Music Unites Us: 4.11 – 4.17

April 11, 2018

Whatever your political leanings, there’s no doubt that news of the day can cause some stress. Well, it’s surprising how music can bring people with different viewpoints and beliefs together. Admittedly some of us may not care for one form of music or another, but we can often find music that binds us rather than dividing us. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

PS: Jazz fans will note I’ve listed coming events in jazz for the next two weeks. Let me  know if this works for you, or even if it’s needed.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 11

Bates, Nordland, & Johnson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates once again explore his music with a new group. Guitarist Thomas Nordland and drummer James Pete Johnson will be part of Bates’ next effort with the group Red5, so you can expect stripped-down versions of those songs as well as other originals by Bates.

Thursday, April 12

Sheridan Zuther @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Zuther has a warm, engaging way with an audience, due in part, to her training in theater as well as her hears with the vocal jazz group 5 By Design. She’s a fan of the Great American Songbook, but also throws in songs from her youth growing up on the plains of South Dakota. She’ll be ably accompanied by guitarist Joel Shapira, whose been doing a great job with other vocalists, as well as leading his own groups and playing a regular solo gig at Vieux Carré.

Friday, April 13

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Het, drums; create joyful, intricate music that often has them (and the audience) smiling throughout a show.

Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The members of this quintet say they’re almost a Lou Donaldson cover band. However, they also cover artists such as Eddie Harris, Ruby & the Romantics, and Leon Russell, among others. With that kind of repertoire you can expect toe-tappin’, crowd pleasing jazz from: Greg Schutte, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Matt Darling, trombones; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Though the Aster really doesn’t have a dance floor per se, a few couples always manage to find a space for some easy swing dancing when Ms Lynch and her Fellows take the stage with vintage jazz, a bit of R&B, and her contemporary vocals.

Saturday, April 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set is part of the monthly series JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, and will feature The Dakota Combo, a group studying under the tutelage of Adam Linz: Leighton Tuenge – trumpet; Victor Imbo – trombone; Sofia Kickhofel – alto sax; Owen Finch – piano; Jorgen Linne – bass; and Nick Adams – drums. The 8:30 set is a CD Release Party for INCENDIOS, the new CD by Firebell, featuring the talents of: ​Park Evans – Guitar; Graydon Peterson – Bass; and Jay Epstein – Drums. Here they are with a tune from their last album.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $15 for Guaranteed Seat) This former Twin Cities-now-Chicago-based vocalist will appears at Orchestra Hall on Friday night, but you can see him tackling jazz and the occasional R&B song in the elegant confines of Crooner’s Lounge.

Monday, April 16

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) Another project from the creative mind of pianist Hobert, featuring Hobert on the 9-foot Steinway, Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and L.A. Buckner, drums.

Abdullah Ibrahim @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) South African Abdullah Ibrahim is an elegant pianist and composer, whjose music reflects what he heard as a youngster: traditional African tunes; gospel music and spirituals; jazz; and classical music. He was known as Dollar Brand before his conversion to Islam. He left South Africa in 1962 because of its Aparthied policies, playing in Europe, where Duke Ellington heard him and arranged for Brand to record for Reprise Records witjh a debut disc entitled Duke Ellington Introduces Dollar Brand. Ibrahim has since toured the world, and returned to South Africa after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Toniught, he’ll be honoring one of his first bands, The Jazz Epistles, which included trumpeter Hugh Masakela.

Emerson Hunton Quartet and Andrew Green’s Notet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) The first set is a celebration of the release of Silent D by NYC-based guitarist Andrew Green’s Nonet. The drummer-less quartet includes trombonist JC Sandford, who recently moved back to Mpls after a number of years in NYC, where he and Green were roommates for a while. The other pseats in this version of the Nonet will be filled by Chris Thomson, sax; and Chris Bates on bass. Second set, from the Emerson Hunton Quartet, is led by Hunton, a former Twin Citizen now living in Chicago. He’ll be joined by Chicago band-mates Greg Ward, alto sax; Ben Cruz, guitar; and Charlie Kirchen, bass; playing songs from all members of the band.

Upcoming Jazz

April 18:  Rick Carlson/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré

April 19:  Adam Larson & Bob Bowman @ Jazz Central for an instrumental Thursday

April 19:  PV Glob and Muck Luck @ Khyber Pass

April 19: Beasley’s Big Band @ Wabasha Caves

April 19: Zacc Harris early show @ Vieux Carré

April 20: Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central

April 20: Jeremy Walker early show @ Vieux Carre

April 20: Chronic (aka Kronick Quartet) @ Green Lantern

April 21: Amethyst 3 & Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog

April 21: Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré

April 23:  Jen Shyu/JT Bates @ the Icehouse

April 23: Greg Byers @ Jazz Central

April 24: John Scofield/Joe Lovao Quintet @ Hopkins Center for the Arts

 

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 11

Mississippi Hot Club on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This quintet is a traditional jazz manouche (gypsy jazz) ensemble with two la pompe rhythm guitars, upright bass, and the lively improvisations from solo guitar and violin. Tune in, and head to the 331 for more music.

