Summer Songs: 8.8 – 8.14

August 8, 2018

When you play blues in the Sahara Desert

This week’s music highlights include visiting artists from Italy, NYC, Memphis and Mali, as well as some relatively rare performances by some resident artists, and a couple of tributes. We are lucky to live in an area with so many talented artists. Music lifts the Spirit!

Wednesday, August 8

World Jazz Collegium @ Minnehaha Falls Park, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Here’s a group that doesn’t play in the Twin Cities very often, so it’s a treat to be able to hear their blend of various world musics and jazz, especially in such a nice outdoor setting. Members are: Pavel Jany, guitar; John Croarkin, sax & flute; Dan Weston, bass; and Beth Varela, drums.

Days of Wine & Roses @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15 – $20) Jennifer Eckes & Arne Fogel tackle Broadway, Hollywood, and Pop Music of the 60s, from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Barbara Streisand, with musical direction by Rick Carlson.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 8,9

Victor Wooten Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) 9:30pm ($25, $30, $35) Bassist Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner, known for his solo work and as a member of Bela Fleck &the Flecktones. He’ll be joined by Bob Franceschini, sax; and David Chambers, drums.

Thursday, August 9

SongSister Sampler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/valid Student ID) Dorothy During, Connie Dussl, & Vicky Mountain will be performing their best songs from three different shows of theirs: “Gettin’ Sentimental,” ” Girl Groups to Golden Ladies,” and their “Holiday Show.” They’ll be recording and videotaping the show, and will be accompanied by pianist Jennifer Parker, who may join them on some numbers.

Friday, August 10

Jana Nyberg 5 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Ms Nyberg, a fine flautist and singer, will be accompanied by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Sean Turner, piano; Kenny Watson Jr, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. Here she is with a different configuration.

Omar Abdulkarim Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’a a line-up of great talents: Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Friday, Saturday, August 10, 11

Bobby Lyle’s Summer Jam @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Keyboard player Lyle is a native Minneapolitan, returning home once again after previously successful gigs at Crooners, though this time he’ll be in the big room. The award-winning, platinum-selling artist will be accompanied by Danny Kusz, sax; Billy Peterson, bass; and Lyle’s fellow Houstonian, Patrick Williams on drums.

Saturday, August 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) JazzINK Youth showcase at 7pm: The August McKinney Octet: McKinney, piano; Carter Pearson, drums; Rodney ruckus, bass; Jackson Wheeler, guitar; Eli Zukor-Zimmerman, tenor; Sophia Kickhofel, alto; Leighton Tuenge, trumpet; and Eric Thrane, trombone. Then it’s Central Standard Time at 8:30, with Special Guest Rodney Ruckus, drums, Will Kjeer, piano; Dave Brattain, saxes; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass.

Monday, August 13

Music of John Abercrombie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Tyler Wagner, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; pay tribute to the great guitarist.

Tuesday, August 14

Music of Lester Young @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Saxophonist Dave Karr and guitarist Sam Miltich, along with some of their friends, will explore the music of The Prez, whose work with Billie Holiday and the Count Basie Band resulted in his being called one of the most influential saxophonist of all time.

Chris Olsen @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30-9:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Olsen is the guy many guitar students take time to see and/or study with. He’s solo tonight.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 8

Harrison Street on KFAI’s House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Singer Erin McCawley has a strong, inviting voice that fits in well with the other members of Harrison Street: Tony Houle, guitar; Robb Stearns, bass; and Bill Whelan, drums. Tune into hear em’ and head to the 331 Club to see em’.

Hula Peppers @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Music from the 20s and 30s, along with some Hawaiian string band music, served up with a dash of humor and plenty of talent.

Thursday, August 9

Dany Franchi @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5 Advance, $8 Door) This emerging blues guitarist from Italy has already been playing in major festivals around the world. His chart-climbing new release, Problem Child, was produced by Anson Funderburgh, with help from members of both Robert Cray’s and Jimmie Vaughn’s bands.

