Victor Wooten @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($37), 9pm ($27) Wooten is a five-time Grammy Winner, a founding member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, and winner of many awards for his electric bass playing. Thanks in part to a clean sound, he has the ability to keep things interesting while taking the lead for whole songs.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

 

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 21

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) A classic blues pairing of guitarist/vocalist (Scott) and harp player (Blake). Both have long histories with other bands, and both still play with others, but when they get together, the creative energy explodes. Here they are doing a Brownie McGhee song just about a year ago.

 

Malamanya @ The Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Malamanya’s take on Cuban and Latin rhythms is both infectious and sensuous. The spacious venue with a large dance floor awaits salsa dancers and free-stylers alike. DJ Rambo Salinas will be spinning Latin and Chicano Soul before and between sets.

Thursday, May 22

Nikki & The Rue-Mates @ Sea Salt Eatery, Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) Can it get any better than catching some folk-rock and blues, hanging in Minnehaha Park, and enjoying the much-praised seafood at Sea Salt. Nikki & the guys will be singing outside, so naturally, this is a weather dependent gig. Here’s a video that shows you what you can expect.

American Composers Forum Showcase @ The Landmark Center Weyerhauser Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This is an inaugural event of the American Composers Forum, which recently moved into the Landmark Center. The Zeitgeist ensemble will perform new works by Gene Pritsker (NYC), Bruce Reiprich (Flagstaff), Joshua Harris (Denton, TX), and James May (Amery, WI).

Friday, May 23

Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 advance/$18 door) Zydeco Dance lesson at 7:30. Band plays at 8. It’s an Upriver Fais Do Do, as the Krewe de Walleye brings Broussard up from Louisiana and local cajun/zydeco dancers fill the floor. If you don’t feel the need to move to the classic creole and contemporary zydeco from Broussard & his bandmates, you better check your pulse.

Ronn Easton @ Famous Dave’s, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Ronn brings his considerable vocal skills to the BBQ joint, where he and his band will be playing uptown blues from the likes of ZZ Hill, Johnny Taylor, Robert Cray, and Tyrone Davis for dancers.

Tom Lieberman @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Vocalist/guitarist Lieberman was a member of the West Bank jazz trio Rio Nido back in the day. He’s continued to write, has had a song sung by Sesame Street’s Elmo, had another featured in the indie film Sweetland and has appeared on Prairie Home Companion. His songs swing, jump, and occasionally, veer into Louis Prima-style humor.

Saturday, May 24

Rhizosphere @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar)  Improvisation from a quartet that explores the fertile territory where the roots of music from around the world come together. Sounds from Europe, Asia, and the Americas interact spontaneously in an aural environment held together by the great American traditions of Jazz, Folk Music, and the Blues. Members of the group include Bob Fantauzzo, Native American and Chinese flutes; Gabriela Sweet, slide guitar & accordion; Mike Burns, guitar; and Sean Egan, clarinet.

Alma Andina @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30PM ($5) Four Chileans and two Americans who have lived in Chile perform Andean and Latin American music. The groups play a combination of percussion, guitar, charanago, flutes and of course, pan pipes.

Saturday, Sunday May 24, 25

Weekend Block Party @ Memory Lanes, Minneapolis. (Free)  If you’re not heading Up North for the weekend, you can enjoy the outdoors while listening to a cornucopia of mostly newer talent. Among the performers Saturday: Black Market Brass, Buffalo Moon, Southside Desire, Black Diet, Grolar Bears, Hotpants/Hipshaker Deejays. Sunday brings: Deadstring Brothers, L’Assasins; Ross Kleiner & the Thrill; DJs Shannon Blowtorch & Father Time, among others.

Sunday, May 25

La Abandonada Orquesta de Tango @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) A little tango music from the “ Golden Age of Tango,” played by Cory Grossman, Matt Mioller, Sara Pajunen, and Trish Hurd-Paczkowski.