Corky Siegal and Randy Sabien @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Corky Siegal was a member of the seminal, fun-inducing Siegal-Schwall Blues Band back in the day, but has since moved on to collaborations and performances with highly regarded symphonic orchestras, leading a chamber music group, Chamber Blues, and continuing to appear from time to time with his long-time musical cohort Jim Schwall. Sabien is a funky, jazzy violinist who is a fan of the kind of music made by Bob Wills as well as the Grateful Dead, so his playing goes way beyond that expected of a jazz player.

Thursday, April 12

Siama’s CD Release Party @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis. 5-7pm (Free) Siama Matuzungidi has released a children’s album entitled The Land of Yangalele. (Yangalele means Happiness in the Kikongo language). It’s full of happy, live African music, and this celebration is especially for kids and families. There will be snacks, prizes, instrument-making & more! A second party will be held at the Hook & Ladder Sunday afternoon.

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) LaVette is a soul singer who interprets a song like no other. The three-time Grammy nominee, who has won a number of Blues and R&B awards, recently released an album of mostly lesser-known Dylan tunes on Verve, her first major label recording since her 21st Century renaissance after years of toil in the record industry. Here she is with a classic by the Who.

Papa John Kolstad and the Perfect Phitts @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) I wrote about their appearance on KFAI’s House Party last week. See them in a larger, elegant room.

Friday, April 13

Joyann Parker CD Release @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) There’s a bit of a buzz surrounding Partker’s sophomore effort, Hard to Love, the release of which is being celebrated tonight. Parker is a talented multi-instrumentalist and powerful R&B vocalist, who is versatile enough to sell out a number of Patsy Cline tributes.

Jaedyn James & the Hunger with Purple Funk Metropolis @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Jaedyn and her funk ’n soul band have been holed up for the last four months, coming up with new songs, some new band members, and new horn arrangements. James reports that the changes have encouraged her to show more nuance in her delivery, though I’ve no doubt her fire and the band’s intensity will still result in ecstatic dancing.,

Saturday, April 14

Lojo Russo @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Roots music fans looking for some live music with their brunch will find much to enjoy in the music of guitarist/singer/songwriter Lojo Russo. Russo played in a wide variety of bands in the Twin Cities before moving to the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois in 2005. Her repertoire includes Americana, blues, and roots rock.

Delvon Lamarr OrganTrio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17-$25) This is a classic organ trio that draws from heavily from soul as well as jazz. The Seattle trio’s debut album, Close But No Cigar was first released in 2016 and recently released nationally by Colemine Records, a contemporary soul/funk label from Ohio. The album is a fine slab ‘o’ sound, with songs like Al Greenery and Little Booker T revealing their influence in the title. Make no mistake, though, this is contemporary music, and as it says in the liner notes: All killer. No filler.

Sunday, April 15 

Phil Heywood & Tim Sparks @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($20 Suggested donation) Here you have two, count em’ two ,national fingerpicking champions on stage and playing both together and singly. No wonder Minnesota is known as a hotbed of fingerpicking guitar. Their repertoire ranges from American folk and blues to early jazz roots and brilliant forays into world music and a few well-chosen pop obscurities.

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.


Cinematic Music and More: 2.17 – 2.23

February 17, 2016

images-1Many opportunities for jazz, blues, and roots lovers to go out and hear music. There’s a cinematic mini-theme of sorts this week, with Bill Frisell exploring music from films and television, Bob DeFlores showing soundies from the 40s, and a showing of the Triplets of Belleville with live orchestration at Northrup. Have fun, and remember music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 17

King Fletcher Woods @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Wednesdays at Jazz Central are given over to new music, or new groups. Tonight, Jeff King, on sax; Charles Fletcher on bass; and Eron Woods on drums offer up their version of a (not so) simple trio.

Thursday, February 18

Charmin & Shapira @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Charmin Michelle, on vocals, and Joel Shapira, on guitar are musical partners who have been playing together for years now, and will be trying out new material in the basement club that looks like a music-themed rec room. Here they are with a standard.

JT Bates’ GRAIN @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) JT Bates is a drummer who is well-versed in a number of genres. With GRAIN he’s exploring the rich tradition of soul jazz organ trios with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Friday, February 19

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) The featured artist at 9pm Is Paul Harper’s Bardo Quartet with Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; Matt Buckner, drums; and Paul Harper, saxophones. At 7pm the JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase features Southwest High School Jazz Combos, directed by Corey Needleman.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though vocalist Henry now lives in Chicago, he continues to perform here with regularity, always able to have a dynamic backing band. Tonight it’s  Phil Hey, Drums; Javi Santiago, Piano; Scott Fultz, Sax; and Jeff Bailey on Bass. Henry will undoubtedly be mixing up some Motown and other danceable songs along with his extraordinary jazz stylings. Here he is doing a standard.

Saturday, February 20

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) tonight’s music starts with Yo Jimbo: With Jimbo Robson, Drums; Ron Peterson, Piano; John Brown, bass; Jerry Shelton, trumpet; Brian Van Stavern, Trombone; Steve Klein, Alto sax; Jerry Benson, Tenor sax. At 8:30, Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Solomon Parham, trumpet; take the stage after playing to a full house at the Winter Jazz Fest. As then, they’ll be joined by Peter Schimke, piano; Ted Olson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Bill Frisell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($30 – $35) Frisell was just here with Charles Lloyd, and once again proved that he has a unique approach to playing guitar. He can get to the emotional center of a song with just a few notes. With this show, titled When You Wish Upon A Star, he takes on the classic film and television themes, illustrating how they shape our relationship to what we wee. He’s joined by Eyvind Kang, viola; Thomas Morgan, gbass; Rudy Royston, drums; and Petra Haden on vocals. They’ll re-imagine songs like Over the Rainbow, Disney themes, and music from the Honeymooners. Here’s a video where he talks about the project.

