Hot Fun in the Summertime! Music: 7.13 – 7.19

July 13, 2016
The Brass Messengers at a previous Bastille Day celebratio

The Brass Messengers at a previous Bastille Day celebration

As the headline states, we’ve got lots of fun music lined up for this week. We have 3 CD release parties, visiting artists from New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco, Central America, and Africa, an outdoor dance in downtown Saint Paul, and two Bastille Day celebrations as well as new and up and coming bands from the area. Whew! Remember, music lifts our spirits.


Wednesday, July 13

Maud Hixson w/Rick Carlson CD Release @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner Show) Vocalist Maud Hixson has recorded a CD entitled Listening for Your Song, which is a collection of songs popular at the turn of the last century (1890s – Pre-WW1). The songs are all referenced in the Betsy-Tracy books by Maud Hart Lovelace, written about life in Mankato during that time period. It was before the advent of radio, when songs were sung around the house. Hixson and pianist Rick Carlson do a wonderful job of presenting songs like In My Merry Oldsmobile, Moonlight Bay, and Come Josephine in My Flying Machine. Hixson’s voice envelopes the songs with warmth and charm, while Carlson’s spare piano provides just the right foundation to let the songs shine. Here she is with a song from a later era.

Charlie Lincoln Presents the Music of Paul Motian @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Young bassist Charlie Lincoln is making the most of his summer vacation from Berklee School of Music. Tonight, he’s assembled a band to play the music of Paul Motian, which Lincoln describes as beguiling and mysterious. He’s got an intergenerational band: Jay Epstein, drums; Chris Cunninghan, guitar; and Patrick Adkins, piano.

Thursday, July 14

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz, together with drummer Cory Healey, trumpeter Noah Ophoven-Baldwin and vibist Levi Schwartzberg will have a special guest to open for this evening of 21st Century jazz.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) A new trio called American Reverie is the headliner at 9pm, with Zacc Harris, guitar; Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Matt Peterson, bass. Things start off at 7pm with the JazzINK Youth Showcase, featuring Matt Cousins and Band.

Bonearama @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Fun and funk-filled music from this modern take on a New Orleans Brass Band. With three trombones, a guitar, drums, and sousaphone, Bonerama attacks jazz, rock, and funk with brio, and in the course of fifteen years and six albums, has changed the way many folks think about the trombone.

Friday, July 15

Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The swanky little lounge of this D’Amico restaurant provides a perfect setting for the warm buttery vocals of Ms Michelle.

Mississippi Hot Club CD Release @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($5) Get out your dancing shoes for this party featuring the acoustic swing and gypsy jazz sounds of the Mississippi Hot Club  Joshua Parlanti, lead guitar; Alissa Jacobsen violin; Luke Zupan and Ian Stenlund, rhythm guitars; and Joseph Downing, upright bass. Jazzland Wonderband, with its modern take on traditional New Orleans music, opens. Doors at 8, dance lesson at 8:30. Here they are from a could of years ago.

Friday, Saturday, July 15, 16

Dave King Trucking Company CD Release @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) With five members The Trucking Company is of King’s larger projects, and includes: Erik Fratzke, guitar; Brandon Wozniak tenor, with New Yorkers Chris Morrisey on bass and Chris Speed on tenor. The inventive drummer/composer brings a fertile imagination to his drumming and composing, and as an added bonus, you get his unfiltered pop culture commentary between songs on stage. Here’s a slightly different version of the band.

Saturday, July 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Grayson Peterson Quartet + 1  headlines at 8:30pm: Peterson  bass; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, keys; and Adrian Suarez on drums, with Andrew Gillespie on Congas for songs inspired by Peterson’s trip to Cuba. Opening at 7pm is a group that I believe is new: The Midwest Coast Quintet, with Jesse Myers, drums; John Schreier, trumpet; Mike Barunek, sax; Gus Murphy, bass; and Cole Mahlem, guitar.

Judi Vinar & the Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) The main lounge at Crooners may get loud with the date night crowd, but that generally makes for a fun background for the  swingability of Ms Vinar’s vocalizing, which is further enhanced with the support of the Wolverines Trio: Rick Carlson, piano; Jendeen Forberg, drums; and Steve Pikal, bass. Here she is before she changed her name a few years ago.

Kronick Quartet @ Public Kitchen and Lounge, 229 E 6th St, Saint Paul. 9:30? (Tip Jar) The Kronick Quartet is: Dennis Landeen, sax; Scott Ives, guitar; Tony Guscetti, drums; Richard Kronick  bass & vocals. The basement lounge at Public has a bit of a speakeasy vibe, but it’s stone walls contribute to crowd noise, so be sure to sit near the band as they play standards, bossas, and funky jazz.

Monday, July 18 

Medeski, Clouser, & Bates @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) John Medeski, of Medeski, Martin, and Wood, has been working his keyboard magic with that band for over twenty years, gaining young fans around the world by incorporating freewheeling jazz with jam band eclecticism. Guitarist Todd Clouser, a former Twin Citizen now living in Mexico City, has released a few genre-bending albums of his own, and has toured throughout Central America and the United States. They’ll be joined by versatile drummer JT Bates for an evening of exciting music.

Tuesday, July 19

Jazz Improvisation Clinic with John Medeski and Todd Clouser @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free and Open to the public) Here’s a chance to learn about improvisation, expression, and the importance of listening to playing jazz. All instruments and levels are welcome.

For more listings, 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, July 13

Rockin’ Johnny Burgin & Aki Kumar on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rockin’ Johnny is a blues guitarist from Chicago, who was born in south Carolina and went to Chicago to go to school. He earned the nickname Rockin’ Johnny as a DJ at WHPK and began playing guitar with Taildragger, after which he began touring with drummer Sam Lay and Pinetop Perkins. He started his own band in 1995, recording two albums for Delmark and two others. Aki Kumar is a San Francisco Harp player whose muscular vocals have made him a favorite of Bay area blues fans for years. They’re touring together and we’re lucky enough to be able to hear them on-air before heading to the 331 Club.  Here they are with a band.

Curt Obeda and Camille Baudoin @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Camille Baudoin was a member of New Orleans’ Radiators, those purveyors of Fish Head Music for 33 years, while Obeda is the leader of our own Butanes, and a highly regarded guitarist in his own right. Since Baudoin has a cabin up north, he visits each summer and we get to hear the two friends have fun playing together.

FireFlyForest @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Pianist/accordionist Steven Hobert leads this aggregation, which has a somewhat ethereal approach to worldbeats, with influences that range from Bela Fleck to Ali Farka Toure and Paul Simon.

Thursday, July 14

Armadillo Jump @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) This five -piece band has been playing very regularly lately, a sign of their growing popularity with folks who like to dance to rockin’ rhythm and blues. Here’s a demo video.

Friday, July 15

New Primitives and the Loba Jazz Trio @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Outdoor dancing to a blend of ska, rock, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and Mexican music from the New Primitives, while the opener, the Loba Jazz Trio, will provide sinuous rhythms from Africa.

Villalobos Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30, $35)  Last month we had the duo of Black Violin melding classical and R&B Sounds. Tonight we have three violinists combining traditional Mexican song with jazz, rock, and classical sounds. USA Today call them “A crazy ball of sound: Mexican coastal traditions meet Sam Cooke in the Bronx!”

Femi Kuti & Positive Force @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis.  8pm ($50 Advance, $55 Door)  The son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela, Femi was amazing at his Cedar show about three years ago. While he has the same commitment to social and political change as his father, he applies his own energy and style to Afrobeat. With Zuluzulu and Worldwide Discoteque DJs.

Salsabrosa @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) This is the inaugural event in Dayblock’s upstairs ballroom, which has a wood floor and a capacity of 250, so there’s plenty of room to dance to the salsas, Bachatas, Cumbias, Merengues, Cha Chas and other Latin Rhythms of Salsabrosa  A DJ starts things off at 8pm, along with some dance lessons, and helps to close things down after midnight. In between you get invigorating live music from this eleven-piece band.

Saturday, July 16

Longefellow Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival @ Patrick’s Cabaret & Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm ($15 Advance) Kent Burnside & New Generation, Black-Eyed Snakes, Left Lane Cruiser, Joe & Vicki Price, Spider John Koerner, Charlie Parr, Food Trucks, and much, much more. For More Information, go to:

Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. 7pm ($15) Things start off with Zydeco dance lessons at 7pm, and then Louisiana’s Broussard and his band take the stage so you can practice what you just learned.

Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) Her fans include Mavis Staples and Bettye LaVette, and she’s won the BB King Blues Entertainer of the Year Award, in addition to winning Contemporary Female Blues Artists of the Year four times. She had a hard life, and was even homeless as a teenager, but when she snuck into a Minneapolis club to see Otis Rush, Magness found her mission in life. If you like the blues but haven’t seen her, this is the show to see. Heck, even if you’ve seen her before, you’ll likely want to see her again. She’s a dynamic performer.

Sunday, July 17

Bastille Day Block Party @ Barbette, Irving & Lagoon, Minneapolis. 3pm – 10pm (Free) A Fire Circus! Roller Girls! The Brass Messengers! And Cake! And on stage: Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows, Bad, Bad Hats; Nadine DuBois & Les Folies Risque; and Babes in Toyland.

Bastille Day Celebration @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 5pm – 8pm (Free) Celebrate Bastille Day and joie de vivre on a smaller scale at the amphitheater of Roseville’s Central Park. The celebration starts with Mark Stillman on accordion and vocalist Francine Roche performing French songs. Continue at 6:30 with the Cafe Accordion Orchestra and their musettes and chansons.

La Conja in “Noche de Andalucia,” @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) World-renowned flamenco dancer and singer, La Conja will be joined by guitarists Ben Abrahamson and Trevor May, as well as Catherine Higgins-Whiteside and Christine Kozachok, dancers from the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater here in town.

Sweet Honey in the Rock @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($45), 8pm ($35) This female African American a cappella quintet delivers uplifting messages through their music and American Sign Language. The group has been thrilling multi-generaltional and multi-ethnic audiences for over forty years.

Monday, July 18

Pape Diouf with Special Guest @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 Advance, $30 Door) Pape Cheikh Diouf is from a guewel (griot) family originally of the Sine-Saloum Delta region in Southwestern Senegal. He sings in the Wolof language about love and life’s lessons, and especially about ”teranga,” mutual respect, acceptance, and hospitality as a way of life – social values that are central to Senegalese culture.

Gaby Moreno @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Guatemalan born Moreno is a rising star on the Latin Music scene. She won the Best New Artist Award at the 2013 Latin Grammys, and the grand prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her song “Escondidos.” She’s got a clear, strong, direct voice that lends itself well to a variety of genres and rhythms.

Wednesday, July 20 – Early Notice

Film – Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot @ Lake Harriet United Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Avenue So, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free, but RSVP required). In this somber and upsetting time, with our long, long election season, some of you might want to see this Teaching Tolerance documentary of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march and the battle for voting rights. It features the perspective of teachers and students at the forefront of the movement. The 40 minute film will be introduced by Richard Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center and followed by a panel discussion with attorney Pam Horowitz, Rep. Keith Ellison, and former MN Secty of State Mark Ritchie. It’s a free event but you must RSVP at


For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

A Big List: 6.1 – 6.7

June 1, 2016

Unknown-1Holy mackeral! There is so much music this week that my listing is much larger than usual, and I still left a number of worthy gigs off the list. At any rate, let’s just get to it.Music lifts the spirit!


Wednesday, June 1

Anthony Cox Presents deVon Gray @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 student ID) deVon R. Gray is a  multi-instrumentalist, classically trained composer. You can find him writing orchestral and operatic works as well as jazz riffs, in addition to backing area R&B and hip-hop acts. Tonight he’s playing with his trio, REFINED: Gray on keyboards: James Everest on guitar; and Davu Seru on drums and percussion.

Thursday, June 2

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight, this is the place to go to find out hear the next generations of jazz musicians.  Adam Astrup Quartet, a band of young lions, opens at 7pm: Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Simon Petrick, drums; Gerhart Robinson, sax. At 9pm it’s the slightly older Rodney Ruckus Trio: Javi Santiago, piano; Ted Olson, bass; Ruckus, drums.

Chrisette Bany @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10, $5w/student ID) There is always someone new to discover. Case in point is Ms Bany, who has been performing in the Twin Cities and beyond for 17 years, yet has remained under the radar until recent appearances at Crooners.

Hanson, O’Brien, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Nathan Hanson, sax; Casey O’Brien, bass; and Davu Seru, drums, will take you on a far-reaching expedition to the outer edges of jazz, and bring you back safe and sound.

Friday, June 3

Mancrush @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm Master class, 7pm performance. ($10 Advance/$15 door) Drummer Lars-Erik Larson, leads this group, which includes Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Bryan Nichols, piano. Larson will discuss unconventional rhythm sections and how he composes for the bass-less group.

Patty Peterson All Stars w/Steve Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($20) With seven Minnesota Music Awards, four solo albums, and her own jazz show on KBEM, Peterson is known far and wide for her blend of jazz and R&B vocals. Her last album features such heavyweights as David Hazeltine, Bobby Lyle, Sheila E. and of course her brothers Billy, Ricky, and Paul. Tonight she is more than ably assisted by Steve Cole, sax; Clyde Davis, drums; Cory J. Wong, guitar; Lamar Jones, bass; Jason Peterson Delaire, keyboards.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Eric Kamau Gravatt – Drums; Solomon Parham – Trumpet; Lucia Sarmiento – Sax; Dean Magraw – Guitar; Ron Evaniuk – Bass. At 10pmit’s the Edmund Caitlin Trio: Edmund Catlin – Drums; Charlie Lincoln – Bass; Levi Schwartzberg – Vibraphone They will be playing the Thelonious Monk album, Straight No Chaser, in its entirety.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet/vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Hilson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba

Brazilian Jazz @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (No cover) Along with changing the name from Señor Wong’s to the SW Craft Bar, and adding more craft beers and liquors, this Mexican/Asian restaurant now feature music on Fridays. Tonight, Mira & Tom Kehoe along with Xibaba will be playing Brazilian jazz, Bossa Novas, Sambas ,Forros, and Choros. Though the stage (such as it is) lighting is dim, you do get to view the LRT passing by as the band plays, in addition to their cocktails, food, and beer.

Saturday, June 4

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Some of the best straight ahead jazz in town is on display tonight, beginning at 7pm with the James Wallace Group: James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Adam Tucker, bass; Bill Steiger, drums. At 9pm it’s Bone Chance: Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Dave Graf, trombone; Ron Evaniuk, bass; Peter Schimke, keys.

Bruce Henry @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Former Twin Citizen and now a Chicagoan, Bruce Henry has sung on major stages on four continents, bringing his unique take on African American music to the world.

Sophia Shorai @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Shorai has been delivering yearning, sweet vocals to Twin Cities audiences for over ten years, singing a mix of originals, jazz standards, and modern gems.

Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This is the start of a weekly gig featuring valve trombonist Brad Bellows and a rotating cast of musical friends for some tasty jazz while you taste some brews.

Sunday, June 5

Concours d’Elegance @ Excelsior Commons, Excelsior. 10am – 3pm ($35) It’s not the name of a band, but rather an event featuring beautiful, rare, and valuable classic cars, boats and motorcycles. There will be four jazz bands playing while you amble lakeside among the vehicles. From 10am – 11:15 it’s Peter Kogan’s Mosnterful Wonderland, with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Scott Agster Trombone; Sean Turner, piano; Chris Olson, guitar; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Kogan, drums. From 11:30 – 12:45, the Mary Louise Knutson Trio with Chris Bates, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. Kogan then comes back with a quartet at 1pm, with Whitman and Bailey, along with Steve Hobert, piano. After a short break it’s a trio with Hobert, Bailey, and Kogan. The whole affair is a benefit for the ICA Foodshelf.

Joe Lovano’s Tribute to Gunther Schuller @ Sundlin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25, $25 Senior [62+], $15 Student ID) Note: One K-12 Student is admitted free with each paid adult. Lovano and company will be performing in a tribute to Gunther Schuller. With Anthony Cox, bass; Young-Nan Kim, violin; Timothy Lovelace, piano; and Fred Harris, drums. With guest composer Peter Child.

Poncho Sanchez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $45), 9pm ($25 – $35) The Texas born, California raised conguero started out as a singer, and started playing congas almost 50 years ago, while still in hight school. He was a major part of Cal Tjader’s last ensemble, released 19 albums, won a Grammy, and collaborated with Tower of Power and Hugh Masakela. Afro-Cuban music is in good hands.