Friday, August 10

Fathom Lane, Interlake, and Maple & Beech @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Advance/$12 door) With three critically acclaimed albums to their credit, Fathom Lane, led by Michael Ferrier, has created a sound with touches of Gram Parson, the Velvet Underground and Tom Petty coursing through Ferrier’s songs. Members of Fathom Lane are: Ferrier, vocals, guitar, Rhodes, and percussion; Ashleigh Still, vocals and piano; Matt Patrick, electric guitar; Shane Akers, lap steel and dobro; Paul Boblett, bass; and Alex Young, drums and percussion. Opening acts are Interlake, which “takes its sound from the rush of NYC, the open roads of the Midwest, and the sunny coast of LA” and Maple & Beech, a 7-piece art-pop band.

Jaedyn James & The Hunger, w/Planet Pooky @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9PM ($10) With a powerful voice, a take-no-prisoners attitude, and a tight, 8-piece band, Jaedyn James tears up a stage with contemporary R&B. Planet Pooky opens.

Saturday, August 11

Blues, Brew, & BBQs @ Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Plymouth. 3:30pm – 10pm ($12 Advance, $18 Door) Music starting at 4pm with the Mooseknuckle Brothers; Miss Myra & the Moonshiners; Harrison Street; and the Alex Rossi Band. FMI, go here.

Pacific Island Night @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The evening starts with the music of the Lau Hawaiian Collective performing traditional music of Hawaii, then at 8:30, the animated new classic Moana will be screened.

Katy Vernon Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The ukelelist/songwriter/singer is known as a “singer of sad songs on a happy instrument,” but after a couple of trips to England, where Vernon was born and grew up, a happier tone has crept into her music, tho she isn’t abandoning old fan favorites. She’ll be accompanied by her band: Clay Williams, guitar; Simon Husbands, keys; Reed Pagel, bass; and Chris McAtee, drums.

Sunday, August 12

William Bell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($45, $55, $60), 8:30pm ($35, $45, $50) Singer and songwriter Bell is an original soul man who wrote Born Under A Bad Sign for Albert King many years ago, as well as his own recordings of songs like You Don’t Miss Your Water, the top 20 Everybody Loves a WinnerI Forgot to Be Your Lover (later covered by Billy Idol), and the Christmastime favorite, Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday, among others. He won a 2017 Grammy for his fine album, This Is Where I Live.

Tuesday, August 14

Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Roots singer and songwriter Janiva Magness has released 14 albums since the early 90s, earning kudos as the BB King Entertainer of the Year, seven Blues Music Awards, and a 2017 Grammy nomination. She’s been lauded by Betty LaVette and Mavis Staples, as well as The Chicago Sun-Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a host of blues magazines.

Tinariwen w/Astralblak @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 Advance, $40 Door) While these desert blues artists were busy criss-crossing the globe to over 160 concerts in the past few years, the borders of Mali, where they grew up amongst goat herds and camels, was closed. As a result, Tinariwen’s latest album, Elwan, was recorded in California with a bit of help from some rockers while still retaining their signature sound. Afro-futurist/acid-jazz group Astrlblak opens.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye

Awash in Music: 6.22 – 6.28

June 22, 2016

imagesIt’s once again time for Saint Paul’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival  Executive Director Steve Heckler and his staff and volunteers have  put together a great weekend of music that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners. It features a number of great headlining musicians: Delfeayo Marsalis and piano phenom Joey Alexander on Thursday, Ellis Marsalis on Friday, and Russell Malone and John Pizzarelli on Saturday. Additionally, over 300 musicians from the area will perform in over a dozen venues and four outdoor stages, and best of all, it’s free. I will be sending out a short guide to the Festival in a separate e-mail, but you can get more information, including the whole schedule here. In the meantime, here’s a listing of other music ideas for the coming week. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, June 22
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Vocalist and bassist Ms Lynch is building a following as she makes her way through a number of venues in the area. She’s backed by some truly excellent musicians, including guitarist Chris Beaty, trumpeter Greg Lewis, and trombonist Michael Nelson. Kate & the Fellows play music from the 30s to the 60s, and it’s always an entertaining performance.

