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.


And the Days Grow Short. Music: 8.23 – 8.28

August 23, 2012

You may need umbrellas before the weekend.

It’s been a busy week, and so I’m a day behind in this post. We’ve got some much needed rain in the forecast, which will certainly put a damper on outdoor events. That won’t stop intrepid folks from going to the State Fair, where there’s some mighty fine music taking place on the free stages, as well as Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples in the grandstand on opening night.

Jazz

Thursday, August 23

Capri Big Band @ The Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) The Capri Big Band is one of the  positive stories of Minneapolis’ North Side. It has proven to be a great training ground for young musicians as well as a place for older musicians to keep their chops up while mentoring students. You’ve got the lake, sailboats, cyclists riding by, grills, and picnic grounds. As long as the weather is good, it makes for a perfect summer evening.

Snowblind’s Tribute to Blue Note Records @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Blue Note has long been recognized for its stellar jazz recordings of the 50s and 60s which set the standard for jazz. In fact, much of what we consider mainstream jazz today is directly descended from the hard bop that was brought to the public’s attention by Blue Note. Tonight, Snowblind, a collective ensemble with a predilection for grooves, will perform some of the label’s hits, and perhaps a few misses. The group consists of Scott Agster, trombone; Shihad Sen, sax; Adam Rosmiller, trumpet, Graydon Peterson, bass; and Reid Kennedy, drums. Fine musicians all.

Friday, August 24

Boot Camp @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Pianist Jeremy Walker (aka Boot) moved to NYC for a couple of years to compose and play in the Big Apple. Since returning, he’s put together a number of projects to play his thoughtful music including this group: Walker, piano; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, August 25

Lucia Newell @ the Lexington, Saint Paul 6:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) Ada Ashaya, piano, and Jeff Bailey, bass. Around here, other singers come out to see Lucia perform. You should too, especially since the setting is so warm and clubby. There may be a minimum at some of the tables, but given the quality of the food and drinks at the Lex, it should be easy to meet.

Whitman, Schimke, Lewis & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kenny Horst continues to feature new groupings of players at the AQ. This time we’ve got a swinging saxophonist/composer (Pete Whitman); a pianist who is equally at home with the swing, jazzy R&B, and Latin music (Peter Schimke), a journeyman bassist who can be depended upon for a firm foundation (Tom Lewis) and Kenny Horst himself on drums. Sounds like some great jazz is in the offing.

Culbertson, Sanborn

Dave Sanborn & Brian Culbertson @ Burnsville Performing Arts Center, Burnsville. 7:30pm ($48 ) Sanborn is one of the most influential successful sax players on the planet (take that, Kenny G), winning six Grammys, eight Gold Records, and one Platinum. He’s a passionate player, who tempers his commercial, danceable, R&B with improvisation and surprising forays into projects like a TV series where he played with guests ranging from Sonny Rollins and Sun Ra, as well as a recording project with Avant Gardist Tim Berne and a recent album with Joey DeFrancesco and Steve Gadd. Keyboardist & trombone player Culbertson has been called jazz lite, which is too bad, because his jazz is a funky as can be. It’s allowed him to amass a considerable fan base.Patty Peterson & Friends open. Check out a video of his below. I interviewed Patty on my show this past Friday. You can hear the interview here.

Monday, August 27

Gypsy Mania Trio w/special guest Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm – Midnight (No cover) Folks who like Gypsy jazz know  Glen Helgeson on guitar, Matt Senjem on bass, and Patrick Harrison on accordion can swing with taste and finesse. Those looking for food and drink late at night know that Barbette has a great late night happy hour. Sounds like a great combination.

From a European Tour a few years ago.

Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 & 11:30pm. ($5) Mike Lewis (sax), Adam Linz (bass), and JT Bates (drums) have been so busy with numerous other projects that the three friends (since high school) haven’t played much in the last year or so. See why they’re popular in France and  hear them deconstruct ballads, bebop, and tunes from the likes of Ornette Coleman. The first show gets pretty crowded, and rowdy, but that’s part of the fun.

Tuesday, August 28

Cory Wong Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul 7pm – 9pm. (No Cover) Wong’s recent release, Quartet/Quntet, has moved into the top ten on the CMJ Jazz Charts. He was recently featured on the Voice of America as well. Check out his guitar wizardry at this early show. It’s a weekly thing, but that doesn’t mean you should put off going. Besides, this performance is being recorded by KBEM for its series Saint Paul Live!, so head down and add to the atmosphere.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. They feature jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 22

Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts on KFAI , Minneapolis. 5pm on KFAI, and 7pm – 9pm at the 331. (Free – tip jar @ 331) Okay, you’ve missed this but it’s still available in archive. I was the host on Harold’s House Party this afternoon from 4pm – 6pm, so I invited Julie and the guys to be my in studio guests during the 5pm hour. They play historic folk songs from Minnesota and Wisconsin, with Julie playing flute and Doug Otto and Drew Druckery on guitar, mandolin, and vocals. They played three songs live in the studio, which you can listen to here.

