The Music Never Stops: 5.17 – 5.23

May 17, 2017

Well, we’re making our way through May, and to paraphrase the Grateful Dead used to sing, The Music Never Stops. We’ve got it all, from neo-soul to brass bands, to great jazz artists and lots of dancing. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 17

Selby Avenue Brass Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Again, I’d normally be listing Harold’s guest on the House Party under blues and roots, but the Selby Avenue Brass Band, with its combination of traditional New Orleans tunes and more contemporary fare, need to brought to the attention of jazz fans. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour for a taste of their sound, and head to the 331 if you like what you hear.

Standards Night, with Andrew Walesch, featuring Daniel Glass @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) Daniel Glass is an award-winning drummer who was a member of the Royal Crown Revue, popular during the swing revival of the 90s. He’s recorded and performed all over the world with many top artists, including Brian Setzer, Bette Midler, and Liza Minnelli. Tonight he teams up with singer/pianist Andrew Walesch to present American standards, with the backing of Dave Karr on Sax, and Veikko Lepisto on bass.

Thursday, May 18

Special EFX @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($37), 9pm ($30) Special EFX was founded in 1983 by New York guitarist Chieli Minucci, a virtuoso who has been first call for artists ranging from mark Anthony and Jessica Simpson, to Bobby Caldwell and Gerald Veasley, among others. In addition to Minucci, the band includes Nelson Rangell, who is adept at soprano, alto, and tenor sax, as  well as being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo. He’s also worked with many outstanding artists, including The Rippingtons, Patti Austin, and others. Finally, keyboardist Lao Tizer is a rising star in the continuing development of world fusion music.

Lorri Dokken & the Wolverines Trio @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 will guarantee a seat in front of the stage) Dokken, aka Ms. Piano Bar, is a cabaret artist and general all-around entertainer who has appeared on stages throughout the Twin Cities and the world. She’ll be supported by the Wolverines Trio – the finest set of accompanists in the Twin Cities.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) In a bit of a change from normal dates, tonight features two groups. The first is Below Zero, w/Noah Wilhite, tenor; Jacob Rochelle-Share, trombone; August McKinney, piano; Jorgen Linne, bass; Nick Adam, drums. At 10:30 it’s the Steve Kenny Trio: Ted Olsen bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums; Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

Kristen Lee Sergeant, featuring Ted Nash and the Jeremy Walker Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 Bar seating, $18 Table seating) Vocalist Kristen Lee Sergeant has been turning ears and heads since her recent emergence on the NYC jazz scene. Her debut CD, Inside Out, was chosen as DownBeat Magazine’s Editor’s Pick last fall, praising her “buttery to deliciously tart” vocals and “dramatically fresh arrangements.” Resident pianist-bandleader-composer Jeremy Walker has long been friends with NYC saxophonist Ted Nash, who just won 2017 Grammys for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Composition. This promises to be a special show. Here’s Sergeant with Ted Nash.

Friday, May 19

Paul Renz Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Renz is a fine guitarist who teaches more than he plays out, though as a composer and performer he always impresses with his melodic creativity and sheer craftmaship. In addition to teaching in town, Renz runs a summer jazz camp in Ontarios for adults, and has recruited Cheryl Bentyne of Manhattan Transfer as a vocal teacher this year. He tours the East Coast at least once a year, and only occasionally plays in town, so take advantage of this opportunity.

Phil Hey Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) You can’t go wrong when drummer Phil Hey leads his long-standing quartet through a dazzling mix of jazz standards and a few more “difficult” pieces, so to speak, with Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Dave Hagedorn, drums.

Saturday, May 20

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Pat Moriary is a saxophonist and the music director at Roseville High School, where he manages to bring in some heavyweight talent to work with the schools bands. This week he’s bringing in pianist-composer Angelica Sanchez, who has played with such figures as Paul Motian, Wadada Leo Smith, Tim Berne, Ben Monder, and Rob Mazurek. She leads several groups, including a nonet with Roseville HS grad Michael Attias. Her music always offers the sound of surprise, whether she’s playing “free jazz with structure,” as the NY Times noted, or her own composed pieces, which always allow plenty of room for soloists. The evening will open with the Pat Moriarty/Ellen Lease Quartet, an always surprising group: Moriarty, sax; Ellen Lease, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. At 8:30pm Angelica Sanchez will take the stage with Chris Bates, bass; Pete Hennig, drums.

