Festivals Galore. Music: 7.25 – 7.31

July 25, 2012

Butch Thompson, one of the performers at the Lowertown Roots Festival

It’s going to be a busy week. I’ve been on vacation for the past few days, so forgive me if I don’t have many links for you. Rest assured, however, that a little digging on your part will help you get an idea of the music of some of these performers. We’ve got an amazing Saturday coming up with four different rootsy festivals. We also have some great jazz, from both up and coming artists, as well as veterans, including the amazing James Carter with an organ trio. I can’t wait. Have a good week.


Wednesday, July 25

Body Omara & a Deejay Named Larry @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($6) Body Omara is guitarist Joseph Damman, bassist Tom Reichert, and percussionist Davu Seru. They perform Damman’s original compositions, which evoke the desert blues of Mali, as well as American folk and jazz. Before and between sets, I’ll be spinning world music and jazz that complements their sound.

Miguel Hurtado Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Hurtado is a young drummer who has returned to the Twin Cities after graduating from The Manhattan School of Music. He always surrounds himself with excellent players. Tonight he’ll have Zacc Harris on guitar and Brian Courage on bass.

Thursday, July 26

The X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Pete Whitman has created a ten-piece group that creates exciting jazz while celebrating the talents of its individual members, from Phil Hey, Gordy Johnson, and Laura Caviani, to Dave Karr and Adam Meckler. I apologize if I often recommend them, but I’m a big fan.

Friday, July 27

Vicky Mountain with James Allen and the Dakota Combo @ Kelly Park, 152nd at Fontino, Apple Valley. A nice combination of musicians, with Vicky swingin’ the vocals, Allen on guitar, and the combo on combo. Don’t be surprised to see Vicky singing with the combo.

Friday, Saturday, July 27, 28

Jay Young. Photo by Andrea Canter

Jay Young & the Lyric Factory: the Music of Herbie Hancock & Earth Wind & Fire @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Bassist Young is usually a sideman, but this weekend he’s recruited friends like Kevin Washington on drums and some vocalists from MacNally Smith to straddle the intersection between jazz, funk, and soul. Sounds like a good time.

Saturday, July 28

James Allen and Joel Shapira @ First Course Bistro, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) Two of the finest acoustic guitarists play jazz for diners. Reservations recommended.

Sunday, July 29

Lucia Newell @ All Saints Lutheran Church, Cottage Grove. 7-9pm  With Joan Griffith, Gordy Johnson, and Mac Santiago. This appears to be the last of the Jazz in July Series at All Saints. They’ve done a nice job of presenting a variety of jazz and close out with a vocalist who is a true treasure in the Twin Cities. Newell can scat, compose, and give new meaning to old songs. Since Joan Griffith is one of her cohorts tonight, I imagine the evening will contain much Brazilian fare. And, as the press release says, Pie will be served.

James Carter Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Carter is a major talent on all sorts of reed instruments. Technique and imagination combine for thrilling music. Tonight he tackles the soul jazz sounds of an organ trio. It will be scorching. It will be soulful. It will be fun. Here’s a video from a couple of years back.

Monday, July 30

Jazz Implosion @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 & 11:30pm ($5) JT Bates is once again curating the Jazz Implosion, a weekly series that sometimes features new combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s gathering of Brandon Wozniak, sax; Adam Linz, bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums. Heavy hitters, all.

Tuesday, July 31

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Chop and Rail House, 1305 West 7th Street, Saint Paul. 7pm. (No cover) Chow down on classic steakhouse fare or the hamburger that was recently praised in City Pages, or sit at the bar with a beverage and enjoy Bill Evan’s classic sextet (trombone, trumpet, clarinet, guitar, bass, drums) as they rip through songs from the early days of jazz. It’s a neighborhood spot, with seating for about 50 or 60 for dinner, and reservations for dinner are recommended.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) A big band in an intimate room playing arrangements by trumpeter Meckler. Even folks who think they don’t like jazz will have second thoughts after hearing this band.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, July 25

Martin Devaney @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul, Noon – 1pm (Free) Devaney is a fine singer-songwriter, with a background that includes classical training, jazz sax, and work with Heiruspecs. He just released The West End, an album with many guest musicians. Ellen Stanley will be the guest host for this show.

Lenny Williams @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($25) Williams spent three years as the lead singer for Tower of Power, singing What Is Hip and So Very Hard To Go among others. He then went back to a solo career and made the R&B charts ten times between 1978 and 1981. He’s still out there singing, and breaking hearts.

