State Fair Music, Part 2: 8.29 – 9.4

August 29, 2018

The Leinie Lodge Stage has many concerts during the Fair

So it’s the second week of The Minnesota State Fair. I’ve noted some of the acts on the free stages separately after Blues, Roots, and Other listings. Besides the music of the Fair, we have a few visiting artists of note, and our talented musicians to lift our spirits and cause us to dance. It’s true. Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 29

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Pianist/clarinetist Thompsonand guitarist/vocalist Donahuehave an easy camaraderie, with a bit of humor thrown in every once in a while, making for a delightful evening of traditional jazz and blues.

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) I believe this is the last of Kjeer’s monthly summer residency at the Vieux. Joining the talented pianist are Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Big Peach @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Big Peach is Patrick Adkins,piano; Benjamin Beyenne, drums; and sam Worthington, bass.  All were members of the Dakota Combo a few years ago, and continue to grow as artists.

Thursday, August 30

Julian Manzara & Graydon Peterson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Guitarist/vocalist Manzarawill be joined by bassist Peterson for Vocal Night at the basement venue.

Regional Jazz Trio @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5-10) Their understated name belies the vast amount of talent and creativity in this group:JT Bates, drums; Anthony Cox, bass; and Michael Lewis, saxophones.

Friday, August 31

Aja Parham’s Tribute to Sarah Vaughn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Classically trained vocalist Parhamis equally adept at show tunes, jazz, R&B, and Motown. Tonight she concentrates on jazz, as she sings the music of Sarah Vaughn.

Saturday, September 1

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen & Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; bring their creative interpretations of standards to the intimate bar.

Sunday, September 2

Geoffrey Keezer Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($30, $35) Pianist Keezerwas already working with Art Blakey by the time he was 18. He’s collaborated with Sting, Wayne Shorter, and Christian McBride, among others, recorded with Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves, has been nominated for a Grammy a number of times, and notably, played with Ray Brown for a few years. He’s bringing special guest vocalist Gillian Margotwith him. She’s studied with Oscar Peterson and Freddy Cole, and sung with Sting, Kathleen Battle, Kevin Mahogany, Robert Glasper and a number of classical orchestras. They’ll be joined by our own stars, Jaff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Tuesday, September 4

Acme Jazz Company w/Arne Fogel @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The newly enlarged lounge at Crooners will reverberate with big band sounds, with special guest vocalist Arne Fogel.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 29

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM),7pm (3312 Club – Tip Jar) The Urban Hillbilly Quartethas  been playing together for 18 years now, developing a mix of country, bluegrass, and rock n’ roll that would make the Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons proud. The show is being broadcast from the State Fair Education Building, after which the band will head to the 331 Club, where you can catch them live.

Salsa Del Soul @ Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm ($6) Includes museum admission from 4pm – 9pm. Listeners in the Museum’s courtyard will have a hard time sitting still as Salsa del Soulbrings various Latin rhythms to the courtyard’s stage.

Radio Joe & the JazzBo’s @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Vintage swing, boogie-woogie, and jump blues to keep heads bopping, feet tapping, and the dance floor filled.

Thursday, August 30

Roosevelt Collier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Collierplays pedal and steel guitar, having come up playing “sacred steel” with his uncle and cousins in the Lee boys in Florida. He’s lent his talents to the Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy, The String Cheese Incident, Los Lobos, and more.

High & Mighty @ Lord Fletcher’s on the Lake, Spring Park. 6-9pm (No Cover) Head out to party central on Lake Minnetonka to catch this R&B/soul/pop horn band.

Erik Koskinen @ Music at Mears, Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) For the last show of the season, the folks at Music in Mears brings vocalist/guitarist/composer Koskinenand his unflinching country music to the delightful series. Jake Jones opens, with a blend of Americana, Rock n’ Roll, and Blues.

Friday, August 31

Joyann Parker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Talented vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, and composer Parker’s record, Hard to Love, recently received a very favorable review in DownBeat magazine, while Parker herself has been nominated as a Rising Star for the Blues Blast Awards.

Saturday, September 1

Maurice Jacox @ Lola’s on the Lake, 3000 East Calhoun Blvd, Minneapolis. 4-7pm (Free) As the late afternoon sets over Bde Maka Ska, enjoy the wings, fish, and other soulful food while vocalist Maurice Jacox delivers a mix of soul, jazz, R&B, and even some acoustic Motown. Should make for a lovely evening.

Sunday, September 2

5th Annual Minnesota Salsa Festival @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) Things get started with DJs spinning salsa hits, then it’s time for a salsa lesson at 7:30 and live music at 8pm. Bands include Charanga Tropical, and the 18-piece La Gran Charanga, featuring members from Malamanya, Salsa del Soul, Seven Steps to Havana and other Twin Cities bands. Also performing: Craig Russo and Vivana Pintado.

Monday, September 3

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners @ Harriet Lake Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Vintage, often sassy, jazz and barrelhouse blues, including originals by the group featuring Miss Myra, vocals & guitar; and the Moonshiners: Zane Fitzgerald Palmer, guitar; Dolly Dagger, drums; and Ike Heath, tuba.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 3,4

Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $80, $70) Excuse me if I geek out about Ms Spector, one of my favorite rock n’ roll singers from my youth. Their song Walking in the Rain won a Grammy in 1965. The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and their huge hit Be My Baby, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992. I recall seeing Ronnie and the original Ronettes at a Bronx bowling lane with Murray the “K” even though they didn’t perform. Previous appearances at the Dakota have shown her be as exciting a performer as when she appeared at the Brooklyn Fox more than 50 years ago.

