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!


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

State Fair Fair Music and More: 8.20 – 8.26

August 20, 2014

DSC01997This week brings many opportunities for hearing music, including the Minnesota State Fair, where, in addition to food-on-a-stick, you’ll have a number of opportunities to see, and dance to, visiting and resident musicians.


Wednesday, August 20

Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is the last appearance of this bass trio, since Brian Courage is moving to New York. Catch em’ While you can. Jeremy Boettcher, Graydon Peterson, Brian Courage. Who says people don’t listen during a bass solo?

Thursday, August 21

Unknown-3Maryann Sullivan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sullivan is usually curating this vocal series, but tonight she’s stepping out front. She’s a singer who knows how to swing Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie, and more. With Doug Haining, on reeds, and David Martin on guitar.

Group 47 @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) I’ve written a bit about this band in the past few months, given their new album, Straight To Vinyl. Like the other bands in this Thursday night series, Group 47 play original compositions, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they throw in a jazz standard or two. Led by trumpeter Steve Kenny, the group includes some young lions: Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums.

Topher Dunlap Jazz Trio @ Mattie’s on Main, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Mattie’s is a new venue located in St. Anthony Main. It seems a bit strange as a venue for jazz – a self-styled “modern day saloon” with 16 beers on tap, an eclectic bar menu, TVs with sports, and a fine stage. They also feature karaoke, as well as other types of bands. I know little about this group, except that Topher helps out at Jazz Central, but it’s certainly worth checking out.

Friday, August 22

Phil Hey Quartet and Stefan Kac’s Band of No Return @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The Phil Hey Quartet is a known entity here in the Twin Cities: marvelous, well-played jazz. They’ll be starting at 7:30pm. Along about 9:30 or 10pm, Stefan Kac’ Band of No Return will take the stage. Kac is a tuba player and composer who is originally from the area and currently based in Los Angeles. The award-winning composer will be joined by Geoff Senn, trumpet; Shilad Sen, tenor; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, August 23

They actually face the audience when they play

They actually face the audience when they play

Lulu’s Playground @ FunArt Studio, Stillwater. 2pm – 4pm (Free – entrance at 9030 Fairy Falls Road, Stillwater) Chamber jazz performed on the patio of Tim Nyberg’s studio overlooking the Saint Croix River. Lulu’s Playground has not played much this past year since guitarist Evan Montgomery has been studying in Los Angeles. He’s back for a short while and taking advantage of the opportunity to play with his mates: Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steven Hobert, accordion; and Cory Grossman, cello. Bring a beverage and a lawn chair and watch as Nyberg draws inspiration from the music as he paints. In case of rain, the concert (and painting) will move indoors

Sunday, August 24

Pavel Jany & the Talking Strings @ Alexis Bailly Vineyard, 18200 Kirby Ave S, Hastings. 1pm – 4pm (Free) Take in a wine tasting, have a little picnic on the Vineyard’s patio, and listen to East European Gypsy music, French jazz, and Brazilian bossa novas, as well as other world music and originals from this group. Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Shulte, violin, and Dan Weston, bass.

Monday, August 25

Jazz Central All-Stars @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Graf, trombone; Graydon Peterson, bass; Zach Lozier, trumpet; Doug Haining, reeds; and Mac Santiago on drums. Tanner returns for an evening with this group that’s been bringing it’s music to parks and auditoriums around the state.

Mike, left, and Dave

Mike, left, and Dave

Dave Martin/Mike Doolin Group and Courageous Endeavors @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) It’s a two-fer night as Twin Cities guitarist Dave Martin and Portland, Oregon guitarist Mike Doolin celebrate the release of their CD Tough Commute. They’ll be joined by Chris Bates on bass and Pete Hennig on drums. Then Courageous Endeavors will perform what I believe is their last gig before Brian Courage leaves for New York. Joe Strachan, piano; Nelson Deveraux, sax; Miguel Hurtado, drums. Brian Courage, bass;

Tuesday, August 26

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They wowed at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, with a big, big, rhythmic sound. It’s more or less an open rehearsal, so you may get some insight into how a song is arranged.

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, August 20

Stephanie Nilles @ KFAI and The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 1206.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Nilles is a classically trained barrelhouse piano player from New Orleans, who has sung with Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall and has performed at official showcases at SXSW and the International Folk Alliance. As Hurricane Harold would say, “You know the drill,” tune in and get to the 331.

Thursday, August 21

Rich Lewis Band @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) What a great way to spend a summer evening. Lewis and the band play New Orleans R&B,vintage rock n’ roll, soul music, and even standards, not to forget their own originals. Always a good time, especially if you like to dance.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Raucous Balkan party music, for movers and shakers, whether you’re in your chair or on a dance floor.

Thursday, Friday, August 21, 22

Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Schell’s Stage, MN State Fair. 2pm, 3pm (Free w/$13 Fair admission) Lots of good music at the Fair this year, including the sweat-inducing Cajun and Zydeco of the Pinecones.

Blood, Sweat, & Tears @ the Leine Bandshell, MN State Fair. 8:30pm (Free w/$13 Fair admission) Guilty pleasure of the week. Even though none of the current members of the band were in the original configuration of the 70s, all play in a myriad of other rock, soul, and jazz bands when not on the road with BS&T. They’re professional through and through and though David Clayton-Thomas may not be singing lead, Bo Bice, runner-up in the fourth season of American Idol, is sure to handle the chore with aplomb.

Friday, August 22

Aretha Franklin & The Four Tops @ the Grandstand, MN State Fair. 7:30pm ($45 + $13 Fair admission) The Queen of Soul returns to Minnesota after an absence that’s lasted far too long. Though the hit-making Four Tops had its original line-up for 44 years, death has reduced the band to original member Duke Fakir, along with three other singers.

Don Scott & Curtis Blake @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($6) Guitar/harp blues duo with interesting arrangements of songs you know and even more interesting originals.

The Original Wailers @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 advance/$25Door) It doesn’t get much heavier in reggae than the sound of the group that backed Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer all those years ago.

Friday, Saturday, August 22, 23

Hipshaker 12th Anniversary Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Rare soul and funk 45s from Brian, George, and Greg, along with special guests, shaking the dance floor at the Kitty Kat.

Saturday, August 23

Alejandro Escovedo & Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) If you’re looking for literate songwriting, this is the place tonight. Escovedo and Ely are a couple of Texas music legends getting together for an evening of music. Both have long careers spanning genres from country to punk. Ely appeared at the Dakota in May, putting on an engaging performance.

Cedar’s 25th Anniversary Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free)  It’s a Latin night at the Cedar, with Making Movies (Kansas City);  De La Buena (Milwaukee);  and deejays from Worldwide Discotheque (Minneapolis).

Prophets of Peace @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Funk & Soul from this tight ensemble that reformed after the success of the Twin Cities Funk & Soul record compilation.

Saturday, Sunday, August 23, 24

Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound @ The Leine Bandshell, MN State Fair. 8:30pm (Free w/$13 Fair admission) Cebar is moving up to the larger stage and two night, bringing along his talented band and highly literate originals as calypsos, R&B, and soul music just right for dancing.

Monday, August 25

Happy Together Tour 2014 @ The Grandstand, MN State Fair ($21 + $13 Fair Admission) It’s a nostalgic night for boomers, with the under-rated Turtles (w/Flo & Eddie), as well as Chuck Netron of # Dog Night, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, and the explosive Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels.

Tuesday, August 26

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) A group of vinyl junkies from KFAI have started this weekly gig, which generally features two KFAI volunteers spinning LPs and 45s. This week it’s DJ Steely from Kinda Cloudy and Miguel Vargas from Radio Pocho spinning a mix of international records, including Latin, soul, and other genres. The O’Cheeze food truck will be on hand.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 26, 27

DakhaBrahka @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $32) This Ukrainian quartet dubs their music “ethnic chaos.” It’s a highly theatrical troupe using costumes, a variety of instrumentation and uncompromising vocals to create a mesmerizing music and a circus-like atmosphere. LOTT opens.

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 U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Residencies, Weekly Features, and Visiting Artists. Music: 3.26 – 4.1

March 26, 2014

UnknownWe’re heading into April and hopefully will soon see some flowers blooming. Meanwhile, this week features a number of low-key, but definitely enjoyable weekly gigs, including a couple of residencies, as well as  visiting artists that may not have hit your radar. Get out and enjoy what our Cities have to offer. Music has the power to lift your spirit.


Wednesday, March 26

Claudia Schmidt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Schmidt has long been a favorite of Twin Citizens. Whether exploring folk music, jazz, or gospel, her love and enjoyment of the music is contagious. She’s got a new album New Whirled Order, coming out on Red House, featuring master guitarist Dean Magraw, who will be among the musicians backing her tonight.

Dan Musselman Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Dan is a sensitive piano player with depth to his playing. He’ll be playing with some talented young cats: Andrew Bergmann on bass, and Zach Schmidt on percussion.

Thursday, March 27

Reynold Phillipsek w/guest Maryann Sullivan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) Phillipsek will be playing guitar and singing standards as well as his own compositions. Sullivan will join him to sing during the second set.

Friday, March 28

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) This week features the Babatunde Lea Trio, with Zacc Harris, guitar; and Chris Bates on bass accompanying the percussion/drum master. Lea, with fifty years experience, has played or recorded with folks like Pharaoh Sanders, Leon Thomas, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, and Richie Cole, among others. This should be an exciting gig. Here he is with the addition of a piano player.

Saturday, March 29

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Head down to the area just SE of Highway 100 & 494 to catch Weinbeck on piano, with Gordy Johnson on bass and Phil Hey on drums. Tasty music that’s matched by the food and drink.

Unknown-1Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Ricard Kronick leads Dennis Landeen, sax; Scott Ives, guitar; and Dehl Gallagher, drums; through tightly arranged jazz standards and originals.

Sunday, March 30

Century Jazz Ensemble @ Jethro’s Char-House, 3140 Century Ave N, Mahtomedi. 3pm (No Cover) Big Band jazz for a Sunday afternoon, provided by a 26 year old group that’s toured China and South America, and has brought in and worked with national artists such as Conte Candoli, Terry Gibbs, Tom Harrell, and Clark Terry.

Monday, March 31

Valve Meets Slide @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) The last time Brad Bellows (valve trombone) and Dave Graf (slide trombone) did this gig it was at the Artists’ Quarter. Two Trombones, a bass and drums make for an evening of beautifully burnished sounds.

Joe Strachan and Josh Granowski @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A couple of young lions on piano (Strachan) and bass (Granowski) during a great late night happy hour.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.


Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 26

Jason Dixon Line on KFAI & @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Fans of the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule will want to check out this sextet playing gritty classic rock, blues, country, and originals. Jake Manders follows at 9pm.

Thursday, March 27

Mikkel Beckman w/Nikki Roux & Rich Rue of Nikki & the Rue-mates @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip Jar) Mikkel has been hosting these Thursday get-togethers since the early Fall. This week he features the crystalline voice of Nikki Roux (nee Matteson) and the slide guitar of Rich Rue. Always fun, with a back porch vibe.

Unknown-2Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5?) Get your fix of music from the bayou, whether it’s Cajun, Zydeco, or Swamp Pop. The Pinecones will get you up on the great dance floor at the Eagles Club, which is always easy on the dancin’ feet.

Everly Brothers Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Too many performers to list, though the music of the Everlys is the real draw. With their sweet, brotherly harmonies, and combination of acoustic and electric guitars, you could say they were country rock before there was country rock. This should be fun.

Friday, March 28

Dee Miller Band w/Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) She will, She will, rock you. Dee sings the blues with fervor, and I expect this will be a full bore show, especially with “Prime Time” adding some fret-full guitar. Here she is.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) The hardest working woman in the Twin Cities is back from another tour, ready to tear it up at Famous Dave’s. Experience the joyful, New Orleans flavored sounds of Davina and the guys in a place where you can get BBQ and dance. Just in case you don’t know what they sound like, check out this video.

Matt Yetter @ Ward 6, 858 Payne Ave, Saint Paul. 9:30 (Free – tip jar?) It’s only recently that I’ve noticed this great little gastropub on Saint Paul’s East Side is having music on Friday Nights. Tonight they’ve got bluesman Matt Yetter, whose way with a slide guitar and harp will have you boppin’ your head and tappin’ your feet while you enjoy one of the restaurant’s signature adult milk shakes.

Saturday, March 29

Otis Clay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) It’s been about four years since Clay was in town, and I have to say I’ve missed his raspy, soulful voice. Though he’s from Chicago, Clay is a passionate deep soul singer in the tradition of such Southern masters as OV Wright and Solomon Burke, pleading, extolling, and generally using tension and release to great effect. He’s touring behind a great sounding new CD, Love Is, which celebrates the vicissitudes and joys of love. Here he is doing one of his signature songs.

Sunday, March 30

Harrison’s Jukebox @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm (No Cover) So what kind of music did George Harrison like? Here’s a bunch of musicians that want to answer that question: Curtiss A; KYX; Gini Dodds; Johnney Rey, and Jody Hanks, among others. It will be a rockin’ night.

Alejandro Escovedo @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22.50 – $45) The Texan from a musical family (his brothers are Coke & Pete Escovedo, and niece is Sheila E.) started out in punk rock bands, graduated to the alt county band Rank & File, and released his first solo album in 1992. Since then, wide-spread commercial success has eluded the singer/songwriter/roots rocker, though he’s been lauded in the NY Times and played on syndicated shows like Little Stevie’s Underground Garage. Escovedo can be seen and heard singing We Used To Be Friends in the new Veronica Mars movie.

Monday, March 31

Willie Murphy & Tom Hunter Blooz Jam @ Richfield American Legion, 65th & Portland, Richfield.  7:30pm (Tip Jar) Willie and Tom will be jammin’ and you never can tell who will show up, though rest assured, it will be fun.

Tuesday, April 1

Dead Pigeons @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (tip Jar) This is a weekly gig for the rootsy, newgrassy quintet, who will be joined for April Fool’s Day by wild bluesman Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders

International Reggae All-Stars @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) The area’s best gather for this weekly celebration of ryddim.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots), see the Minnesota Blues Society Calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop events, see the Krewe de Walleye Calendar.



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