Zacc Harris’ American Reverie CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Harris and his group American Reverie have released a fine CD celebrating Americana music. Harris’ single note lines are particularly effective on songs by Woody Guthrie and Willie Nelson, among others.  Special guests for the evening include Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold and the Lesser Lakes Trio. I had him on my show on May 13, you can listen to the interview here.

Monday, May 22

Peter Kogan Quintet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($10) In an unusual turn for the Icehouse, Peter Kogan and his quintet will present an early show before JT Jazz Implosion. As some of you may recall, Kogan is the former tympanist for the Minnesota Orchestra who has been having much fun with jazz since he retired a few years ago. Tonight he brings in a multi-generational band: Kogan, drums; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Pete Whitman, Sax; Phil Aaron, keys; and Jeff Bailey, bass.

Tuesday, May 23

Maud Hixson: Judy Garland @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Vocalist Hixson, who recently received a glowing review in the Chicago Tribune, will celebrate the music of Judy Garland, accompanied by pianist Rick Carlson. Here’s what was said: “Hixson’s slightly gauzy tone and breezy phrasing evoked cool-school singers of the 1950s such as June Christy, Chris Connor and Anita O’Day. Yet there was nothing historic nor nostalgic about Hixson’s manner, her inherent swing sensibility driving the music unstoppably forward. She benefited significantly from the pianism of Rick Carlson, whose buoyant accompaniment referenced the stride-style wizardry of Waller and James P. Johnson.” Here she is at a Sylvia Sims Tribute.

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 17

Lisa Wenger and Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Blues-based American roots music, performed by Wenger, whose sweet/gritty vocals appeal to a wide swath of listeners, and whose band can rock the blues, New Orleans R&B, and reworked versions of rockabilly classics.

Danceland @ Utephils Brewing, 225 Thomas Avenue N, Minneapolis. 7pm-9pm (No Cover) This is a new band, named for teenage dance palaces of yore, which gives a bit of a hint to their repertoire. The band is led by drummer William Thompson, and includes Karl Von Gorhen, keyboards; Tom Lewis, bass; Scot Ives, guitar; and features Maurice Jacox on vocals, sax, and flute. Their songs include Me and Mrs Jones; For Your Precious Love, Inner City Blues, and other old school favorites. Stop by, hear some great music, and if you’re hungry Potter’s Pasties food truck will be there.

Thursday, May 18

Mooseknuckle Brothers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Rockin’ blues for a Thursday night.

Friday, May 19

Paul Cebar @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10?) The dance-inducing sounds of Paul Cebar and his band always draws a crowd to the large dance floor at Wilebski’s. Using a combination of R&B, Caribbean, African, and other world rhythms, Cebar & company create a celebration of finger-pippin, hip-shakin sounds.

Taylor Hicks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Hicks popped into national consciousness on American Idol, where more than 200 million people tuned in to see him win the Season 5 Finale. His soulful voice reflects a Southern upbringing, where he was exposed to soul music, blues, and country music. Before Idol, played throughout the Southeast, sharing stages with folks like James Brown, Tom Petty, Robert Randoph, and Keb Mo, among others. Once he left Idol, his debut single, Do I Make You Proud, entered the charts at #1, while his self-titled debut album reached #2 a bit later.

Scottie Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 reserved seats are available up front) High energy blues, soul, and rock n’ roll from Miller, a pianist-singer-songwriter whose influences range from Professor Longhair and Dr. John to Bruce Springsteen and The Band.

Complicated Fun @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Advance/$12 door) This is a book release party for Cyn Collin’s Complicated Fun, which describes the influential Minneapolis music scent from 1974 – 1984. A number of bands from that era will be performing, some of whom are reuniting. They include: the Hypsterz; Gondwana; Flamin’ Oh’s; Flamingo; and Curtiss A & the Dark Click.

Saturday, May 20

Lonesome Dan Case/Joyann Parker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30 (Lonesome Dan – No Cover), 9pm (Parker – ?$) A double bill of blues, starting with Lonesome Dan Case and his modern take on 30s blues, rags, and hollers for the dinner hour. Then vocalist Joyann Parker takes over, with her powerhouse vocals and commanding stage presence.

