It’s the 4th! Music: 7.1-7.7

July 1, 2015

Unknown-2Well, the day got away from me, so this post doesn’t contain videos, but I think anyone reading this can find videos if you want to hear what an artist sounds like. Anyway,  the defining event of the summer is upon us, and with the 4th of July celebration, we find that music, is not as plentiful as during other weeks of the year. Nevertheless, the weekend brings some celebrations that include music and fireworks, and there are a couple of long-term residencies that you can check out.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 1

Charles Lloyd @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) If you are a jazz fan, you have to here this master saxophonist at least once in your life. Lloyd’s career goes back to the 60s, when he won many young fans by playing the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No cover) This young singer/pianist is excellent with both of his instruments. He also understands the need to engage the audience as an entertainer. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; Pete Johnson, drums; and special guest Adam Meckler on trumpet.

Vector Families @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Yet another project from bassist Anthony Cox, with Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; Dave King, drums; and Cox on cello and bass.

Thursday, July 2

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s another foodie night at the Dakota, with no cover, wine specials, and a terrific band. Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; give new life to standards

Friday, July 3

Thomas Bruce @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Sublime vocals in the cozy lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ The icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Bassist Young has been honing his tribute to Herbie Hancock and Earth, Wind, & Fire, to create an entertaining, groovin’ and jazzful evening.

Hanson, Roessler, & Anderson @ Sweet 17, 308 Prince Street, Suite 317, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s an under the radar gig if there ever was one. It’s essentially a house concert with Nathan Hanson, sax; Doan Roessler, bass; and Marc Anderson, percussion. It’s a BTOB affair. Doors at 8:30

Saturday, July 4

Big Bands and Fireworks @ City Parks.  Here’s a trio of big bands, each capable of producing their own musical fireworks, providing the entertainment before the holiday fireworks. Whether you live near these towns, or are willing to travel a bit, it’s a musical way to celebrate our country’s Independence Day.

1: St. Croix Jazz Orchestra @ Minnesota Pioneer Park, Stillwater. 7pm (Free) With Andrew Walesch on vocals.

2: Wolverines Big Band @ Excelsior Commons, Excelsior. 7pm – 10pm (Free)  Featuring Judi Vinar, Maude Hixson, and Jason Richards on vocals.

3: Roseville Big Band @ Central Park, Roseville. 7pm – 9pm (Free)

Sunday, July 5

Saints of Swing @ Como Dockside Pavilion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) Here’s another big band gig, this time it’s lakeside at Como Lake, and the new Como Dockside is right there to serve drinks and food.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) There’s a good reason this trio has had a long running residency at the Wine Bar. Harris’ tasteful guitar, along with Pete Hennig’s drumming and Matt Peterson’s bass, provide music that’s just right for drinking the venue’s wide selections of wine and food.

Monday, July 6

Irv Williams CD Release Part @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Irv Williams is 95 and still churning out CDs. This one, Pinnacle, is perhaps his third or fourth since announcing his “retirement” some years back. Always worth seeing. How the man keeps such a gorgeous tone is something every budding young sax player should learn.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 1

Midwest Paul Cook on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)

Thursday, July 2

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) Another weekly gig. The Butanes played the New Orleans Jazz Festival with Earl King, and most assuredly have earned the title of the best blues band in the Twin Cities.

The Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) If you’re a fan of the Meters and Booker T. and the MGs, then you’ll appreciate this instrumental band of Chris Beaty, guitar; Jim Anton, bass; Noah Levy drums; and Tommy Barbarella, organ. They’ve played together in various groups for over 25 years, and are tight!

Friday, July 3

Booker T. Jones @ the Dakota, Mpls. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) He had a hit with Green Onions when he was just 16 and he and the MGs were the house band for Stax Records. Many hits followed and many performances, during which their place in the pantheon of rock n’ roll was secured. Nowadays, with the passing of two of the original members of the group, Jones has worked with established rock bands, winning yet another Grammy Potato Hole, his 2010 album with the Drive By Truckers, and for 2012’s The Road From Memphis with The Roots.

