Mostly Residents: 11.14 – 11.20

November 14, 2018

The Legendary R&B singer Swamp Dogg appears at the Turf Club Thursday

It seems that resident artists make up most of this week’s ideas for music, which is a testament to the richness and strength of our music scene. Music lovers should also be aware that the Sound Unseen Music Festivalruns from tonight through Sunday. Films cover punk, hardcore, jazz, soul, blues, rand more genres, as well as record labels, the famous, and the forgotten. See the schedule here. Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 14

Chris Bates’ 48th Birthday @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) You can help bassist Bates celebrate with this very special event. First, Chris and Cody will play Steve Reich’s Piano Phase for Two Electric basses, followed by a series of jams with special guests, including: Anthony Cox; JT Bates; Dave Seru; Cody McKinney, James Patrick, and others, playing in a series of duos, trios, and larger groups. James Patrick will be live mixing the whole shebang.

Thursday, November 15

Swing Sisterhood Swing Band & The Sensational 6 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Sarah M. Greer brings a large band and five  other vocalists  to JazzCentral for an evening of swingin’ vocal jazz. Besides Greer, the Sensational 6 includes vocalists Jen Bluhm; Lisa Harrigan; Jana Nyberg; Barbara Meyer; and Yolanda Williams.

Friday, November 16

The Snaps @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) At 7pm The Emerging Artists Series presents The Snaps: David Kaiser – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Leader; Erik Jacobson – Tenor Sax; Ryan Devens – Guitar; Ben Von Korff – Keyboards; Riki Olson – Bass; and Jake Kaukola – Drums. This is the third time at Jazz Central for this young group that plays standards, contemporary jazz, and a few covers of well-known soul and pop music.

Michelle Kinney’s What Have We Here @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Cellist/composer Michelle Kinney brings her adventurous spirit and like-minded musicians to the basement club, with: Adam Zahller – voice; Pat O’Keefe – reeds; Laura Harada – violin; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin – cornet; and Greg Schutte – drums

Saturday, November 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  At 7pm the Opening Set is part of the monthly JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, this week featuring Nick Adams’ Liquid Vinyl, with a line-up TBA. At 8:30 pm it’s No Room For Squares, with ​Bill Stieger – Drums;  Omar AbdulKarim – Trumpet; James Wallace – Saxophones; Adam Tucker – Bass; and Dale Alexander – Piano

Mary Louise Knutson Trio: Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 door) Pianist Knutson can often be heard supporting vocalists and regularly tours with Doc Severinson. Here’s a chance her compositions and her warm and inventive piano playing as she’s accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Sunday, November 18

Paula Lammers @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) Vocalist Lammers used a grant from the McKnight Foundation to create 10 new jazz arrangements under the mentorship of pianist/composer Mary Louise Knutson. She’ll be sharing the results today, accompanied by Knutson, as well as Steve Pikal, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Here she is from a couple of years ago, with Knutson on piano.

Julian Manzara Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Enjoy the downtown skyline as a backdrop as guitarist Manzara plays originals and standards, and occasionally sings. Manzara plays chords and leadmlines reminiscent of Wes Montgomery, but is steadily developing his own style.

Monday, November 28

Dean Magraw’s Red Planet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig from Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, is always enlightening and entertaining – jazz fusion as it’s meant to be.

Monday, Tuesday, November 19, 20

Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) Vocalist Bridgewater has three Grammys and a Tony Award, and for 23 years had her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set. During previous appearances at the Dakota she celebrated African music, the music of Billie Holiday, and French music (from living Paris). This time she’ll be celebrating the music she heard growing up in Memphis, including songs from Al Green, Carla Thomas, Ann Peebles, and Elvis.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, November 14

Mike Munson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Blueslinger Mike Munson plays with the driving strength of the trains that barrel through his home town of Winona, MN. His blues influences include Fred McDowell, Jack Owens, and Jesse Mae Hemphill – who all hailed from areas of rural Mississippi that Munson visits often. Note that his album, Rose Hill, was recorded in Bentonia, MS at the Blue Front Cafe, the oldest juke joint in Mississippi.

Sarah Streitz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwritermSteitz took up guitar six years ago and started writing. the mother of four and a former teacher had no background in music, yet by 2015, she’d progressed enough that area stalwart Nick Salisbury produced her debut album, with Greg Schutte engineering. Schutte produced and engineered her recent album, Yesterday’s Child. Streitz’ voice has a mid-western twang that easily communicates impatience and pain, giving authenticity to her Americana/Alt-country songs. She’ll have a full band with her, which will likely include Salisbury on bass and Schutte on drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 14, 15

Shabby Road Orchestra: The White Album @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) It’s been 50 years since the Beatles released their 30 – song White Album. Hear song like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Back in theUSSR, Helter Skelter and all the other songs from the album, as it’s performed in its entirety by this ad hoc group of veteran TC musicians: John Eller, Adam Levy, Dave Foley, Jacquelin Ultan, and others.

Thursday, November 15

Swamp Dogg @ The Turf Club, Sant Paul. 8pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door)  I would call this the under-the-radar gig of the week, if it weren’t for the fact that Chris Riemenschneider had a story about Swamp Dogg on the front page of today’s Variety section in the Strib.  Back in 1970, Jerry Williams was a successful songwriter and producer (Doris Duke, Irma Thomas, and others), but wasn’t getting enough credit for his work, so he adopted the alter ego of Swamp Dogg, singing what might be called irascible soul, creating a series of album that touched on psychedelia, while displaying his hard-edged wit. Last year he took part in Bon Iver’s Eaux Claires music festival. Subsequently, Ryan Olson of Polica, and Bon Iver gave his new album, entitled Love, Loss & Autotune, a “modernized” sound in which they applied electronics and AutoTtne to Swamp Dogg’s vocals. Dogg’s songs often take a weird and idiosyncratic turn, so this treatment fits right in. See the results tonight, with MMYYKK as opener, and Har Mar Superstar with a deejay set. Here’s a video from the album.

Thursday, Friday, November 15, 16

Melvin Seals & JGB @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $40 Thurs, $25, Friday) Organist/keyboardist Melvin Seals was a member of the Jerry Garcia Band from 1980 until Garcia’s death in 1995. Seals took charge of the band, and continues to pay homage to Garcia and the jam band ethos by playing his tunes, including rare numbers from the JGB catalog. Friday’s show includes another jam band fave, Mark Joseph and The American Soul.

