Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk. Music: 5.28 – 6.3

May 28, 2014
A little humor from the Zits comic strip

A little humor from the Zits comic strip

We don’t have many visiting artists this week, but the few that are visiting are outstanding, from jazz pianist Bill Charlap to music insider Peter Asher. A passing glance at the resident artists appearing around town will show that we have more than enough high quality talent of our own. However, we have to remember to support our resident artists by attending their shows. As we encounter life’s challenges, we all need to refresh, and music certainly lifts the spirit. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 28

Wolverines Trio w/Maud Hixson @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm The ever-tasteful Wolverines, together with Ms Hixson’s clear voice and impeccable diction will win out over the Kitchen’s sometimes noisy environment. It always helps to sit close to the stage.

Dean Magraw & Praire Rhythm Section@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7)  With Gary Raynor, bass; and Peter Johnson, drums. Dean Magraw is arguably the most versatile guitarist in town, able to go from psychedelia to John Coltrane to Irish jigs and Indian ragas all in the course of a couple of songs. No wonder he’s been a favorite of Mr. Keillor. Tonight he has a couple of other Prairie Home regulars backing him up.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Peterson is a first-call bassist in town, and has been a sideman in a variety of configurations, from trios to big bands. He’s recently been writing his own music, and has gathered Adam Mecler, trumpet; Vinnie Rose, guitar; and Adrian Suarez on drums to give voice to his melodies.

Thursday, May 29

Bill Charlap Trio @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30), 9pm ($20, $25) W/Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums. Pianist Charlap is known for his interpretations of The Great American Songbook, and though he’s imaginative, he also gets to the essence of a song. His trio with the non-related Washington’s is rock solid.

 

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Thursday Night is Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Ms Laurie is a prime example of the wealth of vocal talent in town. She can swing gypsy jazz, straight ahead, and modern material with equal ease.

Friday, May 30

Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve been paying attention to Twin Cities Jazz for a few years, you probably know of Gravatt’s stints with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Charles Lincoln, bass; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Davu Seru and Song Click @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) w/Donald Washington, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Marc Anderson, percussion. A great gathering of musicians who are master improvisers, whether they’re working with variations on written pieces or freely improvising.

Saturday, May 31

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, have been delivering weekly doses of high quality music for the d’Amico Brothers for years, first at the Chambers Hotel, and now at this Italian restaurant in the SW quadrant of 494 & 100. They appear in the restaurant’s cocktail lounge, where you are still free to order dinner or one of the smaller plates from the bar menu.

Sunday, June 1

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc, Matt Peterson, and Peter Hennig have been playing Sunday Nights at the Riverview for quite a while now. All three are such great players that they continually surprise, and have yet to fall into a rut.

Monday, June 2

Tom Rainey & Ingrid Laubrock @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Germany-born Ingrid Laubrock now lives in Brooklyn, where she composes and plays soprano and tenor sax. She and drummer Tom Rainey have recorded an album  of ten improvisations entitled And Other Desert Towns. They’ve played together in various bands since 2009, when Laubrock arrived in Brooklyn, yet this is their first duo record. Expect closely communicated, freely improvised music. Here they are in a trio format:

 

Tuesday, June 3

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Well, if you missed Dean at the Dakota and Eric at Jazz Central, you now have a chance to see them both playing off each other, and having a good time.

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, May 28

Unknown-1Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($5?) Jimmi & the band are an energetic quartet that plays blues that stick in your head. They’re going to the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, representing Minnesota. This evening they’re celebrating the release of a new album, Live From the Park Theater, by bringing in a couple of special guests for this early evening show.

Thursday, May 29

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Here in Minnesota you’d be hard pressed to find a Cajun group with a history as long as the Ramblers. They’ve been together for twenty years or so, and have studied or performed with many of the genre’s veterans. So get out your dancing shoes and twirl, spin, and dip to your heart’s content.

