Gosh, February has just sped past. Spring (well the vernal equinox) is about three weeks away and the days are definitely getting longer. As usual, we have a fine selection of music to lift us up. But you need to get out for that to happen. Have a fun week.
Wednesday, February 27
Vital Organ @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Zacc Harris on guitar, Jason Croft, on organ, and Pete Hennig on drums provide the sometimes greasy, always creative sounds. Vocalist Katie Gearty‘s soulful vocals add just the right touch.
Valve Meet Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) Could it be that the trombone doesn’t get enough respect? Check out this group, featuring Brad Bellows on valve trombone and Dave Graf on slide, and you’ll be mightily impressed. Tonight they’re playing the music of Bob Brookmyer, from the 50s and 60s. Other members of the group are Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Mac Santiago on drums.
Thursday, February 28
John Devine & Friends @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (free) Adventurous, passionate, and highly inventive, Devine is a sax player to be reckoned with, and he always has a fine group of friends to match his talents.
Illicit Sextet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A group, or collective, if you will, of composers, all creating pieces inspired by hard bop groups of the mid-20th Century. It’s a talented group of musicians: Paul Harper, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Check out this video from a couple of years ago:
Friday, March 1
Tim Patrick & his Blue Eyes Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Shades of Sinatra, and the rest of the Rat Pack. Like Ol’ Blue Eyes, Patrick has a comfortable way with swingin’ songs, and a ten-piece brassy band to swing the songs with verve and panache.
Friday, Saturday, March 1,2
Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Chris released the only jazz CD to make the 2021 top ten list put together by the music pooh-bahs of the local dailies. It’s full of Chris’ good tunes and exemplary playing from Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax and brother JT on drums rounds out the group. Fans of Star Wars will get the connection. Here’s a video.
Saturday, March 2
James Wallace @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Jimmyapolis, as he is sometimes known, brings his warm tenor sax to Red Stag, home of truffled popcorn and other late-nite delights to go with Jimmy & his excellent little band.
Sunday, March 3
Phil Grenadier, with the Dakota Combo and MacPhail Faculty (Adam Linz, and JT Bates) @ MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S. 2nd St, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20/$15 Seniors) This concert is the culmination of a day long festival and workshops for high school combos. For the first set, trumpeter Grenadier, who has appeared on 50 CDs, will be playing with the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group of eight HS students who have been studying under Adam Linz since the beginning of the school year. Then Grenadier will play with MacPhail faculty, including Adam Linz on bass, and JT Bates on drums. I’m guessing that Bryan Nichols may be on keys, since he’s on the faculty, and will be among those conducting workshops.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Thursday, February 28
Savanna & the Saviors @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar) Pay no attention to the fact that Savanna has been called one of the sexiest singers in the Twin Cities. Concentrate instead on her voice, which is soulful, and her trio, which gives her a firm foundation for her growls, moans, and rock n’ roll singing.
Papa John Kolstad and Rena Haus @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (tip jar) It’s one of Papa John’s Acoustic Blues Nights, and he’s brought the extraordinarily talented singer & songwriter Ms Haus along for the evening. With Papa John on six and twelve-string, and Rena on her own acoustic guitar, it should be an evening of warmth, humor, and terrific playing and singing.
Friday, March 1
Lucy Kaplansky, Claudia Schmidt, & Heather Masse @ O’Shaugnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($18-$35) It’s the 30th Anniversary of Red House, and they’re celebrating in style with the concert featuring three outstanding artists. Kaplansky was part of the Greenwich Village folk Renaissance back in the day, and since 1994 has released a six albums with Red House. Schmidt was one of the first on Red House and has long been a folk music favorite around the country. She’s even successfully sung jazz. Masse is known as a singer with the Wailin Jennys, and has recently released a jazz album with Dick Hyman. Quite the celebration.
Hounds of Finn CD Release Party @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Irish music with a folk-rock attitude, and American roots music with an Irish attitude. The Hounds are: Leslie Rich, who is originally from Belfast, and contributes vocals, guitar, bousouki, and much of the groups’ songwriting; Michelle MacGregor, fiddle, Pete McCauley, who has also recorded a couple of solo CDs, and brings vocals, mandolin, & guitar to the group; and David Draeger, of the Irish Brigade, who plays the drum-like bodhran and percussion. The Hounds are on at 9, followed by guests Reina del Cid and the Cidizens. Here are the Hounds performing the title track from the new CD.
Hotpants East @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 10pm (No cover) The Hotpants deejays bring their rare soul and funk 45s to the Amsterdam for your dancing pleasure.
Melody & the Dramatics @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Slightly sultry, always creative, Melody Mendis, leader of the group, does a great job of making other songs her own, from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” to Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love,” to favorites from Motown and 80s New Wave.
Saturday, March 2
Honey Island Swamp Band @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) These four musicians from New Orleans got together when they were in San Francisco after Katrina, and decided to play their own brand of swamp music encompassing the classic country of folks like George Jones, as well as the R&B of New Orleans, and the blues of the Delta. The result drips and oozes with an undercurrent of wariness, if not dread. It’s been described as “Bayou Americana,” which is as good a description as any.
Monday, March 4
Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 9pm (tip jar) This is a singer and a group to watch. Reina crafts terrific songs, and the Cidizens include a female guitar player that improves by leaps and bounds with every show – in fact her solos are becoming crowd favorites.
Tuesday, March 5
Paul Metsa and Willie Walker @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (tip jar) Paul and Willie Walker have been doing a number of gigs together. They’re always comfortable affairs, with Paul supplying guitar and Willie putting his heart on the line as only a soul singer can do. Just made for a cozy spot like the Driftwood.