Katia Cardenas EP Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Ms Cardenas will be backed by her working trio: Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. At 10pm it’s  Jazzoneando, a Latin Jazz Trio from Mexico: Alberto “Yamil” Vazquez, piano, leader, arranger; Aaron Romo, bass, vocals; Kimani Carranzana, percussion, vocals. PS: If you want to hear a couple of tunes from the EP, you can listen to an interview I did with Katia this past Saturday (the 18th) by going here and clicking on one of the listen icons for June 18. The interview starts about 20 minutes into the show.

David Hazeltine & Billy Peterson CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 w/Dinner) Here we have the 3rd of three special nights at the Dunsmore Room, where two musicians who have a 40 year musical history release their first CD, NEXT DOOR. Pianist Hazeltine is a major player, and is especially well regarded in NYC and Japan. Raised in Milwaukee, he was encouraged by Chet Baker to go to NYC, where his Charlie Parker-influenced playing was welcomed. He’s well known as a composer and arranger, and for taking contemporary tunes and making them into “standards.” Our own Billy Peterson is equally at home with R&B and rock music as he is with jazz, having toured for decades with the Steve Miller Band. He received notable praise for his appearance with Bill Carrothers and Dave King at the Village Vanguard a few years back, and regularly tours with Ben Sidran. This CD release party will include a few well-chosen covers as well as some originals. Here’s an example of Hazeltine’s work.

Balluff/Pikal/Thompson Trio @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Traditional jazz, well served by Tony Balluff, clarinet; Steve Pikal, bass; and Butch Thompson  piano and clarinet. It’s a new combination that’s hard to beat.

Thursday, June 23
Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Two late night sets from bassist Bates and his crew, doing originals by Bates. Chris Bates, basses; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jt Bates, drums; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Thomson, tenor and soprano. Check them out after the Mears Park main stage performances.

Friday, June 25
Dennis Spears Quartet @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Spear’s smooth baritone is a pleasure to hear, whether he’s performing R&B, pop, or jazz.

Saturday, June 26
Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Brewing Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you don’t want to head to downtown Saint Paul for Jazz Fest, this is a chance to hear some jazz while taking in the current taps at Boom Island Brewing. Valve trombonist Brad Bellows can be depended on for having talented friends and creating great music.

Sunday, June 26
Paula Lammers @ The Eagan Art Festival, Central Park, Eagan. 2:30pm (Free) Ms Lammers and her supple voice close out the entertainment at this community art fair. And with accompanists such as  Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, you may even be inspired to make a last minute purchase.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) After three days of crowds at the TC Jazz Fest, you may want the comfort of a small wine bar to take in the tasty sounds of guitarist Harris and his trio. Here he is with his quartet.

Monday, June 27
Charmin Michelle & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) This is part of a series called In the Crook, whereby a vocalist is situated in the “crook” of a piano. In this case, you have the buttery, elegant singing of Charmin Michelle, accompanied by the spare, ever tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson.

Jazzoneando @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/w student ID) If you missed them at the Icehouse Wednesday, or the Jazz Fest on Saturday, you can still catch this trio from Mexico, as they apply all sorts of Latin rhythms to jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, June 27, 28
The Rad Trads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The Rad Trads: Take a three horn front line, add a rock rhythm section, and an additional drummer/percussionist, stir with music that ranges from traditional jazz to blues from Chicago and the Delta, add in a touch of New Orleans R&B, and season with a bit of rock n’ roll, and you get lively, celebratory music.

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 22
The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This all-female Americana group started as a jam band, but whether they’re covering John Prine or performing one of their originals, their light-hearted approach to folk and country (or whatever) is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Samba Meu @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A bit of Brazil comes to the newly expanded Black Dog. The party starts with a dance lesson after which you can dance to sambas and forros from Karen Quiroz and Samba Meu, and be entertained by SnapFrost!, a group of women with Shakeres, that beaded gourd that, in the hands of this group, creates irresistible rhythms.