Friday, November 16

Henry, Duncan & Matthews: Looking Bacharach @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Wow! A trio of very fine performers take on the music of Burt Bacharach. Bruce HenryDebbie Duncan  and Gwen Matthews all have the vocal chops, personality, and imagination to bring lots of life to songs like the Look of Love, I Say a Little Prayer, My Little Red Book, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, and others from Bacharach’s long, successful career.

Chris Koza @ The Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer/songwriter Chris Koza has six albums of his own, as well as a number of albums with his band, Rogue Valley. He’s written film scores, composed for a multi-media piece, written original liturgy settings and a fair share of commercial work. Koza has headlined First Avenue and rocked every major venue in town. Though his solo performances are clearly rooted in Americana music, his influences draw from folk, classic rock, The Beatles, and electro-pop.

Saturday, November 17

Robin Pluer & John Sieger@ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of Milwaukee’s finest artists come to town to be greeted by fans both old and new. Both Robin and John were in the R&B Cadets, that fabled dance-inducing band of the 80s. Robin was also in Paul Cedar and the Milwaukeeans, and appears annually at Bastille Day Celebrations in Milwaukee & Madison. John Sieger led the R&B Cadets, as well as Semi-Twang and the Subcontinentals. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Dwight Yoakam,  Flaco Jimenez, Jerry Harrison (of Talking Heads), The Persuasions, The BoDeans, Etta James, Paul Cebar, and Claudia Schmidt. Adding to the fun factor, and making this a duet night at Nikki Matteson & Rich Rue as the opening act. Here’s Robin & John with the R&B Cadets.

John Gorka @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance, $28 Door) Singer/songwriter/folkie Gorka has recorded fourteen albums, including this year’s True In Time, on from Compass Records, which acquired his old label Red House records, last year.It includes special guests, Jonatha Brooke, Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson, Kathleen Johnson, and Germain Brooks. His 2010 album with Kaplansky& Gilkyson waste of the most played folk albums of that year.

Ginger & Dennis: The Music of Lieber & Stoller @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stollercame of age in the 50s and became one of the most prolific, successful songwriting teams ever. Their song list includes hundreds of chart busters like Hound Dog, Love Potion #9, Spanish Harlem, I’m a Woman, On Broadway, Kansas City, and a host of hits for the Coasters.Dennis Spearsand Ginger Commodoreare the perfect pair to bring their music to audiences, with: Sanford Moore, music director & keys; Jay Young, bass; Daryl Boudreux, percussion, and Brandon Commodore, drums.

Sunday, November 18

Dan Chouinard & Prudence Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Keyboardist Dan Chouinard and vocalist Prudence Johnson combine their talents to celebrate the birthdays of musicians and singers who were born this month.

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.


Post-Election Music: 11.7 – 11.13

November 7, 2018

Whew! We’ll finally have some respite from political ads, though for how long is anyone’s guess in this political climate. In the meantime, whether you want to celebrate a win or commiserate a loss, there are plenty music events to lift you up, only a small slice of which I’ve listed. Jazz, Soul music, Blues, Honky-Tonk, World music, and some good ol’ rock n’ roll are available for your listening and dancing pleasure. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s grandfather was guitarist Sugarboy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko),and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

Sophia Shorai & Tanner Taylor @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) After a bit of a health scare, vocalist Shorai is ready to once again charm listeners with her creamy, evocative voice. Pianist Tanner Taylor is up from Des Moines to add his tasteful accompaniment to her singing.

Lease & Moriarty @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Pianist Ellen Lease and saxophonist Pat Moriarty have been musical and marital partners for over 30 years, resulting in seamless musical communication during their improvising. Moriarty is the freer of the two, but Lease follows his twists and turns with alacrity.

Thursday, Nov 8

Vicky Mountain & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Versatile vocalist and educator Vicky Mountain has a long history with a variety of singing styles, but especially shines in scatting, melodic nuance, and original interpretations of standards and pop songs. She’ll be accompanied by: David Martin, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; David Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, Nov 9

Zacc Harris Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Guitarist Zacc Harris, known for his fluid and imaginative playing, performs his originals, with bandmates Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Saturday, Nov 10

Roy Hargrove Memorial Concert @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Jesse Simon of the MN Hard Bop Collective has put together this group of fine musicians to celebrate trumpeter Roy Hargrove, whom we lost earlier this week. With Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Joe Mayo, alto; Dave Brattain, tenor; Dale Alexander, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Simon, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) St 7pm the Hutton/Caviani Quartet opens, with Laura Caviani  piano; Joan Hutton  sax; Kameron Markworth, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums. Bottomless Pit begins at about 8:30pm, with Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Sunday, Nov 11

He’s Hip: Connie Evingson Sing Dave Frishberg @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Twin Cities jazz fans probably know of Saint Paul’s native son, Dave Frishberg, whose songs are hip, funny, and often incisive. “Peel Me a Grape”, “My Attorney Bernie”, “Can’t Take You Nowhere”, and “I’m Hip”, are among his songwriting gems. Vocalist Evingsonreleased a highly entertaining album of his songs back in 2008, with Frishberg himself as a guest. She’ll be joined by Jon Weber, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Dave Karr, saxophone (with perhaps a vocal cameo on “I Want to Be a Sideman”).

Monday, Nov 12

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: 1930s Songbook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) The 1930s were ushered in by the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, ending a decade off prosperity and beginning the Great Depression. Sublime vocalist Maud Hixson, and her ever-so-tasteful accompanist pianist Rick Carlson explore the music of that decade, from Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign song “Happy Days Are Here Again” to “Stormy Weather”, as well as the music of Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington and others. Here’s Hixson fronting a big band.

Joe Mayo & Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s a sax attack night at this basement venue as Mayo, on alto; and Brattain, on tenor; join up for an evening of originals. It’s not clear if they will simply duet or have a rhythm section, but either way will be invigorating. As usual for Monday nights, a jam session follows 10pm.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Nov 7

Honky Tonk Jump on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Honky Tonk Jump is the latest project from accordion master Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze, featuring: Newton on accordion and vocals; Joe Savage on steel guitar; Tom Schaefer on fiddle; Vaughn Asselstine on bass; Dehl Gallagher on drums; and Dan Lowinger on guitar. You can expect double and triple-leads on thebTexas dance hall swing of songs from Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams and an array of early honky tonk heroes. As House Party radio host Harold Tremblay says, “You know what to do!”