Willie Murphy Blues Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11:30pm Murphy returns to the Black Dog, this time with his blues trio in tow.

Sweet Tea @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Funky blues for your dancing pleasure on the eve of the 4th.

Freewheelin’ First Friday @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5?) Nikki & the Rue-Mates open at 7pm, followed by the Honky-Tonk/Fok/Roots of Wilkinson James at 9pm.

Patty Peterson & Friends w/Melanie Rosales @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Vocalist Peterson likes to straddle the line between jazz and R&B, as do her friends, which tonight includes Melanie Rosales, which long time Twin Citizens may remember from The Doug Maynard Band of the late 70s.

Saturday, July 4

Armadillo Jump @ Lakeside Park, Hudson, WI. 1:30 – 4:30pm. (Free) Head across the Saint Croix for an afternoon of jump blues and general holiday activity, including a hot dog eating contest, a kids tract pull, food stands, and a beer garden, as well as later entertainment by Ponzi Scheme and Uncle Chunk. No fireworks, though.

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42) One show only tonight, so everyone can get out and see fireworks afterwards.

Sunday, July 5

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7:45pm (Tip Jar) Ace fingerpicking and fine vocals from Heywood provide a comfortable, yet adventurous end to the weekend.

Vinicius Cantuaria @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This soft-voiced Brazilian brings bossa novas into the 21st Century, imbuing the music of Jobim and Gilberto Gil with hints of electronica while staying decidedly acoustic. He’s collaborated with Brian Eno, Bill Frisell, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson and similar forward thinking musicians, and has

Tuesday, July 7

Church of Cash @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Another foodie night, this one sponsored by the Minnesota Music Coalition, and bringing this quintet’s love of Johnny Cash to the masses.

Mayo, Jacox, and Eckstrand @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) Paul Mayasich holds down the guitar chair at the Station (formerly Manitou Station) every Tuesday night, bringing in all sorts of friends to complement his playing. Tonight he has Bobby E. (Eckstrand), an under appreciated guitarist, as well as vocalist extraordinaire Maurice Jacox.

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.


Music Rains: 4.1 – 4.7

April 1, 2015

imagesI’m afraid I have no April Fool’s prank for you , but instead am happy to report that great music continues to rain down on us here in the Twin Cities.  (Ugh, had to stretch a bit to match the graphic.) We’ve a few visiting musicians of note, as well as a bevy of talented resident musicians. It’s wonderful that we have a number of choices each evening, but then, that’s the result of living neat the bio-magnetic center of the universe. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, April 1

Zack Lozier Three on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Lozier  trumpet; Steve Hobert, keys; and Steve Pikal, bass; played a tremendous set at the fundraiser for KFAI a couple of weeks ago. If you like jazz with a nod towards the traditional sound of New Orleans, then by all means tune in to hear them and head to the 331 Club afterwards.

Parisota Hot Club Trio @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Though this suave nightclub in the North Loop features glitzy dance/deejay crowds on the weekend, they bring in jazz once a week, and deserve your attention. Tonight, it’s The Parisota Hot Club  with Matt Senjem, bass; Jay Epstein, drums; and leader Robb Henry on guitar. Vocalist Erin Livingston is an occasional guest. Here’s once version of the group doing a Beatles tune.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) Rebirth is one of the first bands in the Brass Band revival that’s occurred over the last couple of decades. They’ve been at it for 25 years or so, swinging hard and playing original music, as well as traditional tunes, and adaptations of R&B hits.

Unknown-1Schimke, Epstein, & Cox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Anthony Cox curates the first Wednesday of the month at Jazz Central, bringing in some top-notch players to improvise, sometimes freely. Tonight he has Peter Schimke on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. Cox likes to have these events be interactive, so be prepared to have him open the floor to comments and questions either during or after the performance.

Thursday, April 2

Chris Potter Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($15) Potter is one of the most admired sax players of his generation (he’s 43), having received numerous awards and accolades. When he was 18, he worked with the legendary Bebop trumpeter Red Rodney, and has since appeared on over 100 albums as a sideman and recorded 15 albums as a leader. On his latest, and well-received  CD Imaginary Cities, Potter expands his Underground Quartet with a marimba and a string quartet, to create an album that integrates modern classical music with various facets of jazz. I’m not sure what players he’ll have with him tonight, but it will be stellar. Here’s a video to illustrate.

Marc Anderson, Michelle Kinney, Carla Vagle @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) This promises to be a unique evening of improvised music. Marc Andeson is a percussionist and Zen Buddhist priest who has played with Steve Tibbets since 1977, and has also toured and played with artists such as Robert Fripp, Don Cherry, Taj Mahal, Claudia Schmidt, Max Roach, and Greg Brown. Michelle Kinney is a cellist/composer who is a strong improviser, having worked with such innovators as Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, and John Zorn, in addition to being a member of Jelloslave and collaborating with Prudence Johnson and Dean Magraw. Carla Vagle is a vocalist with a strong, crystal clear voice.

Friday, April 3

Wayne Krantz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) The virtuosic fusion guitarist has recorded and worked with Steely Dan, Michael Breaker, Chris Potter, and Billy Cobham. He’s not the kind of player who plays as many notes as possible (though he can do so). Rather, Krantz has a clean, tasteful approach to playing, no matter the groove, of which there will undoubtedly be plenty. Opening is the Zack Lozier Three (see Wednesday listing).

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Magraw is the guitarist-about-town who is equally at home with jazz, fusion, Celtic, and other world musics. Hobert is the pianist/accordionist whose often subtle, but highly imaginative playing will fit right in with Magraw.

Maud Hixson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The lounge at this Bloomington restaurant provides the right atmosphere for listening to the understated, sublime vocals of Ms Hixson  who will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on piano and Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Tim Patrick s smooth voice practically defines crooner in this day and age. He’s a fine singer, and together with his band, provides danceable versions of standards.

Saturday, April 4

Saturday Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm Pete Snell Trio (Snell, Phil Aaron, Jim Chenoweth) , 8:30pm Steve Kenny Quartet (Kenny, Babatunde Lea, Brandon Woznicak, Chris Bates)

images-1Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Early evening dinner music from the pop-ish but jazz centered Ms Shorai, though you will have to sit close to the stage to overcome the lively conversations going on throughout the restaurant.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) Ms Duncan was on fire last week when singing as a guest with Delfeayo Marsalis. Tonight you can hear her in the comfy, yet slightly luxe confines of this relatively new club up on Central Avenue, about  a mile or so north of 494. It’s a place that should become a regular stop on your jazz journeys in town.

Sunday, April 5

Connie Evingson Celebrates Spring @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Ms Evingson continues her themed concerts at the Jungle. This time it’s a seasonal celebration, featuring songs by Irving Berlin, the Beatles, Peggy Lee and others. With the extraordinary pianist Jon Weber, as well as Gordy Johnson on bass, and the always tasteful Dave Karr on sax.

Monday, April 6

Seru, Bates, & Wozniak @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The trio of Davu Seru, drums; Chris Bates, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; is bound to create some excitement for the late night crowd at the Icehouse.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 1

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Koskinen is a hyphenated talent: guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, and engineer. The word “authentic” keeps coming up whenever reviewers try to describe his music, and with good reason. When he’s not working with other bands he taps into folk, country, and rock n’ roll to create music that is as American as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, or Willie Nelson.

Thursday, April 2

Lynn O’Brien, Steven Hobert, & Kevin Bowe @ Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Lynn O’Brien is a charming singer/songwriter who plays ukelele and isn’t afraid to accompany herself using looping technology. Steven Hobert is an accordionist/piano player who is equally at home playing jazz, folk, or his own ethereal compositions. As a musical duo, they are as complementary as you can get. They are ably assisted by Kevin Bowe on bass.

Friday, April 3

Butanes Soul Revue @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Once again, the MMC will be filled with folks who brought their dancing shoes, as guitarist Curt Obeda leads a 10 piece band through R&B chestnuts and some of his own originals. The last time they appeared at MMC, they sold out the place, so be forewarned.

Lonesome Dan Case @ Ward 6, 858 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar?) Lonesome Dan Case looks and sounds like an itinerant, if well dressed, singer from the 30s, who brings his finger picking and Piedmont-style blues songs to folks in little dives in little towns. However, Saint Paul isn’t a little town, no matter what some West Metro folks might think, and Ward 6 isn’t a little dive, given its adult milkshakes and well-reviewed cooking.

Bad Companions w/Bernie King @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) A Roots/Rockabilly night at the Tap Room. The Companions are led by Al Subola, of the Vibro Champs. His companions have worked with bands like A Stockcar Named Desire, Clyde Stubblefield, Roe Family, and Trailer Trash. King & the Guilty Pleasures lean a bit toward the blues side of things. Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures at 7pm, Bad Companions at 9pm. This will give you an idea of what the Companions sound like.

Saturday, April 4

Gospel Machine & Southside Desire @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Gospel, R&B, Soul, & Girl Group sounds, as if filtered through a group of young musicians hanging out in a basement. Here’s Southside Desire.

Katrina, Flamin’ Ohs, and Beebe Gallini @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm doors ($12/$15) It’s an 80s style night at the Amsterdam as Katrina (of the Waves) headlines, with our own Flamin’ Oh’s and the female quintet Beebe Gallini open. Katrina Leskanich had a huge hit in 1985 with Walkin’ on Sunshine, followed by a few others. The Oh’s have always had a strong fan base in town, from their local hits in the late 70s to their reappearance this century. Beebe Gallini is an all-female group of rockers named after a pink-dressed character who made an appearance on one episode of Brady’s Bunch. Here’s a blast from the past.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance space at the station will be filled with folks jumpin’ to the Armadillos, a five-piece blues/R&B outfit with an infectious approach to their music.

Unknown-2Soul Tight Committee @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) It’s a great weekend for dancing to R&B, especially the 70s centric R&B of the ten piece Soul Tight Committee  Three singers provide a range of vocals over a tight rhythm section, trumpet, and sax, giving plenty of incentives for dancers to fill the floor at Bunkers.

Sunday, April 5

Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) It’s Easter. Celebrate with the full-throated gospel of Mr. Robinson. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, you’ll end up feeling blessed and happy.

Monday, Tuesday, April 6, 7

James Hunter Sextet @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($37 – $45) Hunter is a charming singer of blue-eyed soul, whose original tunes evoke the rock n’ roll and rhythm and blues of the late 50s and 60s, without sounding dated or even retro. Expect some jump blues, Motown-ish stomps, and even some reggae-ish rhythms, delivered with true emotion.

Tuesday, April 7

Mayasich, Obeda, & Lindberg @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich hangs at the Station every Tuesday evening with various friends and compadres. Tonight he’s got bluesman Curt Obeda on guitar, and bassist John Lindberg. Expect some mighty fine guitar duels.

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.


Outdoors, Indoors. Music and More: 9.3 – 9.9

September 3, 2014

The Forecast calls for mostly pleasant weather for the next week, which is great, as there are still a few outdoor events to occur, including the Concrete and Grass Festival, and a play set amongst sculpture, both of which I’ve listed. Of course there is other music that’s worth your while. Don’t be afraid to check some out. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, September 3

images-2Anthony Cox Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Cox provides an interactive experience for the audience, drawing listeners in by asking questions of the audience re: their listening experience and answering questions as well. He’s joined by Peter Shimke, piano; Solomon Parham, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Mississippi, Cory Wong Group, & Les Exodus @ Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7:00pm (Free) This is a production of the Mobile Jazz Project, though instead of performing at a park, they’re at Calhoun Square. Mississippi is the Pete Whitman-led quartet that includes Kevin Washington on drums, Peter Schimke on piano, and Jeff Bailey on bass.  Guitarist Cory Wong,  who also is a producer and composer, will have a couple of talented musicians that he often works with: Yohannes Tona on bass and Petar Janjic on drums. Les Exodus has been helping Minnesotans groove to reggae group for over 26 years now.