Thursday, June 23
Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 10pm. The Pinecones will fill the wonderful dance floor at the Eagles Club with folks twirling, spinning, and two-stepping to the R&B of New Orleans R&B, as well as some Cajun and Zydeco.

Friday, June 24
Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) It’s always difficult to know where to place Nachito in these listings, as he is equally conversant in Classical, pop, jazz, and Cuban music (he is, after all, from Havana). Whatever he plays, it will leave the audience breathless.

Fathom Lane @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 – $15) The Warming House is a new basement listening room in South Minneapolis, just right for the ethereal and fragile-seeming music of Fathom Lane. They released two well-recieved albums, which reveal a hard -to-define sound, that implies influences ranging from Gram Parsons to The Velvet Underground. Seth Michael Davin opens.

Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) With strong vocals, dynamite guitar courtesy of “Prime Time” and a driving rhythm section, Ms Miller and her compradres offer up a blast of the blues.

Mary Cutrufello Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) This FedEx driver has a voice that’s been honed with sandpaper, a Telecaster that she rocks with abandon, and a predilection for Texas twang and country tales. In short, Cutrufello goes against all the stereotypes a Yale graduate from Connecticut might engender.

Saturday, June 25
Honky Tonk Fest VI @ Grumpy’s Northeast, 2200 4th St. NE, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 10pm Sixth annual country music benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Minnesota, featuring six bands, a ticket raffle, cakewalk, and Hee-Haw photo booth! 1:30 PM sound check by Country Mike; 2:00 Trailer Trash; 3:15 The Beavers; 4:30 Katy Bellville & The Sonsabitches; 5:45 The Hillions; 7:00 Doug Otto & the Getaways; 8:15 Leo Rondeau (from Austin, TX)

Charles Lawson & the Crazy Snakes All-Stars @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Waay back in the day, Lawson fronted a blues band called the KingSnakes, which would cover under appreciated songs to incite dancing wherever they played. Then, he and Ed Pesche held down a weekly gig at the old incarnation of the Viking for a few years. I don’t know who he’s got with him today, but it will be fun. And, if you can’t make it to this gig, he’s got another at the Dubliner tomorrow from 5-7pm with the Slender Men.

Cactus Blossoms & Eelpout Stringers @ Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia. 2pm – 6pm (Fee – $5 to park) Looking for a short road trip to an interesting place? The Franconia Sculpture Park might be just the ticket. Pack a picnic and listen to the acoustic string tunes of the Eelpout Stringers, followed by The Cactus Blossoms, purveyors of modern songs inspired by the classic Country & Western performers of the 50s.

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) Koskinen is a fine guitarist and writer/composer of tales from America’s main street, sung with much affection for traditional C&W.

Céu @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Céu is a singer/songwriter with a voice as sensuous as the rhythms of her country. She creates beautiful Brazilian electro-pop, encompassing Afrobeat, jazz, and, as might be expected, a number of Brazilian rhythms. Kauf, a Los Angeles singer/songwriter who uses electronics to good effect, opens.

Sunday, June 26
Captain Gravitone @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul 11am – 1pm (Tip Jar) Banjo-led Americana, along with a touch of humor while you have brunch, and after all, isn’t the banjo an easy punch line for many jokes. Consider just a couple of the songs of Captain Gravitone: “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.”

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.

Blues Rhythm Jazz. Music: 3.19 – 3.25

March 19, 2014


The Twin Cities continues to jump with music, and just like the ol’ Moondog, the pioneering Alan Freed, we’ve got Blues, Rhythm, and Jazz. We also have a visiting honky tonk inventor, a charming singer/songwriter, a gig with a trio of funky sounds and even a noontime classical concert. Get out and enjoy yourself. Music has the power to lift your spirits.


Wednesday, March 19

Ms Oatts

Ms Oatts

Sue Oatts with the Woverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sue has a winning way with lyrics, and the ever-steady, and always ready Wolverines are masters of accompaniment, and pretty mean players by themselves.