Adrian Legg @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($20) A guitarist who has been called a wizard and the best acoustic fingerstyler, Legg brings his altered tunings and wry banter to the Dakota stage. Here is his wizardry in all its splendor.

Thursday, July 26

Doug Otto and Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm. The neighborhood bar on East Lake Street had Papa John create an acoustic blues series. Tonight Papa John has Doug Otto, a terrific singer, who can sound as if it were 1935 and he was out of work. Papa John will be playing his twelve string, so you know this is a special event.

Friday, July 27

Captain Mike @The Hat Trick

Captain Mike & The Totems @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($7) Captain Mike writes melodic pop tunes that can stick in your ear. The Totems provide the backup he needs. A fun evening.

Saturday, July 28

Lowertown Roots Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 2:30pm – 10pm  A day of free music with The Barley Jacks, Butch Thompson, Losc Conocidos and Mike Farris. Farris is a rootsy singer who favors gospel music. He’s going to be big, and you can say you saw him when. More information on the festival is available here.

NE Folk Festival@ Grumpy’s NE, Minneapolis. Noon – Close. (Free)  If you’re not heading to downtown Saint Paul you may want to check out this festival of home grown talent, including The Roe Family Singers, Black Audience, Dave Babb, Paul Metsa, and a host of others on two stages. More information can be found here.

Palmfest @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 2pm – close (Free) Maybe you want to stay in South Minneapolis. Head over to Palmer’s, everyone’s favorite dive bar, to hear Willie Murphy, the Huckleberrys, Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, the Knotwells, Cadillac Kostad and more. Whew!

Salute to Bob Dylan @ Veterans Memorial Amphitheater, Saint Louis Park. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (Free) And the festivals just keep on coming. This is the fourth annual event organized by Kevin Odegard, one of the original musicians that played on Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks.” Among the other musicians joining him will be Bobby Z, Matt Fink, Patty Peterson, Lonnie Knight, Scott Sansby, Paul Metsa, Dan Israel, and lots, lots more.

Sunday, July 29

Mark Naftalin: Concert & Conversation @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Son of a Minneapolis Mayor, Mark Naftalin moved to Chicago to go to school and ended up playing piano in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band during its formative years. Since then he’s teamed up with Mike Bloomfield, led and R&B Revue, and has hosted the Mark Naftalin’s Blues Power Hour on KALW in San Francisco since 1979. He’s been a sideman on over 100 hours. He’ll be joined by Paul Metsa, who will serve as host and “conversation catalyst.” A special evening, indeed.

Music for Mid-July: 7.18 – 7.24

July 18, 2012

My computer is on the fritz and in the shop, so I’ll keep this short, since I’m using a borrowed computer.

Wednesday, July 18

Jana Nyberg Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Jana and her group have been playing out and touring the Midwest quite a bit lately, including forays into Door County, WI. She’s backed by a stellar group of musicians including hubby Adam Meckler on trumpet, long time cohort Evan Montgomery on guitar, Matt Peterson on bass, and  Jake Nyberg on drums. It’s Foodie Night, so no cover, and a featured wine for $10/bottle.

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Its a trombone showdown as Brad Bellos (Valves) and Dave Graf meet for one of their enjoyable gigs, backed by Chris Lomheim, piano; James Buckely, bass; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Thursday, July 19
The Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michele @ Landmark Plaza, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (free) Part of the summertime weekly dance series by the Ordway. Ballroom dance instruction at 6pm, followed by music at 7:15. Food, drink, tables, and a dance floor are all available.

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (no cover). It’s been a busy year for Clouser. He’s released the first of three CDs planned for the year, and has been playing all over the states and Mexico. His guitar playing and his music has enough energy to go over in a rock n’ roll bar like the ‘Dam, and enough improvising and imagination to go over in a jazz club.

Friday, July 20
Matt Turner & Viv Cunninghan @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Turner plays cello, while Cunningham sings. Part of the always adventurous and satisfying Community Pool series.

Friday, Saturday, July 20, 21
Laura Caviani Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Ms Caviani is an impressive player, interpreter, and composer. She’s also been known to sing a song, as on her album Going There. Caviani’s sound has been described as salon meets saloon, which seems apt to me. For these shows she’ll be accompanied by Pete Whitman, sax; Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Saturday, July 21
Joel Shapiro Trio @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. Shapiro is a versatile and tasty guitarist. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis on bass, and Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums. Music that deserves to be more than just a background for dinner.