Lamont Cranston & Willie Murphy: 3rd Annual West Bank Reunion @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) It’s s boogie down R&B, soulful, bluesy celebration with two of the stalwart bands of the West Bank, circa the late 70s and early 80s. Both are still going strong, filling dance floors wherever they play. Tomorrow’s a holiday, so even if you’re old enough to remember the revelry at the Cabooze and Union Bar when these bands played those venues, you can stay up and sleep late. Check out Willie & the band.

 

Monday, May 26

Jack Brass Band @ The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, Saint Paul. 10:30am, 11:45am, & 12:40pm. (Free) You’ll have three chances to take part in a Second Line Parade around the zoo grounds, led by the joyous sounds of the Jack Brass Band.

Tuesday, May 27

Paul Mayasich & Dan Schwalbe @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Two extraordinary guitarists go mano-a-mano for your listening (and dancing?) pleasure, backed by bassist Grant Wibben.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Wayback Week. Music: 5.14 – 4.20

May 14, 2014
Mr Peabody is ready to show Sherman how to rock, 80's style.

Mr Peabody is ready to show Sherman how to rock, 80’s style.

It’s looking a little like Wayback Week, with some old favorites from decades past coming through town. Of course, we’ve plenty of contemporary artists performing as well. Throw in Art-A-Whirl, some visiting artists, and a legal brief full of lawyer bands and you’ve got an entertaining week ahead. Music lifts the spirit. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 14

Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Framework is Chris Bates, bass; Chris Olson, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums. They’ve been around as a group for a number of years, and each as a resume that stretches for pages. I enjoy their CD, simply entitled Framework, for its tight, melodic tunes. They play sporadically, due in part to the other commitments each has, so this is a good chance to catch them in a relaxed setting.

Thursday, May 15

Laura Caviani @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Wait a minute, you’re saying, isn’t Thursday Vocal Jazz Night at JC? Isn’t Laura a piano player? Well, yes it is, and though Laura is a wonderful pianist and often accompanies other singers, she has revealed that she has charming pipes with a song or two on her albums. Tonight she’ll be performing songs that she sang with her family when growing up. Accompanying her will be Chris Lomheim, piano; Bruce Heine, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, May 16

Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) The swingin’ chanteuse has Chris Lomheim on piano and Matt Peterson on bass to accompany her while she performs some swingin’ jazz and hipster pop.

Roseville HS Spring Concert feat: a Big Band composition from Michael Attias @ Roseville HS, Roseville. 7:30pm (Free) Pat Moriarty directs the music program at Roseville and this Spring Concert will feature three combos and three big bands. The evening will feature the premiere of a big band composition by NY saxophonist Michael Attias.

Nathan & Brian of the Fantastic Merlins

Nathan & Brian of the Fantastic Merlins

Fantastic Merlins w/Jean-Brice Godet @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) French Clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet is in town for a few days. He is a composer and also a free improviser, which means he’s the perfect foil for the Merlins: Nathan Hanson on sax; and Brian Roessler on bass. Expect music that will move you.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. Kenny seems to be very busy these days, choosing from among a wide range of musicians for different projects. This time the trumpet player has quartet that’s playing a lot of Monk, including Billy Peterson, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michele @ The Medina Ballroom, 500 Highway 55, Medina. 8:30pm ($12) O’Hagan and is crew head out to the Western ‘burbs to provide music that is not only easy on the ears, but easy to dance to. Ms Michele provides warm vocals, as on this sensuous song.

Saturday, May 17

Sublime Curve @ The Normandy Kitchen, downtown Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) “Chamber Jazz” in an intimate setting, featuring Jim Tice, keys; Stevie D, percussion; Jeff Moe, bass; Marc Partridge, guitar; and Tom Church, sax. It is a small place, so reservations are recommended.

