A Jazz Festival, Gamelans, Americana, and More: 1.27 – 2.2

January 27, 2016
You don't have to go outside to hear winter jazz

You don’t have to go outside to hear winter jazz

I’m still on vacation for another day, so this newsletter is also a bit short. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of music to hear out there, including a gamelan orchestra, a one day jazz festival, and some great Americana. There’s more, but I haven’t had the time to fully explore everything. Remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 27
Jake Baldwin Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) The young trumpeter always has simpatico musicians in his band. This time he has Ted Olson on bass, and Matt Buckner on drums.
Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) Quite the combination. Thompson, of course is our very own expert on traditional jazz, with a light touch on both the piano and the clarinet.  Dean Magraw is as versatile a guitar player that you will ever find, from the music of India, Ireland, and other  countries, to jazz-rock fusion, bebop, and more.

Thursday, January 28
Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) The powerhouse young singer can do mighty justice to the songs of Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, and Ella Fitzgerald. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Trevor Hainig, drums.
Saturday, January 30
Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Last week I mentioned that Steve Kenny often has young bands as opening acts for these Saturday Night jazz sets. Here’s one of them, The Nextet, a group of very talented high school students: Jordan Anderson, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Will Schmid, guitar; and Luke Westemeyer, drums. At 8:30, a special performance of the Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny Flumpet.
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s dance time at Crooners, as Ms Lynch brings her unique take on songs from the 20s to the 60s to the lounge.
Tim Patrick and His Blue Eyes Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. 8pm ($12) Patrick has a way with crooning the songs of Sinatra and friends that brings out the swing dancers.

Sunday, January 31
Cyrus Chestnut Clinic @ MacNally Smith College of Music Auditorium, Saint Paul noon- 1pm (Free) Pianist Chestnut will be playing later in the day at the Winter Jazz Festival, but is starting out the day with a clinic aimed at high school students, but open to the public.
Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest @ Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8:30pm ($30 advance, $35 Door) Three stages with a surfeit of talent. On the Summit Room Stage: 2pm – The Dakota Combo, in their first appearance of the year; 3pm – John Penny, was scheduled, but is unable to perform after an accident. No word on a replacement yet. On the M Street Cafe Stage: 4pm Patty Peterson with Dave Karr; 5:30pm – Solomon Parham with Steve Kenny. On the Ballroom Main Stage: 2pm – Acme jazz Company; 3pm, Ancia Saxophone Quartet; 4:30pm – JoAnn Funk; 5pm Jazz Central All Stars featuring Debbie Duncan; 6:45pm – Cyrus Chestnut with Francisco Mela and Gerald Cannon

Tribute to Natalie Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  Ginger Commodore, Yolanda Bruce, Tonia Hughes-Kendrick, Dennnis Spears, Ash Smash. With Brian Ziemniak, keys; Jay Young, bass; Deevo Dee, guitar; Daryl Boudreaux, perc; Bobby Commodore, drums.
Monday
Tuesday, February 2
Charles Lloyd & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $70) The Jazz Master brings his saxophone back to the Dakota, this time with some esteemed friends: Bill Frisell,guitar; Reuben Rogers, bass; and Eric Harland. Both Frisell and Lloyd leave plenty of room in their playing, creating an almost meditative quality to their performance.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. 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, January 27
JT Bates & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) JT Bates is a versatile drummer. Some folks know him as the guy who often plays with the Pines and on Prairie Home Companion. Others know him as a jazz drummer about town, playing with Fat Kid Wednesdays, Zacc Harris, his brother Chris, and curating the Jazz Implosion on Monday nights. Some may have discovered him as the funky drummer in the soul jazz organ group GRAIN. Tonight he invites some friends to play the music of New Orleans with him. Those friends include: Joel Schaan, guitar & vocals; Jim Anton, bass; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ. Here he is with a different set of friends.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 27, 28
Eric Bibb and Corey Harris @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Modern acoustic blues that seems to have wafted up from the Delta from a couple of relatively young masters. Bibb is an intimate performer and fine story teller. With a foundation in traditional blues and an ear for contemporary blues, Harris received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” back in 2007.

Thursday, January 28
Swamp Kings @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5?) You’ll definitely feel the Louisiana vibe as this trio brings blues, swamp pop, and Cajun rhythms to the basement shrine to New Orleans.