Sunday, February 21

St. Olaf Jazz Ensemble @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) The student jazz ensemble directed by Dave Hagedorn is heading to Cuba at the end of March and they’re holding a fundraiser. There will be raffle tickets available for $10, though admittedly, I don’t know what’s being raffled. Nevertheless, the ensemble has a strong reputation, and given their director (Hagedorn), it’s no wonder. I understand that Mojitos are the drink of the day, though Crooners will have their usual drink and food menu available.

Dan Chouinard & Gwen Matthews @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) It’s the revival of Chouinard’s Birthday Club, where strophe and a guest – this time it’s Gwen Matthews – perform songs from composers and singers with birthdays in the current month.

Monday, February 22

Ches Smith Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Here’s a gig that has many modern jazz fans excited. Ches Smith is a musical explorer who plays drums (including tympani), percussion, and vibraphone. Though Smith is an in-demand player, (he’s appeared on at least 50 recordings since 2001), he is not well known among the jazz public. For this trio he’s joined by violist Mat Maneri and pianist Craig Taborn, who grew up in the Twin Cities. All three record for ECM records, and are touring behind the recently released Bell. It’s filled with free improvisation, empty spaces, and complex phrases that run from meditative to exhilarating.

Tuesday, February 23

Mary Louise Knutson and Hot Jazz w/Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 8pm ($8) Here’s an evening that ranges from sublime to joyful, starting 6pm with pianist Mary Louise Knutson. Then at 8pm, the versatile vocalist Connie Evingson steps on stage, performing gypsy jazz and other “hot” music, backed by Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington and Mike Cramer, guitars; and Josh Granowski, bass.

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, February 17

Captain Gravitone @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Banjoist/composer Eli Hoehn leads this quintet through Americana, jazz, Gypsy jazz, tangos and more. Names after a fictional super-hero named Captain Gravitone the band incorporates some humor into their songs (something we need to here more in music) as well as thoughtfulness and intrigue. Consider the titles of some of their songs: “Warm, Dark, Narcotic American Night,” “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.” Tune in while they’re on the radio and then head over to the 331 to hear more.

Pat Donahue @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) In a town where at least three guitarists have earned the title of Fingerstyle National Champion, Pat Donahue  who is one of those guitarists, stands out, in part because he also sings, and in part because he was a regular on Prairie Home Companion for many years, honing his skill and playing a wide variety of music.

Triplets of Belleville Cine-Concert @ Northrup Auditorium, UofM, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $35) The Grammy-nominated animated madcap comedy about the abduction of a French road-racing bicyclist and his grandmother’s quest to find him will be accompanied by the eight-piece Le Terrible Ortchestre de Belleville directed by Benoit Charest conducting his original score for the film.  Imagine the following with live music.

Thursday, February 18

Ostroushko, Magraw, & Rae: The World Live! at the Hill @ The James J Hill Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) This monthly series of world music brings together three excellent musicians. Peter Ostroushko is a mandolinist/fiddle/guitarist who played on Blood on the Tracks, and has appeared on Praire Home Companion, Austin City Limits, David Letterman, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Dean Magraw is a versatile guitarist who can turn out Celtic and world licks, improvise with the best jazz musicians, and fuzz up his guitar in homage to Jimi Hendrix. Jillian Rae is the youngest of the three, a multi-talented violinist, vocalist, and songwriter, whose songs are full of hooks, and who can play Led Zeppelin as well as a traditional fiddle tune. Check out this video by Rae.

Friday, February 19

Noura Mint Seymali @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) I have to say I’m not very familiar with Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali, but her YouTube videos show her singing timeless songs from the Sahara. She achieves a contemporary sound with the addition of  very cosmopolitan mix of funk bass, drums, and psych guitar played by (husband and fellow griot) Jeich Ould Chighaly. You may not understand the words, but her emotion and the songs beats just may get you dancing.

We Can Be Heroes – The David Bowie Tribute @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) With the passing of Bowie a couple of weeks ago, the tributes are coming. This one is particularly impressive with an All-Star lineup that includes former members of Priince, Soul Asylu, The Suburbs, The REmbrandst, and Greazy Meal. Vocalist Julius Collins leads the proceedings, joined by Michael Bland, Winsotn Roye, Brian Gallagher, Cory Eischen, Phil Solem, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and special guest Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum. DJ Phat will spin from 8pm to 9pm, when the tribute begins. Dress up encouraged.  though he’s not singing a Bowie song, this clip is an example of Collin’s singing ability.

