A Winter for dancing. Music: 2.20 – 2.26

Yeah, it's corny, but the message is true.

Yeah, it’s corny, but the message is true.

We’ve got more music for dancing this week, as well as a free concert from Bill Frisell, interesting roots music, and visiting artists from New Orleans and California. Get out and enjoy live music. And don’t forget to bring dancing shoes.


Thursday, February 21

Sue Oatts & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Back in 2006, vocalist Oatts released a fine CD entitled Back Home, though she was going by the name Sue Tucker at the time. She’s got a winning way with standards and lesser known tunes, and with Tanner Taylor on piano, should provide a delightful evening of song.

Friday, February 22

Bill Frisell @ Janet Wallace Auditorium, Macalester College, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free!) That’s right, the genre-crossing, inventive guitarist will be appearing at Macalester and it’s open to the public. Get there early. A parking lot is right next to the auditorium.

imagesSophia Shorai w/dVRG, Ben Kelly, + Alex Young @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm Shorai‘s being backed by Devon Gray, keyboard player for Hieruspecs, and a couple of other young musicians who will make your trip to the near NE worth your while. Of course Shorai’s honey-sweet vocals, would make it worth your while without any backing.

Friday, Saturday, February 22, 23

Estaire Godinez @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) It’s only a matter of time before some climate change storm of epic proportions is named after percussionist/vocalist Godinez.  Whether she’s singing a smoldering bossa or high-energy R&B, Ms Godinez can raise temperatures and create a whirlwind of sound. She’s recorded on over sixty albums and has held down stints with Prince, the Brothers Johnson, George Benson and Pete Escovedo.  Though this video shows her at the Dakota, you’ll have to go to Saint Paul to hear here this weekend.

Saturday, February 23

Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and the Rick Carlson Trio @ The Schneider Theater, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($22 Adults.$16 Students) Fred Astaire & the Songwriters. Fogel, Hixson and Carlson. More powerful than a legal team. More subtle than an accounting office. When combined with songs sung by Fred Astaire, the results will be sublime.

Sunday, February 24

Charmin MIchele w/Twin City Seven @ First Unitarian Society of Minnesota, 900 Mount Curve Ave, Minneapolis. 2-4pm (donations welcome) As part of Black History Month, the society is featuring Michele & the group highlighting the life and work of Billie Holiday. It’s nigh impossible to find a better interpreter than this group to present Ms Holiday’s work.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 20

Treehouse on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (kfai – 90.3, 106.7), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) I’ll be subbing for Harold on the House Party this afternoon, and hosting this new trio of talented veterans. Chris Johnson is a first call bassist and vocalist for many of the blues bands in town. He’s also a first-rate whistler. Cathy Mosher sings, yodels, plays the tin whistle,  and is a caller for square and contra dances. Jim Ouska is a versatile guitarist who is equally at home in R&B, rock, folk, and jazz. He received a jazz composers grant from the Dayton Hudson Foundation in 1999, and has recorded three CDs of original music. Catch them live on KFAI and head over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Blackberry Brandy Boys @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($6) A relatively new group featuring eight players and eight vocalists doing Cosmic Cowboy music, incorporating all kinds of music from the mid-twentieth century, and imbuing them with sometimes a pinch, and sometimes a ladle, of C&W seasoning. Think of what the Flying Burritto Brothers were doing.

Thursday, February 21

images-2Acoustic Hot Tuna @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. 7pm ($34) Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassady started playing together when they were teenagers, and were an integral part of Jefferson Airplane’s heyday in the late 60s and early 70s. They started Hot Tuna as a side project, releasing their first album in 1970. Twenty-five years later, they’re still at it, playing the blues they love.

Friday, February 22

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10?) When Davina sings, everybody listens, or dances, or shouts. You can’t ignore her, or the Vagabonds, and frankly, you’ll have no interest in doing so. Don’t try to cross the dance floor, you won’t make it.

Willie Walker Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 10pm ($?) Go through the closet and get out those dancing shoes, cause Willie Walker’s soulful singing will have you dancing slow, fast, and in-between on the MMC’s commodious dance floor.

Saturday, February 23

Firefly Forest @ The Beat Coffeehouse, 1414 West 28th Street, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Firefly Forest is a quartet led by keyboard player Steven Hobert. They create whimsical, and often ethereal tunes that perfectly fit their name. Other members of the band include Josh Granowski on upright bass, Nathan Burdick on guitar & keys, and Jeff Schraw on percussion. Opening act is Kalispell, a traditional group from Eau Claire that isn’t afraid to use brass or elements of electronic music in their tunes.

SlovCzech @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Hmm, here’s a group that brings you the sounds of eastern and central europe by taking traditional folk songs and reformulating them into modern high-energy melodic sounds. They play many Czech, Slovak, and gypsy flavored songs, including a few Celtic inspired tunes. Sounds like the kind of music that will have folks moving tables out of the way to dance.

images-3New Orleans Suspects @ Whiskey Junction, Minnapolis. 9pm ($20) This quintet is led by musicians who were an integral part of many bands you know and love from New Orleans. Drummer Mean Willie Green has played with the Nevilles since the 1980s; Reggie Scanlan played bass with the Radiators for thirty-three years; Jake Eckert played guitar with the Dirty Dozen; CR Gruver plays piano as inspired by James Booker and organ as inspired by Art Neville; and saxophonist Jeff Watkins led the James Brown band for a dozen years. Sounds like a good time to me.

Monday, February 25

Cactus Blossoms @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Classic country with brotherly harmonies. All you need is saw-dust on the floor, though that generally doesn’t stop folks from waltzing or two-stepping on the Turfs dancefloor.

Tuesday, February 26

Eric Bibb & Habib Koite: Brothers in Bamako @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Bib has been to town before. He’s a fine acoustic bluesman, equal parts storyteller, singer, and fingerpicker. Koite is a superstar in Mali, and has been featured in Rolling Stone, People, the New York Times and Vanity Fair. Koite’s hypnotic guitar playing is perfectly paired with Bibb’s fingerpicking and singing. Check out a video of the two of them.

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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