For more blues (and some roots), The MN Blues Society’s calendar is quite omprehensive. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye.

State Fair Music (Free w/Admission to the Fair)

Wednesday, August 29 

Ticket To Brasil @ The International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, Noon, 1:15pm

Randy Sabien & the Fiddlehead Band @ The Schell’s Stage. 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 5:45pm

Annie Mack @ the International Bazaar Stage. 3:15, 4:30,5:45pm

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ RC’s BBQ. 6pm

Thursday, August 30

Ticket To Brasil @ The International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, Noon, 1:15pm

Randy Sabien & the Fiddlehead Band @ The Schell’s Stage. 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 5:45pm

Annie Mack @ the International Bazaar Stage. 3:15, 4:30,5:45pm

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ RC’s BBQ. 6pm

Friday, August 31

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am

Martin Devaney @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am; 1pm

MBOTMA presents the Minnesota Americana Roots Contest @ The Schell’s Stage. 11:30am – 2:15pm Featuring close-harmony duos

Saturday, September 1

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am

MBOTMA presents the Minnesota Americana Roots Contest @ The Schell’s Stage. 11:30am – 2:15pm Featuring bluegrass groups

Martin Devaney @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 4:45pm

Sunday, September 2

Terrance Simein & the Zydeco Experience @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 3:30pm,4:45 pm

Har Mar Superstar @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm

Monday, September 3

Terrance Simein & the Zydeco Experience @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 3:30pm,4:45 pm

Har Mar Superstar @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm


State Fair Music and More: 8.22 -8.28

August 22, 2018

Design by Tim Nyberg, based on my photo

The Minnesota state Fair begins on Thursday, and since the Grandstand acts are well-publicized, I’ve listed some of the notable acts on the free stages, listed separately after Blues, Roots, and other. Outside the Fair, we have another week of intriguing music, with new jazz groups popping up, some see-worthy visitors, and reliable resident groups. Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 22

Ben Sidran’s 75th Birthday @ Crooners Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($30) Pianist/vocalist Ben Sidran started playing boogie-woogie as a child, eventually played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs while in school at Madison, got a PhD in England, where he was a session player for Eric Clapton, The Rolling stones, and Peter Frampton, joined Miller’s band in California, appearing on four albums, and eventually recorded over 30 albums under his own name, bringing jazz to the masses. He hosted a number of jazz radio programs for NPR, a show for VH1, and has written four books, including one of interviews with musicians like Miles Davis and Art Blakey. He’s a renaissance man who’s comfortable living in Madison, and we’re lucky he does shows here with some regularity. Sidran will be accompanied by his son Leo on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenni Holmen on reeds.

Louis Armstrong Night w/The Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Get your traditional jazz here, with an emphasis on the music of Louis Armstrong. The Aces are: Dan Eickmeier, trumpet; Tony Balluff, clarinet; Rick Carlson, piano; Josh Granowski, string bass; and Dave Michael, drums.

Thursday, August 23

Rhythm’s Mama @ Studio Z, Saint Paul.7:30pm ($10?) Babatunde Lea; percussion; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Will Kjeer, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; Taaji Maalik Hill, percussion. With two percussionists and a drummer this group, the name becomes apparent.

Connie Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Olsen is a Mpls native who studied in Los Angeles and consequently worked with many of that towns’ musicians, as well as The Peter Duchin Big Band, The Peter Graves Orchestra, and musicians from The Manhattan Transfer, Brian Selzer Band, and the bands of Prince and Madonna.

Leo Sidran’s Cool School @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Drummer/composer/producer Leo Sidran is the son of Ben Sidran (see Wednesday), who has created a successful career as a film scorer and record producer. He co-produced an academy award winning song from the Motorcycle diaries, and has produced all ofnhis father’s albums for the last decade, in addition to playing with such luminaries as Phil Woods, David Fathead Newman, Clark Terry, and dave Grusin. Tonight he’ll be playing music froths latest album, Cool School, a tribute to the music of Michael Franks.

Friday, August 24

Happy Apple @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm  ($20, $25) The trioof Dave King, drums; Erik Fratzke, electric bass; and Michael Lewis, saxophone have been plying their unique version of jazz since the mid-90s. They’ve a complete grasp of jazz history, and can go from a beautiful ballad to free-jazz, bebop, and free-bop with ease. A bonus – the free association cultural ad-libs by King.

SPACE @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Here’s another group of talented young musicians – Jack Courtright, trombone; Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Luke Peterson, drums.

Saturday, August 25

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm: Bassist James Buckley & guitarist Tim Sparks have played together with some regularity. At 8:30pm the Sam Miltich-Dave Karr Quartet takes the stage. Guitaristn Miltich & saxophonist Karr have a natural communication, resulting in a swinging combo.

Monday, August 27

Trio KTB @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Trio KTB is the core rhythm section of Group 47 – Will Kjeer, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Their performance will be followed by a jam at 10pm.

