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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.