Saturday, February 20

Kate Fierro: The Songs of Sade @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Fierro will enjoy the backing of a great band as she explores 22 songs from Sade’s catalogue, from Diamond Life (1984) to Lover’s Rock (2000). Fierro’s backing band includes back-up singers and band leaders, Katie Gearty and Julius Collins, and is driven by David Young and Joshua Stigen on guitars, Serge Aku on bass, Aaron Tafoya on percussion, Charlie Peterson on keys and production, Mike Holvig on drums and the incredible, long time Twin Cities favorite, Ronny Loew, who will add sparkling saxophone to complete the sound.

Patsy O’Brien @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Born and raised in Ireland, O’Brien now calls Saint Paul home. While he certainly draws upon his Irish heritage in performing, he has studied jazz, and has toured in country and rock bands. He’s been called “Ireland’s Best Kept Secret,” and an “Irish Robbie Robertson.”

Sunday, February 21

Bob DeFlores Presents The Soundies @ Chanhassen Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12, or $27 including 4:30pm dinner) Make your way to the Southwest suburb to take in this unique show. “Soundies” were essentially the music videos of the 1940s, 3 minute films of singers, dancers, and bands created for screening in film jukeboxes. Some were also shown during the early days of television. Bob DeFlores, nationally known archivist of films, will be showing some of the great entertainers, singers and orchestras of the era: Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Doris Day, Jimmy Dorsey, The Mills Brothers, Liberace, Eddie Peabody, Ozzie Nelson, Gene Krupa with Anita O’Day and Roy Eldridge, and many more. Also enjoy “Sing Along with the Bouncing Ball!” Dinner will be served after the showing. Here’s an example.

Monday, February 22

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) It’s Cajun/Zydeco night at the Eagles, with the New Riverside Ramblers  Having played together for 25 years, these musicians are adept at providing the impetus for folks to shake it, twirl it, and glide around the dance floor.

Tuesday, February 23

Warren Haynes and the Ashes & Dust Band @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($34 – $40) Guitarist Haynes has been part of three groups known for their live performances: the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, and The Dead. On his latest album, Ashes & Dust, Haynes shows off his Americana chops both as a singer and songwriter, reflecting the music he heard growing up in Asheville, NC, with an undercurrent of working class rock n’ roll. Not to worry, however, he’s still using his electric guitar while making good use of the acoustic prowess of his backing band.

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.


The 80s, Chicago Jazz, and more. Music: 11.4 – 11.10

November 4, 2015

imagesIt’s another good week for jazz in the Twin Cities, and though we only have one visiting artist (Joey DeFrancesco), we do have a couple of Chicago artists who perform hear regularly. We also have many outstanding players who would welcome your presence. On the blues and roots side of things, we have a couple of musicians who defined that 80s sound, some long time Twin Cities bluesmen, and some classical music as performed by a small choir.  Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 4

Anthony Cox: Continuum Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The first Wednesday of each month, crack bassist Anthony Cox hosts a group of musicians, and sometimes artists from other disciplines. They play, interact, and sometimes Cox opens it up for the audience to ask questions and take part.

Thursday, November 5

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No cover) The pianist/trumpeter will be accompanied by bassist Matt Peterson, for dinner music that’s much more than dinner music. Here’s Jon in a trio format.

Zacc andCory, getting real. Photo by Andrea Canter

Zacc andCory, getting real. Photo by Andrea Canter

Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Groundswell, 1340 Thomas Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) It’s a three act evening as drummer Cory Healey brings his band to this corner coffeehouse. Besides Healey on drums, the band includes Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax. Also playing this evening: Graham O’Brien (unknown to me) and a group called And…And…End, featuring Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on trumpet; and Cole Pulice, sax.

Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) You won’t find a more compatible duo than singer Maud Hixson, whose June Christy cool voice belies a warm execution, and pianist Rick Carlson, whose economical playing says so much with so little.

Jana Nyberg @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Jana takes a holiday from the Jana Nyberg Group and sings with some other stellar musicians: Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here she is doing a classic Ellington song.

Friday, November 6

Bruce Henry @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Henry, who now lives in Chicago, is back for a visit. He isn’t a crooner, though he could be if he wanted. Instead, he sings jazz and R&B songs like Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay and Coltane’s Equinox, as well as Motown numbers that will make you dance.

Joel Shapira Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No cover) Joel Shapira combines his own supple guitar work with the brass of Pete Whitman’s stellar sax, and Tom Lewis’s fine bass. Here is Joel in a solo mood.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Whether he’s channeling Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind and Fire, or Michael Jackson, bassist Young and his Lyric Factory always satisfies.

Graydon Peterson Quartet CD Release @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. (Tip Jar) The Graydon Peterson Quartet is releasing a fine little CD entitled, oddly enough, Duets. It features nine tracks of original compositions played as duets between various member  of the quartet: Peterson, bass; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, keys; and Adrian Suarez, drums. Here’s one of the numbers.

Saturday, November 7

Butch Thompson Trio @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth. 7pm – 8pm ($10) Pianist Butch Thompson, together with Tony Balluf, clarinet; and Steve Pikal, bass, play a combination of old time jazz and occasional blues. You couldn’t find a better trio in town for this music. Here’s Butch with a different trio.

Steve Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($20) The Chicago native has released 15 albums since his debut in 1998. With a saxophone sound that can be greasy or “smooth” Cole has recorded with Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy, Larry Carlton, Freddy Cole, and Boz Scaggs, among others. Special guest will be our very own Patty Peterson.