Tuesday, August 28

Nichols/Bates/Bates @Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) A-listers Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums, continue the Shifting Paradigm Records Tuesday Night residency at the Vieux.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, August 22

Don Scott and Roseanne Licciardi on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm(90.3FM),m7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/songwriter and vocalist Scott founded the legendary Dustbowl Blues Band back in 21970, and has been performing throughout there U.S. and Europe. Percussionist Roseanne Licciardi studied classical dance and piano and the rhythms of Africa. The couple winter in Zihuatenejo, Mexico and play there in various restaurants and bars.

Honky Tonk Jump @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm dance lessons, 9pm Music ($5) Texas dance hall music – swinging enough to bring out dancers for swing dance night at Lee’s, from: Daddy Squeeze, accordion & vocals; Tom Schaefer, violin; Dan Lowinger, guitar; Vaughn Assisting, bass; and Deal Galhager, drums and percussion.

Thursday, August 23

Due North @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. Doors: 7pm, Music: 9pm? ($10) An intriguing gig, as Due North is an A Capella quintet from the Twin Cities that sings songs by artists ranging from Daft Punk and Miley cyrus to The eagles and Alicia Keys.

Friday, August 24

Cuban Dance Party @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Malamanya’s lead singer Zusel curates a night of Cuban music and Social Dancing. I assume that it’s recorded music, but I could be wrong.

Nikki & The Ruemates @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Nikki’s clear-as-a-bell vocals, plus her guitar playing, not to mention the outstanding guitar work of Rich Rue, always fills up the little NE bar as they play blues and folk-rock. .

Friday, Saturday, August 24, 25

Hipshaker’s16th Anniversary @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s a dance party celebration of rare funk n’ soul from the 60s and 70s, all delivered via 45s.

Saturday, August 25

Alejandro Escovedo/Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $60) It’s a night of Texas roadhouse music, though a bit more lyrical than you would guess from that phrase. Escovedo is a renowned singer/songwriter in Americana circles. He started out in the punk band The Nuns, went on to the country-rock Rank and File, and starting in ’92, released a series of acclaimed solo albums. No Depression Magazine named him Artist of the Decade in 1998, and he won the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Ely is a Texas songwriter with a bent for rock and poetic lyrics. He was an original member of the Flatlanders, sang backup for The Clash, and was a member of Los Super Seven.

Willie Murphy @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) The venerable rocker/R&B multi-instrumentalist and singer Willie Murphy brings his band and his original music as well as his unique take on classics, to what may be the best dance floor in town.

Sunday, August 26

Asleep at the Wheel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($35, $40, $45),9pm ($30, $40, $45) Ray Benson and his bandmates in the 8-piece Asleep at the Wheel have been playing Western Swing for 48 years, celebrating the genre’s unique mix of country music and swinging jazz. Here they are with a Bob Wills tune.

“That’ll Be the Day” @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm ($25) Vocalist Colleen Raye and guitarist Wayne Luchau head up this tribute to the music of Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, and Gene Pitney.

Tuesday, August 28

Poco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60), 9pm ($35, $45, $50) Country-rock pioneers Poco was formed after the breakup of Buffalo Springfield, when Richie Furay and Jim Messina joined with Rusty Young and George Grantham. Though they’ve had a number of personnel changes over the years, Rusty Young remains as the only original member. The current quartet only plays sporadic shows, so this is a rare chance to hear this group, whose members play ten instruments between them.

Sprig of That w/The Orange Mighty Trio @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul 7pm (Tip Jar) Sprig of That is: Isabell Damman, fiddle; Ilan Blanck, guitar; and Krissy Bergmark, tabla. They describe their music as instrumental Newgrass/folk music. City Pages describes the music of the Orange Mighty Trio as “Maverick Chamber music.”

State Fair Music (Free w/Fair Entry)

Thursday, Friday, August 23, 24

The Last Revel @ West End Stage. 8pm. A Minneapolis trio that uses multi-instrumental talent to deliver”Front Porch Americans.”

Tower of Power @ The Leine Lodge Bandshell. 8:30pm ToP, the 10-piece funk ’n soul band from Oakland, is  celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, and are still sharp as your barber’s razor, as can be found on their recent release, Soul Side of Town. I recently interviewed leader Emilio Castillo, which you can read here. 

Saturday, Sunday, August 25, 26

Ipso Facto @ The International Bazaar Stage. 8pm. Funky, funky reggae, and oh yeah,  some straight-up funk..

Mayda @ West End Stage. 8pm. R&B-Infused pop.

Bodeans @ The Leine Lodge Bandshell. 8:30pm. They just might be Minnesota’s favorite Wisconsin rock band, as well as favorites of anyone who first heard their high energy music in the 80s, or more recently, their almost annual shows at the MN Zoo.

Monday, Tuesday, August 27, 28

En Vogue @ The Leine Lodge Bandshell. 8:30pm. En Vogue is considered one of the best female vocal groups of all time. This R&B trio from the 90s has sold more than 20 million records, received seven Grammy nominations, seven MTV Video Music Awards, and three Soul Train AwardsHere’s your chance to hear them sing such hits as Hold On, My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get it), and others.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye


Tower of Power Interview

August 21, 2018

East Bay Grease – Tower of Power’s first album

If you think You Ought to be Having Fun, even though the phrase You’re Still a Young Man (or woman) no longer fits you, but you know What is Hip, and you want to go Down To The Nightclub to get a Soul Vaccination, than you should head to the Soul Side of Town. That’s the name of the album that Tower of Power released in June to celebrate their 50thAnniversary. It became their first Number 1 on Billboard, debuting atop the charts for both Jazz Albums and ContemporaryJazz Albums.

Downbeat says of the album ” this 50th-anniversary recording affirms the trademarks of the meticulous 10-piece ensemble: a razor-sharp horn section of distinctive saxophone drama, versatile lead vocalists, song titles demanding the listener join in the fun and just enough variety to avoid predictability.”

Here’s a cut.

Tower of Power is popular enough to sell out two gigs a night during four-night stands at the Dakota each year. They’ll be appearing at the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday and Friday, August 23rdand 24th where you can see them on the Leinie Lodge Stage. I had the opportunity to conduct a phone interview with founder/leader Emilio Castillo a couple of weeks before their appearance. The following version of the interview has been slightly edited for clarity and length.

When you first thought of the idea of having a band what was your inspiration? What made you want to do that?

(Slight chuckle and pause) Well, I got caught stealing a t-shirt. My dad told me, “You’ve got to come up with something to keep you out of trouble or you’re never coming out of that room again.” Well, the Beatles had just come out and I said, “I want to play music Dad.” We started the band that day, and then we learned how to play. We did it completely backwards.

How did you recruit nine other people to be in the band?

Well, when I started we were just a little four-piece and started playing rock n’ roll. It wasn’t until we’d been playing for a couple of years that I really learned how to play and started to get into soul music. I saw this band called the Spyders, and they had a horn section. The next day I hired a trumpet player, that was Nick Gilette, and I got addicted to horn players. Next thing I knew I had five horns. (Editors Note: Steve “Doc” Kupka, baritone sax and co-writer with Castillo of the band’s songs, joined the band on August 13, 1968, which is the date the band notes as its beginning.)

You’ve managed to keep a strong horn section for over 50 years. Congratulations on that as well as a great rhythm section. How is it you’ve managed to stay so tight, when there’s been a number of personnel changes over the years?

You know, it was a trademark for us when we first started. Like I said, I was patterning us after the Spyders, and that was their signature, they were soon tight. So back in the day, that’s what we always did. You’re going to stop it on a dime, you’re going to start together, do these things just really tight. We’ve been doing that for so many years. Now, we play so much that we keep it tight.

It is unusual for such a large band to last so long. What do you attribute that to?

These days, I tell everybody that God did it, I just showed up. For the first half of my career, I made every mistake possible known to man. God got my attention, I sobered up, we started praying together, and things have been better ever since. The other thing is, we make the music exactly the way we want it to be. We stopped chasing trends years ago. We went through a little period about ten years into our career where the record company was trying to get us to change the way we sounded. They wanted us to sound like other bands. We tried to do that, but always sounded like ourselves, and for a while, thought that was a curse, but when things dried up for us, I told the guys, let’s just make the music the way we make it. As soon as we did, things got better. We realized it’s not a curse that we don’t sound like other guys, it’s a blessing.

 

The Tower of Power Horns have a long history of providing background for many other artists. How did that come about?

Early in our career, we got a call one night from Nick Gravenites, who was a singer for Big Brother& The Holding Company. He used to do a lot of gigs with Mike Bloomfield, and we used to play with them a lot. He called us up and said, “What are you doing? We’re over at Wally Heider’s studio in San Francisco.” This was the middle of the night. He said, “Why don’t you guys come over. We’ve got a song that would sound good with horns.” We went over there, and made up some parts, it sounded good. We walked out and he gave us some money. We were like, “What’s this for?” And he said, cause you came over. A couple of months later, same thing – middle of the night, Carlos Santana calls. We knew him. We’d played lots of gigs with him, and he said, “We have this song, Everybody’s Everything, and think it would sound real good with horns. Why don’t you guys come over to CBS Studio and let’s see what we can do.” And we did, made up some parts, and within a week it was on the radio.

It was a big hit, and everybody’s going “Wow, Santana with horns, who’s that.”  Word got out and before you knew it, Elton John was calling us, and we were just playing with everybody. There’s a lot of guitar players, billions, but there’s probably only five horn sections in the world. We happened to be five-piece, and tight, and people like it.

Now you have a brand-new album that debuted at # one on some of the charts as soon as it came out. It’s a great album. I’ve been a fan since the early days, and to me it’s very classic, yet has some modern touches. How did that come about?

The band, from The Soul Side of Town

It took a long time. You know we’re a working band. So we have to go in and out (of the studio), but the last three years we worked on it the most. We did two albums. We have one waiting in the wings. It’ll come out in about a year. I worked with Joe Vanelli, who produced all those great records for his brother Gino Vanelli over the years. He’s a skilled producer and engineer and he pushed me on every level – harmonically, rhythmically, and technically. I think it’s one of the best records I’ve ever made in my career.

It really fulfills, all the way through. How many of the songs are in your current show?

We’re doing four songs right now. We usually do two a night.

You play that song, Diggin’on James Brown. I have to tell you, there’s a high school here in the area with a big R&B band that plays that tune, so your inspiration is an inspiration for young people today.

Yeah, you know that’s become a big song for a lot of bands. There’s a lot throughout the world. There’s a lot of bands that are Tower of Power clone bands that take my song titles to name the band. There’s a band called Soul Vaccination, and another called Souled Out, one called Soul With a Capital S. They all play Diggin’ on James Brown. And then there are marching bands, large stage bands, and jazz bands in high schools and colleges that are also working up our arrangements, so that’s been really nice over the years.

