Outdoor Music and more…. 8.21 – 8.27

Fun at the Fair

Fun at the Fair

Can it really be time for the State Fair already? Just when we’re getting some actual summertime temperatures. Well, there are still many chances to enjoy music and art outdoors, as well as at the State Fair. I’ve listed a few things at the Fair, but you really have to check out their website to get a sense of all of the music (and food, and exhibits, and rides) that’s available. And if you don’t go to the Fair, there is still plenty of music in our Twin Towns. As usual, I’ll have some videos and a few more links on my blog.  Have a good week.


Wednesday, August 21
Snowblind @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Styled after the hard bop quintets of the 60s, Snowblind plays originals in the style of Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk, with inspiration from Ellington, as well.  Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Scott Agster, trombone; Shilad Sen, tenor; Graydon Peterson, bass; Reid Kennedy, drums.
Thursday, August 22
UnknownPatty & the Buttons w/Tom McDermott @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. (No Cover) Hot swing and gypsy jazz from accordionist Patty and his cohorts, Keith Boyles, bass; Tony Baluff, clarinet; and Mark Kreitzer, guitar; aided and abetted by McDermott, a highly regarded New Orleans pianist who played in the Dukes of Dixieland and formed the New Orleans Nightcrawlers. Joyous stuff.
Friday, August 23
Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Rhonda Laurie has a great sense of swing, which is only heightened when she performs with a small group, as she’ll be doing tonight. 
Fuzzy Math @ The Red Stag Supper Club, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Electrically-based jazz that’s imaginative enough that you’ll find yourself head-bobbin’ and finger snappin’ without realizing it.
Friday, Saturday, August 23, 24
Dave King Trucking Company @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Drummer King’s calendar must be awash in notation as he keeps track of the myriad bands for which he drums or is the leader (there are nine listed on his website). He leads this one, so you can expect some of his dry, off-beat humor as he hosts Eric Fratzke, guitar; Adam Linz, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. They seem to perform in town only a few times a year, so catch them while you can.
Saturday, August 24
12th Annual Freedom Jazz Festival @ Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 1pm – 7pm (Free) Best Kept Secret, Capri Big Band, Walker West Youth Jazz Ensemble, The Tangents, and more. The Freedom Jazz Festival features veterans, newcomers, and many musicians who don’t play out enough. This year it’s celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. This will start with a rally and speeches at Sabathani, at 11am and a march to the park at noon. Music begins at 1:15. For more information, go here.
Zacc Harris Trio @ Minnesota Wine Country, State Fair. 6:30pm – 9:30pm. (Free with Fair Admission) Now here’s some music that’s a bit unexpected for the Fair, yet it makes perfect sense, given the compatibility of vineyards and jazz. Guitarist Harris will lead a trio playing originals, jazz standards, and, I imagine, other standards as well.
Monday, August 26
Ready to study

Ready to study

Evan Montgomery Good-bye Concert @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm. ($5) Talented guitarist Evan Montgomery is packing his bags and heading to Los Angeles for graduate work. We’ll miss his precise, clean playing in bands like the Jana Nyberg Group, Lulu’s Playground, and the Adam Meckler Orchestra, among others. Both Lulu’s Playground and the Evan Montgomery Quintet will be playing tonight.