Sunday, May 18

Ellen Lease/Pat Moriarty w/Michael Attias & Homer Lambrecht @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10)  Fantastic NYC-based saxophonist Michael Attias is in town for the premiere of his new big band piece (see above) so Pat and Ellen are taking the opportunity to perform with him. Homer Lambrecht is best known as both an avant garde jazz trombonist and as a composer of major orchestral works (commissions from the Min Orch and SPCO).  For this gig he’ll be doing live electronics.  Homer has developed a number of interactive soundscapes which will be used as the basis for improvisations that move in all directions.

Monday, May 19

Fantastic Merlins w/Jean-Brice Godet and The Atlantis Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. For the Merlins w/Godet, see Friday’s entry above. Add the thoroughly modern Atlantis Quartet. The result: late night contemporary jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, May 19, 20

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60), 9pm ($40,$50) One of the best jazz vocalists around, Mississippi native Wilson incorporates blues, country, and folk into her repertoire, all the time making each song completely her own. She’s won two Grammys, a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail and a number of other awards. Her genius at interpreting songs is evident in this video of her doing Jimi Henrix’s Little Wing.

Tuesday, May 20

Some members of the band

Some members of the band

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Adam’s been on the road for the last four weeks with the Youngblood Brass Band. He’s pumped, and he’s ready to lead the 17 piece orchestra in the songs they’ve recorded for an upcoming album, as well as some other band favorites. Always invigorating.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, May 14

Bloodwashed Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Here’s a band that can publish a Twin Cities Who’s Who of alt-country. Led by Page Burkum (Cactus Blossoms) The Bloodwashed Band serves as the house band for House of Mercy Church in Saint Paul, playing a repertoire that includes songs by the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, and other familiar names in country and roots music. Other members include Chris Becknell, violin (Mursik); guitarist Jeremy Szopinski and keyboardist Erick Brandt,  both of the Urban Hillbilly Quartet; Quillan Roe, bass (Roe Family Singers); Levi Stugelmeyer, drums (Chm) and vocalist Angie Talle. I’ll be hosting both the radio show and at the 331 Club.

Idan Raichel Project @ O’Shaugnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($35, $45)  Here’s an event that will gather fans of world music. Producer, keyboardist, and composer Idan Raichel has become a global music icon since the unveiling of The Idan Raichel Project, a multi-ethnic tour de force that changed the face of Israeli popular music. The ten-piece Project charms audiences with entrancing, infectious, highly rhythmic  music sung in Hebrew, Arabic and the Ethiopian languages of Amharic and Tigrit. Though much of what they play is medium tempo, they can also rock out, as shown in this video.

Thursday, May 15

Attractive Nuisance Tour & Fundraiser @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 6pm ($15 advance/$20 door) Okay, who knew that there are not only lawyer bands, but at least four lawyer bands, all of whom will be performing for this fundraiser for the Minnesota Justice Foundation. They may be lawyers who wanna be rockers, or rockers who turned to law to support themselves. Either way, you get to see Noisy Withdrawal, The Abdomen, Bluff Country, and Uncommon Roots. MMC is co-sponsoring this event, since the MN Justice Foundation will be working with them to provide free legal services to musicians.

The Blasters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Wow! There are many folks in our Twin Towns who are highly anticipating this performance. The Blasters first exploded onto the music scene back in the early 80s, with a blend of blues, rockabilly, and early rock n’ roll delivered with the energy of punk. It’s a hot ticket, so it might not be a good idea to buy one in advance. Piñata Protest opens. Watch em rock out.

Friday, May 16

Unknown-1Semi-Twang @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Back to Lee’s for another blast from the past that’s current once again. Those of us who fondly remember the R&B Cadets out of Milwaukee will recognize its founder John Sieger, who went on to form Semi-Twang, that some have called a pre-curser to alt-country. Though their first album, released in 1988, was critically well-received, sales were flat. Fast forward to 2009 and a reunion of the band that went very well, resulting in a second, and now a third album. Call it Americana, roots, alt-country. It doesn’t matter. What matters is Sieger is a terrific songwriter, and the band provides the spice that turns a simple stew into a tasty gumbo.