Americana Showcase @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Rice County Records is a little label from Northfield. They’ve been holding weekly showcases of their talent and tonight will feature: The Holy Broke at 9; Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 10; and Golden Valley at 11.
International Novelty Gamelan @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Gamelan is a term used in Bali and Java to describe a number of instruments, including gongs, xylophones, and a variety of percussion instruments. What sets it apart is that the instruments are built and tuned to be played together. This local sextet has been playing together for over 13 years, composing their own music, which is drone-like in its approach. Beer, wine, and small plates are available for the Thurday night music series at Khyber Pass.
Friday, January 29
John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($30) Jorgenson is an amazingly versatile guitarist. He spent more than 5 years on the road with  Elton John, co-founded the Desert Rose Band, a stellar country rock outfit, with Chris Hillman; collaborated with Sting and Billy Joel; and was a pioneer of the America’s gypsy jazz revival the last couple of decades. Tonight he explores bluegrass.

Scottie Miller @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Miller will be performing boogie-woogie, soul, funk, and blues. HIs rollicking playing, with it’s echoes of New Orleans and classic rock, will have the joint jumpin’. 
New Sound Underground and The Heard @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 advance, $12 door) Modern day horn-oriented funk from a couple of Twin Cities groups. New Sound Underground is a sextet with at least three players who are well respected in the Twin Cities jazz scene. The Heard is a seven piece group with a 3-person horn section.

Sunday, January 31
Pop Wagner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Some might call Wagner a folkie, but those in the know would describe him as an old-time country singer, and by old time, I’m talking the 30s. He’s also mighty handy with a lasso. Here’s Pop with a very witty song.

Charlie Parrr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Parr is playing out quite a bit these days. He has enough fans that most venues fill up. Tonight he’s joined by  Wild Hands, a North Dakota quartet who’s music covers the usual Americana bases.
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.

Jazz, Cambodian Pop, Chamber Blues, and More: 1.6 – 1.12

January 6, 2016
Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Good music this week, from around the world (see photo) and perhaps, around the block. Get out and hear some. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 6

Anthony Cox: Deconstruction/Reconstruction @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Anthony Cox  ethinks the roles of different instruments and orchestration. He’ll be joined by Steve Kenny, trumpet; Davu Seru, drums; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; to perform new compositions, and engage in dialogue with the audience. Here’s an example of how Cox approaches a song, with a slight change in the lineup.

Thursday, January 7

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) I don’t know if this is a solo gig or if pianist Pemberton will have any accompaniment. In either case, Pemberton’s playing is well worth a listen.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Ms Livingston has been singing a lot with The Parisota Hot Club, proving she can swing the standards, pump up the blues, and caress a Beatles tune. Tonight she performs with Marc Z on piano.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) These purveyors of both traditional and contemporary New Orleans Brass Band music have a new CD, For Your Soul, and they’re celebrating with a performance tonight. And what better place to celebrate than the gumbo and po-boy haven in downtown Saint Paul. Here’s a video of the band from Wednesday morning.

Friday, January 8

Ted Olsen & Joe Strachan @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Bassist Olsen and pianist Strachan are relatively young players who serve up some tasty licks and imaginative improvisations.

Denny Malmberg Trio w/Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The accordionist used to play behind chanteuse Charmin Michelle at the Fireside Pizza on a weekly basis. That gig ended some months ago, so it’s a delight to have them together again, this time will the help of Tom Lewis on bass. Listen to them with a drummer.

Pete Whitman X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) They’re back! Saxophonist/leader Whitman has been concentrating on the McNally Smith big band that he leads, so it’s fun to have the X-Tet, formed in 2001, they received glowing review for their only CD, playing mostly original compositions from the members: Clay Pufahl, saxes, flute; Gus Sandberg, baritone sax, flute’ Adam Meckler, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Laura Caviani, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here they are with Whitman’s arrangement of the old chestnut, Good Night Ladies.

Saturday, January 9

Zacc Harris Guitar Recital @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) It’s listed as a recital, so I’m assuming guitarist Harris  will be performing solo, given that he’ll be playing in a trio later in the evening. This is a chance to clearly hear his clean, rhythmic lines.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Pete Snell Trio opens, with Snell, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass. At 8:30 it’s Golden Circle, with outstanding musicians Davu Seru  drums; Dean Granros, guitar; Chris Bates, bass.