Sargasso @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) This 7-piece ensemble plays the music of Bob Nordquist: world-oriented folk rock, often with a social message. Instrumentation includes drums, percussion, bass, guitar, organ, cello, and flute. Members sing as well.

Thursday, Nov 8

Claudettes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 bar, $20 table) The Chicago-based Claudettes bring their piano-based high-energy punk blues back to Saint Paul. Piano pounding founder Johnny Iguana played with Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and other proponents of Chicago blues. Vocalist Beth Ulseth complements his playing o great effect on both rockers and ballads.

Friday, Nov 9

Two for the Blues @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) This evening is actually titled “Blues for Your Soul”as two powerful women take the stage with their bands. Both the Annie Mack Band and the Dee Miller Band are on an upward trajectory: Mack is preparing to travel to Switzerland for some gigs, while Miller was recently inducted into the MN Blues Society Hall of Fameand is set to represent MN at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Worldwide Discotheque 6 Year Anniversary @ Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, 2524 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) A vinyl dance music party celebrating music from the tropical zones of the world. Co-founder Dan Steely returns for this anniversary event, to join deejays Brian Engel, Ben Mena, and others in spinning Afrobeats, Soukous, Highlife, Calypsos, Cumbias, and tropical disco along with other dance-inducing rhythms.

Saturday, Nov 10

The Eddies @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Founding member Paul Martin currently lives in Arizona, but returns for occasional gigs such as this one, to add his high harmony and driving guitar to the proceedings.  While Paul Martin has been living elsewhere, another Paul – Paul Garding – has been hanging and singing with the rest of The Eddies  Tonight he’ll do a short set of his own and then join The Eddies to finish out the evening.

Hot Pastrami @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. Back in he early 60s, rock n’ roll had lost some it’s rebelliousness –  Elvis was in the Army, Chuck Berry was in jail, Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly had died in accidents, and teen idols were all over the place. Yet, there were some pretty groovy tunes being made by groups that dressed in matching suits (or for women, dresses). Hot Pastrami, a quartet of veteran players from the New-Wave years, celebrates that pre-Beatles era with songs from Joey Dee & the Starlighters, The Foundations, Dusty Springfield, The Olympics, and others.

Sunday, Nov 11

Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm ($10?) Here’s a chance to not only enjoy soul man Walker’s sandpaper voice and tightly controlled delivery, but to dance to his music on the commodious dance floor at MMC.

Monday, Nov 12

Neil Young Birthday Celebration @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Last Spring Neil Young released a movie entitled Paradox, now available on Netflix. More recently, he announced that he had married Daryl Hannah, who directed the film. To celebrate his birthday (today), Broken Arrow, a Neil Young Tribute band, will be performing his music

Tuesday, Nov 13

Anna Stine Tour Kick-off @ Honey, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) singer/songwriter Stine recently released an album of her originals, using jazz-inflected instrumentals (led by guitarist Robert Bell) in support of her soulful voice and nature-filled lyrics. Tonight, accompanied by Bell, she kicks off a tour of the Midwest. With opening act Regional Dialect: Mathias Hertel (vocals, guitar, beatbox) and Colin Doherty (lead guitar) plays “soul music with a twist of hip-hop and blues.” They have been performing and writing music together since 2010.

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s been over five decades since organist Jones and the MGs created Green Onions, that grooving piece of instrumental funk. The MGs are no more, and Jones may deliver Green Onions a bit fast these days, but he still manages to deliver, whether playing the hits of the MGs and others that he’s written, or newer pieces from his recent solo projects, such as 2015’s Sound the Alarm.

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.


Music for Strange Times: 10.31 – 11.6

October 31, 2018

So..we begin this week with actual Halloween, and end it with Election Day, which, seems somewhat appropriate in these very strange times. We’ve a good variety of music available to help us through the week from adventurous jazz to Cajun, soul music, or good ol’ rock n’ roll. Whatever your mood, you can let the music wash over you or you can dance. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

NIU Jazztet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This six-piece group from Northern Illinois University has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC, as well as at festivals in Iowa City, Lima Peru, NYC, and Bogota, Columbia, among others. Stop in to see the latest edition of the group.

Thursday, November 1

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($40, $45) It is twenty-one years since vocalist Paula Cole released her breakthrough album This Fire, which contained two Billboard-charting singles, and was nominated for seven Grammys, resulting in Cole’s win as Best New Artist of the Year. Since then she has sold over three million albums, and has worked with a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel and Dolly Parton to Herbie Hancock and Burt Bacharach.

Friday, November 2

Mike Wolter Trio @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Since guitarist Wolter relocated here from Chicago in 2016, he’s collaborated and performed with a number of the area’s musicians, including Josh Granowski, Brandon Wozniak, George Marich, and Nathan Hanson. Tonight he performs original works with his trio featuring bassist Cody McKinney and drummer Cory Healey. Note:This is definitely not a listening room.

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul.7:30pm – 10pm (No Cover) I don’t know who he has with him, but trumpeter Jake Baldwin is worth hearing in his own right. Just be sure to sit close enough to hear him over the room’s conversations.

Merciless Ghost @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Adventuresome music from George Cartwright, leader & sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, percussion.

Saturday, November 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: The Carlton College Jazz Chamber Group, which studies with pianist Laura Caviani and features: Dan Clipper, tenor sax; Amelia Papajohn, voice; Marco Bommarito, piano; Joey Castaneda, electric bass; Jorge Banuelos, drums; and Russell Star-Lack, guitar. At 8:30pm, their teacher takes the stage with her own group: The Laura Caviani Quartet – Caviani, piano; Dave Milne, saxophones; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) I don’t know what Jay Young and his Lyric Factory will be playing, though he’s done shows on Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Herbie Hancock, and others, bringing jazz arrangements to pop songs and new arrangements to jazz standards. Though his group’s membership is somewhat fluid, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Sunday, November 4

Cameron Graves Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $35) Pianist Cameron Graves met saxophonist and current “big thing” in jazz and spiritual jazz Kamasai Washingtonwhen both were in high school in Los Angeles. They’ve played together in many configurations since then, notably on Washington’s 2015 opus The Epic. Graves recently released his own album, Planetary Prince, which has been described as an “almost unbelievable combination of modal jazz, romantic era European classical music, and mathematical death metal,” by Washington. I’ll let you read the tea leaves in that quote.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Since its formation in 2011, the Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO) has steadily increased their repertoire and fan bass. Their 2014 album, When The Clouds Look Like This was released to to critical acclaim and was listed by iTunes as one of the best jazz releases of that year. Meckler has since become one of the leading voices in trumpet, big band, and arranging in the Twin Cities. Tonight the AMO will perform some of the new compositions from their upcoming album, and will feature a number of special guests.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 6, 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s  grandfather was guitarist Sugar Boy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo(aka Iko Iko), and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) Guitarist/singer Big Sandy is a Los Angeles – based rockabilly/roots singer who often adds a bit of Western Swing and L.A. doo-wop into his energetic repertoire. The roomy dance floor will undoubtedly be filled.