Paul Geremia @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Geremia has been on the road since the 60s, earning a well-deserved reputation as a bluesman with an affinity for early blues and jazz, fingerpicking originals as well as songs from the likes of Bl;ind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell, and others. Dave Van Ronk called him one of “the best white blues players alive.” It’s a small music room at the Bayport, where you can get some might fine BBQ, as well as a branded alcohol called White Lightning. With Geremia, the ‘Q, and drinks, you can settle in for a mighty fine evening of classic blues.

Friday – Sunday, May 16, 17, 18

Art-A-Whirl @ Various Studios, NE Minneapolis. I’m listing this since there will be many music performances at different buildings throughout the tour, including a live broadcast of Lolly Obeda’s Sugar Shop on Friday afternoon at the PNA Hall, and KFAI Deejays at both PNA Hall and studio #332 in Northrup King on Friday and Saturday. More information about At-A-Whirl is available here.

Saturday, May 17

It's back to the future with this cartoon, which may or may not be shown.

It’s back to the future with this cartoon, which may or may not be shown.

Ukelele Alley Cartoon ExtravaGonzo w/Dakota Dave Hull @ The Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. Noon ($8, $5 12 and under) It’s a Saturday Family Matinee, presented by Luke the Uke and featuring DJ Mister Gosh and VJ Miss Ian spinning 78s and celluloid for kids of all ages. Special guest Dakota Dave Hull will be finger picking.

Sunday, May 18

Who Nu @ Jimmy’s Food & Drink, 1132 East County Road E, Vadnais Heights. 2:30pm – 6:30pm (No cover) Here’s a pleasant Sunday afternoon full of old school funk & soul, with guest vocalists Dorothy Doring, Donald Thomas, and Dee Miller. Why I’ll bet some folks even get up and dance.

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Hillman was an original member of the Byrds, whose album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, a seminal country-rock album. He went on to play in the Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, and the Desert Rose Band. Multi-instrumentalist Herb Pedersen was also in the Desert Rose band, and has collaborated with the likes of Earl Scruggs, The Dillards, Stephen Still, Emmylou Harris and many more. The two have recorded and toured behind several acclaimed albums of acoustic country and bluegrass songs. It’s great to have them here.

Monday, May 19

David Lindley @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($22) Lindley’s hair may now be gray, but he still has an impish smile, which perfectly reflects his wide-ranging taste in music, not to mention his wizardry with many things stringed. Back in the 70s he made waves as a supporting player for folks ranging from Jackson Browne, and Linda Ronstadt, to Bob Dylan and Crosby & Nash. His band El Rayo-X earned a cult following, and a 2011 collaboration with Browne got a Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. A delightful evening awaits. Here’s a video from last year.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

 

 

 

 


Another Good Week. Music: 5.7 – 5.13

May 7, 2014

images-1From young jazz musicians to boomer rockers, an oratorio on slavery and some mighty fine blues, we are privileged to be able to choose from a rich palette of music here in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Music certainly lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 7

Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Two acoustic guitars + Jazz + Bluegrass + Two creative minds + Two virtuosos = Fireworks for guitar lovers.

O'Brien at play

O’Brien at play

Michael O’Brien Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Minneapolis bassist O’Brien has been based in Brooklyn for a few years now, and lately has been traveling (and playing) around the world. He’ll be joined tonight by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Tanner Taylor, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums; to rework some of his old arrangements and play songs from his fine CD, Tunes I Like to Play, which you can sample on his website.

Thursday, May 8

Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ The Dakota. 7pm (No Cover) When the sweet vocals of Charmin Michelle are combined with the tasteful, swinging sounds of Joel Shapira’s acoustic guitar, the results are sublime. Tonight they’re joined by friends on sax, bass & drums to round out an engaging evening of music.