Commander Cody @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Back in the late 60s, when the nascent country-rock scene was developing, Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen upended things a bit with satirical takes on classic country. Their first hit, the hi-test fueled Hot Rod Lincoln, was a throwback to the 50s, when it was a hit by Charlie Ryan. Then they followed it up with such subversive songs as (Down to) Seeds and Stems Again, Mama Hated Diesels, and The Kentucky Hills of Tennesee, among others. Commander Cody (George Frayne) disbanded the group in 1976, but returned to the studio in 2009 and has been touring ever since, bringing his foot-stompin’ mix of classic country, rockabilly, and swingin’ music to old and new fans alike.

Silvertones @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you’re not interested in dropping a couple of sawbucks on a show, or maybe you just want to hear some basic sounds of the 60s. If that’s the case, the Silvertones, with their mix of garage hits, folk-rock, and girl group sounds, may be just the band you need to hear.

Sunday, May 21

Delphia Cello Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) Founded in 2017, the Delphia Cello Quartet plays original arrangements of popular tunes. It’s members are: Rachelle Smith; Amanda Burgdorf; Katherine Canon; and Julia Floberg. All play in a variety of groups, from orchestras to pit bands, to folk groups.

Monday, May 22

PaviElle @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Vocalist PaviElle French grew up in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, and in the last couple of years has become an advocate of black soul music for the Millenial generation. She’ was voted Best R&B Vocalist of 2015 by City Pages, and has been featured on TPT’s Lowertown Line. You’ll hear her originals and a couple of surprising covers, all done with a contemporary outlook and echoes of 70’s R&B.

Jon Rodine @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Whether singing songs by Doug Sahm, Dan Penn, Bob Dylan, or his own originals, Jon Rodine creates groove-driven rock n’ roll, with a touch of soulful country to boot. He’s played and recorded with a who’s who of Midwest musicians, including Ray & Glover, Molly Maher & Erik Koskinen, Paul Cebar, and Benson Ramsey of the Pines, among others. He deserves wider recognition, even here in his home town.

Tuesday, May 23

Peter Himmelman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Singer-songwriter and guitarist Himmelman is a metro-area native who started out in the reggae/calypso band Shangoya back in the early 80s and went on to form Sussman Lawrence. His career has blossomed to include TV and film composing, children’s entertaining and webcasting. Time Magazine said of him, “Himmelman writes songs with the same emphatic edge and aesthetic urgency that impelled the Lost Generation to write novels.” Opening is Dan Israel  who has won a number of awards as a songwriter, and released a string of critically acclaimed albums in the 90s and ‘00s.

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.

Advertisements

A Green weekend and more. Music 3.13 – 3.19

March 13, 2013

images-4Well, Spring really is just around the corner, even if the weatherman says we may still have a snowfall or two. After all, it’s time for Saint Patrick’s Day and its attendant parades and celebrations, most of which will take place on Saturday, the 16th. I’ve listed a couple of note. You can find much more by checking out the entertainment pages of your favorite news media. There is other music as well, including an extraordinary show featuring two bass players, and shows by a percussion master, a harpmeister, and a perennial hipster. Have fun.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 13

Chris

Chris

Anthony

Anthony

Chris Bates and Anthony Cox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The good news is, this underground club finally has a license. The bad news is, it doesn’t cover alcohol, so the BYOB policy is no longer condoned. But the presence of alcohol is not the reason for attending, especially tonight, when two stellar bassists will be holding forth. Anthony Cox is nationally known, and has played with some of the country’s biggest names in jazz. Chris Bates has played with a fair share of nationally known artists himself, and is gaining even more recognition for his composing and arranging, as displayed on his CD New Hope with the Chris Bates Red 5. Be prepared for some sublime music as they play duets and solos.

Lulu’s Playground @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This band’s unique instrumentation (accordion, trumpet, guitar, cello) and genre-crossing ways might cause you to wonder if they’re a jazz band. They are that and more. To paraphrase Duke Ellington, there are only two kinds of music: good music and the rest. Lulu’s Playground belongs in the first category. Here’s a sampler of their music.

Wise, Salovich, & McDonough @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) That’s Marcus Wise, tablas; Mike Salovich, guitar; and Larry McDonough, piano; a trio of creative musicians playing improvised music, aka jazz.