JT Bates’ Grain @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8)  Get down and a bit greasy with this B3 Organ trio led by the chameleonic drummer JT Bates, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Sunday, January 10

The Birthday Club w/Dan Chouinard & Friends @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 6pm – 8pm ($20 Minimum) The folks at Crooners are starting a new residency with keyboardist Dan Chouinard in which he and an invited guest celebrate the music of a particular songwriter. He has a long history of doing informative and edifying shows. For this first appearance, he’s bringing along a long time collaborator, singer Prudence Johnson  Her recent appearance with Rio Nido at the Dakota showed that she’s got chops aplenty when it comes to interpreting songs. Here’s something from their Gershwin album.

Monday, January 11

Colleen Raye @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) The singer/actress will be performing songs from women songwriters of the 40s and 50s. Raye is somewhat of an expert here, having produced and starred in shows such as Sirens of the 60s, Belting Babes, Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, and others that feature songs from women. She’ll be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Ted Godbout, piano. Listen to her on an old Nat King Cole Song.

Tuesday, January 12

Peter Kogan Quartet @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Kogan is a former tympanist from the Minnesota Orchestra, who was able to explore his jazz side during the organization’s strike, and came up with a couple of winning CDs, including his latest, Some Monsterful Wonderthing, which exhibits his skill at composing and leading a band. From classic bebop to New Orleans rhythms, Kogan writes it all.  Look at who he has in this quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass. Here’s a cut from the album.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. 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, December 6

Andra Suchy Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Classically trained and a veteran of musical theater, Suchy is a regular performer on Prairie Home Companion, and has recorded with a wide variety of indie, rock, blues, and folk acts, including the Honeydongs, Peter Ostroushko, and Dave Perner of Soul Asylum. She’s a Red House recording artist, with a folky style that fits the label’s sound.

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The joint will be jumpin’ as powerhouse vocalist Ms Miller and her band deliver exciting and danceable blues. Extra reason to be excited: Jimi “Primetime” Smith on guitar. I’m thinking this might be a crowded place tonight.

Thursday, January 7

Pat Donahue & The Prairie All Stars @ Golden’s Deli, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($8 for reserved stage area seating) Grammy-winning finger style guitarist Donahue has many fans, including the late Chet Atkins, and of course, Garrison Keillor, who featured Donahue and company at the house band on Prairie Home Companion for many years. Golden’s has a stage area off the main dining area, and serves beer and wine, in addition to sandwiches and soups. The band includes Dan Newton, accordion; Gary Raynor, bass; Richard Kriehn, mandolin and fiddle; and Peter Johnson on drums. Here he is with some of the band.

Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The “Twin Horns of Joy” are a couple of young musicians from Omaha who have been guided by folks like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, and a host of other music luminaries. Adeev, trumpet; and Ezra, trombone; have studied in New York, and appeared at places ranging from Birdland to the Field Museum and the MN State Fair Grandstand. They play a very jazz-oriented pop that reaches across generations.

Friday, January 8

Worldwide Discoteque @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Pan-tropical vinyl, producing irresistibly funky dance sounds from Afrobeat to Island jams, to sambas, cumbias, and more for a multi-culti audience. Special guest deejay ILana Percheri will be alternating with host deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engle. Here’s an example of what you might hear.

Saturday, January 9

Dengue Fever @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25 – $27) Take Cambodian pop music. Add hints of Ethiopian jazz, psychedelica, garage band music, Latin grooves, and the British Invasion and you have this thoroughly intriguing and fun six-piece group. Their music has been featured in TV and films, including CSI: Las Vegas, Weeds, The Hangover 2, and City of Ghosts.

Sunday, January 10

Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, w/Ernie Watts @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Siegel  known back in the day for his incisive harp playing as part of the Seigel-Schwall Blues Band, has been collaborating with classical musicians for quite some time now. This particular act features the West End String Quartet, as well as Frank Donaldson on world percussion, and sax master Ernie Watts  creating a blend of classical and blues styles in a chamber music setting.

Charlie Parr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance) Parr is unique among today’s blues performers, with 13 albums to his credit and a huge following among the younger set. He sounds and looks like an itinerant picker, and in some respects is, but there’s an intelligence to his lyrics and playing (guitar, dobro, banjo) that goes way beyond his often-disheveled appearance. MN based singer/songwriter Amanda Standalone opens.

Tuesday, January 12

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) I’ll admit that I really like the approach of bassist/vocalist Lynch to performing. She takes on old songs – pop tunes from the 20s to the 60s, and puts them in context before she and her Most Excellent Fellows hit a downbeat that brings out swing dancers. Though there’s no real room for dancing at the Dakota, I wouldn’t put it past some of her fans to push some table aside to create a small dance floor.

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.


Valentines Day. Mardis Gras. Celebratory Music: 2.11 – 2.17

February 11, 2015

UnknownOkay, we’ve got two special occasions this week. For the romantics out there we have Valentine’s Day. For those who just want to party we have Mardis Gras. Take your pick, or take both, each of which is a good reason to get out and listen to music. There are other reasons as well, just check out the possibilities below. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 11

Trio PKD @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) George Cartwright, sax; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums. Chris Bates always brings interesting musicians to Jazz Central on the second Wednesday of the month. Tonight he’s teaming up with brother JT on drums and, for the first time, the exploratory sax of George Cartwright.

Thursday, February 12

UnknownJennifer Grimm @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Grimm’s musical theater background, her sense of sing and her weekly shows at Manitou Station, along with appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Ordway, and Prairie Home Companion attest to her versatility. With Joe Cruz accompanying on guitar, this promises to be an intimate evening. I suspect there will be quite a few love songs in the repertoire.

Friday, February 13

Irv Williams and Mary Louise Knutson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (No Cover) Mr Smooth, aka Irv Williams, has had a number of different partners for his Friday afternoon happy hour gigs, but this may be the first time he’s accompanied by the accomplished pianist, Mary Louise Knutson  Her bonafides are well established: she’s Doc Severinson’s pianist for his mid-nation tours, her most recent CD In the Bubble, hit the top ten in Jazz Week, and was in the top 50 for 19 weeks, and she’s performed with musicians ranging from Diane Reeves to Nicholas Payton, and Randy Brecker. This should be a delightful pairing.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Gravatt’s powerhouse drumming has propelled Weather Report and McCoy Tyner’s groups. Tonight he brings Brandon Wozniak, sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Zacc Harris, guitar; to the basement club in near Northeast. Here’s a video of Gravatt with Wozniak and bass player Adam Linz.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm  featuring North Central University’s Jazz Workshop. There will be sets from two different ensembles, followed by a jam session.

Friday, Saturday, February 13, 14

Isn’t It Romantic: Jazz in the Lobby Bar @ the Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sure, the lobby can be a bit noisy and distracting, but Joann on piano and Jeff on bass are very good at keeping your attention. They are bringing in a special guest, Saxman Pete Whitman, for these evenings of romantic songs.

Saturday, February 14

Kate & the Fellows

Kate & the Fellows

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Patissiere 46, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm.  (No Cover) Bassist/vocalist Lynch is calling this Sweet Tunes for the Sweet Toothed. She and the Fellows will be playing tunes from the 30s through the 50s, and maybe even a tune or two from the 60s, all in that toe-tapping rhythm. There may be no cover, but you will definitely end up buying one of the beautiful French pastries at what is arguably the best pastry shop in the state. Their creations are colorful, sculptural, delicious, and sweet – a perfect complement to the tunes of Kate and the band. Here she does a li

Connie Evingson @ The Cabaret at Camp Bar, 490 Robert, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($20, $25) Ms Evingson takes a lighthearted look at romance in a show called “This Funny Thing Called Love?” Helping her answer that question are: Adi Yeshaya, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; Dave Karr, sax; and Mac Santiago drums.

Ready to Sing!

Ready to Sing!

The Girls: This Thing Called Love @ Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm – 10pm  ($24, Discounts for seniors, students, and members) It’s an evening celebrating all things romantic, with the cream of Twin Cities vocalists: Patty Peterson, Lori Dokken, Debbie Duncan, Judy Donaghy-Vinar, Rachel Holder-Henning, and Erin Schwab.

Paul Harper Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s not a Valentine’s Day Event, but if your sweetie likes jazz, tonight’s groups will help you get nice and cozy. Opening at 7pm: Central Standard Time: Charlie Lincoln, bass; Dave Roos, guitar; Alex Burgess, drums; Steve Kenny, flumpet. Followed by Harper, sax; Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; Nathan Norman, drums at 8:30pm.

Monday, February 16

Iron Chops, feat: Jon Wood and Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Wood is an area guitarist who is a member of both the Cedar Avenue Big Band and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. He also plays around town in in various venues and and genres and is currently recording a CD. He’s joined tonight by Dave Brattain on sax, who also plays in the Cedar Avenue Big Band, as well as the JazzMN Big Band. They’ll be playing compositions from Wood’s upcoming CD.

Unknown-2Enormous Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Chris Bates is one busy bassist. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Philips, drums.

Tuesday, Wednesday, February 17, 18

David Sanborn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70) Sanborn is a rare saxophonist, one who can appeal to a dance-oriented R&B crowd, and a listening audience of jazz aficionados. He has won six Grammys, had eight gold albums, and one platinum, has hosted his own excellent TV show, and recorded with a host of artists, from Eric Clapton to Christian McBride and Bill Frisell. His appearance at the Zoo a couple of years back had the crowd roaring with delight. Don’t be surprised if Ricky Peterson shows up on keys, as in this video.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 11

MATRA @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Sometimes we have to be reminded that the vibraphone and the marimba are both percussion instruments. Tonight’s your chance, as Andres Crovetti, vibes; Jenny Klukken, marimba; Krissy Bergmark, tablas; and Mathew Solace, drums play accessible arrangements of world and jazz influenced music.

Thursday, February 12

It's more like MeMeMeMeMe

It’s more like MeMeMeMeMe

MeMeMe with Little Star @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) If you liked the voice of Jon Anderson from Yes, you might appreciate the vocals of MeMeMe’s lead vocalist Casidy Anderson. The rest of the band evokes folks from Weezer to Neil Young. Opening for the evening is Little Star  who delivers something completely different – a guitar duo featuring Jayme Clifton Halbritter and Olivia Marie Quintanilla. The results are, as might be expected, quietly pretty, little dreamlike wisps of imagination.

The Eddies @ The Underground Music Cafe, 1575 Hamline Ave, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm ($5 Suggested Donation) The always fun Eddies are featured for this month’s Celtic Music Showcase, and though there is a definite Celtic bent to what this almost acapella group sings, there are 19th and 20th Century songs of love, death, and work as well.

Friday, February 13

The Assad Brothers and Romero Lubambo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($25 – $35) Guitar players and lovers of guitar music will converge on the Dakota tonight to hear the Brazilian-born Assad Brothers  whose virtuosity in classical and other genres have led to them being called the best two-guitar team in existence by the Washington Post. Romero Lubambo  another Brazilian guitarist, melds Brazilian styles and rhythms with the American jazz tradition, leading to his performing and recording with such artists as Diane Reeves, Michael Brecker, Diane Krall and others.

On Love @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) With Lynn O’Brien and Steven Hobert, PaviElle, and Sankophoenix. Three female singers take to the Cedar’s stage to explore the manifestations of love, often using a groove to move their messages forward. PaviElle has been getting lots of good press recently for her neo-soul work. Lynn O’Brien is a singer/songwriter with a soulful voice who has found a kindred spirit in imaginative pianist Steven Hobert. Sankophoenix calls her approach to singing neo-jazz, integrating jazz and neo-soul in her singing. Here’s PaviElle doing a Tom Petty song.

Saturday, February 14

Freewheelin’ Mardis Gras @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) I’ll be spinning Mardis Gras music and more from 4:30 – 6pm, prior to the start of this event featuring The Rockin’ Pinecones, Scottie Miller, and The New Riverside Ramblers.

Maurice Jacox @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) Though vocalist Jacox is well known for his work with Willie & the Bees, The Butanes Soul Revue, and the Soul Tight Committee, he is also an excellent interpreter of standards, and stripped down Motown. Things get intimate tonight in the tiny bar at Normandy Kitchen, as Jacox performs with Thomas West on keys, and Grammy winner Robb Stupka on drums. Reservations recommended.

North America Super Stars @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Here’s a unique Valentine’s day concert, performed by a collective of Somali artists who appear in various configurations around the Twin Cities and beyond. It’s Somali pop, with perhaps, a bit of hip hop as well.

Sunday, February 15

Finn Hall @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm (Donation) Talk about old-time music! With mandolin, violin, nyckelharpa, and two accordions, this quartet will take set the Wayback machine to the turn of the last century as they play  waltzes, schottisches, polkas, mazurka, humppa and other traditional music as played in Finnish-American dance halls. Here they are with some guests.

S.O.S. Band @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. ($25) The S.O.S. band hit big in 1980 with the single Take Your time (Do It Right), which sold over two million copies. Other hits followed after they hooked up with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as producers. It will be a night of funk with opening acts The Maxx Band and the West Side Band

Bridge City Hustle @ the Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) This modern soul quintet from Brooklyn caught my ear when I heard one of their tracks on KFAI. They handle slow grooves and uptempo numbers with equal aplomb.  w/Sonic Intension, a neo-soul group that uses a touch of rock, and DJ Tarik Thornton, who always spins interesting and danceable grooves. Here’s a video of Bridge City Hustle.

Monday, February 16

Blues at the Crossroads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($50 – $75), 9pm ($40 – $65) Wow, this is a good old fashioned Soul Revue. Featuring the wonderful Irma Thomas  Soul Queen of New Orleans; journeyman soul singer Lee Fields, who should be as well known as Sharon Jones or Charles Bradley;  Eric Krasno, of Soulive and Lettuce; and new singer Alecia Chakour, who’s been getting dynamite press. Speaking of which, The Dynamites, who provided butt-shaking backing on the excellent Charles Walker album, provide the backing for everyone. Here’s Lee Fields.

Tuesday, February 17

Swamp Kings @ Dixie’s on Grand, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) You just know that Dixie’s has to have some appropriate music for Mardis Gras, and they’ve found it with the Swamp Kings  This quartet of bass, drums, accordion, and electric guitar does a more than credible job of laying down the Cajun, New Orleans, funk and blues sounds of Louisiana.

The New Riverside Ramblers

The New Riverside Ramblers

8th Annual Louisiana Rhythms Mardis Gras Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($12) Whether you do Cajun Dancing, Zydeco, Swing, or freestyle, The Swamp Poppas, Southside Aces, New Riverside Ramblers, and the Rockin’ Pinecones will be providing music from New Orleans and South Louisiana for your dancing pleasure. Plus, there will be Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Red Beans and Rice!

Jack Brass Band: Naughty Gras @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm($15, $50 for 2-top tables, $100 for 4-top tables)  They’re pulling out the stops for this one, folks. Besides the always fun JBB  they’ve got side show acts presented by Musette the Mistress of Mischief and burlesque from Sassy Von Straddler, as well as a crawfish boil, Abita beer and circus aerialists. My. My. My.

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. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.

 


Adapting to Winter. Music: 11.12 – 11.18

November 12, 2014

SAMSUNGOkay, so winter is here, said Mr. Obvious. After a few days we’ll adapt our driving and have all of our warm clothes out of storage. Then we’ll be ready to enjoy the rich nightlife of the Twin Cities, no matter what the weather. This week we have the debut (or near debut) of a couple of jazz groups, a couple of CD release parties, a “birthday in blue” from Willie Murphy, and a number of well known visiting artists gracing area stages. Have a good week. Music will lift your spirits, even in winter. Even when there’s lots of snow.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 12

Corey Healy’s Beautiful Happy Sunshine Deathsquad Experience @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Healy heads up this aggregation, which will be playing his originals, as well as new arrangements of jazz standards. Members include: Zacc Harris, guitar; Erick Fratzke, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Jake Baldwin, trumpet.

Thursday, November 13

Joyce Meets Carmen: Joyce Lyons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ms Lyons brings along Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; as she visits the music of Carmen McCrae in an “intimate conversation.”  Listen to her doing Love Me or Leave Me.

The band is named for a draft horse, originally from France.

The band is named for a draft horse, originally from France.

Le Percheron @ the Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has a new group, and this is their debut performance. It includes: Cory Healey, drums; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. They already have some dates in France for next year.

Friday, November 14

The Gentle Assassins of Sound @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) This is a piano/cello duet between Friday happy hour regular, pianist Todd Harper, and his guest, cellist Aaron Kerr. What makes this a unique cello/piano duet is that one or both of the artists will be playing electric.

Dutz/Wabich Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Brad Dutz and Chris Wabich are percussionists with long and varied resumes. Their work can be heard on several TV shows, including King of the Hill and American Idol. Individually, Dutz’s work can be heard on the soundtracks of the Bourne Legacy, and Anchorman, as well as on CDs with Alanis Morrisette, Willie Nelson, and KISS. Wabich has recorded with artistes such as Ludacris, Alex Acuna, and Jeff Hamilton. “Together they use a plethora of percussion instruments to blend improvisation, high art, and comedy. Here’s an example of their inventiveness.

Barbara Meyer/Phil Mattson CD Release @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Meyer & pianist Mattson have created a winning combination by recording the music of Harold Arlen. They are celebrating the release of Down and Up With Love: The Music of Harold Arlen, at this dance-friendly coffeehouse that also serves wine and beer.

Saturday, November 15

Mary Louise Knutson & Gary Raynor @ Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 5701 Eden Prairie Rd, Minnetonka. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) The graceful pianist and Prairie Home Companion bassist collaborate for an art opening.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover). Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; Nathan Norman, drums. Fresh interpretations of standards and more – from Chopin to the Mario Brothers. Reservations are recommended, as the Kitchen has a relatively small bar.

Dean Granros Group @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop (free), 7pm performance. ($10) Another in the Jazz at Studio Z series. Guitarist Granros is joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Since the mid-60s, Granros has been mixing up genres such as blues, rock n’ roll, classical music, western swing and a host of world musics into his own cauldron of bubbling jazz. He’ll conduct a free master class on blues concepts in contemporary improvisation at 6pm.

Unknown-2Dean Magraw Solo @ Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15)  Well, I’m listing this under jazz, but Magraw is a guitarist who draws from a number of genres and plays them all equally well, whether Irish, World music, R&B, jazz fusion, or who knows what else. This is a rare opportunity to hear him solo. Plus, you have the opportunity to try some of the Riverview’s many wine flights.

Monday, November 17

Charlie Lincoln Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Lincoln is the young bassist who has been studying (and occasionally playing) with Eric Kamau Gravatt. Joining him will be a number of other young jazzmen: Ben Beyene, drums; Gavin Brehm, trumpet; Peter Goggin, sax; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; and Sam Stroup, electronics.

Firebell CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Jacob Park Evans, he of the clean guitar lines, joins forces with Graydon Peterson, bass master; and Jay Epstein, drummer extraordinaire, in Firebell. They’re releasing their first CD and are celebrating tonight.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 12

Dead Pigeons on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Pigeons have been around for a few years now, with frontman/songwriter Drew Peterson providing them with sardonic, mordant, and often witty lyrics. Though their instrumentation is old-timey, their approach to music is anything but, as they create rough-hewn music that might, at times, be mistaken for acoustic punk. Drew Peterson, lead singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo; Ryan Douglas Canyon, mandolin and backing vocals; Gretta Hunstiger, fiddle and backing vocals; Andy Carroll and John Reinhart, bass; Daryn Christensen – drums and percussion.

Thursday, November 13

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows: Foxtrot @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Given the venue and the time, I guess you can call this a dinner dance. Ms Lynch  on bass, and her cohoes play music that swings easily. It’s often in a rhythm called the Businessman’s Bounce, which means just about anybody can get up and dance with a partner. Dressed down jazz and pop hits from the 20s – 70s. The Most Excellent Fellows include: Chris Beaty, guitar; Ken Chastain, drums; Michael Nelson, trombone, Greg Lewis, trumpet.

Friday, November 14

Little River Band @ The Medina Ballroom, Hamel. 7:30pm ($29-$49) Well the Little River Band  as sold more than 25 million records, had one gold and two platinum selling albums, and then had six top ten singles between 1978 and 1981, the biggest of which was Reminiscing (#3). Originally from Australia, be warned that the current lineup has no original members, though bassist/vocalist Wayne Nelson has been with the band for all but four years since 1980. Kurt Jorgenson opens.

Love TKO: Tribute to Teddy Pendergrass @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20, $25 reserved) How many articles of underwear have been discarded while couples have listened to Teddy Pendergrass. The mind boggles. Johnnie Brown will be recreating some of those signature sounds tonight, with Kathleen Johnson singing the music of Etta James for good measure.

Friday, Saturday, November 14, 15

Shawn Colvin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45-$50) This singer/songwriter won Grammys for Record of the Year and song of the year (Sunny Came Home) in 1998, after winning Best Contemporary Folk Album for her debut album in 1991. Colvin continues to produce folk with a pop influence, and since the turn of this century has been doing a lot of collaborating with folks like Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck, James Taylor, and Allison Krauss. Her latest album, All Fall Down, was produced by Buddy Miller and includes contributions from Bill Frisell, Brian Blade, and Jakob Dylan, among others.

Saturday, November 15

It's his birthday!

It’s his birthday!

Willie Murphy w/the Liquor Pigs @ The Eagles Club #34, MInneapoils. 8pm ($?) It’s Willie’s Birthday, so you know he’ll be knocking’ the music out of the park, so to speak. the Liquor Pigs, with their ragged yet rockin’ approach to acoustic rock/blues open. Willie’s friends and fans will be out in force, with bells on and dancing shoes.