Maurice Jacox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Maurice brings his vocal chops to the “basement family room” of jazz. Thomas West will accompany him on the JC piano.

The Dakota Combo @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free) In September of each year, an open audition is held for high school students to study and perform as part of the Dakota Combo. They study with bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail, and then perform at various venues and schools during the school year. This marks the Spring concert for the group, which is as talented a group of young musicians as you can find. Full disclosure: I chair the organization that sponsors the group.

Friday, May 9

Paula Lammers @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Lammers, a sweetly swinging vocalist, teams up with Phil Aaron on piano and Ray Siegel on bass to deliver an evening of standards seasoned with some under-recorded gems. Here she is doing No Moon at All.

Will Kjeer/Levi Schwartzberg Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Here are two high school seniors who are members of the Dakota Combo and who also have been playing professionally around town. Pianist Will Kjeer has been playing with his own group, Blue Haven, as well as with veterans such as Steve Kenny, Dave Brittain, & Jana Nyberg. Levi Schwartzberg plays both vibes and piano in bands such as Blue Haven, Sound Skirmish, and the Cosmic Troubadours. Both are finishing their second year with the Dakota Combo and will be heading off to college next fall.

Courageous Endeavors CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm, ($8) Four twenty-somethings, each of whom has been making his mark in Twin Cities jazz, are releasing Prototype, their debut album of original songs. Though the use of a Fender Rhodes gives it a slightly 70s vibe, the time signatures and melodies are 21st Century. The group includes Nelson Devereaux, saxes; Joe Strachan, Fender Rhodes; Brian Courage, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, May 10

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Group 47 @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, 308 Prince Street, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Trumpeter (Flumpeter?) Steve Kenny has gathered some of the best young talent around for this group: pianist Will Kjeer is finishing up his senior year in high school; Thomas Strommen, sax, is a sophomore at UW-River Falls; drummer Alex Burgess also studies at River Falls; while bassist Adam Tucker has been playing and recording music in the Twin Cities for a number of years. Though their new album, Straight to Vinyl, won’t be out for another month, you can hear some previews in the comfy confines of a house concert. For tickets and more info, go to http://Sweet317.com.

Monday, May 12

Brian Grivna @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Tenor sax player Grivna is a veteran of the Buddy Rich Orchestra, the Guthrie. He’s toured with the Minnesota Orchestra and with Bobby McFerrin and the SPCO. He continues to work with both the Orchestra and SPCO, as well as in the pit band for touring shows. His appearances at Jazz Central are always a delight.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 7

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) If anyone ever asks how to define Americana music, point them to Koskinen’s recordings. With his writing and singing, Koskinen has a way of connecting with the hopes and fears of both toilers and dreamers. His incisive guitar playing draws from rock n’ roll, country and even some classic folk.

Thursday, May 8

Cooker John & Mikkel Beckmen @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Mikkel Beckmen, of the rub board and found percussion, brings in a different guest each week for a genial gathering of business folk, old hippies, and young fans of roots music. This week he’s invited fingerpicker/acoustic blues singer Cooker John to share the stage.

Youngblood Brass Band @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12)  Madison is about as unlikely a place for a New Orleans Brass Band as Minneapolis, but these guys have made it work. YBB has collaborated with hip-hop artists, sold out dates in over 20 countries and continue to stretch boundaries and gain fans. Twin Cities trumpeter Adam Meckler has been playing with them on their recent tour through the west, which has also included a number of workshops in elementary and high schools. Opening is Mpls rapper Botzy.

 

Friday, May 9

Dee Miller Band @ The Sherwood Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) This venue has remained under the radar as far as I know. Not so The Dee Miller Band, with the potent combination of Miller on take-no-prisoners vocals and Jimi “Primetime” Smith on guitar.

Friday, Saturday, May 9, 10

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) The piano-pounding sassy singer from Kansas City has been appearing at the Dakota so often, she’s probably sampled most of their dinners. She has a new CD, The Beautiful Bones, about to be released, and it’s already garnering praise, so expect some new material.

