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.
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.
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
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.
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
Semi-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
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.