Not-Quite-Winter Music: 11.28 – 12.4

November 28, 2018

It may not be officially winter yet, but it is beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, or any of the other29 or so holidays celebrated by a number of the world’s religions this time of year. Both visiting and resident artists are beginning to include holiday music in their shows, though it’s easy enough to find alternatives if you’re not quite ready for prime-time holiday songs. Music Lifts Your Spirit!


Jazz

Wednesday, November 28
Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30, $35) The clarinet seems to be gaining more gravitas in jazz these days, thanks in part to musicians like Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski, and Evan Christopher, whose grounding in early Creole clarinetists provides the foundation for New Orleans music that honors tradition without being a slave to it.

Thursday, November 29

ACME Jazz Company Holiday Show @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($5, $10) Though you may hear some musical explosions from this 18-piece big band featuring vocalist Arne Fogel, you won’t hear the beep beep sounds of the Roadrunner after the aforementioned eruptions.

Becky King and Jon DeVaal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist King sings jazz standards from the 1920 to the 1960s, accompanied by pianist Jon DeVaal.

Friday, November 30

Acoustic Concussion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Acoustic Concussion: Chris Bates, bass; Lars Erik-Larson, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Brad Holden, saxes, playing the music of Sam Rivers, Lee Konitz, Ornette Coleman and others.

Saturday, December 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Mike Wolter Trio at 7pm: Wolter, guitar;mCody McKinney, bass; and Cory Healey, drums. At 8:30, it’s Babatunde Lea & Rhythm’s Mama: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kevin Washington, drums & percussion; Taj Maalik Hill, percussion; and Lea, drums/congas.

Nate Wood’s fOUR, w/JT Bates solo @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis.m8pm(?$15 Advance, $18 Door) drummer & multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated experimental cross-genre group. fOUR is a solo project in which he layers drums, synths, electric bass and voice with no overdubs or pre-recorded backing tracks. Drummer JT Bates will be using his drum set and electronics to create a new set of music just for this show.

Zacc Harris’ American Reverie @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.(No Cover) The Icehouse changes up their dinner music tonight by having Zacc Harris’ Reverie play: Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums. It’s a quiet group, so you’re still advised to sit close since the restaurant’s happy diners can be noisy.

Saturday, Sunday, December 1,2 

The Freddy Cole Quartet: Cole at Christmas @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. Sat, 6pm, 8pm  ($45, $50), Sunday, 5pm ($30, $35), 7pm  ($35, $40) Freddy Cole returns to the Dunsmore Room to begin a year-long celebration of older brother Nat King Cole’s centennial. One of Nat’s biggest hits is the perennial favorite, The Christmas Song, which Freddy is very likely to perform.

Monday, December 3

Carmen Lundy @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $20, $35) Carmen Lundy is much more than a fine jazz singer. She’s written over 60 compositions in jazz, blues, soul, samba, and pop music. Jazz Times says she has “excelled as a vocalist, composer, lyricist, arranger, guitarist and keyboardist for more than three decades.”

Tuesday, December 4

Christmas with Joey DeFrancesco @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($20, $25) He may well be as advertised, the best B3 player on the planet, but Joey DeFrancesco is also a worthy trumpet player and smooth crooner. He’s doing this Christmas show in the big room.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday,  November 28

Scottie Miller @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) singer/pianist, and songwriter Scottie Miller just received another Blues Society Hall of Fame Award, this time for his song Sweet Cream Sugar Delight. He couldn’t be at the ceremony because he was touring once again with Ruthie Foster. You can hear that winning song tonight, as Miller solos in this free show (though I’m sure tips will be gratefully accepted).

Jon Rodine w/Paul Bergen and Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) There’s no doubt that Rodine, a singer of originals, and a fine interpreter of other’s songs, deserves a wider audience. Fellow musician and KFAI deejay Ellen Stanley called Rodine “Authentic, unpretentious…funky, heartbreaking.” Tune in, and if you like what you hear, support live music by heading to the 331Club.

Honky-Tonk Jump @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) It’s Swing Dance Night at Lee’s, with dance lessons starting at 7pm. The honky tonk tunes, Texas dancehall music, and Western Swing that’ll get dancers on the floor will be provided by the 5-piece Honky Tonk Jump.

Thursday, November 29

Jeremy Ylvisaker & Friends @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) Jeremy Ylvisakeris an imaginative and versatile guitarist and multi instrumentalist who has played and recorded with artists ranging from John Prine and Bon Iver, to Swamp Dogg and the Suburbs. Tonight he’ll rejoined by rocker Venus DeMars; violinist Gaelynn Lea; cellist Jacqueline Ultan, and others.

