Music for Strange Times: 10.31 – 11.6

October 31, 2018

So..we begin this week with actual Halloween, and end it with Election Day, which, seems somewhat appropriate in these very strange times. We’ve a good variety of music available to help us through the week from adventurous jazz to Cajun, soul music, or good ol’ rock n’ roll. Whatever your mood, you can let the music wash over you or you can dance. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

NIU Jazztet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This six-piece group from Northern Illinois University has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC, as well as at festivals in Iowa City, Lima Peru, NYC, and Bogota, Columbia, among others. Stop in to see the latest edition of the group.

Thursday, November 1

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($40, $45) It is twenty-one years since vocalist Paula Cole released her breakthrough album This Fire, which contained two Billboard-charting singles, and was nominated for seven Grammys, resulting in Cole’s win as Best New Artist of the Year. Since then she has sold over three million albums, and has worked with a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel and Dolly Parton to Herbie Hancock and Burt Bacharach.

Friday, November 2

Mike Wolter Trio @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Since guitarist Wolter relocated here from Chicago in 2016, he’s collaborated and performed with a number of the area’s musicians, including Josh Granowski, Brandon Wozniak, George Marich, and Nathan Hanson. Tonight he performs original works with his trio featuring bassist Cody McKinney and drummer Cory Healey. Note:This is definitely not a listening room.

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul.7:30pm – 10pm (No Cover) I don’t know who he has with him, but trumpeter Jake Baldwin is worth hearing in his own right. Just be sure to sit close enough to hear him over the room’s conversations.

Merciless Ghost @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Adventuresome music from George Cartwright, leader & sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, percussion.

Saturday, November 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: The Carlton College Jazz Chamber Group, which studies with pianist Laura Caviani and features: Dan Clipper, tenor sax; Amelia Papajohn, voice; Marco Bommarito, piano; Joey Castaneda, electric bass; Jorge Banuelos, drums; and Russell Star-Lack, guitar. At 8:30pm, their teacher takes the stage with her own group: The Laura Caviani Quartet – Caviani, piano; Dave Milne, saxophones; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) I don’t know what Jay Young and his Lyric Factory will be playing, though he’s done shows on Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Herbie Hancock, and others, bringing jazz arrangements to pop songs and new arrangements to jazz standards. Though his group’s membership is somewhat fluid, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Sunday, November 4

Cameron Graves Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $35) Pianist Cameron Graves met saxophonist and current “big thing” in jazz and spiritual jazz Kamasai Washingtonwhen both were in high school in Los Angeles. They’ve played together in many configurations since then, notably on Washington’s 2015 opus The Epic. Graves recently released his own album, Planetary Prince, which has been described as an “almost unbelievable combination of modal jazz, romantic era European classical music, and mathematical death metal,” by Washington. I’ll let you read the tea leaves in that quote.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Since its formation in 2011, the Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO) has steadily increased their repertoire and fan bass. Their 2014 album, When The Clouds Look Like This was released to to critical acclaim and was listed by iTunes as one of the best jazz releases of that year. Meckler has since become one of the leading voices in trumpet, big band, and arranging in the Twin Cities. Tonight the AMO will perform some of the new compositions from their upcoming album, and will feature a number of special guests.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 6, 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s  grandfather was guitarist Sugar Boy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo(aka Iko Iko), and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) Guitarist/singer Big Sandy is a Los Angeles – based rockabilly/roots singer who often adds a bit of Western Swing and L.A. doo-wop into his energetic repertoire. The roomy dance floor will undoubtedly be filled.

Miss Myra and The Moonshiners @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Miss Myra and her band serve up a bracing helping of barrelhouse blues and hot jazz for a Halloween evening.

Orgone @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($17 Advance, $20 Door) California soul from an octet that pulls and pushes you onto the dance floor with their insistent rhythms and dirty funk. McNasty Brass Bandopens.

Thursday, November 1

The Banjo Hour with Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 advance/$15 Door) This is a two hour, vaudeville-style music variety show, with music, magic and comedy, hosted by magician/comedian Michael Callahan, featuring the music of Captain Gravitone & the String Theory OrchestraPhil Nussbaum, banjo maker Tom Nechville, and special guest Steve Kaul.

Friday, November 2

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet @The Underground Music Cafe, Falcon Heights. 7pm (Tip Jar) Highly diverse Americana from this long-lived group that seems to be guided by the same musical impulses as the Jayhawks, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and other eclectic acts.

King Kustom & The Cruisers @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) High octane 50s rock n’ roll, as done by the Batson brothers of the Hypsterz and the Mighty Mofos.