You mentioned that you’ve enough for another album. How long will we have to wait for that?

Well, we’re still touring behind this one. At least a year I would say. We also recorded a live DVD and CD. On June 1stand 2ndwe celebrated our 50thAnniversary in Oakland and we filmed that in HD. When we get off this particular leg of our tour, I’ll go to L.A. and work on that for a bit. Once we get the mixing done on that we’ll do the video editing, and come out with a two-disc package, so we’ve got a lot of stuff coming out in the next couple of years.

I sure appreciate your taking time for this interview and am looking forward to seeing you on the Leinie Lodge Stage at the Minnesota State Fair.

I appreciate it. God Bless. Bye Bye.

(Editor’s note: To close, and just for fun, here’s a classic instrumental from the band)


Grammys, Birthdays, and More: 8.15 – 8.21

August 15, 2018

The Rebirth Brass Band won a Grammy in 2012

This week we’ve got a few Grammy winners visiting us, and a slew of talented resident artists, as well as a guitar festival anda couple of fiery guitar players, including a five-time Grammy nominee. Whew! Music lifts the Spirit!


Jazz

Wednesday, August 15

Pete Whitman Presents New Boundaries @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Pete Whitman, saxes; Chris Olson, guitars; Ted Olsen, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Oscar Peterson’s Birthday, w/The Tanner Taylor Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $15) Taylor, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, August 17

Javier Santiago; Eli Zukor Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 for both shows) Opening at 7pm are emerging artists, the Eli Zukor Quartet: Zukor, sax; Jackson Wheeler, guitar; Carter Pearson, drums; and Jorgen Linne, bass. At 8:30 it’s Javier Santiago and his group: Santiago, piano; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; and James Johnson, drums.

Sinatra! The Andrew Walesch Big Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Though they’ve expanded the main room at Crooners, it might still be difficult to get in without a reservation – vocalist/pianist Walesch’sSinatra show is that popular.

Torch & Swing w/Tina Schlieske @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($30, $34, $38) Subtitled Sinatra to Simone, Ms Schlieske, of Tina and the B-Sides, for those of you old enough to remember the late 80s and early 90s, takes on grown-up songs.

Saturday, August 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm (TBA), 8:30pm Life-Force: Rich Manik, woodwinds; Dave Graf, trombone; Javier Santiago, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kenne Thomas, drums.

Peter Schimke Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. (No Cover) Given the noise level of everybody talking, it’s best to sit close to pianist Schimke and his cohorts if you want to appreciate Schimke’s fine piano playing. Essentially, it’s music that does way more than provide ear candy for conversations.

Sunday, August 19

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson @ St. Albert the Great, 2836 33rd Av S, Mpls.1pm ($20) Once again, Ms Hixson and Mr Carlson will be making a joyful noise in this south Mpls church. This time they’re performing Songs of the Silver Screen.

Monday, August 20

Eliane Elias @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($20, $25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Eliane Eliascombines her Brazilian roots with fierce virtuosity at the piano, and a warm, alluring voice. Elias has won multiple Grammys, including 2017’s Best Latin Jazz album. She’s currently touring in support of her recent release, Man of La Mancha. Here’s a track from the album.

Hunter Delikowski Quartet @ The Amsterdam Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Hunter Delikowski is a drummer that’s new to the area. He’s enlisted three talented young musicians for tonight’s performance: Jordan Anderson, piano; Peter Goggin, alto sax; and Tyler Wagner, bass. You can expect they’ll be pushing some boundaries, whether in genres or compositions.

Tuesday, August 21

Irv William’s 99th Birthday @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20 Reserved, Pay What You Can for General Admission) It’s Mr Smooth’s 99th Birthday. Don’t know if he’ll play but there will be a band helping him celebrate. Proceeds will help fund a scholarship for next year’s Dakota Combo.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 21, 22

Ben Sidran’s 75th Birthday @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Ben Sidranstarted playing boogie woogie as a child. He played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs while in school at Madison, got a PhD in England, where he was a session player for Eric Clapton, The Rolling stones, and Peter Frampton, joined Miller’s band in California, appearing on four albums, and eventually recorded over 30 albums under his own name, bringing jazz to the masses. He hosted a number of jazz radio programs for NPR, a show for VH1, and has written four books, including one of interviews with musicians like Miles Davis and Art Blakey. He’s a renaissance man who’s comfortable living in Madison, and we’re lucky he does shows here with some regularity. Sidran will be accompanied by his son Leo on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenni Holmen on reeds. Here he is doing a Dylan song.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 15

Ben Cook-Feitz on The House Party (KFAI), and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3fm), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cook-Feitz is a singer, songwriter, drummer, and pianist whose observational lyrics and melodies can sometimes recall the music of the 60s and 70s.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 15, 16

Ana Popovic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) Bruce Springsteen calls Serbian born, L.A. – based Popovic“One helluva guitar player.” She’s touring in support of Trilogy, her 2016 3-disc album of blues funk, and jazz, with production by Grammy award winners Warren Riker (Lauren Hill, Carlos Santana), and Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy), as well as Delfeayo Marsalis.

Thursday, August 16

Big Wu Family Reunion Pre-Party @ The Hook& Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Jam Band fans will want to prepare for the Family Reunionthis weekend with El Dub, Pat Ferguson, Space Junk, and more,  including a super jam.