Babatunde Lea Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (tip Jar) Master drummer and conguero Lea has played with Pharoah Sanders and Stan Getz, among others, and had the first release of Motema Records. Tonight he leads Zacc Harris, guitar; Geoff Brennan, bass; and Phil Aaron, piano, in an evening of exciting music. Opening tonight at 7pm is the clever Exquisite Corps, with Dave Roos, guitar; Eron Woods, Drums; and Peter Susag, bass. All of their songs have a body part in the title.

Sunday, November 8

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) He might be better known on the East Coast than here in town, but Renz  s a guitarist that you should hear. His writing and playing are both melodic and inventive.

Monday, November 9

Joey DeFrancesco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($22) Since the death of DeFrancesco’s mentor, Jimmy Smith, DeFrancesco has become the leading light of B3 Organ music. I’ve seen him a half dozen times at least, and he’s always satisfying.

Tuesday, November 10

Unknown-2Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Though I wrote about Mary Louise playing solo at the Vieux Carre last week, this week she’s joined by Gordy Johnson, bass, and Phil Hey, drums. Pardon the bad grammar, but to put it simply, it don’t get no better!

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5)  Aaron, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; Jay Epstein, drums. Another stellar trio, this time playing for those who want to hang in the city. Aaron can swing like mad, and makes difficult charts look like child’s play.

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, November 4

Unknown-3John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) At this point, John Beach is often described as Legendary John Beach. He’s been a fixture on the Twin Cities music scene of years, playing piano for Willie Murphy, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Bo Diddley, and more… Tune in to find out who is playing with him.

Joe Jackson @ the Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($40 – $67.50) Musical wanderer Jackson has been all over the place, deftly picking up genres and disposing of them as soon as he’s conquered them. He first made a splash with the new-wavy Is She Really Going Out with Him in 1979 and subsequently explored reggae, salsa, jump blues, R&B and Jazz, film scores, and contemporary classical music,as well as a 2012 horn-free release celebrating Duke Ellington, but nevertheless including a duet with Iggy Pop.  He’ll open the show with a short solo piano set before bringing on a full band. DJ Jake Rudh will spin pre-show music. Here’s a song from Joe’s recently released album.

Friday, November 6

Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/banjo picker Eli Hoehn leads this Americana sextet, through a repertoire that emphasizes acoustic instruments with a bit of rock undercurrents. Their new CD, A Real Fine Day (when the circus comes to town) features four brass and a violin as well, but I don’t know if they’ll be in the show.

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) With a low-key style and a voice that evokes Billie Holiday, Peyroux has tackled a wide variety of material. She recently released a Best Of compilation on Rounder Records which includes songs from her 20[-year career including some Atlantic and Decca/Emarcy releases.

Hymnos Vocal Ensemble: Lowertown Classics @ Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Blvd East, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s an under-the-radar gig for those who appreciate classical music. In fact, you have to enter the artists’  building via its back alley, and make your way to the third floor atrium. Hymnos is a choir of 8-12 highly select mixed voices that has been performing a wide range of music, from Renaissance to contemporary, since being founded in 2011 by Eric Sorum. They will be joined by Jennifer Parker, voice, Eva Bnenke, classical guitar; and Chris Olson, guitar. There will be wine, coffee, pastries and candy.

Papa John Kolstad and the Hot Club of East Lake Street @ Merlins, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 12:30am. Papa John returns to Merlins on a Saturday night. John’s guitar playing, wry humor, and sly political asides, together with Sam Fiske, trumpet; Deano Mikkelson, guitar; and Bill Grenke, bass, makes for an entertaining evening. Bring your ID if you want adult beverages, and get there a bit early to get a good seat.

Saturday, November 7

Scottie Miller @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Miller has a new album, Reciprocation, and as with his last one, he’s rockin’ out a bit, though his New Orleans/Barrelhouse piano, and R&B beats still shine through.

Hurricane Harold’s All-Stars @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Though it’s slightly tonier than his usual haunts, Hurricane Harold, and his All-Star band of Twin Cities Bluesers will fit in just fine at the basement club. Plus, it won’t be hard to move tables when the dancing bug hits. Check out the Scottie Miller video above for one version of the All-Stars.

Monday, November 9

A very different Joe Fingers.

A very different Joe Fingers.

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Joe Fingers is an ace fingerpicker, one of a number of champions that live in the area. Once in a while, though he may be ignored by Latte-drinkes perusing the internet, he just likes to play.

Tuesday, November 10

Howard Jones @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $75) Another act that blossomed in the 80s and, in fact, helped define the synth-pop sound of that decade. He had 15 top 40 singles between 1983 and 1992 and have never stopped performing, still releasing albums (including podcasts) and writing.

TheSubdudes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$45), 9pm ($35 – $40) The Subdudes deliverNew Orleans soulfulness, delivered with acoustic guitars, fine harmonies, and good songwriting.

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 Jazz, Roots, and Blues: 2.4 – 2.10

February 4, 2015
The Conservatory at Como Zoo, where you can treat your skin to humidity during the winter, and see some music on Sunday (see Blues & Roots, below).

The Conservatory at Como Zoo, where you can treat your skin to humidity during the winter, and see some music on Sunday (see Blues & Roots, below).