Friday, May 30

Falderals CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnepolis. 9pm ($10) This husband and wife team of Andrew and Rebecca Andestic met in Armenia, where they were both serving in the Peace Corps. Since then they’ve busked on the streets of Chicago, and have performed regularly around the Twin Cities. They write deeply felt, melodic folk songs (with a touch of folk-rock) that resonate with all ages. The CD is called Witness, and includes Shane Akers, dobro; Jim McGuinn, lapsteel & keys; and Derek McCullum on ukelele; all of whom will be special guests tonight.

Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) A five piece string band that updates that traditional sound with original songs as well as creative arrangements of traditional bluegrass tunes, and untraditional tunes from folk, rock, and blues. They’re celebrating the release of their third studio album, Way Back Home.  Opening is The Last Revel, a passionate trio using three-part folk harmonies supported by an attitude that borrows freely from rock n’ roll rebels.

Saturday, May 31

Moe’s Folk & Blues Festival @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 3pm – Midnight (No Cover) Okay, you’ve got Paul Mayasich, Randy Webb & Dave Baab, Gene LaFond, Spider John Koerner, Paul Metsa & Sonny Earl, and inside, The Scottie Miller Trio to round out the evening. Who knew the West Bank has moved up to Mounds View?

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Well the All Stars vary according to whoever is in town, but don’t worry, Harold’s been at this so long he can always find simpatico players.

Sunday, June 1

Sherwin Linton @ Famous Dave’s, MInneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No cover) How ‘bout some country music to go with those biscuits, gravy, waffles and rib tips? Linton has been performing for some 58 years now, bringing an unmatched authenticity to classic country and rockabilly. Check out his version of Tennessee Stud:

Samantha Harlow @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul., 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) This Saint Paul native spent a decade pouring drinks in a Nashville honky tonk, and countless nights touring and singing as a solo act. All that work has helped Harlow  learn how to write classic country tunes.

Jimages-2oe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27, $35) Rockin’ honky tonk from Texas, by a guy who has played with Springsteen, Uncle Tupelo, The Chieftains, Lyle Lovett, and John Hiatt. Early on, he and his band toured with The Clash, and he even supplied background vocals on Should I Stay or Should I Go. Plus, he wrote the music for The Horse Whisperer. He and guitar slinger Jeff Plankenhorn will be performing mostly acoustic versions of Ely’s songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 3,4

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Asher is the ultimate music industry insider, from the days his sister was dating Paul McCartney, to his own singing career with Peter & Gordon, to producing records for a wide variety of artists (two Grammys), as well as musicals, PBS features, and various award shows. He’ll share his story, sing a few songs, and generally be one of the most entertaining dinner guests you’ll ever run across.

 

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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Remembering & Anticipating. Music: 5.21 – 5.27

May 21, 2014

images-2Greetings to one and all. All of a sudden, Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a time to remember loved ones and those we’ve lost to wars. It’s also the unofficial beginning of summer – grilling and festival season. If you’re not heading Up North and enjoy a wide variety of music, there’s a weekend outdoor event at Memory Lanes. We’ve also got a couple of CD release parties and a visiting artist or two to supplement the wealth of music we have here in the Twin Cities. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 21

Century Jazz Ensemble @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Century Jazz Ensemble has a long history, a large repertoire, and a deservedly great reputation. It’s members meet weekly in a class called Music 1017, which is just an opportunity to jam and rehearse for two hours. Here’s a chance to hear them outside of the school and their special events. Plus, it’s a chance to check out the big band Tuesdays that MMC is having these days.

McNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Pete Whitman leads this eleven piece student ensemble playing an eclectic mix of material ranging from classic hard bop to 21st century sounds.

A musical and sartorial inspiration

A musical and sartorial inspiration

Thursday, May 22

Irv Williams’ CD Release Party @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Like the Energizer Bunny, Irv Williams just keeps on going. The tenor saxophonist may be 90+ but he’s still “Mr. Smooth,” with a beautiful sound and an ability to glide among notes with the greatest of ease. On the new CD, Pinnacle, he plays with Billy Peterson, bass, and Steve Blons, guitar.

Friday, May 23

Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, perform tunes from Monk, Mingus, & Coltrane, as well as originals. Exquisite jazz.