Miss Myra and The Moonshiners @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Miss Myra and her band serve up a bracing helping of barrelhouse blues and hot jazz for a Halloween evening.

Orgone @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($17 Advance, $20 Door) California soul from an octet that pulls and pushes you onto the dance floor with their insistent rhythms and dirty funk. McNasty Brass Bandopens.

Thursday, November 1

The Banjo Hour with Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 advance/$15 Door) This is a two hour, vaudeville-style music variety show, with music, magic and comedy, hosted by magician/comedian Michael Callahan, featuring the music of Captain Gravitone & the String Theory OrchestraPhil Nussbaum, banjo maker Tom Nechville, and special guest Steve Kaul.

Friday, November 2

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet @The Underground Music Cafe, Falcon Heights. 7pm (Tip Jar) Highly diverse Americana from this long-lived group that seems to be guided by the same musical impulses as the Jayhawks, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and other eclectic acts.

King Kustom & The Cruisers @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) High octane 50s rock n’ roll, as done by the Batson brothers of the Hypsterz and the Mighty Mofos.

Vicky Emerson & Mother Banjo Double Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $20 Door) Americana singer/songwriter Vicky Emerson will release Steady Heart as a much anticipated follow up to her triumphant 2016 effort, Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down, which reached #58 on the US Americana Charts and soared to #5 on the European Americana Chart. Mother Banjo is releasing Eyes to the Sky, the follow-up to her highly successful gospel album The Devil Hasn’t Won. The new album features both solo tracks by Ellen Stanley (aka Mother Banjo), as well as tracks with the Mother Banjo band. Hayley Rydell, of the Lowland Lakers, opens.

Saturday, November 3

Love TKO II @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Johnnie Brown did so well with his first version of a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass that he’s back for a second time, for another evening of soaring vocals and seductive ballads.,

New Riverside Ramblers CD Release @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, Admission and download – $20) After 25 years together, the  Ramblers continue to create high-energy, Cajun dance music. In fact, they’ve earned a couple of Prix Dehors awards from the Cajun French Music Association, given for the best Cajun recording by a band from outside Louisiana. Now they have a new recording, Lache pas la Patate (Don’t Drop the Potato) and will be celebrating by filling the fine dance floor at the Eagles club. Happily, Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phittsopen.

Dos Santos @ La Doña Cerveceria, 241 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Dos Santos is a Chicago quintet somehow manages to include Cumbia, jazz, punk, and Latinx influences in their sound. They’re being presented as part of the brewery’s multi-day Dia de los Muertoscelebration.

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.


Favorites and More: 10.24 – 10.30

October 24, 2018

Though Halloween isn’t until next Wednesday, most celebrations will occur this weekend, ranging from bar crawls to haunted houses and mazes. I’ve noted a few, but you may have your own favorites. Speaking of favorites, we have a number of visiting artists, as well as resident artists, whose fans will surely turn out to see them, as well as some talented newcomers and rising stars performing who are worth your investigation.  Whoever you see, remember that Music Lifts Your Spirits!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 24

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Vocalist Allyson is a fan favorite here in the Twin Cities, in part, I suspect, because she spent a few years here back in the 90s, before she gained national recognition. Whether singing Coltrane ballads, blues, bebop, bossas, or French chansons, her warm, expressive voice and occasional scatting, she delivers each song with panache. The five-time Grammy nominee will undoubtedly be singing some new songs with this show – originals that can be found on her latest album, Some of that Sunshine.

Ben Allison  & Think Free @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20, $25), 9pm ($15, $20) This is a bit of an under-the radar gig, since Allison, in spite of a career of almost 30 years, doesn’t exactly have name recognition among casual jazz fans. The bassist/composer draws upon the jazz tradition, as expected, but also uses a range of influences, including rock, folk, and new classical music, to create a seamless, often cinematic sound. He’ll be accompanied by Shane Endlsy, trumpet; Steve Cardenas, guitar; and Rudy Royston drums.

Thursday, October 25

Lila Ammons @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7)  Lila Ammons is a classically trained vocalist with a family background in jazz (her uncle was saxophonist Gene Ammons) and blues (her grandfather was boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons). Listen to her take on jazz standards, bossa novas, and blues, backed by some of the Twin Cities best accompanists: Tom West, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums

Katia Cardenas Mexican Tour Kick-off @ El Burrito Mercado, Minneapolis.8:30pm (Free) Vocalist Cardenas is headed to Mexico’s central Bajio region for a tour with the Latin Jazz trio Jazzoneando, and invited guests. She sang with Jazzoneando when they were in town about two years ago. To kick-off this tour, The Katia Cardenas Quartet will play a free show at the Minneapolis location of El Burrito Mercado, at 4820 Chicago Ave, South, in the old Pepito’s location. If you haven’t seen her yet, here’s a video.

Roseanna Vitro @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) Vocalist Roseanna Vitrowas living in Houston during the 60s, where she was mentored by Arnett Cobb, jammed with Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans before moving to NYC in 1978, where she soon found collaborators in Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner.  After 13 albums, she recently released Tell Me The Truth, featuring songs by Allen Toussaint, Patsy Cline, Jon Hendricks, Mose Allison, and Fats Waller, among others. She’ll be accompanied by her long-time collaborator, pianist Mark Soskin, along with resident A-lister, bassist Gordy Johnson.

Friday, October 26

Open Story @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Dean Magraw, guitar; and Jay Epstein drums; are a couple of established artists who play together in Red Planet and other configurations. It’s a testament to the talent of young pianist Patrick Adkins that they’ve formed this trio with him.