Mark Healey @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($8) Bassist/guitarist Healeywas a key member of Badfinger during that band’s late 80s and early 90s reunion and touring. The Wisconsin native still occasionally tours with one of the competing Badfinger bands, but tonight you can see him in the intimate, 40-seat 318 Cafe.

Friday, August 17

Dee Miller Band @ The Mudd Room, Mendota. 8pm ($10 Guaranteed Seat) Ms Miller’sexplosive voice and danceable blues will likely pack the basement speakeasy. She and the band are winners of the 2018 Road to Memphis Challenge, and will be representing Minnesota at the next International Blues Challenge in Memphis

Saturday, August 18

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. Noon – 9pm (Free) Siama Matuzungidi, Lonesome Dan Case, Jake Hanson & James Buckley, Paul Metzger, & more…. Performances will take place in a number of different areas, from the Hamm’s Waterfall, to a floating stage, a dockside stage, and the Pavillion’s Main Stage.

Jeff Ray & The Altered Stakes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This is a different version of The Stakes than usual – Jeff Rayguitar & vocals; Harold Tremblay, harp; Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson, hand drums; and Josh Granowski, bass.

Sunday, August 19

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) Enjoy some stellar picking and Heywood’ssmooth baritone on a late Sunday afternoon in the comfy confines of the Dubliner.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($40), 9pm ($35) These Dakota regulars from New Orleans have been playing play modern day brass band music for the last 30 years. In 2012, Rebirthbecame the first Brass Band to win a Grammy.

Robben Ford @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35, $45) Fordis a 5-time Grammy nominee who has lent his blues guitaristry to concerts and recordings by the likes of Miles Davis, George Harrison, Barbra Streisand, KISS, Greg Allman, Phil Lesh, and more.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye


Summer Songs: 8.8 – 8.14

August 8, 2018

When you play blues in the Sahara Desert

This week’s music highlights include visiting artists from Italy, NYC, Memphis and Mali, as well as some relatively rare performances by some resident artists, and a couple of tributes. We are lucky to live in an area with so many talented artists. Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz
Wednesday, August 8

World Jazz Collegium @ Minnehaha Falls Park, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Here’s a group that doesn’t play in the Twin Cities very often, so it’s a treat to be able to hear their blend of various world musics and jazz, especially in such a nice outdoor setting. Members are: Pavel Jany, guitar; John Croarkin, sax & flute; Dan Weston, bass; and Beth Varela, drums.

Days of Wine & Roses @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15 – $20) Jennifer Eckes & Arne Fogel tackle Broadway, Hollywood, and Pop Music of the 60s, from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Barbara Streisand, with musical direction by Rick Carlson.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 8,9

Victor Wooten Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) 9:30pm ($25, $30, $35) Bassist Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner, known for his solo work and as a member of Bela Fleck &the Flecktones. He’ll be joined by Bob Franceschini, sax; and David Chambers, drums.

Thursday, August 9

SongSister Sampler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/valid Student ID) Dorothy During, Connie Dussl, & Vicky Mountain will be performing their best songs from three different shows of theirs: “Gettin’ Sentimental,” ” Girl Groups to Golden Ladies,” and their “Holiday Show.” They’ll be recording and videotaping the show, and will be accompanied by pianist Jennifer Parker, who may join them on some numbers.

Friday, August 10

Jana Nyberg 5 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Ms Nyberg, a fine flautist and singer, will be accompanied by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Sean Turner, piano; Kenny Watson Jr, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. Here she is with a different configuration.

Omar Abdulkarim Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’a a line-up of great talents: Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Friday, Saturday, August 10, 11

Bobby Lyle’s Summer Jam @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Keyboard player Lyle is a native Minneapolitan, returning home once again after previously successful gigs at Crooners, though this time he’ll be in the big room. The award-winning, platinum-selling artist will be accompanied by Danny Kusz, sax; Billy Peterson, bass; and Lyle’s fellow Houstonian, Patrick Williams on drums.

Saturday, August 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) JazzINK Youth showcase at 7pm: The August McKinney Octet: McKinney, piano; Carter Pearson, drums; Rodney ruckus, bass; Jackson Wheeler, guitar; Eli Zukor-Zimmerman, tenor; Sophia Kickhofel, alto; Leighton Tuenge, trumpet; and Eric Thrane, trombone. Then it’s Central Standard Time at 8:30, with Special Guest Rodney Ruckus, drums, Will Kjeer, piano; Dave Brattain, saxes; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass.

Monday, August 13

Music of John Abercrombie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Tyler Wagner, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; pay tribute to the great guitarist.

Tuesday, August 14

Music of Lester Young @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Saxophonist Dave Karr and guitarist Sam Miltich, along with some of their friends, will explore the music of The Prez, whose work with Billie Holiday and the Count Basie Band resulted in his being called one of the most influential saxophonist of all time.

Chris Olsen @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30-9:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Olsen is the guy many guitar students take time to see and/or study with. He’s solo tonight.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 8

Harrison Street on KFAI’s House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Singer Erin McCawley has a strong, inviting voice that fits in well with the other members of Harrison Street: Tony Houle, guitar; Robb Stearns, bass; and Bill Whelan, drums. Tune into hear em’ and head to the 331 Club to see em’.

Hula Peppers @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Music from the 20s and 30s, along with some Hawaiian string band music, served up with a dash of humor and plenty of talent.