Andrew Foreman @ Jazz Central Late Night, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Andrew Foreman is leaving town for the summer, and is having a going-away party of sorts. The night begins with the Ben Abrahamson Quartet performing their interpretation of Sea Changes, the Beck album. Chomsky, Foreman’s quartet, will then take the stage to play a mix of originals and indie rock covers.

Saturday, May 24

JoAnn Funk & Jeff Brueske @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/Vocalist Funk and bassist Brueske will be taking off from this weekly gig during the summer, though they’ll return for three nights of Jazz Fest. Anyway, this is a chance to hear some high quality jazz as Funk sings from a songbook that includes tunes by Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie, and Dan Penn, among others.

Saturday, Sunday, May 24, 25

Unknown-2Davina & the Vagabonds Album Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) In the ten years since this Florida native settled here in the Twin Cities, Davina has gained thousands of adoring fans, who turn out to see her in a wide variety of settings, from the honky-tonk surroundings of Lee’s Liquor Lounge, to the swank Dakota, where she fills the house with every performance. Thanks to incessant touring, her legion of fans stretches across the nation and around the world. She and the Vagabonds will be spending a lot of time in Europe this summer, and cap the season with two appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Unlike most of her previous albums, the new album, Sunshine, was recorded (analogue!) in the studio, yet ably captures the excitement and sass of a DATV performance. Reservations recommended.

Sunday, May 25

Butch Thompson Blues, Rags, and Stomps: An Homage to the Emporium of Jazz @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Pianist/clarinetist Thompson got his start with the Hall Brothers Jazz Band, who opened the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota back in 1966. It was an important tour stop for anyone playing traditional jazz, where you could buy set-ups, dance, and listen to the Hall Brothers backing some of the founders of the tradition. Thompson will be backed by some of the original members of the Hall Brothers: Charlie DeVore, cornet; Russ Hall, trombone; Mike Polad, piano; and Bill Evans, bass. They’ll be joined by drummer Peter Johnson and vocalist Hilary Thavis, who will sing some classic blues.

Monday, Tuesday, May 26, 27

Victor Wooten @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($37), 9pm ($27) Wooten is a five-time Grammy Winner, a founding member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, and winner of many awards for his electric bass playing. Thanks in part to a clean sound, he has the ability to keep things interesting while taking the lead for whole songs.

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, May 21

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) A classic blues pairing of guitarist/vocalist (Scott) and harp player (Blake). Both have long histories with other bands, and both still play with others, but when they get together, the creative energy explodes. Here they are doing a Brownie McGhee song just about a year ago.

 

Malamanya @ The Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Malamanya’s take on Cuban and Latin rhythms is both infectious and sensuous. The spacious venue with a large dance floor awaits salsa dancers and free-stylers alike. DJ Rambo Salinas will be spinning Latin and Chicano Soul before and between sets.

Thursday, May 22

Nikki & The Rue-Mates @ Sea Salt Eatery, Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) Can it get any better than catching some folk-rock and blues, hanging in Minnehaha Park, and enjoying the much-praised seafood at Sea Salt. Nikki & the guys will be singing outside, so naturally, this is a weather dependent gig. Here’s a video that shows you what you can expect.

American Composers Forum Showcase @ The Landmark Center Weyerhauser Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This is an inaugural event of the American Composers Forum, which recently moved into the Landmark Center. The Zeitgeist ensemble will perform new works by Gene Pritsker (NYC), Bruce Reiprich (Flagstaff), Joshua Harris (Denton, TX), and James May (Amery, WI).

Friday, May 23

Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 advance/$18 door) Zydeco Dance lesson at 7:30. Band plays at 8. It’s an Upriver Fais Do Do, as the Krewe de Walleye brings Broussard up from Louisiana and local cajun/zydeco dancers fill the floor. If you don’t feel the need to move to the classic creole and contemporary zydeco from Broussard & his bandmates, you better check your pulse.

Ronn Easton @ Famous Dave’s, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Ronn brings his considerable vocal skills to the BBQ joint, where he and his band will be playing uptown blues from the likes of ZZ Hill, Johnny Taylor, Robert Cray, and Tyrone Davis for dancers.