Thomasina Petrus @ Calvary Baptist Church, 26th & Blaisdell, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This is part of a presentation called Jazz & Jamaican Jerk, and will feature some Jamaican food as well as the music of vocalist Petrus. She’ll undoubtedly sing a few of her Billie Holiday songs, as well as the songs of some of her other favorite female singers, i.e., Aretha, Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, and others.

Saturday, October 27

Saturday Night Jazzz @ The Blackdog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm, it’s the interesting JC Sanford’s Imminent Trio: Sanford, trombone; Chris Bates, bass; and Chris Lomheim, piano. Then at 8:30pm, it’s Central Standard Time: Steve Kenny, trumpet; Dave Brattain, Saxes; JC Sanford, trombone; Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Corey Healy, drums.

Elaine Dame Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 6pm ($15) This Chicago vocalist has headlined at the 2016 and 2017 Chicago Jazz Fest, and has performed at both The Rainbow Room and Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below in NYC. Dame has been called a jazz dynamo whose singing has musicality, intonation, and rhythm control that’s the envy of many singers.

Mama Digdown’s 25th Anniversary @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15, $20) The pride of Madison Wisconsin has been spreading the gospel of New Orleans Brass Band Music for 25 years now, mixing traditional tunes with originals and street-wise covers. Mama’s Digdown is good enough to play the Big Easy with regularity, as well as festivals and clubs around the nation.

Sunday, October 28

Clara Osowski & Jeremy Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($20) While this might be better listed as a classical concert featuring mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, a 2018 McKnight Fellowship winner, the presence of pianist Jeremy Walker, who also composed the evening’s songs, as well as bassist Anthony Cox, has me listing it here. They’ll be playing music for the release of Haunted Blue, Osowski’s debut album. Walker’s compositions are inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Twin Cities writer Greg Foley. There will be a few duets with tenor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, who collaborated with Walker on the debut of 7 Psalms at Orchestra Hall.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 24

Del Ray on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis.5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Del Ray has been called a virtuoso of finger picking prowess on guitar and ukulele. She plays blues, rags, and tunes of the early 20th century (think Memphis Minnie, Mississippi Sheiks, and the like) even as she writes new music to add to the tradition.  Del Rey also has fashion sense that would make Minnie Pearl smile. Listen in to get an idea of her talent, then head to the 331 to hear more.

Johnny Rawls @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s another in the fine weekly music series at the West 7th throwback lounge. Journeyman Soul/Blues singer Rawls can work a crowd. He’s often appealing to “the ladies in the audience” and will easily fill Mancini’s dance floor as he delivers a satisfying, sweat inducing show.

Thursday, October 25

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) The Suspects seem to be gathering a big following here, as they’ve been appearing in town about twice a year. You can expect second line beats, New Orleans funk, or any other danceable tunes you can imagine. After all, its members have played with The Neville Bros, James Brown, The Dirty Dozen, Bonerama, and Leo Nocentelli, among others.

Thursday – Sunday, October 25 – 28

Zeitgeists’s Halloween Festival 2018 @ Studio Z, Saint Paul.7pm Thurs-Sat, 6pm Sun ($15, $10 Seniors & Students, $40 Festival Pass) Titled “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” this is not a gore-fest, or a sudden-fright event, but rather one where the chills come from story-telling, haunting  sounds, and spine-tingling music, some of which is newly commissioned. Of special note is The Crocus Hill Ghost Story, a macabre tale of a possessed house, as created by composer/flutist Julie Johnson, writer Cheri Johnson, and filmmaker/actor D.J. Mendel. It will be performed at 8pm on Saturday and 7pm Sunday. FMI on performers and times, go here.

Friday, October 26

Hailu Mergia @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20, $25) Accordionist and keyboard player Hailiu Mergia was everywhere in the 1970s Ethiopian nightclub scene, in spite of the fact that the country was in the middle a civil war and revolution. He and his group, The Walias Band, would play 12-hour, all-night concerts at the Addis Ababa Hilton, as audiences sought refuge during the government curfew. The music ranged from Frank Sinatra to funkified Ethiopian jazz, and adaptations of American funk and soul. After a U.S.tour in the early 80s, he stayed settled in Washington DC where he drove a taxi while composing songs. He stopped performing in 1991, and only recently released his first album, Lala Belu, in over two decades. Opening is Yonathan’s Cultural Show.

Skalloween 2018 @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10, $12) Get you ska fix filled to the brmax tonight, as Space Monkey Mafia, The Prizefighters, and The Wicked Bees take the stage. You’ll also get a bit of rock and reggae, when RuDeGIRL, a female Clash tribute band, performs.

Vanessa Collier @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Collier is a vocalist, saxophonist, and songwriter who graduated from Berklee in 2013, and has already released three critically acclaimed albums and received a host of accolades and award nominations. She’s played with Annie Lennox and Willie Nelson, and toured with Joe Louis Walker for a year and a half after graduation until Walker encouraged her to go solo. Her music is bluesy, funky, and raucous, with occasional echos of early Bonnie Raitt.

 

Friday, Saturday, October 26, 27

Krewe of Dad’s Masquerade Ball XXXIII @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28, $33 Friday, $33, $38 Sat, $55 for both nights) The Krewe of Dad’s continues it’s tradition of bringing t Raw Oyster Cult, featuring members of the Radiators to play their New Orleans swamp-boogie sounds to the Twin Cities. Friday is a concert only, while Saturday is the Masquerade Ball. Local jammers Frogleg open.

Saturday, October 27

Joyann Parker @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) If positive reviews, blues award nominations, national exposure, and the number and variety of her bookings are any sign, Ms Parker is on her way up. Tonight you can catch her and her band in this North Loop speakeasy/playpen under NOLO.

Tuesday, October 30

Mary Leinfelder @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Leinfelder has often sat in with blues, soul, and brass bands around town. Tonight she’s stepping out with a solo gig, ably abetted by Dan Gaarder, guitar; Jon Rodine, keys and vocals; and Keith Boyle, bass.

Maria Muldaur @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($35, $40) It’s been 45 years since vocalist Muldaur came out with Midnight at the Oasis, that playfully saucy song that resulted in a multitude of pregnancies during the mid-70s. Since then she’s released 41 albums showing an affinity for a number of genres, including blues, jazz, and gospel. Despite the popularity of Midnight, another song from that album gets the most requests: Don’t You Feel My Leg, by Blue Lu Barker, which happens to be the title of her recently released tribute to Ms Barker’s Naughty, Bawdy Blues. I expect you’ll hear even more teasing and sass than usual tonight.