Vicky Emerson & Mother Banjo Double Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $20 Door) Americana singer/songwriter Vicky Emerson will release Steady Heart as a much anticipated follow up to her triumphant 2016 effort, Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down, which reached #58 on the US Americana Charts and soared to #5 on the European Americana Chart. Mother Banjo is releasing Eyes to the Sky, the follow-up to her highly successful gospel album The Devil Hasn’t Won. The new album features both solo tracks by Ellen Stanley (aka Mother Banjo), as well as tracks with the Mother Banjo band. Hayley Rydell, of the Lowland Lakers, opens.

Saturday, November 3

Love TKO II @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Johnnie Brown did so well with his first version of a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass that he’s back for a second time, for another evening of soaring vocals and seductive ballads.,

New Riverside Ramblers CD Release @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, Admission and download – $20) After 25 years together, the  Ramblers continue to create high-energy, Cajun dance music. In fact, they’ve earned a couple of Prix Dehors awards from the Cajun French Music Association, given for the best Cajun recording by a band from outside Louisiana. Now they have a new recording, Lache pas la Patate (Don’t Drop the Potato) and will be celebrating by filling the fine dance floor at the Eagles club. Happily, Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phittsopen.

Dos Santos @ La Doña Cerveceria, 241 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Dos Santos is a Chicago quintet somehow manages to include Cumbia, jazz, punk, and Latinx influences in their sound. They’re being presented as part of the brewery’s multi-day Dia de los Muertoscelebration.

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.


A Rich Tapestry of Music: 5.9 – 5.15

May 9, 2018

Well, maybe Spring is upon us for a few days, giving us an opportunity to get out without bulky clothes.  This week we have three visiting jazz artists (as well as Tony Bennett at the State on Thursday) and six visiting artists in blues and roots. Of course we also have resident artists such as the Atlantis Quartet and Wee Willie Walker, who are known throughout our nation, as well as in some parts of the world, and others who could be, with the right promotion. All of which makes for a rich tapestry of music for the coming week.   Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, May 9

Peter Hennig Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Hennig, drummer for the Atlantis Quartet and other groups in town, will have Brian Ziemniak on keys, and Cody McKinney on bass.

Thursday, May 10

Laura Caviani & David Milne @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12-$15) Pianist Laura Caviani is busy these days, having released two Cds with her trio, taking on more responsibility teaching at St. Olaf, and appearing in other projects, such as this collaboration with saxophonist David Milne. Milne is a Professor of Music and director of Jazz Ensembles at the U of WI-River Falls. Here’s Laura with the title song from her latest CD.

Friday, May 11

Nathan Hanson’s Five Times Golden @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Saxophonist Hanson is an adventurous musician who has played in far-flung places from Pittsburg to Slovenia, in addition to playing in numerous Twin Cities venues. He’ll be accompanied by long-time collaborator Doan Roessler on bass, as well as Devon Gray on piano, and Kismat Shrestha, drums. Her;’s Nathan with Dean Roessler.

Saturday, May 12

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Paul Harper’s Chordless Quartet starts things off at 7pm with; Harper, sax; Ted Olsen, bass; Steve Kenny, trumpet; and Pete Hennig, drums. Hennig returns to the stage at 8:30 with The Atlantis Quartet, whose other members include: Chris Bates, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax.

The Music of Bill Evans @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. (Tip Jar) The MN Hard Bop Collective is reduced to a trio tonight as Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jesse Simon drums, join with the sensitive, yet swinging pianist Phil Aaron to perform the exquisite compositions of Bill Evans. Here’s Aaron with another classic.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) This is the last event of a nine-month monthly residency for Ms Lynch and her Fellows. It’s vintage vocal jazz, with a few old pop tuns thrown in for good measure, delivered in front of a window facing the Minneapolis skyline. Though there is no dance floor as such, a few brave couples will occasionally respond to the groups; swingin’ tunes.

Monday, May 14

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) Trumpeter Sandoval was a one-time protege of Dizzy Gillespie and a founding member of the explosive, Grammy winning Cuban group Irakere. He left the group in the early 80s, and moved to Miami in the early 90s. Since then he’s earned 4 Grammys, 6 Billboard Awards, and an Emmy. His brilliance is evident whether performing Latin, Jazz, or Classical music.

World Jazz Collegium @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Guitarist pavel Jany heads up this quartet, which includes John Croarkin, Dan Weston, and Beth Varela, along with special guest, pianist Steven Hobert. They meld elements of different world musics with jazz and classical music.

