Post-Election Music: 11.7 – 11.13

November 7, 2012
It’s a big week here in the Twin Cities, what with Bob Dylan (tonight) and Bruce Springsteen (Sunday and Monday) performing at Xcel and Bettye Lavette at the Dakota. You don’t need me to tell you about the Boss and the Bard. Bettye LaVette is covered below. At any rate, if you aren’t staying at home to enjoy regular (rather than political) commercials on TV, you can find some mighty fine music around town.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 7

Snowblind @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It may seem that I often list this group, but that’s because they only place about once every six weeks or so. Six fine musicians playing original music with a few jazz standards thrown in for good measure. They work as equals, creating music inspired by Ellington, Mingus, and Blakey, among others, and including grooves into their horn-based sound. Scott Agster (trombone), Reid Kennedy (drums), Graydon Peterson (bass), Adam Rosmiller (trumpet) and Shilad Sen (sax). 

Friday, November 9

Vital Organ @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Thought Hell’s Kitchen can be noisy, this organ trio led by Zacc Harris has the goods to catch your attention: funky sounds, head boppin’ grooves, and occasional vocals from Katy Gearty.

Friday, Saturday, November 9, 10

Patty Peterson CD Release & Birthday Party @ The Artists’ Quarter, 9pm ($12) Patty brings her CD Release to the East Metro and manages to make it a Birthday Party as well. The new CD, “The Very Thought of You,” reflects Patty’s ability to go from standards to jazz to R&B. Bobby Vandell, drums; Billy Franze, guitar; Paul Peterson, bass; and Jason Peterson DeLaire, piano. Given Patty’s longevity and stature in the Twin Cities music scene, there will undoubtedly be surprise guests.

Saturday, November 10

Dave Karr Quartet: Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul.  5pm (Workshop – Free), 7pm (Performance – $10) The second in the Jazz at Studio Z series for this year. At the 5pm workshop, saxophonist Karr will talk about “Developing a Bebop Sound & Vocabulary.” It will be followed at 7pm by a performance featuring Karr, Dave Graf, trombone; Adam Linz, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Plus, if you attend the workshop, you get $2 off the performance. Learn about one of the basic streams of jazz and then listen to a performance that helps you understand what you learned.

Anat Cohen with Special Guest Evan Christopher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) It’s a two clarinet night at the Dakota. Cohen was originally scheduled to appear at Orchestra Hall. She’s a clarinetist and rising star, appearing recently on the cover of Jazz Times. With a lyrical approach and deep, warmly wooden tones, Cohen is bringing a new understanding and appreciation for clarinet in jazz. Special guest Evan Christopher explores the ins and outs of classic New Orleans jazz, bringing his own stamp to the result. Here’s a video of Anat that showcases her style.

Sunday, November 11

PipJazz Sunday: Youth All-Star Night @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Pippi Ardennia has made a point of having a talented young person perform at each of her monthly shows. Tonight she brings fifteen of them together to perform. Some have their own bands, others have performed with the Dakota Combo, and still others are simply talented musicians studying at Walker West or other schools around town.

Dearie & O’Day @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) Vicky Mountain will be singing the songs of Anita O’Day, and Maryann Sullivan will be doing the songs of Blossom Dearie. They’ll be backed by Chris Lomheim, piano; Doug Haining, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums.  Swing and sweetness. Vicky and Maryann will be appearing on my show Saturday (90.3 and 106.7 FM)

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, November 7

Secret Stash Presents Pena @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Minnesota Monthly dubbed them the Best Record Label in the Twin Cities. In fact, there are folks all over the world that appreciate the effort these guys put into unearthing and releasing funk, soul, and worldbeat records. They recorded the award-winning Pena on a trip to Peru, followed it up with a second release and a remix. Tonight they’ll be presenting Pena’s music, with Secret Stash Deejays providing music before and between sets.

Thursday, November 8

Eilen Jewell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) It’s about two years since Eilen appeared at the 331 Club and gained a whole bunch of fans of her blend of Americana, classic country, blues, and folk. There’s nothing old fashioned about her songs, though. She’s originally from Idaho, but spent a number of years in the Boston area, and has been building a fan base touring the country and internationally. Wednesday afternoon she appeared on Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin on KFAI, which you can listen to here, starting about an hour and ten minutes into the show.

Friday, November 9

Hurricane Harold’s Blues Revue @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) An early show for those of a certain age, this is nevertheless a chance to see a bevy of excellent blues players. Hurricane Harold Trembley on harp leads the charge, with Dave “Cool Breeze” Brown and Mark “Good Time Willy” Williams on guitars; Allen Kirk, drums; and Chris Johnson, bass.

Minnesota Salsa Fiesta, feat. Malamanya and La Gran Charanga @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($15) Merengues, danzones, boleros and lotsa salsa dancing. Dozens of top  local  Latin music and dancers will come together to entertain for your dancing pleasure, including musicians from Charanga Tropical,  Malamanya,  Salsa Del Soul, Sensacion Latina, and Salsabrosa. Dance lessons, showcases, a live Cuban cigar roller and more

Saturday, November 10

Jennifer Markey & the Tennessee Snowpants and the Crown Vics @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5?) Modern bands doing originals that often sound like classic country. Check out this video of Jennifer.

Monday, Tuesday, November 12, 13

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) A strong contender for displacing Aretha as the preeminent soul singer,  Bettye didn’t hold back for the crowd at the Leinie Lodge stage during this year’s state fair. This is her 50th year in the music business, and she’s released a new CD, Thankful n’ Thoughtful, and an autobiography, “A Woman Like Me.” No one else gets inside a song like she does and no one can wring out you as a listener either.

Tuesday, November 13

Paul Thorn @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($22) His 2010 album is titled Pimps and Preachers, and is full of semi-autographical stories about characters from his Southern upbringing, including one about his short-lived boxing career. On stage, Thorn is a charming, often humorous storyteller and effective singer, whose songs will appeal to fans of both John Hiatt and John Prine.

Menahan Street Band @ Seventh Street Entry, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) The funk faithful will be out in force for this. One of Brooklyn’s new horn-driven funk bands, the Menahan Street Band creates sinuous instrumental hooks in both originals and surprising covers. Members come from Antibalas, The Budos Band, El Michaels Affair, and the Dap-Kings.

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.


And the Days Grow Short. Music: 8.23 – 8.28

August 23, 2012

You may need umbrellas before the weekend.

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.

Jazz

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.

Culbertson, Sanborn

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.

From a European Tour a few years ago.

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.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. They feature jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

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

Their first album.

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.


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