Saturday, May 10

Unknown-2TU Dance 10th Anniversary Concert @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23 – $48) It’s been ten years since Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, both veterans of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, started their own troupe. They are marking the anniversary with the premiere of Hikari, an Ordway-commissioned pice created by Uri Sands in collaboration with master wood block print artist Hiroki Morinoue. Uri Sands will also perform Alvin Ailey’s Twin Cities with special guest Laurel Keen, and the troupe will also perform Lady, a signature piece for the company, and the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ One. All in all, a very special evening for fans of dance.

Let My People Go! A Spiritual Journey Along the Underground Railway @ Hamline United Methodist Church, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20, $30) This is a concert-length oratorio featuring T. Mychael Rambo and Aimee K. Bryant in the roles of narrator, and the 75-voice Oratorio Society Chorus. It’s presented by the Oratorio Society of Minnesota. In essence, the piece by composer Dolnald McCulloug interweaves spirituals into a script that explores the ingenuity of America’s slaves, who created “coded” messages within much of their music.

Boom Boom Steve & The Knockouts @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) This small East Metro club provides an intimate space for listening to the passionate harp playing of Boom Boom Steve, with John Franken, guitar; John Shroeder, bass; and Dwight Dario on drums. One or two couples can also dance.

Sunday, May 11

Pat Donahue & Daddy Squeeze @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip jar) Both Donahue and Dan Newton are expertly conversant in a number of genres. The master finger-picking guitarist and wizard of the “stomach Steinway” combine for an evening of music that may range from blues to gypsy jazz to polkas.

Sultans of String @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) This Canadian quartet of two guitars, bass, and fiddle has received raves wherever they go, with their blend of gypsy jazz, Spanish flamenco, Arabic folk, and other genre-blending sounds.

Flamin’ Groovies @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) Comning out of San Francisco in 1965, The Groovies played what would eventually become known as power pop, using a two-guitar attack to rock up some r&b, classic rock n’ roll, and originals. They were mostly ignored, and certainly outsold by the more psychedelic bands of the time. After the inevitably splintering, quitting, they became cult favorites. After finally reuniting a couple of years ago, they are on the move and on tour. They still rock out, as you can see in the video below. Might Mofos open.

 

Monday, May 12

Willie Murphy’s Blue Monday Jam @ Richfield American Legion, Richfield 7pm (Tip Jar) Willie’s been doing a Blue Monday Jam for  decades, though the location has changed from time to time, as when the old Viking Bar closed. You never know who will show up and take part, but you do know it will be fun, as Willie goes through a repertoire that includes old rock n’ roll, blues, and originals.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

 


Dance, Dance, Dance. Music: 4.30 – 5.6

April 30, 2014
Back-flips are optional

Back-flips are optional

This seems to be an especially good week for folks who like to dance, whether they swing dance, do the two step, or hit the dance floor to cajun & zydeco, or Latin music. We’ve five events dedicated to dancers and a few others where dancing could erupt. We’ve also got a fine selection of listening events, including a Women in Jazz workshop aimed at young female musicians. All, in all, another good week of music in the Twin Cities. Music can lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 30 – International Jazz Day

Friends of Foreman @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) That’s friends of bassist Andrew Foreman, including Dave Feily guitar; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Dan Musselman on piano. They improvise on modern Jazz, indie-rock, and alt-pop, as well as original compositions.

Kevin Gastonguay Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:00pm ($10 Donation)  Pianist Gastonguay has garnered acclaim at festivals in Detroit Lakes and Sioux Fall, as well as at the 2010 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Here in town, he’s played with Cory Wong, Kevin Washington, Jay Young, and mangy others. He’ll be joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Andrew Bergmann, bass.