Thursday, March 14

Dan Meinhardt @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation)  Meinhardt is a saxophonist/composer from Chicago who went to Lawrence University with trumpeter Adam Meckler. Meinhardt has released one CD, Gone West, and has had his compositions performed at a number of jazz festivals.  Meckler will be on hand, as will Brian Courage, bass, Evan Montgomery, guitar, and Zach Scmidt on drums.

Friday, March 15

Roxy Cruz & Jeremy Walker @ Ingredients Cafe, White Bear Lake. 6:30pm – 9:30pm. If you’re looking for an East Metro spot to hear jazz with your dinner, you can’t go wrong at Ingredients tonight. Talented vocalist Roxy Cruz will be joined by composer/pianist Jeremy Walker, who can provide just the right support.

Friday, Saturday, March 15, 16

Debbie Duncan @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) When Debbie appeared in the Ordway show “Blues in the Night,” the Star Tribune noted that she strikes “the earthy, gut-bucket truth of the blues.” Debbie is equally adept at getting at the truth of jazz, ballads, and whatever else she chooses to sing.  Check out her version of I Thought About You.

Saturday, March 16

Kat Edmonson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) With a tight voice that’s part waif, part siren, Edmonson has been causing a bit of a sensation, appearing on Austin City Limits, NPR’s All Things Considered and the jazz charts. She re-imagines the Chiffon’s One Fine Day as a 30s blues, Lennon’s Just Like Starting Over as a ballad, and has her own way with standards. Here she is doing Night and Day.

Monday, March 18

Tatsuya Nakatani @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5-$10, suggested cover) Nakatani is an amazing percussionist who utilizes bowed gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, and all sorts of metallic objects to create organic music. A performance at the Rogue Gallery a few years back was mesmerizing. He’ll be joined tonight by two bassists, Adam Linz on and Chris Bates.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other

DSC00300_1293242567Wednesday, March 13

Flatt Foot Rollers @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Head over to the rockin’ East Side to catch these purveyors of party-down old school R&B. With a trio of fine vocalists, and a quintet of equally fine musicians, this band will make it hard for you to sit still. Dancing shoes optional.

Thursday, March 14

Hurricane Harold’s Showcase @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul (No Cover) Hurricane Harold, the Hot Harpmeister, brings Bruce McCabe, Paul Mayasich, and John Franken to Neumann’s. Given the talent and the pedigrees of all involved, there should be some musical fireworks taking place on the club’s tiny stage.

Friday, March 15

Paul Geremia  and Lonesome Dan Case @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Rolling Stone called Geremia  “one of the finest blues artists,” and the late Dave Van Ronk called him “The best white blues player around.” Paul is touring around a new CD, featuring 30 years of live recordings. Lonesome Dan is the Twin Cities artist who is so good at channeling the sound of bluesmen from the thirties.

Saturday March 16

Harriet Brewing Tap Room Celebration @ Harriet Tap Room, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm. Matt Yetter, 3pm; Zack Lozier Trio, 4:30pm; Lehto & Wright, 7pm; Sweet Collens, 9:30pm. From folk to jazz to Irish music. There are only 80 seats, so get there early.

images-2Yodel A-Go-Go @ Minneapolis Photo Center, 2400 2nd St. (North of Broadway), Minneapolis. 7-10pm (Free) It’s a gallery show of photography by Stephen Kistler, with a Western theme. Guests are encouraged to dress in Western wear, while Yodel A-Go-Go will provide some rockabilly and western sounds to entertain you. Who knows? Maybe some folks will be inspired to dance.

Boiled in Lead @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Nobody rocks out the Irish and Celtic reels like Boiled in Lead. They’ve been at it for thirty years now. If you’re going to celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green, this is the place to do it.

Hot Pants @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Now, if you’re not Irish, or have had enough green beer for the day, head over to the Nomad for rare funk and soul. This 45 RPM dance party let’s you get sweaty and work off beer consumption with a vengeance.

He's hip, all right.

He’s hip, all right.

Sunday, Monday, March 17, 18

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Back in the day, Tower of Power posed the question, “What is Hip?” They need only have looked to Dan Hicks to find out. He’s got a keen sense of swing, a self-deprecating sense of humor, and sly insights into love, life, and pop culture. Always a pleasure.

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.


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.


%d bloggers like this: