This week starts the regular programming at the Vieux Carre, located in the old Artists’ Quarter space in the Hamm Building in downtown Saint Paul. They will be featuring resident talent, with jazz at least two nights a week and during early evening (5:30 – 7:30pm). This week also features what has become a favorite festival of Twin Citizens – the fifth edition of The Roots, Rock, and Deep Blues Festival, which has expanded to four stages this year. We are blessed with considerable resident talent and an ability to attract lots of visiting talent. Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, July 15
Pete Whitman X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Oh boy, Whitman is bringing his ten-piece little big band out to play, something that’s been mighty rare in the last 18 months. the membership sometimes varies, but you’ll find some of the best players in town in this aggregation.
Thursday, July 16
Chris Lomheim Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($?) Even before its official opening this past Tuesday, The Vieux was named as one of the best Speakeasy Bars in town, a nod to it’s basement location, dark atmosphere and craft cocktails. But the real reason to go there tonight is to hear the wonderful piano playing of Chris Lomheim, who can transport you to wonderful places with his ethereal solos.
Linda Peterson Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) The piano playing daughter of the Peterson clan has spent a lifetime successfully singing her way into the hearts of Southern Californians. Now Peterson is back in town and entertaining us.
The Jazz Bridge Project @ SW Craft Bar (Senor Wongs), Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) I haven’t heard of this group before, though they have been playing every once in a while for a couple of years or so. I’ve certainly heard of half of its players: Sten, Ron, and Ted. Given the quality of their playing alone, this group seems to be a worthwhile listen. Sten Johnson, sax; Roger Johnson, guitar; Ron Evaniuk, upright bass; Bill Paul, percussion, Ted Godbout, keys; and Rajiah Johnson, flute.
Tuesday, July 21
Jeremy Walker Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Pianist Walker is a thoughtful, imaginative composer, whether writing a long form piece for quartet and choir or improvising a solo. He works with a variety of resident and visiting musicians who are all high caliber players. Here’s a video with a couple of them.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGH7IsjeLm0
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, July 15
Paul Seeba @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Though he now lives in Saint Paul, singer/songwriter Seeba is from the Iron Range, and his songs evoke the Midwest. In fact, one of his songs, Mitchell Yards is about the historic switching yards of Hibbing, and will be used in a PBS documentary about the site.
New Shoes @ The Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7 pm ($5) Now that the Vieux Carre (voo ma-ray) is officially opened, the scheduling will begin. Tonight it’s New Shoes (Gary Raynor, Richard Kreihn, Joe Savage, Peter Johnson), all veterans of the Guys All Star Shoe band of Prairie Home Companion fame. They’re well-versed in all manners of music.
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3and 106.7FM), 7pm – 8pm (331 Club – tip Jar) If you like the style of Mississippi blues as practiced by Skip James, you’ll love this show, as “Duck’ Holmes is a proponent of the distinctive “Beltonia” style as practiced by James. Holmes runs the Blue Front in Bentonia, one of the oldest juke joints in Mississippi. After years of causal playing, he began performing in ernest in the 2000s, and has earned a number of awards and accolades since. He’ll be playing one show at the 331, followed by Jack Klatt from 8-9pm. He’ll also be playing at the Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival Saturday, and may show up at other venues around town (Hell’s Kitchen Brunch on Sunday).
Thursday, July 16LP Music @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10). Essentially, this is an all-star group of area players, performing improvised funk, including: Gram,my winnings Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; multi-instrumentalist Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals.
Friday, July 17
Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Pre-Party with Miss Tess & the Talkbacks and the Dieselfitters @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Fans of Eilen Jewell will find much to like inMiss Tess & the Talkbacks. Miss Tess writes and performs songs that are part Honky-Tonk, part Americana, with a touch of Western Swing, and a pinch of old time jazz. The rockabilly/honkytonk Dieselfitters open at 7pm, and Miss Tess comes on at 9pm.
Como Avenue Jug Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Booking at the new Vieux Carre will center on resident talent, with at least two evenings a week dedicated to jazz and the other evenings featuring mostly acoustic acts. Tonight it’s those purveyors of happiness, The Como Avenue Jug Band.
Left Lane Cruiser @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Opening by Catl. Indiana’s gut-bucket blues trio has been a favorite of area fans since they first started showing up at the original Deep Blues Festival back in 2007. Opening is Toronto’s own punk-blues duo, Catl.
Saturday, July 18
Roots, Rock and Deep Blues Festival at Harriet Brewing and Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. Noon – Midnight ($15 advance, $20 door) Four, count em’, four stages, overflowing with talent, from the home-grown – Spider John Koerner, Charlie Parr, Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters, Black Market Brass – to visitors such as Left-Lane Cruiser, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Kent Burnside and more. Complete with food trucks, deejays, and everything else that made this festival win several “Best of” awards last year.
Blind Boys of Alabama @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45 – $50) Soul stirring, rafter shaking gospel music from a group with a tradition that goes back 70 years, though they aren’t afraid of non-gospel songs with feeling, or in fact, pairing up with various pop/soul/jazz acts.
Otto, Rae, and Porter @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) A trio of rootsy acts: Jeremy Porter & the Tucos, 9:30pm. Jillian Rae Band, 10:30pm, Doug Otto & the Getaways, 11:30pm
Sunday, July 19
Joe & Vicky Price @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) Delta-inspired blues from Iowa. The Prices rightfully have a strong following in the area. Have some brunch and find out why.Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Brookside Bar & Grill, Marine on Saint Croix. 3pm (No Cover) Take a road trip to the riverside town north of Stillwater to catch this guitar/blues harp duo taking on classic blues, Dylan, and even the Grateful Dead. Word is, they’ll have some friends along too, to enriched the music.
Monday, July 20
Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Grab a cuppa Joe and listen to a finger-picking champion.
For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.