Evans Courage Hennig @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Late night music from a new trio, though each of them have been playing around town for years. Park Evans is a guitarist with taste, who can bring the fire any time he wishes. Brian Courage has become a go-to guy on bass since his arrival in town a few years ago. Hennig is the drummer for modern jazz group Atlantis Quartet, as well as the punk/blues band Crankshaft and the Grinders. Will make for an interesting evening at this uptown bistro.

Thursday, May 1

Moonlight Serenaders @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) Here’s your mid-week big band fix, complete with swing dancers of all ages, a venue with a haunted past, and Lee Engele, a “canary” (as female big band singers were once known) who can swing with ease. Here’s the band, with Lee singing a classic number, at the Caves.

Friday, May 2

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny Horst & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Though he may have closed the Artists’ Quarter, drummer Kenny Horst doesn’t appear ready to fully retire. He’s gathered Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brian Courage, bass; to back him as he returns to performing. It will be a swingin’ evening of straight-ahead jazz.

Illicit Sextet @ TheBlack Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Six imaginative improvisers who only play their own, original music. Consider their membership:  Steve Kenny, trumpet and fluegelhorn; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Byron Jonson-Blanchard Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Donation) Drummer Johnson-Blanchard’s quartet comes to the late night show at JC. The young percussionist (a 2008 grad of McNally Smith) plays around town in various groups, most steadily with the R&B horn band High and Mighty. Tonight he’s joined by cohorts David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund guitar; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Saturday, May 3

Women In Jazz Workshop & Concert @ Maplewood Community Center, Maplewood. 2-4:30 workshop (free) 7pm concert ($20/adult, $10/student, free w/workshop) Pippi Ardennia’s non-profit, PipJazz and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education are teaming up to present a workshop introducing young female musicians to the women who have contributed to the growth of jazz as performers, composers, and bandleaders. The workshop will feature a history of women in jazz and end with an open jam session. then at 7pm the women leading the workshop will perform an evening concert. Participants include vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Patty Peterson, Kathy Jensen, sax; Laura Caviani, piano; Joan Griffith, bass, and drummer Sheila Earley. A special guest will be saxophonist Ebony Rainwater, a student at Sibley High School. Register for the workshop at: http://pipjazz.org

Paul Renz Quartet @ Rosemount Steeple Center, 14375 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount. 7pm ($5) Guitarist Paul Renz  uietly goes about teaching, regularly records, and tours the East Coast every now and then. This is a rare area performance by Renz, who is joined by Baltimore pianist Alan Blackman; Josh Granowski, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.

Monday, May 5

Peter Vircks Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Vircks is a busy sax-man about town, recording and performing with groups ranging from Doug Little to Moveable Feast, Park Evans, and the percussive dance group Rhythmic Circus. His recent album What You Believe is True, has received praise from critics and musicians alike. He’ll be joined by Kevin Washington, drums; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Brian Ziemniak, piano. Here he is performing a classic in a guitar/sax duo.

 

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 30

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Guitarist Joe Demko and his quartet play romantic music, as well as swing, boogie boogie, and jump blues. It’s perfect for the swing dancers and folks who, to quote a Sinatra song, know that “what is dancin’ but making love set to music, playing.” Here’s an example.

 

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) Vocalist Wenger has sung the blues at area festivals, on the national blues circuit, and at Sturgis. Her approach to blues singing is direct, and appeals to a wide variety of listeners. She surrounds herself with a talented band, too.

Thursday, May 1

UnknownKate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows Present a Dinner Dance @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Music only, $45 Music + 3 course Prix Fixe dinner).  Here’s an fun concept presented by a group that brings a fresh approach to jazz and pop from the 1920s to the 1950s. There’s a dinner set starting at 7pm, then at 8pm there’s be an abbreviated dance lesson for folks who need a refresher in basic dance steps, followed at 8:15 by a dance set from the band. Think of it as a “wedding dance without the wedding.”