Tuesday, August 27
Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Their debut at the AQ last month was electrifying. Though this is a monthly residency, that doesn’t mean you should put off hearing Meckler’s modern compositions and arrangements for this 18 piece band. For some examples of the band’s music, go here.
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, August 21
Brass Band Night @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Two up and coming brass bands – the McNasty Brass Band (from McNally Smith) and the Dirty Shorts Brass Band will create a New Orleans Night at MMC, playing both the expected and unexpected when it comes to the N’Awlins repertoire.
Thursday, August 22
Mary Gauthier & Ray Wylie Hubbard @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30) Literate, country-edged songwriting from two masters of the craft. Gauthier has the kind of history that gives her a uniquely honest insight into the human condition: adopted, a runaway, philosophy major at LSU, opened and operated a Cajun restaurant in Boston, didn’t start writing songs until she was 35. If you’ve any interest in roots and Americana, you’ve undoubtedly heard her song “Mercy Now.” Ray Wylie Hubbard is an elder statesman of Texas troubadours. Back in ’73, Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his song “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.” Here’s an example of Gauthier’s honest songwriting.
images-2Andre Williams @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($12) Williams has achieved cult status as an R&B singer (and songwriter) who has toiled on the edges of stardom for over 50 years. He had a #7 R&B hit with “Bacon Fat” in 1957, wrote songs recorded by Stevie Wonder, Ike & Tina Turner, Alvin Cash (Twine Time), and Parliament/Funkadelic, recorded for a slew of small, independent black labels, managed Edwin Starr for a while, and started recording for Bloodshot Records in 1999. Since then, he’s recorded or toured with a number of punk blues bands. Appropriately enough, L’Assassins open. 
Thursday, Friday, August 22, 23
Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band @ Leinie Lodge Stage, MN State Fair. 1pm & 2:30pm (Free w/Fair Admission) Work off your mini-donuts, deep fried bread pudding, and other State Fair treats with high energy zydeco punctuated with funk overtones. 
Friday, August 23
Soul Tight Committee @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. 7pm ($7) Old School Funk n’ R&B from the 70s. You’ll find it hard to stay off the dance floor when the 10-piece band kicks into gear. 
Saturday, August 24
LoLA Musicians @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (No Cover in the afternoon, $5 after 6pm) The LoLA Art Crawl takes place throughout the Longfellow Neighborhood of Minneapolis, and the Tap Room is one of the sites. The Tap Room will be presenting the work of a number of artists, as well as the music of LoLA musicians such as blues/slide guitarist/singer Matt Yetter (noon), the adventurous jazz of John Devine sax; and Zacc Harris, guitar; (2pm), the Latin sounds of Rhumba Eterna (4pm). As the Crawl closes down, Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley, will perform at 6pm, and the White Iron Band will close out the day with their rockin’ mix of blues, country, and Americana.
The Groove Merchants @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Big Walter Smith may be gone, but the Groove Merchants are good to go, doing a tribute to Big Walter with Jimi “Prime Time” Smith on guitar and vocals. Danceable R&B, with a 60s soul groove. 
Monday, August 26
It's gonna be a party

It’s gonna be a party

Big Sam’s Funky Nation @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) From the other end of the Mississippi comes Big Sam, a trombone player who joined the Dirty Dozen when he was 19 and now lays down the funk with his own brass band. He’s appeared with Alan Toussaint and Elvis Costello, as well as Karl Denson, Widespread Panic, and Dave Matthews. 

Monday, Tuesday, August 26, 27
Sena Ehrardt @ the International Bazaar Stage, MN State Fair. 3:15, 4:30, & 5:45pm (Free w/Fair Admission) Sena is an up and coming fresh-voiced blues star, who has won awards for her Blind Pig debut, 2011’s “Leave the Lights On.” Her latest release, “All In,” produced by Grammy Winner Jim Gaines, was just released in March. Here’s a video of one of its songs.
Tuesday, August 27
Paul Mayasich w/Jeff Ray &Nick Salisbury @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 8:30pm (No Cover) A couple of guitar wizards, Mayasich on slide & electric, and Ray on acoustic, together with Salisbury, who ably holds down the bottom on bass. 
Tango Pohjan Tahden @ Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Free) For the last night in their summer outdoor music series, the folks at MHC have come up with another act that stretches our imagination. Tango Pohjan Tahden plays Finnish Tango, which differs somewhat from its Argentinian origins. Though the popular conception of the Tango as a highly eroticized dance may clash with a view of Finns as staid and often depressed, the use of minor keys, and songs about longing (for a lover or home) match the music to the country. Pack a picnic, a blanket, some chairs, and enjoy the music. As always, there are dance lessons first, for those who want to match their moves to the music. Here they are, doing their thing.
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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