Greetings and salutations to one and all;

Happy to report that I’m back from a fun-filled week of jazz while sailing in the Caribbean, and though the weather is cold the music here is hot. We’re lucky to have some very talented jazz musicians of our own to see this week, as well as some great blues and roots music, including two powerhouse performers from the 70s who are still delivery vital music. Note too, how the music community is coming together for a couple of benefits. Music can certainly lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 4

Anthony Cox and Riotous N @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  Featuring Jonathan Penny, guitar; Davu Seru, drums, Cox on Bass, and special guest Sarag Greer on vocals. Cox always brings an interesting crew to first Wednesdays at Jazz Central. What’s more, he opens up the stage (so to speak) to questions, making this an interactive event.

Thursday, February 5

Ready to cure your ills

Ready to cure your ills

The Sound Doctors @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) An a cappella quintet with Dorian Chalmers, Dennis Curley, Greg Eiden, Geoff Thompson, and Sheridan Zuther. Jazz and Pop Vocals from Singers Vocalists and musical theater professionals who have sung with Phil Mattson Singers, Shoop!, Five by Design, the Church Basement Ladies and others.

Frog Stew, a Low Country Boil

Frog Stew, a Low Country Boil

Stew Frog @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) No, Khyber Pass Cafe isn’t serving a Low Country Boil  but rather Scott Fultz, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Steve Goldstein on laptop will be performing. This certainly sounds like a night of exploratory jazz, what with the ability of Fultz and Granros to freely improvise combined with the sonic possibilities that Goldstein’s laptop most certainly contains.

Friday,February 6

Phil Hey Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Phil Hey, drums; Tom Lewis bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Aaron, piano. A long-standing quartet that plays tunes from Bill Evans, Ornette Coleman, and other advanced composers. Followed at 9:30 by a group of players who studied with Phil. Here they are at their old stomping grounds.

Friday, Saturday, February 6,7

Weekend at Keys Please @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Carei Thomas,  Todd Harper,  and Paul Cantrell  with special guest Nathan Hanson. Started in 2002, this mid-winter tradition has become a staple of the Twin Cities new music calendar. The annual concert takes on musics of diverse genres, including free improvisation,  popemmetry and “weather permitting,” whatever they are, and both new and old compositions. Special guest, saxophonist Nathan Hanson is known for composing as well as improvising.

Saturday, February 7

Kenny Horst & Friends @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s great to see Kenny playing drums without the pressures of running a club. Tonight his friends include Tom Lewis, bass; Pete Whitman, sax; and Steve Kenny, trumpet. Opening act is the Jon Pemberton Trio at 7pm. Jon plays piano and trumpet, and is well worth arriving early.

7 Cats Swing Band @ Crooners Lounge, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This group plays charts from Gershwin, Ellington, Glen Miller, and other jazz and swing standards. Crooners Lounge has a dance floor and good sight lines from both the bar and tables.

Saturday, Sunday, Feb 7, 8

Bruce Henry: Afro Blue: The Drum, The Journey, the Song @ The Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway, Mpls. 7pm Sat, 3pm Sun. Though he’s now living in Chicago, Henry often returns to the Twin Cities for special projects. Tonight and tomorrow the singer with a three-octave range presents a musical journey exploring African drums and their connection to spirituals, jazz, and the Great American Songbook.

Monday, February 9

Firebell @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Last year, this trio released a CD that was at the top of a number of best-ofs in the area. Here the original compositions from Impossible Vacation, as well as whatever else Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, decide to play. Check them out.

Solomon Parham @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With a clear, bell-like tone, and considerable imagination, Parham is a trumpeter to watch. The Detroit native has played with Delfeayo Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Eric Kamau Gravatt, and Christian McBride, to name a few.

Javier Santiago EP Release @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The NYC based pianist has come back to town for a while, and we’re treated to his playing. Tonight he celebrates the release of an EP entitled Year of the Horse, featuring Proper T and Miguel Hurtado. For the second set he’ll be joined by Cory Wong, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums, and T. Anthony, vocals.

Tuesday, February 10

A Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Olson is a guitarist with a fluid style and always interesting improvising skills. BTW, he’s also an composer, and teaches at McNally Smith and a few jazz camps around town.

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, February 4

IMG_1320Doug Otto & The Getaways CD Release Party on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Doug and the guys have a new CD, entitled Nine Trick Pony, and they’re celebrating its release. Expect a mix of blues and country-ish songs. Tune in at 5pm and head to the 331 Club afterwards.

ToP's front line at work

ToP’s front line at work

Wednesday – Saturday, February 4-7

Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70), 9pm ($35 – $60) Old School R&B of the highest order, with a horn section that just won’t quit. Tower of Power has been funkifying lives since 1968, and five of the ten members of this powerhouse band are original members. Their last few appearances at the Dakota have been full of energy and immensely satisfying. They now have a new lead singer, Ray Greene, who seems to be kicking the band to a higher level, if that’s possible.

Thursday, February 5

Hurricane Harold Trio @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free) Take the whirlwind harmonica blowing of Hurricane Harold, and join it to the blues-full vocals of Doug Otto and edgy guitar of Albert Perez and you’ve got some fun goin’ on. Here’s two of the three.