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.

 


Twin Cities Music: 10.17 – 10.23

October 17, 2018

Once again we’ve a nice mix of visiting, resident, emerging, and veteran artists to inspire us, entertain us, and lift us up. Whether you’re interested in any of the many styles of jazz, and roots, or even a hip-hop musical, this week you are bound to find some music to lift your spirits!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 17

The Three “Ds” @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Here’s a trio of female jazz musicians who were kicking’ it for years before the formation of The Girls. Tonight, Debbie Duncan and Judy Donaghy Vinar, vocals, team up with Lori Dokken  piano, to deliver some old favorites, such as Sweet Inspirationand Steam Heat, and perhaps some soon-to-befavorites. Here are Dokken & Vinar, with another group.

The Vote Nov 6th Ensemble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Vote for jazz tonight as Brandon Wozniak, saxes; Mike Wolter, guitar; and Pete Hennig, drums; play music to inspire you.

Thursday, October 18

Dan & Reuben Ristrom @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5:30-8:30pm (Free) The Father/Son duo of Dan, bassist, vocalist, and leader of The Big Throwdown; and his father Reuben, a Twin Cities jazz guitarist about town for decades; makes for a fun and charming evening covering a variety of music styles.

Jiselle McCollam Jazz Cult @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/student ID) I believe this is a relatively new group, though McCollam has sung at Jazz Central with duo accompaniment before. Featuring McCollam, vocals; with Matt Calloipe, trumpet; Joe Twohy, piano; Shannon van der Reck, bass; and Robb Later, drums. They perform jazz standards, with the occasional contemporary tune.

Friday, October 19

Sinatra! @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Andrew Walesch brings his popular Sinatra show, complete with a big band, to the main stage at Crooners. Walesch croons in a way that evokes Sinatra without imitating him, aided and abetted by great charts from saxophonist Bob Parsons.

Ahmed & The Creators @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Straight-ahead and hard bop jazz from Ahmed AbdulKarim, trumpet; Dale Alexander, piano; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, tenor; Ted Olson, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Friday, Saturday, October 19, 20

David Sanborn Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60), 9pm ($30, $40, $50) Saxophonist Sanborn has led on 24 albums and played with countless musicians.  He was the host of the very hip TV show called Night Music, played with the Butterfield Blues Band, toured with Stevie Wonder and David Bowie, and has collaborated with Bill Frisell, Charlie Hayden, Christian McBride, James Brown, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton, among others. He’s garnered six Grammys, eight gold albums and one platinum. Along with an early influence, the late alto sax player Hank Crawford, Sanborn has won fans for both his jazz and R&B work. He’ll be accompanied by the cream of today’s players: Michael Deese, trombone; Geoffrey Keezer, piano; James Genus, bass; and Billy Killson, drums.

Saturday, October 20

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Normandy Kitchen and Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Its well over a year since Weinbeck  piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums; played as a trio with any regularity, so this is a welcome opportunity toner these outstanding artists.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set by The Sarah Greer QuartetSarah Greer  vocals; with Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Chris Bates, bass;  and Davu Seru, percussion. At 8:30pm it’s Tall Tales, with two of the more inventive and versatile guitarists in town backed by a crisp rhythm section:  ​Dean Granros &  Zacc Harris; Guitars; Jay Epstein, Drums; and Chris Bates, Bass.

Sunday, October 21

2018 Cabaret Fest @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($15), 7:30pm ($15) The intimate Dunsmore Room is a terrific setting for this festival, featuring over twenty vocalists from the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network (TCCAN) with experience on the Twin Cities’ jazz, pop, musical theatre and concert stages. The first set features Joey Babay, Sara Truesdale, and Rikki Gee, among others, while some of the performers in the second set include Les Block, Dorothy Doring, Jennifer Eckes, and Vicky Mountain. This will certainly be an eclectic mix of tales and tunes.

Monday, October 22

JazzMN & Stigers: Sinatra & Basie @ The Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Chanhassen. 5:30 Dinner, 7:30 Show ($35 – $50) It was about a year ago that vocalist and saxophonist Curtis Stigers had the JazzMN Orchestra back him up at the Dakota for an evening of songs by Sinatra and Basie. Tonight they’re taking the concept a bit farther, playing the music from the Sinatra/Basie classic, Live at the Sands.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 17

Pine Hearts on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM),7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Three part harmonies on top of guitar, mandolin, and bass from this Olympia WA trio that plays bluegrass and country classics.

Border CrosSing: 500 Years of Latin American Music @ the Landmark Center’s Weyerhauser Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8pm ($10, $5 Students & children) Border CrosSing is a vocal ensemble that presents educational concerts in classrooms throughout Minnesota. This family concert (children under 5 are free) brings music and stories from the last 500 years of Latin American music into the 21st century.

Thursday, October 18

Rebecca Hass CD Release Party @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Pianist/composer Rebecca Hass has had a decades-long infatuation with Brazilian music. In fact, she joined the Brazilian percussion group Batucada do Norte in 2006, and her years as a percussionist have helped inform her compositions. She’s celebrating the release of her debut album, Florescer, which includes original compositions and arrangements in Brazilian styles such as sambas, choros, baiãos, and maracatus. Tonight’s show features guest musicians Tim O’Keefe, percussion; Jenny Klukken, marimba; and Laura Harada, violin.

Left Lane Cruiser, Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations, Fret Rattles @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) It’s a night of Deep Blues and raw rock n’ roll, with each band being recorded live for an album release. Left Lane Cruiser first caught the ears of area blues and punk fans during Deep Blues Festivals of yore. Dustin Arbuckle was half of Moreland and Arbuckle, but now has a full band to explorers interests in early blues, the Americana of The Band, and Stax-influenced soul. The Twin Cities’ Fret Rattles take a stripped-down approach to rock n’ roll.

Friday October 19

BeauSoleil @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($25, $35) BeauSoleil may have just been the spark that created interest in Cajun music 40 years ago. Driven by bandleader Michael Doucet’s vision and extraordinary fiddle playing, not to forget his heartfelt vocals, BeauSoleil has always managed to bring staid Minnesota audiences to an exuberant frenzy, what with their ability to distill elements of blues, rock, Swamp Pop, Zydeco, and more into their sound. This is a rare opportunity to see them isn a small club, while having some Cajun and New Orleans food at the same time.