Tom Lieberman @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Vocalist/guitarist Lieberman was a member of the West Bank jazz trio Rio Nido back in the day. He’s continued to write, has had a song sung by Sesame Street’s Elmo, had another featured in the indie film Sweetland and has appeared on Prairie Home Companion. His songs swing, jump, and occasionally, veer into Louis Prima-style humor.

Saturday, May 24

Rhizosphere @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar)  Improvisation from a quartet that explores the fertile territory where the roots of music from around the world come together. Sounds from Europe, Asia, and the Americas interact spontaneously in an aural environment held together by the great American traditions of Jazz, Folk Music, and the Blues. Members of the group include Bob Fantauzzo, Native American and Chinese flutes; Gabriela Sweet, slide guitar & accordion; Mike Burns, guitar; and Sean Egan, clarinet.

Alma Andina @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30PM ($5) Four Chileans and two Americans who have lived in Chile perform Andean and Latin American music. The groups play a combination of percussion, guitar, charanago, flutes and of course, pan pipes.

Saturday, Sunday May 24, 25

Weekend Block Party @ Memory Lanes, Minneapolis. (Free)  If you’re not heading Up North for the weekend, you can enjoy the outdoors while listening to a cornucopia of mostly newer talent. Among the performers Saturday: Black Market Brass, Buffalo Moon, Southside Desire, Black Diet, Grolar Bears, Hotpants/Hipshaker Deejays. Sunday brings: Deadstring Brothers, L’Assasins; Ross Kleiner & the Thrill; DJs Shannon Blowtorch & Father Time, among others.

Sunday, May 25

La Abandonada Orquesta de Tango @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) A little tango music from the “ Golden Age of Tango,” played by Cory Grossman, Matt Mioller, Sara Pajunen, and Trish Hurd-Paczkowski.

Lamont Cranston & Willie Murphy: 3rd Annual West Bank Reunion @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) It’s s boogie down R&B, soulful, bluesy celebration with two of the stalwart bands of the West Bank, circa the late 70s and early 80s. Both are still going strong, filling dance floors wherever they play. Tomorrow’s a holiday, so even if you’re old enough to remember the revelry at the Cabooze and Union Bar when these bands played those venues, you can stay up and sleep late. Check out Willie & the band.

 

Monday, May 26

Jack Brass Band @ The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, Saint Paul. 10:30am, 11:45am, & 12:40pm. (Free) You’ll have three chances to take part in a Second Line Parade around the zoo grounds, led by the joyous sounds of the Jack Brass Band.

Tuesday, May 27

Paul Mayasich & Dan Schwalbe @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Two extraordinary guitarists go mano-a-mano for your listening (and dancing?) pleasure, backed by bassist Grant Wibben.

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.


Wayback Week. Music: 5.14 – 4.20

May 14, 2014
Mr Peabody is ready to show Sherman how to rock, 80's style.

Mr Peabody is ready to show Sherman how to rock, 80’s style.

It’s looking a little like Wayback Week, with some old favorites from decades past coming through town. Of course, we’ve plenty of contemporary artists performing as well. Throw in Art-A-Whirl, some visiting artists, and a legal brief full of lawyer bands and you’ve got an entertaining week ahead. Music lifts the spirit. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 14

Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Framework is Chris Bates, bass; Chris Olson, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums. They’ve been around as a group for a number of years, and each as a resume that stretches for pages. I enjoy their CD, simply entitled Framework, for its tight, melodic tunes. They play sporadically, due in part to the other commitments each has, so this is a good chance to catch them in a relaxed setting.

Thursday, May 15

Laura Caviani @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Wait a minute, you’re saying, isn’t Thursday Vocal Jazz Night at JC? Isn’t Laura a piano player? Well, yes it is, and though Laura is a wonderful pianist and often accompanies other singers, she has revealed that she has charming pipes with a song or two on her albums. Tonight she’ll be performing songs that she sang with her family when growing up. Accompanying her will be Chris Lomheim, piano; Bruce Heine, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, May 16

Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) The swingin’ chanteuse has Chris Lomheim on piano and Matt Peterson on bass to accompany her while she performs some swingin’ jazz and hipster pop.