Friday, February 6

Moses Oakland and Paul Holland w/Rena Haus Trio @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s a bluesy Freewheelin’ First Friday, as KFAI’s Jackson Buck presents singer/songwriter Rena Haus and her trio opening at 7pm. Then at 9pm, venerable bluesman/jam host Moses Oakland takes the stage, accompanied by Paul Holland.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station Pub, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Though the dance floor is small, it still allows East metro folk  to dance to the ever swingin’ rockin’ blues of the Jumpsters.

Friday, Saturday, February 6,7

Bob Marley 70th Birthday Celebration @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($18) Marley was part Natural Mystic, part Rebel, Rastafarian, and the most popular world music artist of the late 70s and until he passed in ’81. This annual celebration has turned into a two day affair for the 70th anniversary of his birth. The International Reggae All Stars came together as a Marley tribute band in the early 90s. They and Innocent will lead the celebration, joined by many friends. Here’s what to expect.

Saturday, February 7

Harriet Brewing’s 4th Anniversary @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Featuring country inflected rock n’ roll from the American Sacarecrows; more country writing and guitar playing from Erik Koskinen and his Band; and lively Nouveau Hillbilly music from The Last Revel. Harriet brewing will fill the beer taps with a number of their brews as well.

KFAI Benefit w/Mighty Mofos, X-boys, Flamin’ Ohs, Michael Yonkers, DJ Danny Sigelman @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12) Lots of Gen Xers will relive their youth, while Millennials will discover the power of 70s and early 80s punk/pop. Tickets are going fast, so you may want to buy/reserve early. Here’s something from the vaults featuring the Ohs.

Sunday, February 8

33rd Annual Battle of the Jug Bands @ The Cabooze, 12:00 Noon, ($5 Suggested Donation) Will dozens of jug bands, some of whom were formed just for the contest, get up and perform? Will long time friends greet each other with warmth? Will a large potluck ensue? And will the waffle iron prize once again be stolen? Whadda you think?

Urban Hillbilly Quartet @ the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Como Zoo, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30 pm (Free) Though often cited for their eclecticism, the UHB mines some of the same country/rock genre as bands such as the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo, and even David Grisman. Can’t think of a nicer, warmer, or more skin-welcoming humid place to hear them than the Conservatory (see photo above), though limited space means you might want to listen to them in a part of the conservatory that doesn’t have direct sight lines to the band.

Barbara Le Shoure Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10 Donation) Blueswoman Barbara LeShoure  a member of both the Chicago and Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, had a third stroke a few months back, and though she’s been improving with physical therapy, she needs help with daily expenses and medical bills. The music community is rallying around, so you’ll be able to hear the Maxx Band, Annie Mack, Jimmy Prime Time Sith, Kendra Glenn, Wain MacFarlane, Pippi Ardennia, more.

Monday, February 9

Tommy & The Liebermen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Lieberman is a singer/songwriter with a fine way with words and an entertaining way with a crowd. His songs can be insightful as well as funny. It’s a foodie night, so there’s no cover, $10 bottles of wine and a special menu.

Tuesday, February 10

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you’re looking for ace fingerpicking and a more than pleasant baritone to go with your dinner, this is the place to be tonight. Be sure to ask for a table near the singer, since Cafe Maude can get crowded and noisy.

Tuesday, Wednesday, February 10,11

Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60) Hmm, how much needs to be said about Mason  at least for anyone over 50. Okay, he’s in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. He’s recorded with Hendrix, the Stones, and George Harrison, and his band Traffic featured Steve Winwood. He had hits with Only You Know and I Know, and Feelin’ Alright, which was later made a bigger hit by Joe Cocker. Mason even recorded with Mama Cass! These shows will feature songs from Traffic’s1967 and 1968 albums. Is that enough?

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 for an Early Spring: 3.21 – 3.27

March 21, 2012

Minnesota Spring. Photo by Ellen Empson (www.ellenempson.com)

Well, Spring has officially arrived, though the warm weather we’ve had makes it seem that perhaps we’ve skipped Spring entirely. Not many are complaining. Though the outdoors beckon, there are many good reasons to go indoors and hear music this week, including an open rehearsal, and a modern big band performance, some touring artists, a couple of CD release parties, and a benefit with some very unique combinations of musicians.  Have fun.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 21

Good Vibes @ Cafe Maude, South Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover)  The diners at Cafe Maude will get a special treat tonight. Chris Bates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes, perform sometimes intricate, often beautiful music. Call for reservations and say you’d like to be near the music.

Thursday, March 22

Nick Haas Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. An early evening gig from Haas, a guitarist/composer with good taste in both originals and standards.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Piano jazz the way you want it, tasteful, yet exciting. That’s not a paradox in Lomheim’s case.

JelloSlave @ Barbette, Uptown Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) JelloSlave has been using the combination of two cellos, tablas, and trapset for a few years now, creating a highly unique combination of drones, groans, and moans for originals, pop tunes, and classical numbers.

Sons of Daughters @ Jazz Central, NE Minneapolis. 10pm. (Donation)  Word is getting out to musicians that Jazz Central is a great venue for DIY performances. Sons of Daughters are an avant-garde jazz trio from New York City, though all three members are originally from Washington. They’re touring in support of their latest album, “Beyond Animals.” You can hear some of their music on their myspace page. BTW, at Jazz Central, it’s always BYOB.