American Housewife @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Female harmonies, crunchy guitars, and hooks-a-plenty make for a 21st century take on 60s pop and it’s descendent, 80s power pop. American Housewife is: Stephanie Paquin, bass & lead vocals; Maureen Rudd, guitar & blacking vocals; Geoff Schodde, guitar; and Reese Kling, drums. Belfast-born, Minnesota-based guitarist/songwriter Leslie Rich opens, with a cocktail hour starting at 7pm.

Blue Yodel No. 9 @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) With a name that comes from the classic Jimmie Rogbers tune from 1930, this trio draws from artists like the Delmore Brothers, Jimmy Reed, Bob Willis, and Hank Williams. The Blue Yodelers are: John Whitehead, guitar, mandolin, banjo, & vocals; John, bass, vocals; and Ross Johnson, guitars, harmonica, and vocals.

Saturday, October 20

Rena Haus @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter/Farmer Rena Haus can roll off double entendres about fixing a car as well as protest songs, classic blues, and occasional rock classics, not to mention a surprise jazz tune or two. She’s ably abetted by brother Bob on bass, and unsung guitar hero Ed Petsche.

Bound for Glory Anniversary Celebration @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6pm ($25) It’s still the 75th Anniversary of the publication of Woody Guthrie’s book, Bound for Glory, and if you didn’t catch any of the previous sold-out show, hurry for tickets to hear veteran West bank stalwarts, Charlie MaguirePop Wagner, and Tony Glover.

Monday, October 22

Hooked on Hamilton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) Now that the mega-hit Hamilton has come and gone to our fair cities, here’s a chance to hear some of that musical’s biggest hits, performed by the inestimable T. Michael Rambo and a dozen or so of emerging and established vocal artists from the area. Here’s hoping they perform My Shot, Wait For It, You’ll Be Back, and Helpless.

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.


The Nayo Jones Interview

October 11, 2018

Nayo Jones at the 2018 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Nayo Jones is a Chicago- born vocalist who grew up in a musical family and is now based in New Orleans. She performs with her own group, “The Nayo Jones Experience,” in addition to touring with Kermit Ruffins as a featured vocalist. Twin Cities audiences were first exposed to Ms Jones at the 2018 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Her dynamic, soul-filled performance of standards like Saint James Infirmary and My Favorite Thingsearned her four standing ovations from thousands of people who had never heard of her. At one emotional point, a gust of wind caused the sleeves of her flowing dress to spread out like wings to the delight of the crowd. Jones will be returning to the Twin Cities for an appearance at the Fall Jazz Festivalbeing held at Crooners Lounge and Supper Club in Fridley on Sunday, October 14th. She’ll perform at 2:30 in the large Lounge, and 7:30 in the intimate Dunsmore Room. The following interview took place after her June performance.

I understand you grew up listening to a lot of jazz because your dad is jazz a jazz player. Were there any artists in particular that caught your ear that made you say that’s what I want to do?

Dinah Washington – Nayo’s favorite

I want to say none in particular –  not until I began singing, and that wasn’t until many years later, because I played flute, and I would play jazz but I never sang. And so the first voice I had listened to several – my dad told me to listen to this and this and that. And then Dinah Washington  – her voice just resonated with me when I started really studying female jazz vocalists and to this day she probably is my favorite.

So when you choose songs for your repertoire what do you look for? 

Lyrics mean a lot to me so that every song that I shared today, every song that I ever share, whenever I perform, the song does something for me, it moves me, I believe that if I can feel a song and if the song moves me than I have the ability to move the crowd.

That’s certainly apparent. You did a couple of originals what are the names of those?

One is Imagine, which I wrote several years ago. It’s never been done, at least produced properly so I think we’re going to go in the studio on record that.  There was really a good reception for that song and it came back to me because you know it’s a lot of negative things going on in the world today and I just believe in the power of dreaming, loving, and imagination and that song means a lot to me. Product of the Mind, the second one, also came back for the same reasoning: we can change the world. There’s a co-writer on Product of the Mind Her name is Naomi Imeke. 

You did a good job of firing up the audience today. How do you figure out how and when to do that?

Thank you. This is going to sound very, very quirky but I can feel the energy. I really can. I can kind of tell if they need me to ease them into it, or if I can come out guns blazing and I did that today. I knew that I would be able to do that because of seeing how the crowd just responded to the music last night . Sometimes I can’t see faces and I can’t see exactly what’s happening in as far as people smiling, but I could see smiles on there tonight, and I could see people swaying, and crying and that let me know how far I could go. 

You have recordings?

I have several actually on ITunes. I have a Christmas album of which I’m still very, very proud. It’s one of my older projects but I’m still certainly proud of that project. Product of the Mind is actually on My Name is Nayo. That’s an R&B album.  OK You would never know it’s me because it’s a totally different energy than what I do on stage now because it’s an older album also. OK But yeah you can find me on ITunes

What are your future plans? Any CDs in the offering?

Yes we are going to start recording more original music. I’m very excited about the future. as I just started collaborating with The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. I’ve done a few shows with them, t.hat’s a twenty-piece band. Working with them and to have that opportunity come my way has been a dream come true.  So you’ll see more with me with the New Orleans Jazz. Orchestra in the future.. 

Finally, what would what do you think is the most important lesson you learned from your dad? 

The first thing, and I always tell people, when I started singing and when he realized that “I think she’s going to do this for real,” he said, “Always do it because you love it, don’t do it for the money. And to this day that’s why I do it. He said, “The money will come. Just do it because you love it.” It’s a labor of love. 

Thank you for your time.

 THANK YOU SO MUCH.


Indoor Music: 10.10 – 10.16

October 10, 2018

Well Fall is surely here with temps in the 50s and lots of dreary days, so our thoughts turn to indoor events such as the Fall Jazz Fest and a Women’s Composers Festival, both of which are on Sunday afternoon. We’ve some notable visiting artists in jazz and roots music, and of course, great resident artists to see and hear. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 10

Russell Malone @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm $30, $35), 9pm ($25) Chicago guitarist Malone can swing like crazy or caress a ballad. You can read an interview I did with him a few years ago here.