Roseville HS Spring Concert feat: a Big Band composition from Michael Attias @ Roseville HS, Roseville. 7:30pm (Free) Pat Moriarty directs the music program at Roseville and this Spring Concert will feature three combos and three big bands. The evening will feature the premiere of a big band composition by NY saxophonist Michael Attias.

Nathan & Brian of the Fantastic Merlins

Nathan & Brian of the Fantastic Merlins

Fantastic Merlins w/Jean-Brice Godet @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) French Clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet is in town for a few days. He is a composer and also a free improviser, which means he’s the perfect foil for the Merlins: Nathan Hanson on sax; and Brian Roessler on bass. Expect music that will move you.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. Kenny seems to be very busy these days, choosing from among a wide range of musicians for different projects. This time the trumpet player has quartet that’s playing a lot of Monk, including Billy Peterson, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michele @ The Medina Ballroom, 500 Highway 55, Medina. 8:30pm ($12) O’Hagan and is crew head out to the Western ‘burbs to provide music that is not only easy on the ears, but easy to dance to. Ms Michele provides warm vocals, as on this sensuous song.

Saturday, May 17

Sublime Curve @ The Normandy Kitchen, downtown Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) “Chamber Jazz” in an intimate setting, featuring Jim Tice, keys; Stevie D, percussion; Jeff Moe, bass; Marc Partridge, guitar; and Tom Church, sax. It is a small place, so reservations are recommended.

Sunday, May 18

Ellen Lease/Pat Moriarty w/Michael Attias & Homer Lambrecht @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10)  Fantastic NYC-based saxophonist Michael Attias is in town for the premiere of his new big band piece (see above) so Pat and Ellen are taking the opportunity to perform with him. Homer Lambrecht is best known as both an avant garde jazz trombonist and as a composer of major orchestral works (commissions from the Min Orch and SPCO).  For this gig he’ll be doing live electronics.  Homer has developed a number of interactive soundscapes which will be used as the basis for improvisations that move in all directions.

Monday, May 19

Fantastic Merlins w/Jean-Brice Godet and The Atlantis Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. For the Merlins w/Godet, see Friday’s entry above. Add the thoroughly modern Atlantis Quartet. The result: late night contemporary jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, May 19, 20

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60), 9pm ($40,$50) One of the best jazz vocalists around, Mississippi native Wilson incorporates blues, country, and folk into her repertoire, all the time making each song completely her own. She’s won two Grammys, a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail and a number of other awards. Her genius at interpreting songs is evident in this video of her doing Jimi Henrix’s Little Wing.

Tuesday, May 20

Some members of the band

Some members of the band

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Adam’s been on the road for the last four weeks with the Youngblood Brass Band. He’s pumped, and he’s ready to lead the 17 piece orchestra in the songs they’ve recorded for an upcoming album, as well as some other band favorites. Always invigorating.

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, May 14

Bloodwashed Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Here’s a band that can publish a Twin Cities Who’s Who of alt-country. Led by Page Burkum (Cactus Blossoms) The Bloodwashed Band serves as the house band for House of Mercy Church in Saint Paul, playing a repertoire that includes songs by the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, and other familiar names in country and roots music. Other members include Chris Becknell, violin (Mursik); guitarist Jeremy Szopinski and keyboardist Erick Brandt,  both of the Urban Hillbilly Quartet; Quillan Roe, bass (Roe Family Singers); Levi Stugelmeyer, drums (Chm) and vocalist Angie Talle. I’ll be hosting both the radio show and at the 331 Club.

Idan Raichel Project @ O’Shaugnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($35, $45)  Here’s an event that will gather fans of world music. Producer, keyboardist, and composer Idan Raichel has become a global music icon since the unveiling of The Idan Raichel Project, a multi-ethnic tour de force that changed the face of Israeli popular music. The ten-piece Project charms audiences with entrancing, infectious, highly rhythmic  music sung in Hebrew, Arabic and the Ethiopian languages of Amharic and Tigrit. Though much of what they play is medium tempo, they can also rock out, as shown in this video.