Monday, June 6

Jazz Implosion featuring the Adam Meckler Quintet @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) 1st Set – Adam Meckler Quintet w Meckler, trumpet; Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; & Greg Schutte, drums. 2nd Set – A double dose of drums with Davu Seru  & JT Bates

Tuesday, June 7

Teri Roiger @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) NYC vocalist Roiger also plays piano, composes, and writes lyrics, including lyrics to Monk’s Misterioso, approved by his family. She’s taught course on the Music of Billy Strayhorn, Monk, and Brazil, and currently teaches at SUNY New Paltz in the jazz program there. It’s her singing, however, that we should concentrate on. It’s been cooled “smooth but heady,” (All About jazz), “powerfully moving: and impressively deep (JazzTimes), and “made for those who still undetand the meaning of the term the real thing” (Stanley Crouch). Indeed, Roiger can express much with the slightest turn of a phrase, and has a voice that will sound wonderful in the listening environment of the Dunsmore Room. She’ll be previewing her soon-to-be released album, Billie 101, a collection of tunes associate with Ms Holiday. With husband John Menegon, bass; Joe Stracha, piano; and Phil Hey, drums.

For more listings, 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, June 1

Paul Barry & The Acetones, w/guest Lila Ammons on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Harp man Paul Barry plays the blues with help from the Acetones: Jon Pederson, Guitar; Vince Hyman, Piano, Vibes; Scott Soule, Bass; and Doug Hill, drums. They’ll be joined by special guest vocalist Lila Ammons, who is the granddaughter of boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons, and niece of the great sax player Gene Ammons. Lila Ammons sings around town in jazz clubs and does blues tours of Europe on an annual basis.

Nikki & the RueMates @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Take in the lakeside breezes at the Como Pavillion while the crystal clear voice of Nikki soars over the lake. Rich Rue, guitar and vocals, and Jon Olson, bass provide a solid foundation for the group’s blues and folk-rock. Drinks and food available in The Dockside.

Wednesday, Thursday, June 1,2

Suzy Bogguss @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Since the late 80s, Bogguss has gone from rising star of country music to award winning hit maker. She’s done it her own way, with original songs, and collaborations with the likes of Chet Atkins and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel. Her 2014 album, Lucky, is chock full of Merle Haggard songs, though to paraphrase Bogguss, it’s not a tribute, just a collection of some of the greatest songs she could find.

Thursday, June 2

Siama Matuzungidi and Drew Peterson @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis.  (time?? $$??) After being closed for 10 years, the new owners of the Viking have installed new bathrooms, a kitchen, took off the false ceiling, expanded the back bar, installed new sound and lighting on the stage, and kept the original booths. They’ve even added a “banana booth” from Nyes. The result is a more spacious feel, with a row of TVs over the bar that seem more decoration than sportscasting. Tonight brings West Bank veteran Drew Peterson, an Americana singer/songwriter, along with Congolese guitarist, Siama Matuzungidi, the Soukous master who just released a CD, and is representative of the West Bank of recent decades. It promises to be a night of great music.

The Hot Seat w/Paul Mayasich and the RAMM Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This is the first of Paul’s Hot Seat series to take place at the Fridley Lounge. He’ll be there with guests for every thursday but the last one of the month. His comrades in the RAMM band are kicking things off as the three-piece tackle the blues, Motown, and more.

Friday, June 3

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings, and Rena Haus @ the Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5) Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings were formed at the old version of the Viking Bar, at one of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ First Fridays. Well, here it is over 10 years later, the Viking looks much better, Jackson is still producing Freewheelin’ First Fridays, and Steve and the Brass Kings still sound great. The Brass Kings produce jug-bandy old time music played by: Steve on acoustic and resonator guitars & vocals, Mikkel Beckmen on washboard, refrigerator door, butter dish, and djembe; Brad Ptacek on washtub bass; and Jillian Rae on fiddle. Opening is the farming blues gal Rena Haus, whose clever wordplay and strong guitar work make for some entertaining blues.