 

Swamp Poppas @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm ($5) Karl Smelker leads this quartet in an evening of, what else, Swamp Pop, that mixture of Cajun music with Rock n’ Roll and the R&B of New Orleans. The resulting plaintive ballads and uptempo numbers will fill the dance floor with swing dancers, Cajun two-steppers, and couples who take delight in simply gliding around the dance floor.

Friday, May 2

Chico Chavez & Guayaba @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Twin cities based Peruvian percussionist Chico Chavez has put together an 8-piece band to play Andean and Amazonian music known as “chicha.” It’s mostly a mix of mid-tempo Cumbia rhythms and slightly psychedelic guitars, with some songs that touch on other tropical rhythms. Get a taste of their music on their website

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s another Freewheelin’ Friday from KFAI’s Jackson Buck, tonight featuring Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, with opener Dave Babb & Friends. Kaul plays fingerpicks a resonator guitar, and with the backing of the Brass Kings (Mikkel Beckman, washboard, found objects; Brad Ptacek, washtub bass; Jillian Rae, country/psychedelic fiddle) takes the music far beyond your typical acoustic realms. The evening starts of with Dave Babb, of the Liquor Pigs, and some of his friends. Of course, there’ll be a food truck available. Let’s hope the weather allows the warehouse doors to be open.

A new fashion trend?

M.O.R.T sporting a new fashion trend

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) M.O.R.T brings a batch of rockabilly and reverb-heavy surf music to the east metro. The middle-aged crowd at the Station is perhaps more used to the likes of Motown & bluesy rock, but the insistent bass and cheeky guitars of M.O.R.T. is sure to have them crowding the small dance floor.

Ray Bonneville CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 9pm ($12) Bonneville is known as a “roaming musician” who records for Saint Paul’s Red House Records. He’s Canadian by birth, is a Vietnam vet, drove a taxicab, and served as a bush pilot in Canada. He’s an acoustic bluesman who has won awards for his work and is heavily influenced by the music of New Orleans, where he spent time in the 1980s. The new CD is entitled “Easy Gone.” Here’s a video of Bonneville in action.

 

Saturday, May 3

For Pete’s Sake @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30) Pete Seeger would have been 95 on this date, and Minnesota singer/songwriter Larry Long, a long-time friend, has brought together a colorful cast of musicians, activists and narrators to celebrate all the phases of Pete’s life through song, stories, and spoken narratives. The cast ranges from former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayle-Belton and Poet Louis Alemayehu, to musicians such as Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, Tony Glover, Estaire Godinez, Chastity Brown, Peter Ostroushko, Long himself, and many, many more. Seeger is known as the “Father of American folk music” and influenced the likes of Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Bruce Springsteen and thousands of budding musicians. Governor Dayton has proclaimed May 3 as “Pete Seeger Day” in Minnesota.

Unknown-3Sonny Knight & the Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm Door. ($10 Advance/$15 Door) Knight is another story of a “rediscovered” soul singer. He finally has a debut album after recording his first single over 50 years ago. The album, I’m Still Here, is a slice of funk and soul that will surely appeal to both boomers and today’s hipsters. This is going to be a big bash, what with the Honeydogs and Southside Desire opening.

Dad Horse Experience @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($8) Owner Chris Johnson has added Nashville hot chicken to his BBQ, and continues to bring us outsider music that’s accessible in its own weird way. Example number one: Dad Horse Experience, a one-man band (banjo, kazoo, bass pedal) from Bremen, Germany, playing Gospel music that you’d never hear in a church. He sings and howls as if alone in a dark basement, desperately seeking redemption from a life of hard, hard sin. Definitely the under-the-radar gig of the week. Check out this video to see what I mean.

 

 

Sunday, May 4

Paul Thorn @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($23) Some guys are just able to sing the truth. Thorn is one of them – a former boxer who’s dad was a Pentacosal minister, and who had an uncle who was a pimp. Their advice and influence forms the basis for his bluesy Americana. He also does a terrific and often funny job of introducing his songs. Here’s an example.

 

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

 


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