Zacc Harris Trio @ Café Maude, Minneapollis. 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist Zacc & his mates (Matt Peterson on bass and Pete Hennig on drums) travel a bit westward to play at this popular restaurant. Ask for a table near the band or sit at the bar.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (tip Jar) Byron is a young drummer who plays with High & Mighty and other groups and is beginning to regularly gig around town with his quartet featuring David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund, guitar, and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Jazz Finest Big Band w/Special Guest Lila Ammons @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($12) This is a project of tenor sax man James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace and his wife Pennie, and features Jim TenBensel directing the band. I’ve written about Ammons before, a singer of classic blues and boogie woogie as well as jazz. There’ll be dance lessons from 8-9pm.

Thursday, March 20

Jazz @ Christos w/Alicia Renee & Chris Lomheim, Union Depot, Saint Paul. 6:00pm – 8:00pm  Stick around downtown after work to enjoy the vocals of the talented Ms Renee, and the piano artistry of Chris Lomheim.

Barbara Meyer & Liz Lupien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 suggested donation) Vocalist Meyer and pianist Lupien shares songs about travel from the Great American Songbook in a cabaret show entitled, “Let’s Get Away!”

Friday, March 21

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) This series is designed to “bridge” the absence of the Artists’ Quarter. This week features the Adam Meckler Quintet, with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. I expect the musicianship will be high and the creativity overflowing.

Unknown-2Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover)  Sophisticated vocals from Laurie in a sophisticated, yet comfortable setting, accompanied by the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, just off a tour with Doc Severinson, and Steve Pikal, the happiest bassist around, who is just off a tour with the Barbary Coast Show Band.

Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30 ($5) New original music from a quartet of young musicians who are creating jazz for the 21st Century. Nelson Devereaux, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here they are performing Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage:

Sunday, March 23

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A couple of Minnesota Treasures. Thompson is a marvelous piano player as well as clarinet player, whose command of early styles is legendary. Grammy winning guitarist Donahue is a master finger-picker, which was proven when he won the National Championship some year back. Their recent album, Vicksburg Blues, is a delight.

Monday, March 2

Chris Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Olson teaches at both McNally Smith and MacPhail, and his facile fretwork is well displayed in the trio Framework and the quartet Meantime. Tonight he’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Adrian Suarez, drums. Here is Chris with Framework:

Joel Shapira & Dean Magraw @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Cool guitar music for this late night happy hour spot. Shapira is a master of the nylon string, while Magraw is always full of musical ideas, whether he’s playing Celtic music, worldbeats, jazz fusion, or straight ahead swing.

Tuesday, March 25

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler writes interesting arrangements as well as interesting compositions, and he’s managed to snag 18 talented musicians to play them.  These guys are close to raising their Kickstarter goal to record an album. You can get a preview by attending tonight.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 19

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Brown’s standing as one of the best guitarists in country music has been long established. The inventor of the guit-steel, a double-neck hybrid combining a steel and six-string guitar is more honky-tonk and rock n’ roll than countrypolitan, which may be why he’s been lauded by rock critics as well as older country fans.

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) PaviElle is a young soul singer who uses modern rhythms to support her old school singing. She’s got a crack band that provides fine support, whether she’s recasting a Fleetwood Mac song in soulful terms, singing an original, or jamming a la Funkadelic.

Thursday, March 20

The Schubert Club Courtroom Concert @ Room 317, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Two Duos. Baritone Steve Marking and pianist Donald Livingston perform songs by both Charles Ives and Lee Hoiby, while Kairos – Preston Duncan on saxophone and Ann DuHamel on piano – perform Sonata by William Albright and Klonos by Piet Swerts

Charlie Lawson & Mikkel Beckman @ the Dubliner, University & Vandalia, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (No Cover) Lawson is a bluesman with a ferocious attack as a vocalist and guitarist. Beckman, who hosts a weekly show here,  plays the rub board, small percussion, and any other down-home utensil he can find, including a refrigerator door, which I’m told will be on hand tonight. Whether it’s a full-size refrigerator, or a dorm-sized one, we’ll have to wait and see.