Thursday, September 4

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vicky is one of the area’s finest singers. In fact, many singers go to her for lessons. Tonight she’ll be singing new songs, a few she hasn’t sung for a while, and some old favorites. She’ll be joined by James Allen on guitar and Jim Chenoweth on bass.

Nichols, Bates, & Bates @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Not a law firm, but rather a trio of versatile musicians performing original music. Bryan Nichols  piano, Chris Bates  bass, and JT Bates  drums, are prime examples of the creativity found in the Twin Cities jazz community. Another evening of great original music that’s part of the All Originals Jazz Series.

Merciless Ghost @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Grand Ave, just west of Snelling, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, percussion make up this group, which is dedicated to group improvisation. Wine, beer, and small plates are available.

Friday, September 5

Anthony Cox & Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cox on bass and Schimke on piano are two of the area’s very talented musicians. Tonight they join forces for an evening of intimate, imaginative jazz.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Free) This big band of young lions has just released a very fine CD of Meckler’s original music. They were rained out of the Jazz Festival in June, so now is your chance to hear them outdoors. This is part of the Concrete and Grass Festival (see below). In the meantime, here’s a sample of their work.

Fall of the House of Usher @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5, $10, $20 Suggested for Tip Jar) Chris Cunningham, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; Chris Bates, bass; Elliott Wachs, bari sax; Nathan Hanson, tenor sax; Adam Svec, vocals; Ivan Cunningham, sax.

Sunday, September 7

Maud Hixson @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm (No Cover – $?) The cool-yet-warm vocals of Ms Hixson will help you greet a Sunday morning, all the while giving you a view of downtown Minneapolis across the river. Plus, she’s accompanied by a great band: Rick Carlson, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Monday, September 8

Reuben Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ristrom is a guitarist with an unerring sense of swing. He’ll be joined by Jazz Central stalwarts for an evening of jazz standards and more.

Jazz Implosion @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Two sets of music for this weekly gig of adventurous music. First set will feature saxophonist Josh Smith of San Francisco, joined by Michael Lewis and JT Bates. Second set is DD7, with Anthony Cox, JT Bates, Brandon Wozniak, Michael Lewis, and Steve Kenny.

Tuesday, September 9

Cedar Avenue Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Still going strong after 25 years, the CABB is populated by a combination of veterans and emerging musicians. Always exciting.

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, September 3

A Special Evening With Habaneros @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This clarinet/string quintet is composed of members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba. This event is an open dress rehearsal for their upcoming North American tour. In addition to playing, they will share stories, photos, and film about Cuba and their music, which will include classical and Latin pieces. Reservations recommended.

Thursday, September 4

Mikkel Beckman and Bill Patten @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm. Here’s a laid-back after work gig, especially for those of you who live or work in the Capital City. Mikkel is the acoustic/roots percussionist of choice in town, and host of this weekly series. Today, his guest is singer/guitarist Bill Patten.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 4, 5, 6

Concrete & Grass Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 7pm Thurs; 5pm Fri; 4pm Sat (Free) Three days of a wide variety of music  including a Chamber Ensemble of the SPCO performing Beethoven’s Septet in E-Flat, followed by the “Music Mayor of Saint Paul,” Martin Devaney. On Friday, there’ll be performances by Prairie Fire Lady Choir, Salsa del Soul, and the Adam Meckler Orchestra (see Jazz, above). Saturday begins with the Ancia Saxophone Quartet, presented by The Schubert Club, followed by the Minnesota Opera, Breaking Brass, and Joey Molland’s Badfinger.