Willie Murphy and the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s time to party down with the blues, R&B, and Rock n’ Roll of Mr Murphy and his horn band. Listen to their take on a Jerry Lee Lewis number.

Cantus Sings Pet Sounds @ Cowles Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $35) Here’s an intriguing event. The nine members of the all-male chamber singing group Cantus will perform music from an album Rolling Stone calls “one of the greatest albums of all time.” It’s 50 years since the Beach Boys released Brian Wilson’s opus to unrequited love. Don’t necessarily expect Beach Boy type harmonies however, as the group will be singing the songs in jazz, bluegrass and funk settings. They’re bringing in a trio to back them up, and will bookend the Pet Sounds portion of the concert with other popular tunes from the past as well as today. This runs weekends through June 11. Here they are doing a song by the Dave Matthews Band.

Doug MacLeod Live in Europe CD Release @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20)The award winning acoustic bluesman has a way with words and his national steel guitar. Back in 2006 Macleod was in The Netherlands, recording a live album for a DVD released by Black and Tan Records as The Blues in Me. Though he had a fever, and felt like he wasn’t in good voice, the results were nevertheless well worth listening. So well, that they’ve now put out an album. It’s just Doug, his guitar, and his foot, recorded as he performed, with no overdubs. Jeff Arundel opens.

Dee Miller Band @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Hard charging Ms Miller sings take-no-prisoner blues, tonight featuring the guitar work of Moses Oakland and Craig Clark, along with the usual crack backing of Paul Mejia, vocals & harmonica;  Jesse Mueller, Keyboards; Eric Meyer, Bass; and Ben Irvin, Drums.

Friday, Saturday, June 3,4 & Wednesday, June 8

Prince Tribute: This Thing Called Life @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) While waiting for the star-studded Prince tribute being discussed by Prince’s family and friends to come, here is one that features Twin Cities musicians who were part of the New Power Generation, featuring drummer Michael Bland, bassist Sonny Thomnpson, and keyboardist Tommy Barberella. Also featured are Julius Collins, vocals; Tracey Blake, guitar; and special guests Jamecia Bennett (lead singer for Sounds of Blackness), and others. DJ Jules and DJ fat will start spinning at 8pm, with the band beginning at 9pm. Friday and Saturday appear to have sold out, so act quickly if you want to see the show on Wednesday, the 8th.

Saturday, June 4

New Primitives @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Get a reservation or arrive early to get a table and hear the reggae and worldbeats of this quintet.

Movies and Music @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) The hot and smoky rhythms of the Prohibition years are delivered on the Pavillion stage by the four-piece Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League, followed by Labyrinth, a Jim Henson-directed film from 1986 starring David Bowie, with almost all other significant parts given to puppets from Henson’s imagination. The pavilion will protect you from the setting sun, and food and drinks are available inside.

Dakota Dave Hull: The Sacred and Profane Album Release @ Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Ave, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm ($15) The late Dave Van Ronk called Hull one of the best guitarists in the world. He uses both flat-picking and finger-picking to dazzle audiences around the world and tonight Hull is releasing two albums: Heavenly Hope and This Earthly Life. One need not be Karnak the Magnificent to guess the contents of each. Opening set by Adam Kiesling.

International Reggae All-Stars @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Catch the Island rhythms of the All-Stars on a weekend night, from this international sextet that holds down Tuesday nights at Bunker’s.

Sunday, June 5

Curtiss A & Dark Click @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5) Old school roots music, including the blues, energized by original Twin Tone recording artist and John Lennon Tribute star Curtiss A and his fertile imagination. Every Sunday in June.

Tuesday, June 7

The Blasters @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 Advance, $25 Door) Whoa! The Blasters are coming, the Blasters are coming! Back when any punk band worth its salt was playing faster and louder, along came the Blasters, who played somewhat loud and somewhat fast. Thing is, they were using vintage R&B and Rockabilly for their template, infusing the old styles with an energy that matched punk, note for note. Led by the Alvin Brothers, brother Dave left. Though he’s returned as an occasional guest in the last few years, Phil’s singing powers the band, along with the guitar of Keith Wyatt. As they demonstrated at Lee’s and the Dakota last year, they’ve still got the energy make you sweat, even when you’re only chair dancing. As an added bonus, Molly Maher opens.

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.

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