Thursday, May 15

Attractive Nuisance Tour & Fundraiser @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 6pm ($15 advance/$20 door) Okay, who knew that there are not only lawyer bands, but at least four lawyer bands, all of whom will be performing for this fundraiser for the Minnesota Justice Foundation. They may be lawyers who wanna be rockers, or rockers who turned to law to support themselves. Either way, you get to see Noisy Withdrawal, The Abdomen, Bluff Country, and Uncommon Roots. MMC is co-sponsoring this event, since the MN Justice Foundation will be working with them to provide free legal services to musicians.

The Blasters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Wow! There are many folks in our Twin Towns who are highly anticipating this performance. The Blasters first exploded onto the music scene back in the early 80s, with a blend of blues, rockabilly, and early rock n’ roll delivered with the energy of punk. It’s a hot ticket, so it might not be a good idea to buy one in advance. Piñata Protest opens. Watch em rock out.

Friday, May 16

Unknown-1Semi-Twang @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Back to Lee’s for another blast from the past that’s current once again. Those of us who fondly remember the R&B Cadets out of Milwaukee will recognize its founder John Sieger, who went on to form Semi-Twang, that some have called a pre-curser to alt-country. Though their first album, released in 1988, was critically well-received, sales were flat. Fast forward to 2009 and a reunion of the band that went very well, resulting in a second, and now a third album. Call it Americana, roots, alt-country. It doesn’t matter. What matters is Sieger is a terrific songwriter, and the band provides the spice that turns a simple stew into a tasty gumbo.

Paul Geremia @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Geremia has been on the road since the 60s, earning a well-deserved reputation as a bluesman with an affinity for early blues and jazz, fingerpicking originals as well as songs from the likes of Bl;ind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell, and others. Dave Van Ronk called him one of “the best white blues players alive.” It’s a small music room at the Bayport, where you can get some might fine BBQ, as well as a branded alcohol called White Lightning. With Geremia, the ‘Q, and drinks, you can settle in for a mighty fine evening of classic blues.

Friday – Sunday, May 16, 17, 18

Art-A-Whirl @ Various Studios, NE Minneapolis. I’m listing this since there will be many music performances at different buildings throughout the tour, including a live broadcast of Lolly Obeda’s Sugar Shop on Friday afternoon at the PNA Hall, and KFAI Deejays at both PNA Hall and studio #332 in Northrup King on Friday and Saturday. More information about At-A-Whirl is available here.

Saturday, May 17

It's back to the future with this cartoon, which may or may not be shown.

It’s back to the future with this cartoon, which may or may not be shown.

Ukelele Alley Cartoon ExtravaGonzo w/Dakota Dave Hull @ The Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. Noon ($8, $5 12 and under) It’s a Saturday Family Matinee, presented by Luke the Uke and featuring DJ Mister Gosh and VJ Miss Ian spinning 78s and celluloid for kids of all ages. Special guest Dakota Dave Hull will be finger picking.

Sunday, May 18

Who Nu @ Jimmy’s Food & Drink, 1132 East County Road E, Vadnais Heights. 2:30pm – 6:30pm (No cover) Here’s a pleasant Sunday afternoon full of old school funk & soul, with guest vocalists Dorothy Doring, Donald Thomas, and Dee Miller. Why I’ll bet some folks even get up and dance.

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Hillman was an original member of the Byrds, whose album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, a seminal country-rock album. He went on to play in the Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, and the Desert Rose Band. Multi-instrumentalist Herb Pedersen was also in the Desert Rose band, and has collaborated with the likes of Earl Scruggs, The Dillards, Stephen Still, Emmylou Harris and many more. The two have recorded and toured behind several acclaimed albums of acoustic country and bluegrass songs. It’s great to have them here.