Jeremy Siskind, Lucas Pine, and Nancy Harms @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm. New York Pianist/composer Siskind recently put out an album entitled Finger-Songwriter, featuring Pine on reeds and Harms on vocals. It’s a chamber-jazz sort of affair, with Harm’s appealing dry vocals adding a special dimension to Siskind’s words. Nate Chinen, of the NY Times, gave it a very positive review. Nancy will be on my show Saturday morning (10:30AM KFAI, 90.3 & 106.7FM) and will likely bring Siskind and Pine along.

Tuesday, July 24
Moonlight Serenaders @ the Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Dance lessons at 6:30pm The Serenaders are one of the fine big band we’re privileged to have in our area. Lee Engele serves as their “canary” and does a great job of swingin’ with the band. This is an outdoor event on the Center’s plaza overlooking downtown Saint Paul.

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 Police, Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other
Wednesday, July 18
Malamanya @ The IceHouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($6) The Icehouse is starting a Wednesday night program of world music with a bang, bringing in this popular Cuban son & salsa group to fire up the combination of hipsters and hip oldsters that are coming out to this new restaurant/stage/deli/bar.

Thursday, July 19
Luisa Maita @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Sensual, Brazilian-flavored pop that’s pushing, or rather meshing the borders of numerous genres. Fans of CeU, Seu Jorge, and other current Brazilian singers will find much to like. 

Ukrainian Village Band @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) The Ukrainian Village Band is a group of eight musicians with acoustic instruments playing music from the Ukrainian countryside in a “cafe europa” style, yet isn’t afraid to apply their sound to a Lady Gaga tune. Sounds fun!

Friday, July 20
Felonious Bosch, Brass Messengers, and Clocks & Clouds @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Check into the Hall stage to hear the global/medieval, yet highly accessible sounds of Bosch and the always fun, loose-limbed, celebrations of the Messengers. Clocks and Clouds are Stephanie Shogren and Lucas Shogren on violin and cello, respectively, and Derek Powers on drums and percussion. They are a chamber trio whose tunes sometimes evoke rock n’ roll power trios.

Bill Kirchen @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm $15  Guitarist Kirchen first came to prominence with Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen, when his twang-infused guitar served as the double barrel carburetor for Cody’s V-8 engine of a band. He’s an incisive player, with such wit and humanity about his solos that he’s earned a story in the Oxford American’s issue of the Best of the South. With Eric Koskinen Band.

Sunday, July 22
Jennifer Grimm @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 7:30 – 11pm. You’ve heard her voice in commercials. She was well-received at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival when she did a guest spot with Sue Orfield. Grimm sings with Hookers $ Blow, guests with Jue Cruz, and will be appearing at the Metropolitan room in NYC later this week. She’s also had one of her songs featured on NBC’s Parenthood and Showtime’s House of Lies. Sunday night at the Station is a regular gig and well worth stopping by to hear her relaxed vocals applied to jazzy pop originals.

Monday, Tuesday, July 23, 24
Ronnie Laws & Tom Browne Supergroup @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) 9pm ($25) Laws is a flautist and saxophone player who was one of the founders of Earth, Wind, and Fire and went on to a successful solo career playing jazz-funk and earning a number of gold records in the process. Trumpeter Browne cut his teeth with artists like Lenny White, Woody Shaw, and Sonny Fortune before becoming a solo artist and hitting with “Funkin’ for Jamaica.” Their appearance at the Dakota last year was a funk n’ fun-filled show.

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.

Summer Breeze. Music: 7.11 – 7.17

July 11, 2012

Lake Nokomis in the 20s.

Well, the heat wave has broken, temps are in the 80s and the humidity is bearable. Just right for getting out after a day at the beach and enjoying the musical talent of our Twin Towns. This week we also have some visiting boomer bands and two bands from Louisiana. Then there’s the festival at Harriet Brewing, a new place to hear music. Speaking of places to hear music, the Nicollet Coffee Shop has closed, and with it, Tuesday night jazz. However, the Icehouse further down Nicollet seems well poised to present all kinds of music, with jazz late Monday nights, and during the dinner hours on Fridays and Saturdays.


Wednesday, July 11

Lee Engele @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) The swingin’ Ms Engele will provide an hour’s worth of song, for your lunchtime listening pleasure.

Illicit Sextet @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Original music that recalls hard bop, bebop, and mainstream jazz. Top notch players, including Steve Kinney, trumpet; Paul Harper, tenor sax; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Here’s a video of them from a couple of years back.

Thursday, July 12

Sophia Shorai @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A late night gig at the Red Stag featuring the charming, sweet-voiced Ms Shorai. If you aren’t familiar with her, read this Star Tribune review.