Friday, November 30

Anne Hills @ Gingko’s Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Pennsylvania native Anne Hills may be a perfect example of a pure folk singer. She has a beautiful, clarion voice, and writes straightforward lyrics. One indication of her talent: Tom Paxton is a big fan. He’s said of her, “For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”

Cedric Burnside @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28 Advance, $20 Door, $40 Meet & Greet at 6:30pm) Cedric Burnside is the grandson of legendary Hill Country Bluesman RL Burnside. Cedric’s 2015 release, Descendants of Hill Country, was nominated for a Grammy, and he’ll be at the Hook to celebrate the release of his latest, Benton County Relic. Opening is another Twin Cities favorite, Chicago guitarist Nick Moss and his band, featuring harpman Dennis Gruenling. FMI on the Meet & Greet, go here.

Tommy Bentz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Jazzy blues, originals, and covers by Bentz, guitar; Jason McLean, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. All also sing.

Saturday, December 1

Nachito Herrera: Afro-Latin Renaissance @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($22 – $42) Dynamic Cuban-born pianist Nachito Herrera once again brings a spectacular show to the Ordway, using a12-piece band; four vocalists; the MinnesotanYouth Symphony; The St.Peter AME Church Choir; and two different dance troupes to showcase classical Afro-Latin jazz and its roots. If you arrive at            6:30, you can hear Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi and his group in the atrium, and also peruse the visual art of a number of Cuban artists.

Sunday, December 2

Ginger Commodore Celebrates Aretha Franklin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($20) Ginger Commodore has the chops and the soul to  do justice to the late and forever Queen of Soul. Commodore was a long time member of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness, has theatrical credits both musicals and dramas, toured Britain as a member of The Chiffons, and currently appears with Moore by Four.

Tuesday, December 4

Kenny Latimore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40,$45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $50) It’ll be a romantic holiday evening, courtesy of  Latimore a “modern soul man” as he was called by the NY Times, to the Dakota.  His sweet harmonies and memorable melodies helped his 1997 song For You become an instant top ten hit. He’s also lent his vocals to recordings for artists such as Brian Culbertson, Nancy Wilson, Musiq Soulchild and Rachelle Ferrel. Additionally, Kanye West sampled Latimore’s Lately for a track.

Curt Obeda & Brian Z @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Blues guitarist/vocalist Curt Obeda, leader of the award winning Butanes, and Brian Ziemniak, of the BZ3 Organ Trio and Vintage Raggs on keys, should make for a fun night of music, including lots of Ray Charles numbers.

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.


Post-Election Music: 11.7 – 11.13

November 7, 2018

Whew! We’ll finally have some respite from political ads, though for how long is anyone’s guess in this political climate. In the meantime, whether you want to celebrate a win or commiserate a loss, there are plenty music events to lift you up, only a small slice of which I’ve listed. Jazz, Soul music, Blues, Honky-Tonk, World music, and some good ol’ rock n’ roll are available for your listening and dancing pleasure. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s grandfather was guitarist Sugarboy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko),and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

Sophia Shorai & Tanner Taylor @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) After a bit of a health scare, vocalist Shorai is ready to once again charm listeners with her creamy, evocative voice. Pianist Tanner Taylor is up from Des Moines to add his tasteful accompaniment to her singing.

Lease & Moriarty @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Pianist Ellen Lease and saxophonist Pat Moriarty have been musical and marital partners for over 30 years, resulting in seamless musical communication during their improvising. Moriarty is the freer of the two, but Lease follows his twists and turns with alacrity.

Thursday, Nov 8

Vicky Mountain & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Versatile vocalist and educator Vicky Mountain has a long history with a variety of singing styles, but especially shines in scatting, melodic nuance, and original interpretations of standards and pop songs. She’ll be accompanied by: David Martin, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; David Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, Nov 9

Zacc Harris Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Guitarist Zacc Harris, known for his fluid and imaginative playing, performs his originals, with bandmates Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Saturday, Nov 10

Roy Hargrove Memorial Concert @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Jesse Simon of the MN Hard Bop Collective has put together this group of fine musicians to celebrate trumpeter Roy Hargrove, whom we lost earlier this week. With Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Joe Mayo, alto; Dave Brattain, tenor; Dale Alexander, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Simon, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) St 7pm the Hutton/Caviani Quartet opens, with Laura Caviani  piano; Joan Hutton  sax; Kameron Markworth, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums. Bottomless Pit begins at about 8:30pm, with Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Sunday, Nov 11

He’s Hip: Connie Evingson Sing Dave Frishberg @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Twin Cities jazz fans probably know of Saint Paul’s native son, Dave Frishberg, whose songs are hip, funny, and often incisive. “Peel Me a Grape”, “My Attorney Bernie”, “Can’t Take You Nowhere”, and “I’m Hip”, are among his songwriting gems. Vocalist Evingsonreleased a highly entertaining album of his songs back in 2008, with Frishberg himself as a guest. She’ll be joined by Jon Weber, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Dave Karr, saxophone (with perhaps a vocal cameo on “I Want to Be a Sideman”).