Monday, May 19

David Lindley @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($22) Lindley’s hair may now be gray, but he still has an impish smile, which perfectly reflects his wide-ranging taste in music, not to mention his wizardry with many things stringed. Back in the 70s he made waves as a supporting player for folks ranging from Jackson Browne, and Linda Ronstadt, to Bob Dylan and Crosby & Nash. His band El Rayo-X earned a cult following, and a 2011 collaboration with Browne got a Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. A delightful evening awaits. Here’s a video from last year.

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.

 

 

 

 


Another Good Week. Music: 5.7 – 5.13

May 7, 2014

images-1From young jazz musicians to boomer rockers, an oratorio on slavery and some mighty fine blues, we are privileged to be able to choose from a rich palette of music here in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Music certainly lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 7

Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Two acoustic guitars + Jazz + Bluegrass + Two creative minds + Two virtuosos = Fireworks for guitar lovers.

O'Brien at play

O’Brien at play

Michael O’Brien Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Minneapolis bassist O’Brien has been based in Brooklyn for a few years now, and lately has been traveling (and playing) around the world. He’ll be joined tonight by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Tanner Taylor, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums; to rework some of his old arrangements and play songs from his fine CD, Tunes I Like to Play, which you can sample on his website.

Thursday, May 8

Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ The Dakota. 7pm (No Cover) When the sweet vocals of Charmin Michelle are combined with the tasteful, swinging sounds of Joel Shapira’s acoustic guitar, the results are sublime. Tonight they’re joined by friends on sax, bass & drums to round out an engaging evening of music.

Maurice Jacox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Maurice brings his vocal chops to the “basement family room” of jazz. Thomas West will accompany him on the JC piano.

The Dakota Combo @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free) In September of each year, an open audition is held for high school students to study and perform as part of the Dakota Combo. They study with bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail, and then perform at various venues and schools during the school year. This marks the Spring concert for the group, which is as talented a group of young musicians as you can find. Full disclosure: I chair the organization that sponsors the group.

Friday, May 9

Paula Lammers @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Lammers, a sweetly swinging vocalist, teams up with Phil Aaron on piano and Ray Siegel on bass to deliver an evening of standards seasoned with some under-recorded gems. Here she is doing No Moon at All.

Will Kjeer/Levi Schwartzberg Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Here are two high school seniors who are members of the Dakota Combo and who also have been playing professionally around town. Pianist Will Kjeer has been playing with his own group, Blue Haven, as well as with veterans such as Steve Kenny, Dave Brittain, & Jana Nyberg. Levi Schwartzberg plays both vibes and piano in bands such as Blue Haven, Sound Skirmish, and the Cosmic Troubadours. Both are finishing their second year with the Dakota Combo and will be heading off to college next fall.

Courageous Endeavors CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm, ($8) Four twenty-somethings, each of whom has been making his mark in Twin Cities jazz, are releasing Prototype, their debut album of original songs. Though the use of a Fender Rhodes gives it a slightly 70s vibe, the time signatures and melodies are 21st Century. The group includes Nelson Devereaux, saxes; Joe Strachan, Fender Rhodes; Brian Courage, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, May 10

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Group 47 @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, 308 Prince Street, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Trumpeter (Flumpeter?) Steve Kenny has gathered some of the best young talent around for this group: pianist Will Kjeer is finishing up his senior year in high school; Thomas Strommen, sax, is a sophomore at UW-River Falls; drummer Alex Burgess also studies at River Falls; while bassist Adam Tucker has been playing and recording music in the Twin Cities for a number of years. Though their new album, Straight to Vinyl, won’t be out for another month, you can hear some previews in the comfy confines of a house concert. For tickets and more info, go to http://Sweet317.com.

Monday, May 12

Brian Grivna @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Tenor sax player Grivna is a veteran of the Buddy Rich Orchestra, the Guthrie. He’s toured with the Minnesota Orchestra and with Bobby McFerrin and the SPCO. He continues to work with both the Orchestra and SPCO, as well as in the pit band for touring shows. His appearances at Jazz Central are always a delight.