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Fathom Lane, Communist Daughter, and Taj Raj @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) A concert sure to appeal to music lovers with wide tastes. Communist Daughter, the indie rock band that’s garnered national attention and just returned from South by Southwest is headlining. Fathom Lane, with their chamber-folk meets Gram Parsons music is second, while the rootsy Taj Raj uses elements of 70’s, from pop. to country, to folk-rock.

Friday, March 21

imagesBeverly McClellan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35) Last time in town, McClellan charmed the audience with her forthright personality, raspy voice, and direct lyrics. She was one of the final four on tv’s The Voice, and is deserving of wider recognition. There is no doubt she’ll get it.

Nick Moss Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10?) Moss plays a blend of classic Chicago blues and jam-oriented blues rock, using his firery guitar playing to win over jam-band lovers to the blues, and blues fans to the jam-band esthetic. Wilebeski’s early shows allows those of us of a certain age to get some sleep, while younger listeners can catch more music.

Saturday, March 22

Banjo Songwriter Night with Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig @ the 318 Café, Excelsior. 8pm ($7) Who knew the banjo could be used to create original songs? Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig, for two. Anthony will be accompanied by Dan Christensen-Cowan on the upright acoustic bass, while Mother Banjo will be joined by Dan Gaarder on guitar as each duo demonstrates the use of this much maligned instrument as a songwriter’s tool. The 318 is an intimate space with limited seating, so reservations are recommended at 952-401-7902.

New Sound Underground, Black Market Brass, & Pho @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) New Sound Underground is an six piece instrumental funk band whose members have played in jazz, reggae, funk, and salsa bands. Black Market Brass is a 10 piece that performs Afrobeat, that irresistible combination of funk and African rhythms, while Pho is a nine piece that mines jazzy funk, neo-soul, and underground hip-hop. Here’s a video of New Sound Underground.

Barely Bros Records Grand Opening Party, 763 Raynmond Avenue, Saint Paul. 10am – 9pm.  Vinyl aficionados are rejoicing over another store devoted to both new and old LPs and 45s. To celebrate, owners Mike Elias and Spencer Brooks are bringing in the following bands:

The way teens used to buy records

The way teens used to buy records

Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 12:00, Jon Rodine at 2:00, Brian Drake & the April Fools at 3:00, CP Lawson at 4:00, Nikki & the Ruemates at 5:00, M.O.R.T (The Mystic Order of Reverb and Twang) at 6:00, and Eleganza at 7:00

Monday, March 24

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Well it’s been a couple of weeks since the Mardis Gras celebrations, and some folks are itching to do some Cajun Two-steps, Waltzes, and twirls. Millie and the boys will help you do just that.

Tuesday, March 25

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance/$10 door) It’s a Minnesota All-Star group playing improvised funk: Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals.

Beijing Punk and Indie Rock on Film @ The Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8advance/$10door) Two Beijing groups will be performing in Mpls in a couple of days, so this is a chance to get some background on the punk and indie rock subculture of China. There will be a 2010 feature documentary entitled “Beijing Punk” as well as an award winning 2013 short, and short films, as well as a Q&A with Danny Sigelman, local DJ and writer who deejayed in Bejing.

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

New Traditions in Music: 12.19 – 12.25

December 19, 2012
Toy Trains - A Christmas Tradition for Many

Toy Trains – A Christmas Tradition for Many

To paraphrase a well-known storyteller, it’s a quiet week here in the Twin Cities, what with Christmas on Tuesday.  No matter what your tradition, or what you celebrate, or even if you don’t celebrate at all, I hope this finds you in good spirits. Unfortunately, we’ve been soundly reminded that this season isn’t always a happy one for many. Keep your heart open, and your thoughts and actions kind. And let music move your spirits.


Thursday, December 19

DownloadedFile-1Maude Hixson & French 75 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Continental jazz with the ever-so-cool vocals of Ms Hixson. Continental jazz as in songs from the Great American Songbook that actually have pedigrees from Britain, France, and other countries. Since it’s foodie night at the Dakota, you can be sure both performers and the restaurant will be working to make things tres chic. Eh, what.