Monday, Nov 12

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: 1930s Songbook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) The 1930s were ushered in by the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, ending a decade off prosperity and beginning the Great Depression. Sublime vocalist Maud Hixson, and her ever-so-tasteful accompanist pianist Rick Carlson explore the music of that decade, from Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign song “Happy Days Are Here Again” to “Stormy Weather”, as well as the music of Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington and others. Here’s Hixson fronting a big band.

Joe Mayo & Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s a sax attack night at this basement venue as Mayo, on alto; and Brattain, on tenor; join up for an evening of originals. It’s not clear if they will simply duet or have a rhythm section, but either way will be invigorating. As usual for Monday nights, a jam session follows 10pm.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Nov 7

Honky Tonk Jump on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Honky Tonk Jump is the latest project from accordion master Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze, featuring: Newton on accordion and vocals; Joe Savage on steel guitar; Tom Schaefer on fiddle; Vaughn Asselstine on bass; Dehl Gallagher on drums; and Dan Lowinger on guitar. You can expect double and triple-leads on thebTexas dance hall swing of songs from Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams and an array of early honky tonk heroes. As House Party radio host Harold Tremblay says, “You know what to do!”

Sargasso @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) This 7-piece ensemble plays the music of Bob Nordquist: world-oriented folk rock, often with a social message. Instrumentation includes drums, percussion, bass, guitar, organ, cello, and flute. Members sing as well.

Thursday, Nov 8

Claudettes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 bar, $20 table) The Chicago-based Claudettes bring their piano-based high-energy punk blues back to Saint Paul. Piano pounding founder Johnny Iguana played with Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and other proponents of Chicago blues. Vocalist Beth Ulseth complements his playing o great effect on both rockers and ballads.

Friday, Nov 9

Two for the Blues @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) This evening is actually titled “Blues for Your Soul”as two powerful women take the stage with their bands. Both the Annie Mack Band and the Dee Miller Band are on an upward trajectory: Mack is preparing to travel to Switzerland for some gigs, while Miller was recently inducted into the MN Blues Society Hall of Fameand is set to represent MN at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Worldwide Discotheque 6 Year Anniversary @ Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, 2524 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) A vinyl dance music party celebrating music from the tropical zones of the world. Co-founder Dan Steely returns for this anniversary event, to join deejays Brian Engel, Ben Mena, and others in spinning Afrobeats, Soukous, Highlife, Calypsos, Cumbias, and tropical disco along with other dance-inducing rhythms.

Saturday, Nov 10

The Eddies @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Founding member Paul Martin currently lives in Arizona, but returns for occasional gigs such as this one, to add his high harmony and driving guitar to the proceedings.  While Paul Martin has been living elsewhere, another Paul – Paul Garding – has been hanging and singing with the rest of The Eddies  Tonight he’ll do a short set of his own and then join The Eddies to finish out the evening.

Hot Pastrami @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. Back in he early 60s, rock n’ roll had lost some it’s rebelliousness –  Elvis was in the Army, Chuck Berry was in jail, Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly had died in accidents, and teen idols were all over the place. Yet, there were some pretty groovy tunes being made by groups that dressed in matching suits (or for women, dresses). Hot Pastrami, a quartet of veteran players from the New-Wave years, celebrates that pre-Beatles era with songs from Joey Dee & the Starlighters, The Foundations, Dusty Springfield, The Olympics, and others.

Sunday, Nov 11

Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm ($10?) Here’s a chance to not only enjoy soul man Walker’s sandpaper voice and tightly controlled delivery, but to dance to his music on the commodious dance floor at MMC.

Monday, Nov 12

Neil Young Birthday Celebration @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Last Spring Neil Young released a movie entitled Paradox, now available on Netflix. More recently, he announced that he had married Daryl Hannah, who directed the film. To celebrate his birthday (today), Broken Arrow, a Neil Young Tribute band, will be performing his music

Tuesday, Nov 13

Anna Stine Tour Kick-off @ Honey, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) singer/songwriter Stine recently released an album of her originals, using jazz-inflected instrumentals (led by guitarist Robert Bell) in support of her soulful voice and nature-filled lyrics. Tonight, accompanied by Bell, she kicks off a tour of the Midwest. With opening act Regional Dialect: Mathias Hertel (vocals, guitar, beatbox) and Colin Doherty (lead guitar) plays “soul music with a twist of hip-hop and blues.” They have been performing and writing music together since 2010.

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s been over five decades since organist Jones and the MGs created Green Onions, that grooving piece of instrumental funk. The MGs are no more, and Jones may deliver Green Onions a bit fast these days, but he still manages to deliver, whether playing the hits of the MGs and others that he’s written, or newer pieces from his recent solo projects, such as 2015’s Sound the Alarm.

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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