Friday, Saturday, March 23, 24

Bruce Henry @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The master vocalist may now live in Chicago, but he does return a few times a year. His singing is informed by a thorough knowledge of all types of African American music. Whether he’s doing Marvin Gaye or Freddie Hubbard, the results are worth going out of your way to hear. Luckily, The AQ is smack in the middle of downtown Saint Paul.

Saturday, March 24

James Allen & Tom Peiper @ First Course Bistro, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover). This tiny place is hosting Allen, a guitarist whose combination of single lines and chords brings out much in his instrument. With Peiper on bass the two will be treating diners to acoustic jazz, bossa novas, and sambas.

Sunday, March 26

Chris Bates Quintet Open Rehearsal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm (Donation – $5 encouraged).  This is the third of three open rehearsals for the band before heading into the recording studio. After working on arrangements over the last few weeks, they’ll be playing new songs in their entirety. Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Brandon Wozniak, alto sax; Chris Thomson, tenor sax; Zac Lozier, trumpet.

Sunday, Monday, March 25, 26

Hiromi: The Trio Project @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35, $25) Okay. Hiromi has blinding technique, but there is much, much more, such as the pure joy that she emanates when at the keyboard. Her imaginative playing has attracted the likes of Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and others with whom she’s played and toured. A recent Downbeat review of The Trio’s performance spoke of “a remarkably high level of intense-but-controlled energy.”

Monday, March 26

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ O’Gara’s, Saint Paul. 8pm – 9:30pm ($7). Adam is bringing an 18 piece big band to O’Gara’s Shamrock room. They play Adam’s original music, and will be premiering two new pieces. I saw this exciting group at their last O’Gara’s appearance. Anyone with an interest in big bands should check them out.

For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, go to the Bebopified Calendar, here.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Thursday, March 22

Camille Baudoin w/the Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) You may know Baudoin as the guitarist for the long lived-but-no-longer extant Radiators out of New Orleans. Winner of Offbeat Awards for his 2011 acoustic album “Old Bayou Blues,” he’s in town for a couple of gigs, including the Sunday benefit listed below. Tonight he’s playing with Curt Obeda and the Butanes, the award-winning blues group that’s versatile enough to tackle all sorts of rhythms and blues with equal elán.

Friday, March 23

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings CD/LP Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10). Take a washtub (played by Brad Ptacek) and a washboard (Mikkel Beckman) from the laundry room. Add a broom and rope to the tub as per the diagram. Bring in a guitarist (Kaul) who is especially effective on Resonator, and who can write old sounding songs about contemporary life, and you’ve got the formula for an engaging trio. On “Machine,”the new CD/LP, and for tonight’s performance, the crew expands with the addition of fiddler Jillian Rae from the Killer Hayseeds.

Bethany Larson & the Bee’s Knees, Joey Ryan & the Inks, and Communist Daughter @ The Varsity, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) Three young bands that feature excellent writing and vocals, fine musicianship and a sunny sound that sometimes hints at darker concerns.

Saturday, March 24

Janiva Magness CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Aside from Koko Taylor, Janiva is the only woman to receive the BB King Entertainer of the Year Award. A man is the target of some particularly tough words on her latest CD, “Stronger for It,” though that shouldn’t stop guys from listening or attending this show. After all, it’s the blues. Mighty fine blues, goosed along by Janiva’s soulful singing. Here’s a video of her doing a song from the new album.

Hot Pants @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Soul. Funk. Vinyl. 45s. Dancing. Lots, and lots, and lots of Dancing.

Sunday, March 25

Brunch w/Javier & the Innocent Sons @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm. (No cover) More bracing than the hair of the dog, easier to take than a Rocky Balboa health drink, the swinging country blues of Javier & the boys will go well with the Kitchen’s famed breakfast dishes.

Never Let Your Fire Go Out: Benefit or Karl Bremer @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. Doors at Noon, Music 2pm – 9pm. ($25) Members of the New Orleans Radiators, The Butanes, the Cats Under the Stars Acoustic Trio, along with Willie West, Tony Glover, Gene LaFond and more. This is a unique and extraordinary gathering of veteran musicians. Well worth the entry, PLUS, it’s going to benefit Karl Bremer, founder of the Krewe of Dads, music writer, former Brewmeister of St. Croix Brewing,and author of “The Madness of Michelle Bachman” (2011, John Wiley & Sons).

Maurice Jaycox Band @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul 4pm (No Cover) This talented singer/instrumentalist has a long history with a number of highly popular bands. He’s also done a Nat King Cole tribute show, and of late has been sitting in at various venues around town. Jaycox has particularly good rapport with guitarists Bobby E. and Dean Mikkelson, who he’s been playing with lately. Hope they are with him for this late afternoon show. Well worth taking some time out of a sunny day.

Tuesday, March 27

Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($30) Back when pop music was in love with psychedelic guitars, obtuse words, and overblown suites, along came the witty acoustic swing of Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks, providing a refreshing blend of folk, jazz, and country music and retro/nouveau hipsterism. He still concocts deliciously funny lyrics, and still swings. Here’s an example of his droll humor.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


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