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, May 7

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) If anyone ever asks how to define Americana music, point them to Koskinen’s recordings. With his writing and singing, Koskinen has a way of connecting with the hopes and fears of both toilers and dreamers. His incisive guitar playing draws from rock n’ roll, country and even some classic folk.

Thursday, May 8

Cooker John & Mikkel Beckmen @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Mikkel Beckmen, of the rub board and found percussion, brings in a different guest each week for a genial gathering of business folk, old hippies, and young fans of roots music. This week he’s invited fingerpicker/acoustic blues singer Cooker John to share the stage.

Youngblood Brass Band @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12)  Madison is about as unlikely a place for a New Orleans Brass Band as Minneapolis, but these guys have made it work. YBB has collaborated with hip-hop artists, sold out dates in over 20 countries and continue to stretch boundaries and gain fans. Twin Cities trumpeter Adam Meckler has been playing with them on their recent tour through the west, which has also included a number of workshops in elementary and high schools. Opening is Mpls rapper Botzy.

 

Friday, May 9

Dee Miller Band @ The Sherwood Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) This venue has remained under the radar as far as I know. Not so The Dee Miller Band, with the potent combination of Miller on take-no-prisoners vocals and Jimi “Primetime” Smith on guitar.

Friday, Saturday, May 9, 10

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) The piano-pounding sassy singer from Kansas City has been appearing at the Dakota so often, she’s probably sampled most of their dinners. She has a new CD, The Beautiful Bones, about to be released, and it’s already garnering praise, so expect some new material.

Saturday, May 10

Unknown-2TU Dance 10th Anniversary Concert @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23 – $48) It’s been ten years since Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, both veterans of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, started their own troupe. They are marking the anniversary with the premiere of Hikari, an Ordway-commissioned pice created by Uri Sands in collaboration with master wood block print artist Hiroki Morinoue. Uri Sands will also perform Alvin Ailey’s Twin Cities with special guest Laurel Keen, and the troupe will also perform Lady, a signature piece for the company, and the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ One. All in all, a very special evening for fans of dance.

Let My People Go! A Spiritual Journey Along the Underground Railway @ Hamline United Methodist Church, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20, $30) This is a concert-length oratorio featuring T. Mychael Rambo and Aimee K. Bryant in the roles of narrator, and the 75-voice Oratorio Society Chorus. It’s presented by the Oratorio Society of Minnesota. In essence, the piece by composer Dolnald McCulloug interweaves spirituals into a script that explores the ingenuity of America’s slaves, who created “coded” messages within much of their music.

Boom Boom Steve & The Knockouts @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) This small East Metro club provides an intimate space for listening to the passionate harp playing of Boom Boom Steve, with John Franken, guitar; John Shroeder, bass; and Dwight Dario on drums. One or two couples can also dance.

Sunday, May 11

Pat Donahue & Daddy Squeeze @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip jar) Both Donahue and Dan Newton are expertly conversant in a number of genres. The master finger-picking guitarist and wizard of the “stomach Steinway” combine for an evening of music that may range from blues to gypsy jazz to polkas.

Sultans of String @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) This Canadian quartet of two guitars, bass, and fiddle has received raves wherever they go, with their blend of gypsy jazz, Spanish flamenco, Arabic folk, and other genre-blending sounds.

Flamin’ Groovies @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) Comning out of San Francisco in 1965, The Groovies played what would eventually become known as power pop, using a two-guitar attack to rock up some r&b, classic rock n’ roll, and originals. They were mostly ignored, and certainly outsold by the more psychedelic bands of the time. After the inevitably splintering, quitting, they became cult favorites. After finally reuniting a couple of years ago, they are on the move and on tour. They still rock out, as you can see in the video below. Might Mofos open.

 

Monday, May 12

Willie Murphy’s Blue Monday Jam @ Richfield American Legion, Richfield 7pm (Tip Jar) Willie’s been doing a Blue Monday Jam for  decades, though the location has changed from time to time, as when the old Viking Bar closed. You never know who will show up and take part, but you do know it will be fun, as Willie goes through a repertoire that includes old rock n’ roll, blues, and originals.

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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