House on Fire @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Here’s an intriguing evening featuring a collection of songs inspired by these times and written by Chris Hepola, keys; with Paul Fonfara, clarinets; Spencer Roth, trumpet; and Eric Shruve, bass.

Thursday, October 11

Joey Alexander Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) You may have seen this young piano player a few years ago at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, but he’s now 15, and still the brightest star in the jazz firmament.

Fat Kid Wednesdays @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul.11:30pm – 1am ($20) FKW  as been together for almost twenty years, but don’t play too often these days. The 9pm show is sold out, and this show may be sold out by the time you get this, but is a rare chance to hear the trio of: JT Bates, drums; Adam Linz, bass; and Michael Lewis, sax. You can read a New Yorker review of their show from a few years ago here.

Friday, October 12

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10) Traditional jazz and blues still has the power to uplift folks, at least as practiced by vocalist/guitarist Miss Myra and her merry band of Moonshiners. Sure to be a hit with the Friday night crowd at Crooners.

Tribute to Bird & Dizzy @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID)  Saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom & trumpeter  Omar Abdulkarim bring Dizzy & Bird into the 21st Century.

Saturday, October 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: JazzInk Showcase with the Eli Zukor-Zimmerman Quartet.  At 8:30pm, the Ted Olsen Quartet headlines, with Ted Olsen, bass; Aaron Hedenstrom, saxes; and others TBD.

Steve Hobert & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Hobert  as been playing to his strengths in collaborations that often have world music influences. Tonight he teams up with veteran tabla player Marcus Wise.

Sunday, October 14

Twin Cities Fall Jazz Festival @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 1pm – 8:30pm ($35 – $90) It’s eight shows on two stages. Vocalist Nayo Jones was a sensation at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival last June, receiving five standing ovations during the course of her show. She’s the headliner today, appearing from 2:30 – 4pm in Crooners’ Lounge and then from 7:30 – 8:30 in the Dunsmore Room. Also on the bill are the Southside Aces w/Butch Thompson, The Acme Jazz Company featuring Butch Miles, The TannerTaylor Trio, Connie Evingson and Debbie Duncan with Dave Karr, Butch Miles, and Andrew Walesch, and Lucia Newell’s Brazilian Trio.

Monday, October 15

Thomasina Petrus Sings Lady Day @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. ($25) Petrus channels Holiday like no one else.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 10

Ian Alexi and the Deserters on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Longtime listeners of Harold’s House Party will recall Ian Alexi from his days with the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, and other visits to the House Party. Now, however, Alexi’s music has taken a turn from the bluegrass/Americana Nephews to a more rockin’ style. He still writes about misfit characters, but the music was inspired by vinyl recordings of folks like the Pretenders, Thin Lizzy, and Tom Petty. Tune in, and head to the 331 if you’re inspired by what you hear.

Dee Miller Band @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) The old-school lounge of Mancini’s has been rockin’ on Wednesdays this fall. Tonight they feature the Dee Miller Band  which has been raising the roof themselves since vocalist Miller was recently named Performer of the Year by the MN Blues Society, and the whole band was chosen to represent MN at the International Blues Challenge in January.

Amy Helm @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) The daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm is making her own musical way quite nicely, singing Americana, gospel, and blues. Helm just released This Too Shall Light, on Yep Roc Records.  It was produced by Grammy-winning Joe Henry, and features a wide variety of songs, from Rod Stewart’s Mandolin Wind, to Allen Toussaint’s Freedom for the Stallion, a pre-Band song of her father’s, and a reflection on Blossom Dearie.

Thursday, October 11

RAMM Band @ Moe’s, Moundsview. 6:30pm – 10pm (No Cover) Every Thursday night is BBQ & Blues night at Moe’s. Tonight its The RAMM Band: Real, American Made Music f(Motown, Blues, R&B) from guitar master Paul Mayasich; John Iden, bass; and Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson.

Forro Night w/Samba Meu @ Can Can Wonderland, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm  ($2) Brazilian country dancing is easy enough if you can do a two-step or are willing to take part in a multi-culti square dance. Dance instructors will be on hand and Samba Meu will provide the music. Afterwards you can take part in the many diversions at Can Can Wonderland, including mini-golf.

Saturday, October 13

Craig Clark Band @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Blues guitarist Clark grew up singing gospel music and listening to groups like the Mighty Clouds of Joy, which undoubtedly influences to his soulful singing. He’s a spark plug, whether playing in the Dee Miller Band or heading his own group, as he does tonight.

R-Factor’s Prince Tribute @ Birch’s Brewhouse, Long Lake. 8pm – 11:30 (No Cover) With six singers and eight musicians and a repertoire that makes them a popular wedding band, the R-Factor has both the vocal chops and musicianship to do right by Prince songs. Birch’s is a bit West, but for those of you in the Western ‘burbs, and others wailing to make the drive, this will be a fun evening.

Sunday, October 14

Women Composers Festival @ The Black Forest Inn, Minneapolis. 3pm-4:30pm ($?) An afternoon of music by women composers, including Maura Bosch, Kari Tweiten, Sarah Houle, Missy Mizzoli, Shulamit Ran, & Julie Sweet. Flutist Julie Johnson will be performing an excerpt from  her composition “Crocus Hill Ghost Story,” with narration by KrisAnne Weiss.

Eric Gales Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) When guitarist Gales released his first album at the age of 16, he was  already being compared to Hendrix. That was in 1991, and since then he’s released 15 albums. Though often called an average singer, he more than makes up for that with electrifying playing, drawing on influences from the psychedelic blues-rock of the 70s, while staying grounded in modern times.

Monday, October 15

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Monday, so its another swing dance night at Famous Dave’s. Tonight saxophonist about town Steve Clarke brings hard charging Working Stiffs to the stage to inspire dancers, so of whom showed ups forth swing dance lesson at 7pm.

Tuesday, October 16

Lindsay Beaver @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm Free Dance lesson, 8pm show. ($10) If ducktails, ponytails, Betty Page dresses, & leather jackets are your idea of dressing up for a night out, then you’ll likely get crazy, man, crazy over stand-up drummer/vocalist Lindsay Beaver and her band. Heck, even if you aren’t a 50s fashionista, you may appreciate the way Beaver and her band mine old school rock n’ roll and R&B with the fire and fury that brings dancers to Lee’s dance floor.

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.


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