Friday, July 13

sHorn hortZ (Larry McDonough Quintet) @ The Art Preserve, 1815 Radio Drive, Suite G., Woodbury. 7pm – 9pm (Free) This is a modern jazz quintet playing original compositions written by its members. Paul Peterson saxes; Jahn Hyvarinen, guitar; Larry McDonough, piano; Greg Stinson, bass; Dean White, drums.  This is an Art opening presenting batiks by Nedra Nicholls and photos by Roger Williams.

Friday, Saturday, July 13, 14

James Buckley & Chris Lomheim @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis – 8:30 – 10:30pm. With Buckley on bass and Lomheim on piano, this is a pairing of musicians with sensitivity and imagination. Just right for the Dinner Hour as it’s billed on the Icehouse website. I’m guessing at the hours based on previous gigs, so you may want to check.

Saturday, July 14

Willie August Project @ the Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) Led by guitarist-composer Ben Siems, this trio, which includes drummer and co-founder Jeremy Hauer, has had its melodic jazz played throughout the world and on satellite radio.

Sunday, July 15

TBP Organ Trio @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm. (No Cover) Here’s some music sure to wake your taste buds. Tanner Taylor, organ; James Buckley, bass; and Joey Van Phillips on drums, as a side to your brunch.

Monday, July 16

Robert Bell & Maude Hixson @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm. (Free) Bell recently performed as Djano Rheinhardt’s music as a guest soloist with the North Carolina Symphony. The guitarist will be accompanying the cool tones of Ms Hixson tonight.

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, Thursday, July 11, 12

Blood, Sweat & Tears @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60-$50), 9pm ($50-$40) Though there are no longer any original members in the band, co-founder Bobby Colomby continues to guide this horn-driven aggregation, which seems to have been a stopping off gig for hundreds of musicians. Judging by recent performances captured on video, the band is still a tight, precise unit. Hard to tell who the vocalist is these day, but rest assured, he will have a similar range and sound to David Clayton-Thomas.

Thursday, July 12

Edgar Winter @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) More boomer music, this time from vocalist/pianist and saxophone player Winter, who hit with Free Ride the instrumental Frankenstein back in the 70s. Before that he had a horn band called White Trash that was hip enough to have liner notes by Patti Smith. Still has lots of firepower in his voice.

Hipshaker Rare Funk n’ Soul Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (no cover) The dance floor is filled with twenty and thirty-somethings (and the occasional Rock n’ Roll elder) shaking it to funk and soul 45s that generally were released before they were born. I’ll be a guest deejay.

Friday, July 13

Iguanas @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) A rare chance to see this New Orleans party band mixi it up with both second line and Latin rhythms. The resulting music will have you shakin, bakin, and movin’ with delight.

Maurice Jaycox Trio @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No cover) It may seem like a ways to go (it’s 15 minutes from downtown Saint Paul), but if you choose to make the trip you’ll be rewarded with some of the best singing in town. Plus, there’s a small dance floor, which will undoubtedly be filled as Maurice and his mates sing R&B and maybe a few standards for those who want to slow dance.

Saturday, July 14

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ The Saint Paul Farmer’s Market, Saint Paul. 9am – Noon. Down home originals and blues standards performed by harpmeister Harold and acoustic guitar wizard Ray.

Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. Noon – 9pm ($15) Thirty, count em, thirty bands on three stages including Charlie Parr, Sans Souci Quartet, Nick The Feeling’, the Goondas, Poverty Hash, Grant Hart, Kent Burnside, Davina, The Cactus Blossoms, Brass Kings, and The Ditch Lilies. Whew!

Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday w/Pop Wagner, Tony Glover, Charile Maguire @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) Though all three are residents of the Twin Cities, you’d be hard pressed to find better interpreters of Guthrie’s music without going to the man’s bloodline.

Monday, July 16

Scream Blue Murmur @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) You may have seen this Belfast/Minnesota group at the Fringe Festival over the years, delivering a combination of music/spoken word and dance. They’ve since added bass, brass, and beats to their arsenal, for a more musically-oriented experience, though one that still comments on issues of the day.

Tuesday, July 17

Terrence Simien & the Zydeco Experience @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Grammy winning, infectious zydeco (is there any other kind?) from Simien and crew.

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.