Cast members on one of the Franconia's sculptures.

Cast members on one of the Franconia’s sculptures.

The Tempest on Franconia Island @ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia. 6pm each night. ($10 Adults, $5 10 & under) Here’s an adventurous bit of play-making as Shakespeare’s Tempest is performed in and amongst a sculpture park. The classic tale is made larger-than-life by the monumental-scale sculptures at Franconia, several of which will serve as sets for the play. Attendees will be escorted to each set by Franconia staff, and beverages will be available for purchase before everyone sets out across the park for the performance. More information is available at: http://www.franconia.org/tempest.html

Friday, September 5

Flamin’ Ohs Kinda Unplugged @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Ohs had well-recieved (at least locally) albums in the early 1980s, and reunited in 1997, more than a decade after their breakup. Since then these classic rockers have performed every once in a while. Tonight they’ll be playing their more reflective tunes during the first set, and then amp it up in the second set with rockers and favorites. Here they are doing a Stones’ tune.

Swamp Poppas @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis.  7pm.($5) KFAI’s Jackson Buck once again presents some cool music for the First Friday of the month. Tonight the Swamp Poppas will entertain with a mix of music from Southwest Louisiana and its environs, including swamp pop, Zydeco, Cajun, blues, and Louisiana rock n’ roll. I’ll bet some dancing will break out. Gabe Barnett opens.

Friday, Saturday, September 5, 6

So Blue @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10/$5 Seniors) With a band led by Wain McFarlane, and some powerful singing from Pippi Ardennia as Victoria Spivey and Patricia Lacy as Big Mama Thornton, among others, this musical production by the Urban Spectrum Theater presents classic blues from the 20s to the 40s, as remembered by a couple of bar owners in the 50s. It’s a charming production, complete with some fine dancers.

Saturday, September 6

Brass Messengers Family Dance Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 11am. ($10 Adults, $5 ages 3-12, free for 2 and under) What a fun concept. The 10-piece Messengers have as much fun playing as any band. Their infectious rhythms and raucous sound are just the thing to engage adults and kids. There will be plenty of space for young and old alike to dance their hearts out. Here’s a taste of their sound.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) The Station has a small dance floor, but that doesn’t stop the mostly middle-aged crowd from filling it and then some, especially when a band like Armadillo Jump is playing their rockin’ rhythm and blues.

The Last Revel & The May North @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) If you are looking for an evening of high energy roots/Americana this is the place to be. The Last Revel are a trio with traditional instruments (guitar, banjo, bass) and a bit of a rowdy, rock attitude. The May North is a quartet (electric bass, fiddle, guitar  banjo) that also likes to ramp up the energy, though at times, they take more laid-back, acoustic Grateful Dead approach to their songs.

Sunday, September 7

John Paul Keith & Molly Maher @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Keith is a Memphis-based roots rocker and witty songwriter whose sound occasionally evokes Buddy Holly, Creedence Clearwater, and other classic rockers, though there is no doubt that his sound is all his own. Maher is our own Twin Cities Treasure, equally adept at guitar playing, songwriting, and singing. Admission includes the Bayport’s terrific BBQ Buffet, so there’s no need for supper beforehand. Cash only, drinks extra.

MNSka Shakedown @ the Nomad, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Get ready for some skankin’ as five bands take the stage to deliver high-energy ska and more, featuring Chris Murray, from Los Angeles, The Prizefighters  the Hennepin County Millionaires Club, the Skruffians, and Pee Wee Dread.

Tuesday, September 9

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ace fingerpicking from one of the best  while you enjoy a cocktail or Cafe Maude’s 3 course, $20 meal.

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Folk-rock blues, with touches of psychedelia, from a woman with a beautiful, clarion voice, an ace guitarist, and rock solid rhythm section. Here’s a performance sans drummer.

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.


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