Tuesday, May 15

Lynne Arriale Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Pianist Arriale has a new CD to, her 14th as a leader, and she’ll be celebrating its release with resident musicians Chris Bates on bass and Cory Healy on drums. The CD, “Give Us These Days,”was recorded in the Netherlands with a couple of Dutch musicians, and includes six originals and three arrangements, all of which reflect her sense of wonder and showcase her rich imagination and peerless playing.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 15, 16

Terrance Blanchard & The E-Collective @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) The last time trumpeter Blanchard & the E Collective was in town, they were recording songs in cities where conflicts have arisen over police shootings of African Americans. They chose the Twin Cities after the death of Philando Castille. Now they’re touring on the April release of Live!, which features seven powerful songs from that tour. They stress that the project condemns all gun violence, whether against profiled persons of color or law enforcement.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 9

Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The onset of Prohibition in 1920 coincided with with the rise of jazz. The GATL celebrates the music of the time with enthusiasm and virtuosity.

Suzanne Vega @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $60) Vocalist Vega  is often credited with starting the folk revival of the 80s. Tonight she’ll be performing both her 1987 album Solitude Standing and her 1992 album 99.9F in full.

Thursday, May 10

The Banjo Hour w/Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Eli Hoehn, of Captain Gravitone, will host this two-hour music variety show. Its loosely based on a talk show format, and will include Mother Banjo, banjoists Phil Nusbaum and Tom Nechville, an announcer, several features, and music by the house band.

Friday, May 11

Big Sandy & The Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) The Los Angeles – based rockabilly/roots singer and guitarist returns to his favorite Twin Cities venue, where he’ll likely mix in some Western Swing and L.A. doo-wop into his repertoire. The roomy dancefloor will undoubtedly be filled.

Saturday, May 12

New Orleans Suspects, Honey Island Swamp Band @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door) If you didn’t make it to the New Orleans Jazz Festival, you can still enjoy the music of that town, with these two groups of outstanding musicians, and special guest Camille Baudoin, formerly of the Radiators. Arrive early, and with a bit more cash, and you can take part in a Crawfish Boil (6-8pm, $45 Advance/$50 Door, includes concert)

The Greatest Generation @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($28, $38, $48) The Oratorio Society of Minnesota presents the premier of The Greatest Generation: An American Oratorio. This ground-breaking work combines the great popular tunes of the Second World War era with new original compositions and arrangements to craft and pay homage to the American family at war. Songs will include: As Time Goes By, Embraceable You, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and In The Mood

California Honeydrops @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($17 Advance/$20 Door) The CA Honeydrops are celebrating ten years together with the release of their 7th album, the double disc Call It Home: Vol 1&2. The album showcases their deep love and understanding of classic R&B, New Orleans rhythms, Memphis Soul, and the blues. Tad Selzer and I will be doing a phone interview with founder Lech Wierzynski at about 3pm Wednesday, May 8 on The Rockhouse. Tune in live or listen to it on the archives.

Commander Cody @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm ($25) Back in the early 70s, Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen had a hit with a revival of Hot Rod Lincoln. Using a mix of boogie woogie, rock n’ roll, and country music they revived old barn-burners and sang hippie anthems as well as send ups of familiar themes: Mama Hated Diesels, the Kentucky Hills of Tennessee, and Seeds and Stems (Again). Cody and his current band continue to play foot-stomping, good-time music.

Sunday, May 13

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($5) A late afternoon’s worth of Cuban Dance music, so you can dance off you Sunday dinner.

Wee Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm ($?) If you aren’t aware of Walker, see the article  in this past Monday’s Star Tribune.

Monday, May 14

JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?, $8?) Get out those dancin’ shoes and enjoy the insistent, “its got a good beat” music from Southern Louisiana. It’s an early start, just right for a “school night.”

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.

 

 


Twin Cities Music: 4.15 – 4.22

April 15, 2015
I'm pretty sure they're not filing taxes.

I’m pretty sure they’re not filing taxes.

Well, it’s April 15, time for the annual wringing of hands as taxes are due. There’s no wringing of hands over the lack of music in the Twin Cities, as evidenced by the sample of offerings for the next week. However, since it is tax day, I thought I’d give you a bonus: A video of George Harrison and Eric Clapton doing Taxman.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 15

Sophia Shorai @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Shorai is often described as honey-voiced with good reason, as her sunny personality comes sweetly through, but she can also create just the right catch in her voice to convey a sense of loss and despair. She’s also an excellent pianist and is fast becoming a good songwriter.

MacNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman leads this big band, and with 17 players, it is a big band of very talented students. Great charts as well.

Century College Big Band @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Seems like this Century College aggregation is getting out and playing a bit. This organization has been around for decades and has hosted some of the nation’s top talent as guest artists.

Thursday, April 16

Rage Of Achilles @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Part of the Jazz in the Target Atrium Series, tonight Jeremy Walker, piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums, are joined by three vocalists for an original vocal drama composed by Walker and Cox wherein ancient poetry meets classical voice and jazz instrumentation.

Charlie Hunter Trio @ JJ Hill Event Center (Library), Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) This monthly event is usually listed under blues and roots, but tonight they are featuring guitarist Hunter  whose stunning ability on 7 and 8 string guitar let’s him take bass parts as well as rhythm and lead. His career over the last 17 years has resulted in almost 20 albums, recorded for Blue Note, Ropeadope, Concord, and others and he’s worked with folks like Norah Jones and Mos Def. Here’s Hunter in a duo setting, doing Royals.

Friday, April 17

Corey Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Healey  a well -respected educator, surrounds himself with some of Twin Cities finest: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Erik Fratzke, bass.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Another one of Washington’s monthly appearances at the Black Dog, this time the sax/reedman is accompanied by son Kevin on drums, as well as Brian Roessler, bass; and Eric Jackobson, tuba. It’s often unstructured music, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t engaging.

Javi Santiago Quartet @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) So, the curators of Friday nights at Jazz Central and Friday nights at the Nicollet tweaked starting times, so after checking out Corey Healy at jazz Central, patrons can cross the river and take in this young quartet, led by pianist Santiago, for a full evening of jazz.

Saturday, April 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Curator Steve Kenny continues to draw upon young and/or new bands as opening acts for Saturday nights. Tonight he has the Lucia Sarmiento Ensemble opening at 7pm. Sarmiento is a sax player from Peru, who is studying at MacNally Smith. Her group was quite impressive at last years Jazz Festival. Then at 8:30 or so, Dean Granros  guitar; Alden Akeda, drums; Ron Evaniuk bass; and Steve Kenny, trumpet take the headline spot for the evening.

Gypsy Mania @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) The Plymouth Church continues its music series with an evening of acoustic swing, or gypsy jazz, if you will. Returning for the third time is Gypsy Mania  with Gary Schulte, violin; Reynold Philipsek, guitar; Matt Senjem, bass; and Glen Helgeson, guitar, play as if a well-oiled machine. Each has extensive experience with various groups, with each other, and with the genre. Here they are doing an original.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Bassist Jay Young has done tribute shows to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Tonight, however, he’s paying tribute to Herbie Hancock and Earth, Wind, & Fire. He’ll be helped by Thom West, piano; Ian Young, bass; Kevin Washington,m drums; Ernest Bisong, violin, and vocalists Sarah Greer, Libby Turner Opanga, and Michelle Denise Michaels. I do believe it’s  gonna get funky.

Sunday, April 19

Emily Bear Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) This young pianist isn’t even 14, yet Bear was invited to perform at the White House when she was 6 and maser her orchestral debut at 7. She’s more than just a natural talent on the piano, however, as she can easily move from bebop to classical music, and is showing signs of becoming a heavy duty composer as well. Her first album was released in 2013. It was produced by her mentor, Quincy Jones, and peaked at #3 on Billboard’s traditional jazz charts.

Monday, April 20

Peter Shu & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Shu was a classically trained prodigy who once he got through college, studied jazz piano with Mary Louise Knutson, Bobby Peterson, and Nachito Herrera. Tonight he’s joined by Gary Arley Denbow II, sax; Kevin Mills, drums; and Tom Lewis, bass.

Tuesday, April 21

John Raymond Quartet @ Eden Prairie High School, Eden Praire. 7pm – 9pm Minnesota native and current New York trumpeter Raymond comes home to conduct clinics during the day at Eden Prairie High School and perform with the school’s jazz ensembles as well as his own quartet.

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, April 15

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. f5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Mischo is a former Minnesotan who is in town for his annual visit and a few performances. He’s a powerhouse on blues harp, having received glowing praises for his work throughout the country and in Europe. His latest CD, Everything I Need, features Jeremy Johnson on guitar, and Bruce McCabe on piano. He’ll also be appearing at Holihan’s Thursday, The Schooner Pub on Friday, and at Famous Dave’s brunch on Sunday. Check him out.