Thursday, August 23

Brooklyn Rider with Bela Fleck @ The Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater. 7:30pm (Adults: $25, Students: $10) This is the final concert in the Stillwater Music Festival, organized by Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet from Brooklyn with Minnesota roots. They are certainly not your father’s string quartet, as they are unafraid of pushing the boundaries of the genre. If you didn’t see them at the Cedar or in other Stillwater Music Festival appearances earlier in the week, here’s your chance. Their special guest for this evening is virtuoso banjo player Bela Fleck, who has been known to cross a genre or two himself.

Deadstring Brothers @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($8) Deadstring Brothers bring to mind the Rolling Stones of Exile on Main Street – a bit raw, a bit ragged, a bit country, and a lot of hard rock n’ roll. Dirt Road Ramblers start the evening, followed by Cannon’s North celebrating a CD release before Deadstring takes the stage to close off the evening.

Friday, August 24

Ronn Easton’s All Star Soul Revue @ Famous Dave’s, Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) If you want to hear some old school music from Motown, the O’Jays, Ohio Players and more check out Che nine-piece revue. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Cool Disposition @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (No cover) Dan Schwalbe’s guitar, Harold Tremblay’s harp, and Mickey’s vocals are just a few of the forces driving this band’s combination of jump, Chicago, and West Coast blues. There isn’t much room for dancing at the oldest continually operating bar in the state, but that just adds to the fun.

Saturday, August 25

Mother Banjo @ The Saint Paul Farmer’s Market, Saint Paul. 9AM (Free) Listen to the sounds of traditional folk, gospel, and alt-country from Ellen Stanley (aka Mother Banjo) as you roam the aisles of the market picking up fresh basil, fruit, and (if you are so inclined) some meat that was on the hoof a couple of days ago.

Maurice Jacox @ Hollihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm (Free) Jacox recently sang some gospel tunes for a church service. He’s equally at home with soul music (naturally), and jazz standards, including Nat King Cole’s songs. I suspect this gig will fine him in an R&B/Blues vein.

Jennifer Markey & the Tennesee Snowpants @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Markey sings country. Not the country of Nashville today, but country that sounds like it was written in little towns, hollers, and even on the plains. Plus, they’re originals.

Saturday, Sunday, August 25, 26

Robby Vee, Jeffrey Broussard, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds @ The Minnesota State Fair Leinie Stage, Saint Paul. (free with $12 Fair Admission) Get there early, fill up at the milk truck, take in some animal barns (you may want to avoid the swine barn) and check out Robby Vee and his Rock n’ Roll Caravan at 10:30 and 11:45am. Test your Zydeco and Cajun dance steps with Jeffrey Broussard & His Creole Cowboys at 3:30 or 4:45, and top your day off with the butt-rockin’ blues of the Fabulous Thunderbirds at 8:30. Grab some desert-on-a-stick and head home, tired and spent.

Monday, Tuesday, August 27, 28

Their first album.

Desert Rose Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Wow. Chris Hillman (guitar), founding member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, along with Herb Pederson (banjo.guitar) who played with both of those groups as well as Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, John Jorgenson (guitar), a wizard who can go from bluegrass to Beatles in the blink of an eye, and Bill Bryson (bass) who played with Ry Cooder. The Desert Rose Band combined Bakersfield honky-tonk with country rock to cause a sensation in country music during the late 80s and 90s. I’ve got two of their first albums on vinyl and play them a lot.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

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


The Weather’s Improving and the Music is Great: 4.18 – 4.25

April 18, 2012

If you were inside listening to music, you may have missed this cold front coming in last Sunday. Lucky you. Photo from WCCO TV.

Well, the weather remains weird (see above photo), though it’s looking promising, tax day is done, and the festival season is starting. Good reasons to get out and about. Support the arts. Discover the creativity of other people, and perhaps light a spark of your own.

Jazz

Wednesday, Thursday, April 18, 19 Jana Nyberg Group on KFAI (90.3 & 106.7FM), Wednesday, 10pm – Midnight (Free) and  Jana Nyberg Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis, Thursday 7pm ($5) A couple of appearances for Ms. Nyberg and her solid group before they head out on a Midwest tour. She’s swings with taste, holding her power in reserve, and with the help of husband/trumpeter Adam Meckler, brings new life to standards of all sorts. Note: I’ll be co-hosting the KFAI appearance.

Friday, Saturday, April 20, 21 Cory Wong CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Wong has recorded a two-CD set called Quartet/Quintet, which features him fronting two different types of aggregations. He’s a talented guitarist, using the quartet to create both straight-ahead and modern pieces and the quintet to add a rock edge to his songs. He’ll be my guest Saturday morning (the 21st) on Rhythm and Grooves (10:30AM – 90.3 and 106.7 FM)

Saturday, April 21

Photo by Jimmy Ryan from Terell Website

JazzMN Orchestra presents: Terell Stafford @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Dr., Minnetonka. 7:30pm. ($25/$29) Stafford started his professional career playing with Bobby Watson, then played with McCoy Tyner’s Latin All Star Band. He’s also performed with Cedar Walton, Herbie Mann, the Clayton Brothers, Diana Krall and a host of others, not to mention recording a half dozen or so recordings under his own name, including Live at the Dakota in 2007. The talented members of the JazzMN Orchestra will provide more than ample backing.