Maryann Sullivan & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Charming vocals from Ms Sullivan, who recently celebrated the release of her CD Coffee Time, and tasteful, and often exciting, accompaniment by Taylor.

Laura Underwood @ The 3rd Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5?) Underwood is a vocalist who can put a fine interpretation on a much recorded jazz song, and turn around and give new life to a blues standard.

Friday, December 21

Irv Williams and Peter Schimke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm (Free) Once you’re through with some of your last minute shopping on Nicollet Mall, head over to the Dakota for the often soothing, but always imaginative sounds of 93 year old Irv Williams on saxophone, accompanied by the younger, but equally talented Peter Schimke on piano.

Friday, Saturday, December 21, 22

imagesLee Engele’s Hot Christmas @ The Black Box Theater, Bloomington Center for the Arts. 7:30pm Friday, 2:00pm Saturday ($20) Vocalist Engele gathers Reynold Philipsek and Joan Griffith on guitar, along with Gary Schulte on violin, to create a program of  jazz and holiday standards using jazz, Latin, and gypsy jazz rhythms.

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Whether he’s playing tenor, flute, or baritone, the octogenarian Karr shows no sign of slowing down. He can always be depended upon to pull a bebop gem out of his axe.

Saturday, December 22

Deck the Halls with JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm (Free) JoAnn Funk (vocals, piano) and Jeff Brueske (bass) are joined by Gary Shulte (violin) and baritone Steve Marking, who will be singing O Holy Night and some other carols. JoAnn will stick to the lighter side of Christmas songs, and some gems from her usual repertoire of jazz standards, Blossom Dearie, and a few surprise choices.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 19

Graham Parker & Rumour @ Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($37) The pub rocker from the 70s returns with his original group and their first album in 31 years – Three Chord Good. Parker was always a snarling singer, but one who knew how to craft melodies that would grab you, and a good ear for a soulful cover like “Hold Back the Night.” He plays himself in “This is 40,” Judd Aptow’s new move, where he sings a duet and with his group. The movie is being released Friday.

Thursday, December 20

Fathom Lane, Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees, and Actual Wolf @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 advance/$15 door) A trio of country-rockish performers. Bethany Larson’s gorgeous voice and directness in songwriting power her country/folk-rock quartet. Actual Wolf is appearing solo, singing his songs that evoke early Dylan and 70s country rock. Fathom Lane is the creation of Michael Ferrier, formerly of the electro-jazz group Electropolis. With the help of Ashleigh Still (vocals, keys), Brian Roessler (bass), and Pete Hennig (drums) among others, he’s created a album of haunting tunes.

Friday, December 21

Chicago Afrobeat Project & Malamanya @ 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) An evening of outstanding music. The Chicago Afrobeat Project is an 8 piece group that melds the dense sound of Afrobeat with its own take on the Chicago music scene. Opener Malamanya has set many a feet to dancing with its take on Cuban dance beats.

Cool Disposition’s Final Gig @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm After thirteen years, three CDs, a trip to the International Blues Challenge, and numerous bar and festival appearances, this is the last time you’ll get to hear the Dispos. Mickey Bauer, vocals; Hurricane Harold Tremblay, harmonica; Greg Beach, bass, Dan Scwalbe, guitar; and Marty Bryduck drums; have provided the Twin Cities with some jumpin’ and swingin’ blues over the years, and this is where it happened most. The fact that it’s the end of the Mayan calendar has nothing to do with this being their last gig.

Saturday, December 22

DownloadedFileDee Miller Band w/Jimi Primetime Smith @ Holihans Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm (No Cover) The room is small, the bar is full, but it’s worth a crowd to hear Ms. Miller belt the blues, especially when the talented Mr. Smith is providing guitar fills and solos.

King Baron @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) Take a couple of guys from the Brass Messengers (Paul Fonfara and Scotty Anderson), and add Andy Hakala from the Southside Aces, and you get some Dixielandish street music.

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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