Thursday, August 9

Dany Franchi @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5 Advance, $8 Door) This emerging blues guitarist from Italy has already been playing in major festivals around the world. His chart-climbing new release, Problem Child, was produced by Anson Funderburgh, with help from members of both Robert Cray’s and Jimmie Vaughn’s bands.

Friday, August 10

Fathom Lane, Interlake, and Maple & Beech @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Advance/$12 door) With three critically acclaimed albums to their credit, Fathom Lane, led by Michael Ferrier, has created a sound with touches of Gram Parson, the Velvet Underground and Tom Petty coursing through Ferrier’s songs. Members of Fathom Lane are: Ferrier, vocals, guitar, Rhodes, and percussion; Ashleigh Still, vocals and piano; Matt Patrick, electric guitar; Shane Akers, lap steel and dobro; Paul Boblett, bass; and Alex Young, drums and percussion. Opening acts are Interlake, which “takes its sound from the rush of NYC, the open roads of the Midwest, and the sunny coast of LA” and Maple & Beech, a 7-piece art-pop band.

Jaedyn James & The Hunger, w/Planet Pooky @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9PM ($10) With a powerful voice, a take-no-prisoners attitude, and a tight, 8-piece band, Jaedyn James tears up a stage with contemporary R&B. Planet Pooky opens.

Saturday, August 11

Blues, Brew, & BBQs @ Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Plymouth. 3:30pm – 10pm ($12 Advance, $18 Door) Music starting at 4pm with the Mooseknuckle Brothers; Miss Myra & the Moonshiners; Harrison Street; and the Alex Rossi Band. FMI, go here.

Pacific Island Night @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The evening starts with the music of the Lau Hawaiian Collective performing traditional music of Hawaii, then at 8:30, the animated new classic Moana will be screened.

Katy Vernon Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The ukelelist/songwriter/singer is known as a “singer of sad songs on a happy instrument,” but after a couple of trips to England, where Vernon was born and grew up, a happier tone has crept into her music, tho she isn’t abandoning old fan favorites. She’ll be accompanied by her band: Clay Williams, guitar; Simon Husbands, keys; Reed Pagel, bass; and Chris McAtee, drums.

Sunday, August 12

William Bell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($45, $55, $60), 8:30pm ($35, $45, $50) Singer and songwriter Bell is an original soul man who wrote Born Under A Bad Sign for Albert King many years ago, as well as his own recordings of songs like You Don’t Miss Your Water, the top 20 Everybody Loves a WinnerI Forgot to Be Your Lover (later covered by Billy Idol), and the Christmastime favorite, Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday, among others. He won a 2017 Grammy for his fine album, This Is Where I Live.

Tuesday, August 14

Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Roots singer and songwriter Janiva Magness has released 14 albums since the early 90s, earning kudos as the BB King Entertainer of the Year, seven Blues Music Awards, and a 2017 Grammy nomination. She’s been lauded by Betty LaVette and Mavis Staples, as well as The Chicago Sun-Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a host of blues magazines.

Tinariwen w/Astralblak @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 Advance, $40 Door) While these desert blues artists were busy criss-crossing the globe to over 160 concerts in the past few years, the borders of Mali, where they grew up amongst goat herds and camels, was closed. As a result, Tinariwen’s latest album, Elwan, was recorded in California with a bit of help from some rockers while still retaining their signature sound. Afro-futurist/acid-jazz group Astrlblak opens.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye


August Already: 8.1 – 8.7

August 1, 2018

The Harriet Band shell is always a sweet place for music.

As Captain Obvious would say, “It’s August!”  Don’t worry. We still have many outdoor music events taking place besides those I’ve listed for this week. We also have a CD release party, two visiting guitar masters, as well as two guitar masters from the area, Cajun music from Louisiana, an Early Music festival and a tent revival of sorts (in a jazz club) featuring gospel greats The Blind Boys of Alabama.  Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 1

Matt Trice/Steve Hirsh Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8;30pm ($10, $5w/validstudent ID) Drummer Steve Hirsh is a founder of the free-jazz group Le Voyage. Saxophonist Matt Trice was mentored by Pete Whitman and was a member of the last class to receive a B.M. in performance from McNally Smith before it closed. They’ll be joined by bassist Pat keen for the second set.

Judi Vinar & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12) This show is titled The Great Melodies, and with Vinar on vocals and Carlson on piano, they should indeed be great.

Thursday, August 2

Will Kjeer Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Kjeer, piano; Brandon Wozniak, tenor sax; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums. Pianist Kjeer may still be studying in college, but he’s already talented enough to head up a group of veterans from the TC jazz scene. This is part of the All Originals JazzSeries, highlighting resident ensembles playing their own compositions.

Aerosol Pike @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) Free improvisation from a trio formed in late 2007 by Philip Mann and Ryan Reber, along with their longtime friend and collaborator, Rick Ness.

Friday, August 3

Hoaxer, Bruce Acosta Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) It’s an evening of young, emerging artists as two groups of college-age musicians take the stage. At 7pm it’s the Bruce Acosta Trio with: Acosta, guitar; Abeb Stafford, organ; and Ben Erlich, drums. At 8:30 – Hoaxer: Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Saturday, August 4

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This classic cocktail lounge will reverberate with vocalist/saxophonist Jacox’s mix of Jazz, Blues, and R&B. He’ll be accompanied by Thomas West, piano; and Robb Stupka, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (TipJar) At 7pm: Northing, with: Aaron Hedenstrom, alto; Mara Syman, alto; Nick Syman, trombone; Josh Becker, Bass Trombone; Pete James Johnson, drums. 8:30pm: The Zacc Harris Group: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris bates, bass; Pete James Johnson, drums.

MN Hard Bop Collective @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This time around, drummer Jesse Simon and his band take on the compositions of African American trumpeters. Besides Simon, the band includes: Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Jordan Anderson, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass.

Sunday, August 5

Sarah M. Greer CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15) Ms Greer is releasing her debut CD, “What the Music Says, Do.” It reveals Greer as a singular talent at writing, singing, and arranging, as shown in songs whose subjects range from hope and inspiration to love and social consciousness. She’ll be joined by Anthony Cox, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; and Nathan J. Greer, drums; as well as guests Dean Magraw, guitar; and vocalists Jayanthi Kyle and Mankwe Ndosi of the Give Get Sistet, all of whom appear on the CD.

Monday, August 6

Brian Handeland @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Brian Handeland plays sax, clarinet, and flute in bands that range from The JazzMN Orchestra and The Twin cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, to the Brass Barn Polka Band and Machinery Hill. Tonight he plays music of his own choosing, followed by the weekly Monday Night jam session.

Tuesday, August 7

Nels Cline 4 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35 Table, $30 Bar), 9pm ($30 Table, $25 Bar) Guitar enthusiasts will be checking out Cline and band mate Julian Lage, with whom he recorded the two-guitar album Roomin 2014. The album was so well received that they put together this free-wheeling quartet with Scott Colley, bass; and Tom Rainey, drums. Rolling Stone listed Cline, who is also the leader of Wilco, as one of “100 Greatest Guitarists.”

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 1

Lonesome Dan Case on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI -90.3FM), 7pm(3321 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist Dan Case heard artists like Reverend Gary Davis and Robert Johnson on the radio when he was a teenager, and the budding guitarist was hooked. Since then he’s immersed himself in country blues, to the point where his singing and playing sound as if he’s a blues troubadour of long ago.

Paul Thorn & Blind Boys of Alabama @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $52, $60), 9pm ($35, $42, $50) Paul Thorn, a singer/songwriter, raconteur, and the son of a Southern preacher-man, is touring in support of his old-school gospel recording, Don’t Let The Devil Ride. He describes its blend of soul, rock, & gospel as being “like taking a six-pack to church.” Besides his rock band, Paul will be accompanied by the Grammy-winning Blind Boys of Alabama. No wonder he calls the show Mission Temple Fireworks Revival.

Thursday, August 2

The Best of Second City @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30, $38) The long-running satirical comedy/sketch troupe that was a launching pad for the likes of Tina Fey, Steven Colbert, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and more brings the best sketches from its history to the Cedar.

Jillian Rae, Brian Just @ Music in Mears, Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Classically trained violinist Jillian Rae is the go-to musician for many bands looking to sweeten, or add some old-time flavor to their sounds. The vocalist/composer also leads her own quartet in an amalgam of pop/rock/roots. Brian Justopens, which is fitting, since Rae once played in his psych/pop quintet.

Friday, August 3

Rich Lewis Band @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Guitarist/singer Lewis was a founding member of the fabled Explodo Boysback in the 70s. Today he and his cohorts – the number of which vary from gig to gig – play originals, old-school R&B, and even some classic rock, though often in a more R&B-ish way.

Gina Forsyth & The Mid-City Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Doors at 7pm, Dance Lesson at 7:15pm. This New Orleans trio performs the traditional Cajun music as found in Lafayette, LA. Members are: Cameron Dupuy, The Accordion king of New Orleans; his father Michael Dupuy, guitar; and Forsyth, fiddle& vocals.

Friday, Saturday, August 3,4

Shelby J @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) You’ve likely seen Shelby J with Prince during his outstanding 2007 Super Bowl half-time show. Since then, she and her neo-soul band have toured with Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Santana, Larry Graham, and others.

Saturday, August 4

Twin Cities Early Music Festival Concerts @ Saint Paul Conservatory Music Concert Hall, 1524 Summit Ave, Saint Paul. 6:30pm,  8pm ($20 adult, $10 Student for 1 ticket, $35 Adult, $125 Student for 2 concert tickets) There will be two concerts tonight in the former church near Snelling Avenue. The first, at 6:30pm, features Dance Music of the French Courts, performed by the Twin Cities Early Music Collective, while the second, at 8pm features French Music from Medieval to Baroque, as performed by Ensemble Spezzatura. For more information, about these performances and others in this series, go to; https://www.tcearlymusic.org

Belfast Cowboys @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) A large rock band playing the music of Van Morrison and others, while sailboats glide by in the distance and planes fly overhead.

Sunday, August 5

Natania & Ticket to Brazil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7pm (Free) Hot Sambas, Cool Bossa Novas, Brazilian Jazz, and you, enjoying a picnic and a warm summer night.

Tuesday, August 7

Curt Obeda & Camille Baudoin @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Twin Cities bluesman Curt Obeda and New Orleans guitarist/singer Camille Baudoin (ex-Radiators) were friends long before Baudoin decided to move to Minnesota after the Radiators broke up. You can tell by their easy camaraderie and musical communication.

For more blues (and some roots), The MN Blues Society has a fairly comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye.


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