Third Saturday Swing Dance featuring Nichola Miller’s Trio @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – Midnight ($10) The Swing Dancers will be out, but no need to be intimidated. The dance floor fills with folks of all abilities, and with Nichola and her Trio playing, it will be a swingin’ night indeed. Dance lesson at 7:30. Music at 8:30

Sunday, April 22 Jazz Brunch Fundraiser @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. Noon – 3pm ($75) Yeah, the price is high, but it’s a fundraiser so the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education can continue to bring jazz artists into schools, provide summer jazz camp scholarships, support the Dakota Combo, and provide performance opportunities for young bands. 19 year old Grace Kelly, who has recorded seven albums already, will make a special presentation, and Dave Karr will perform with the Dakota Combo. More information and registration here.

Doug Haining’s Cannonball Collective @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10/$8TCJS members). The last in the J to Z series for the year. The Twin Cities Jazz Society has called on swingmaster Haining and his quintet’s salute to Cannonball Adderley. Opening set by Take Five, an ensemble made up of metro area HS students.

Grace Kelly @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Ms Kelly is only 19, yet the alto saxophonist/composer has recorded seven CDs, graduated from Berklee College of Music, teaches there, and is in demand around the world. She was last seen here a few years back at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Here’s her first music video, in which you can hear her fine singing as well as her playing.

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, April 18

Nick Lowe & His Band @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. Doors at 7pm. Music at 9pm? ($20) Nick Lowe is known to middle-aged hipsters as the guy who produced all those great Stiff Records by Elvis Costello, the Damned, and others. I got to interview him once and he admitted he didn’t know what he was doing as a producer. By the time of his albums “Labor of Lust” and “Jesus of Cool” he knew exactly what he was doing. A terrific writer who has gotten better with age, Lowe is a keen observer of the human condition. He’s been solo last couple of times in town, but has a band with him now. What’s more, he’s got Paul Cebar, another fine composer, doing a solo turn as the opener.

Friday, April 20 Scottie Miller & Joe Cruz @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8-10pm ($10) Miller’s keyboard playing can frolic a la Professor Longhair, boogie like Pete Johnson, or rock like Jerry Lee. Joe Cruz is a talented guitarist who will prove a good partner in this rare appearance together.

Greg Brown, w/Joe & Vicki Price @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($45/$35) It’s Iowa night at the Cedar as Greg Brown brings his gravely voice, warm humor, and abiding love of simple things to town. A regular visitor for oh, so many years. When it comes to writing and storytelling, Brown is a master craftsman. Joe & Vicki Price bring a stripped down blues ethic to show as openers.

Saturday, April 21 SolBock Revival Party @ Harriet Brewing, 3036 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis. 2pm – 10pm. ($15) The summer festival season starts out with Harriet Brewing‘s festival for their warm weather beers. Along with the beverage you might expect are a passel of bands, including Javier Trejo, Zack Lozier’s Super Jazz Band Combo, Natty Nation, Reckless Ones, Lonesome Dan Kase, and more, inlcuding painters, food vendors, art vendors, and other entertainment. Hotpants @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) I’ve some regular readers who always want to know about this monthy 45rpm dance event. Always fun. Always showcasing great music you’ve never heard before.

Sunday, April 22

Road to Memphis @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm It’s the annual revue of Minnesota Blues Talent vying to go to the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis next winter. Today’s bands include: Ken Valdez, Wisconsin Bryan Johnson, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, the Mark Cameron Band, the Trent Romens Band, Mike Fugazzi, Kildahl & Vonderharr, Gregg Felber and Crankshaft.

Father Time & Mama Maria @ The King and I Thai, Minneapolis. (No cover) 9pm – Midnight. It’s a generational showdown as father and daughter take vinyl to turntables. Neither knows what the other is playing. Soul? Funk? Punk? Rock? It’s all likely to spill out of the speakers at the Thai restaurant with great cocktails and food.

Tuesday, April 24 Patrick Harrison & Kip Jones @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Harrison on accordion and Jones on violin say they create folk music for imaginary countries. Both are highly skilled instrumentalists with a flair for improvisation.

Tuesday, Wednesday, April 24, 25 James Hunter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Though Great Britain has produced a number of singers mining the soul/r&b genre, none does it as convincingly and with as much soul as Hunter. He has a bit of grit, a lot of passion, and loads of charm. BTW, if none of that intrigues you, he’s a favorite of Van Morrison, a pretty soulful guy himself. Hear some of his music on his website.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) 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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