Willie Murphy & Dean Magraw @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis.7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy does a monthly gig at the Schooner where he brings in a guest and they play together. Tonight it’s Dean Magraw, one of the most versatile guitarists you’ll ever find. Though Magraw doesn’t sing, his guitar work will bring out the best in Murphy.

Exotik-A-Go-Go Record Release @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the sarongs and the flower print shirts! Exotik-A-Go-Go has been bringing their faux island sounds to Psycho Suzie’s Tiki Bar every Friday for a couple of years now, vibes, jungle drums, theremin and birdcalls included. If you remember Quiet Village by Martin Denny, you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, they’ve gone a released a record, that’s right a record, not a CD, and they’re celebrating tonight.

Thursday, April 16

Bettye Lavette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) The 69 year old soul singer toiled in the trenches for many years, held back by bad management decisions, and let’s face it, an ability to stand up for herself that came across as prickly, at best. However, in the years since the turn of the 21st Century, she has been rejuvenated, releasing a spate of albums that establish her as one of the premier song interpreters of our time. This year’s CD, Worthy, contains songs by Dylan, Lennon & McCartney, Savoy Brown, and Mickey Newbury, among others. Though she celebrated its release at the Cafe Carlye in New York City, she’s come back to the Dakota every year since her first appearance at the club about 10 years ago. Here she is singing something from the album.

Three Band Night @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) 9pm New Shoes – PHC vets Richard Kriehn, mandolin/guitar; Joe Savage, pedal steel; Gary Raynor, bass; Peterson, drums. 10pm Randy Sabien with Triple Fiddles, 11pm the Subterraneans play down home blues, boogie and roots, Randy Sabien, fiddle, Jim Ouska, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and Andy Dee, slide.

Friday, April 17

Roots/Americana Benefit for KFAI @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm doors, 7:30pm music ($10 or more, suggested Donation) It’s a benefit for the little station that could, featuring New Riverside Ramblers, Steve Kaul, the Swamp Poppas, Patty & the buttons, Dave Babb, Tom Lieberman, Jon Rodine, square dancing and much more.

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Big Sandy is the L.A. based rockabillly/roots singer and guitarist who includes a bit of Western Swing and Doowop in his repertoire. The dancers will be out for the veteran of 25 years, and always attracts dancers, as well he should. Always a satisfying evening. Opening is Fab Tab, featuring Katy Vernon.

Jimmy Thackery @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The rockin road warrior is back, bending strings and fingers flying down the frets. Thackery spent 15 years with the Nighthawks (and occasionally does reunion shows with them), but since the early 90s has mostly been touring with his trio, the Drivers. Though much of what he plays is blues-rock, he can still deliver the goods on classic blues.

Saturday, April 18

Rock Benefit for KFAI @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm Doors, 7:30pm Music ($10 or more, suggested donation) It’s an evening that ranges from 60s rock to punk to electronic and experimental, with The Silverteens, Scaphe, Kinda Kinky, Beebe Gallini and much much more.

Corey Stevens @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Corey Stevens brings his blues-based rock guitar to the Uptown BBQ. He scored a rock radio hit off his 19956 debut with Blue Drops of Rain, and followed that with another hit, One More Time, in 1997, and is a frequent performer in these parts.

Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) “Q” and the blues always go together, and like that duo, Hurricane Harold’s harp work and guitarist Otto’s mournful vocals are a natural fit.

Monday, April 20

A Dub/Dead Night @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) JT Bates has come up with a change of pace from the exploratory jazz groups that he often presents for the Jazz Implosion. The first set tonight is Entertainment Rhythm featuring Jacob Hansen, guitar; James Buckley, bass; and JT on drums. They’ll be playing live dub music, followed by Steal Your Face, a band that does covers of the Grateful Dead.

Monday, Tuesday, April 20, 21

Dakhabrakha @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($32 – $42) This Ukrainian group is, in many ways, indescribable. Part circus, part street theater, with ethereal, four-part harmonies creating music that has it’s basis in Ukrainian folk music, but with a delivery that can seem to go from Smokey Robinson to Sun Ra in a heartbeat. Though you may not know the words (they’re in Ukrainian after all), the passion of Dakhabrakha comes through.

Wednesday, April 22

A Night at the Opera @ The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($30) If you have any inclinations toward classical compositions and opera, this will be a treat, as Russian baritone Vladislav Sulimsky will be joined by pianist Denis Evsthin to perform popular operatic arias and art songs by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. The museum itself is a lovely place with good acoustics, not to mention extraordinary art. Advance registration required, so I’m including it in this week’s notices.

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.


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