Summer Solstice is upon us. Heat is upon us. Rains are upon us. And we have a new music venue in town. The Icehouse in the Whittier neighborhood is presenting jazz late night on Mondays, and from 8:30 – 10:30 weekends. Other nights feature soul & funk deejays, and acoustic, rootsy music. Around the corner, The Eat Street Social is beginning to have afternoon music on Saturdays. We have some stellar artists performing this week. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is next week. Life is good.
Wednesday, June 20
Off The Map @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. (Tip jar) Brandon Wozniak, alto; Bryan Nichols, keyboards; and Jay Epstein, drums. This bass-less trio used to perform more often, but each of them is so busy with other projects that this is a rare appearance.
Maude Hixson and French 75 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Maude and her sextet perform “foreign-born offerings from 20th Century songwriters.” Maude’s cool, inviting voice is the perfect vehicle for evoking smoky clubs with a distingue clientele.
Friday, June 22
Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric and Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Ritz Theater, NE Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) This is a CD Release Party for A Love Electric’s 2nd CD on Royal Potato Records. The Adam Meckler Orchestra is proving to be an exciting aggregation, playing Meckler’s original compositions and premiering his arrangement of one of Clouser’s tunes.
Jeremy Boettcher and Phil Aaron @ The Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Boettcher is a young, up and coming bassist. Aaron is a seasoned piano player with exquisite taste. The Icehouse is a new restaurant/music venue.
Dave King Trucking Company @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) This group was originally put together for the celebration of drummer King’s music at the Walker a couple of years ago. They’ve proven to be popular enough to play and tour regularly, adding another component to King’s plethora of groups. Erik Fratzke, guitar; Adam Linz, bass, Brandon Wozniak and Chris Speed, saxes.
Saturday, June 23
Linda Peterson @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Another talented member of the Peterson clan, Linda is an accomplished composer and pianist with slightly smoky vocals.
Monday, June 25
Fat Kid Wednesdays @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 & 11:30 ($5) Wow, it’s been a long time since Mike Lewis, sax; Adam Linz, bass; and JT Bates, drums, performed at the Clown Lounge. This time around they’re playing a venue with a wide variety of drinks and an appealing bar menu. If you’ve never seen FKW, expect adventurous forays into originals and jazz standards. For a review of a NYC appearance of a few years ago, click here.
Tuesday, June 26
Clouser & Buckley @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:00pm (No Cover) Todd Clouser is the inventive guitarist who has been touring both nationally and internationally with his band A Love Electric. James Buckley plays bass in a number of aggregations, including some whose music strays far from jazz. If you’re going for music, get there early to find a seat at the bar. If you want to eat at this popular neighborhood bistro, make sure to get reservations and ask to be near the music.
Emily Green @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Green is a nuanced vocalist with an easy way with swing. Just right for the couples that come out to dance at this coffeehouse. Hear examples of Emiy’s singing on her myspace page.
Magraw, Nichols, Peterson, & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The AQ continues to find new combinations of musicians. This time the “house rhythm section” of Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums; is joined by guitarmaster Dean Magraw and ever-busy pianist Bryan Nichols.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, June 20
Dustin Hatzenbuhler @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (free) Hatzenbuhler goes for the nerdy look, which you’ll forget once he starts singing, as he has a soulful voice and is a good songwriter, with a penchant for covers of Marvin Gaye and Adele, among others.
Cactus Blossoms on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip Jar). With their brotherly harmonies (think of the Everlys or the Delmore Brothers), and ability to write country tunes that sound 60 years old, I’m thinking the patrons at the 331 may do some waltzes and two steps among the tables. You may dance at home as well when they play live on KFAI (90.3 & 106.7FM).
Dale Watson @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Watson is a huge honky-tonk hero in Europe and pockets of the US, deplores the current state of country music, and loves Lee’s enough to have written a song about the place. Rachael and the Ranch Hand Resistance open, with dance lessons at 8pm. Here’s an example of his honky-tonk/Bakersfield country music.
Friday, June 22
Old Californio and Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($6) Old Californio is a Pasadena quintet with a sound that evokes a number of country-rock, slightly psychedelicized bands, from the New Riders of the Purple Sage, to Canned Heat and the Byrds. Yet their recent release, Sundrunk Angels, shows they’re more than throwbacks. They’ll appeal to today’s young audience for Americana and roots as well as to those of a certain age. Steve Kaul and the boys (correction: they’ve added fiddler Jillian Rae) explore Americana in highly unexpected ways, weaving jug band music into ragas and back again.
617 Band @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) A versatile quintet of seasoned musicians that have fun playing originals and dance tunes from a variety of genres – Latin, Rock, R&B, and more. They’ve got the grooves that will free any aversion to dancing.
Sunday, June 24
Henry’s Funeral Shoe @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This UK brothers act plays blues that’s been re-filtered through the Who and The Clash, among others. One of their songs is featured in a funny commercial from Fiat. Reservations: 651-955-6337
Saturday, June 23
Hootenanny VI @ Tuttles, 107 Shady Oak Rd, Hopkins. 2pm – 2AM. ($15 Suggested donation) A benefit for the wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, MN, an organization that provides homes for wild animals that had previously been held as pets. It’s not a zoo, but a place where wild cats can live out their days. It’s a day filled with Americana, Bluegrass, and jamgrass stylings. String Theory starts the proceedings at 2pm. Other bands include: Shotgun Ragtime Band (A Grateful Dead tribute band), Brady Perl, Boys N’ the Barrels, Moss Piglets, and Drew Peterson, among others.
Sunday, June 24
Havana Hi-Fi @ the Aster Cafe, St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The Aster has a tiny dance floor, but the joyous sensuous Latin sound of this group will undoubtedly move listeners to squeeze into the space. Don’t dance? Then simply enjoy the food, wine and tea list, and view of DT Minneapolis across the river.
Tuesday, Wednesday, June 26, 27
Les Nubians @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) This sister act from Paris sings pan-global music in a variety of languages, both aural and musical. Expect elements of Afrobeat, Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf, soul, and hip-hop. Here’s a video.
Wednesday, June 27
Mother Banjo @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (free) Early warning for this untraditional traditionalist.