The Livin’ is Easy. Music for 7.4 – 7.11

July 3, 2012

Well, we had a cornucopia of festivals last weekend, with the Twin Cities Jazz Festival presenting hundreds of artists from the area and beyond. The Saturday evening show of The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman attracted such a large crowd that vendors ran out of beer. By all accounts, the Deep Blues Festival and Honky Tonk Festival were also successful. Given that, and the 4th, it seems natural that there’s a slowdown in the presentation of music this week. It’s as if we’ve had a big meal, and now just have a truffle or two for dessert. Enjoy the 4th, and enjoy your dessert.


Wednesday, July 4

Robb Henry Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm. (No Cover) After you check out the fireworks on the river, head on over to the Red Stag for a quieter, but no less impressive display, this time of the guitar variety, as Henry mines 60s pop, Django Rheinhardt, Mancini, and more. Here’s a low-light video of Henry performing a jazz classic:

Friday, July 6

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Standards will be sung and swung. Cocktail music of the highest order.

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. (tip Jar) Freely improvised music from Bellows on valve trombone, Washington on reeds, and friends.

Saturday, July 7

Debbie Duncan @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover) Sass and soul from the queen of Twin City jazz singers.

Sunday, July 8

PipJazz Sunday with Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Singer Pippi Ardennia is truly spontaneous in her singing, working a vamp that she likes, letting musicians stretch out, and bringing in guest artists and students. This month’s guests are Dean Magraw and Marcus Wise. It will be especially interesting to see how the guitar/tabla duo are integrated into the bluesy jazz of Ardennia and the PipJazz All-Stars.

Monday, Tuesday, July 9, 10

Victor Wooten @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Bassist Wooten is a five-time Grammy Winner who is known mainly for his work with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, though he’s also worked with Chick Corea’s Elecktrik Band and others.

Tuesday, July 10

Cory Wong Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Cory is a versatile guitar player, whose playing is always full of surprises.

Wednesday, July 11

Lee Engele @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) A lunch time treat  from Ms Engele, who manages to swing even if accompanied by just a guitar, as she likely will be this day.

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, July 4

Midnight Mo Experience @ Burger Moe’s, Saint Paul 2pm – 5:30pm. So you live in an apartment, or perhaps don’t want to be around a grill on a hot afternoon.  Prepare for Saint Paul’s fireworks on the river by checking out the Motown & More of Midnight Mo at Burger Moe’s.

Thursday, July 5

Davina & The Vagabonds & Armadillo Jump @ Marketfest, White Bear Lake, 6pm-9pm. Marketfest is a weekly event featuring two different music stages as well as food, arts & crafts, and a car show in downtown White Bear Lake. Tonight Davina will be on the Gazebo Stage and the Texas-style blues of Armadillo Jump will be featured on the 3rd Street stage.

Friday, July 6

Nikki & the Rue-Mates CD Release Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (tip jar) Fans have been eagerly awaiting another slab of semi-psychedelic folk rock from the clarion voice of Nikki and the crying slide guitar of Rich Rue. Fellow Rue-Mates Liz Draper, Jon Olson, and drummer Jimmy T (Tollesrud) help give the music a kick that will give old hippies flash-backs and younger folk goose bumps. With Matt Latterell.

Kelley Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Piano pounding blues singer Hunt has become a Twin Cities favorite through repeated visits to the area. She’s a good writer and impassioned story-teller, with a gospel tinge to her playing. I did an interview with her last November, which you can find here.

Sunday, July 8

Lindsay Pedalty Duo @ the Amsterdam, Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 11AM – 1PM (Free) Take the Sunday paper to the ‘Dam, order some hash browns and a Bloody Mary, and enjoy the singing of Pedalty, who has an appealing voice with a bluesy edge that gives a different spin to her pop leanings in the group Pine Deluxe. She’ll be accompanied by her dad, pianist Bruce Pedalty, who has spent time playing with Mojo Buford, The Senders, and a couple of area big bands.

Opera on Tap @ Honey, Minneapolis 6pm – 8pm ($5) Opera singers in a bar!

Havana Hi-Fi @ The Aster, Minneapolis, 9pm ($5) It’s Salsa night at the tiny bar/restaurant/tea room overlooking the river and downtown Minneapolis.

Tuesday, July 10

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Free) finger style pickin’ just doesn’t get any tastier. Neither do neighborhood bistros. Good cocktails too.

Orchestra Poly-Ritmo @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, 7:30 ($35) The late Peter Nelson, leader of Shangoya, would often declare, “You don’t need special steps to dance to this music.” That holds especially true for the music of this 10-piece, horn driven band from the tiny West African nation of Benin. Percolating Afrobeat, Latin, and Voodoo rhythms will have even the most staid Minnesotan moving their hips, if not other body parts. Here’s a sample of their music.

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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