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) The Iowa natives with the deep South blues style are once again visiting our fair cities. Tonight they’re bringing their music to the tap room, where you can drown your sorrows in a variety of beers.

Sunday, November 16

MN Blues Society Road to Memphis Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 4:30pm  ($10 Suggested Donation) With Lisa Wenger & Bruce McCabe, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Del Vincents, & More. Every year the Minnesota Blues Society sends a group and a duo to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. This year they are sending Jimmi & the Band of Souls and Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and today are having a fundraiser to help compensate for the bands’ travel expenses.

Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12, $15) Adrenaline-fueled Southern Gothic Swamp boogies from a band that doesn’t do murder ballads, “they do murder boogies” as the publicity for Bloodshot Records states.

Todd Rundgren @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. ($40, $42) Rundgren first came to the public’s attention in 1967 or so as a member of Nazz. Then he went solo with his album Runt in 1970 and earned a gold record for the double LP Something/Anything in 1972 and recorded A Wizard: A True Star in 1973, which led to the creation of Utopia, a biggish prig-rock band. He’s continued to record, rather prolifically, but has also been a producer for numerous groups, including the Paul Butterfield Blues Band to the New York Dolls, XTC, Cheap Trick, and Hall & Oates, among others.

John McEuen & John Carter Cash @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) Back in the 70s John McCuen and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band pretty much started the interest blue/newgrass/Americana roots genre when they put out Will The Circle Be Unbroken, an homage to the music of Mother Maybelle Carter and family. Cash  as you might guess, is the only progeny of June Carter and Johnny. They’ll be celebrating the music of the Carter Family and Johnny Cash. So, here’s a chance for young (and old) fans of roots music have to see artists with true connections to the genre.

Tuesday, November 18

Malamanya @ Honey, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) 18+ This popular Cuban/Salsa six-piece just began a weekly residency at the basement club under Jitters. Bring your dancing shoes.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 18, 19

Suzanne Vega @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. 7pm ($35, $45) Whether you call it New folk, Neo-Folk, or Contemporary Folk, Vega is often credited with creating the style in the 80s. Her 1987 album Solitude Standing, reached the top ten in many international markets and produced two hit singles: Luka, and Tom’s Diner, which was originally a cappella, but remade as a 1990 dance track in Britain. After eight album (the latest released this year) Vega remains an impressive storyteller who uses music to get her stories across.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Dance, Dance, Dance. Music: 4.30 – 5.6

April 30, 2014
Back-flips are optional

Back-flips are optional

This seems to be an especially good week for folks who like to dance, whether they swing dance, do the two step, or hit the dance floor to cajun & zydeco, or Latin music. We’ve five events dedicated to dancers and a few others where dancing could erupt. We’ve also got a fine selection of listening events, including a Women in Jazz workshop aimed at young female musicians. All, in all, another good week of music in the Twin Cities. Music can lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 30 – International Jazz Day

Friends of Foreman @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) That’s friends of bassist Andrew Foreman, including Dave Feily guitar; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Dan Musselman on piano. They improvise on modern Jazz, indie-rock, and alt-pop, as well as original compositions.

Kevin Gastonguay Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:00pm ($10 Donation)  Pianist Gastonguay has garnered acclaim at festivals in Detroit Lakes and Sioux Fall, as well as at the 2010 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Here in town, he’s played with Cory Wong, Kevin Washington, Jay Young, and mangy others. He’ll be joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Andrew Bergmann, bass.

Evans Courage Hennig @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Late night music from a new trio, though each of them have been playing around town for years. Park Evans is a guitarist with taste, who can bring the fire any time he wishes. Brian Courage has become a go-to guy on bass since his arrival in town a few years ago. Hennig is the drummer for modern jazz group Atlantis Quartet, as well as the punk/blues band Crankshaft and the Grinders. Will make for an interesting evening at this uptown bistro.

Thursday, May 1

Moonlight Serenaders @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) Here’s your mid-week big band fix, complete with swing dancers of all ages, a venue with a haunted past, and Lee Engele, a “canary” (as female big band singers were once known) who can swing with ease. Here’s the band, with Lee singing a classic number, at the Caves.

Friday, May 2

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny Horst & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Though he may have closed the Artists’ Quarter, drummer Kenny Horst doesn’t appear ready to fully retire. He’s gathered Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brian Courage, bass; to back him as he returns to performing. It will be a swingin’ evening of straight-ahead jazz.

Illicit Sextet @ TheBlack Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Six imaginative improvisers who only play their own, original music. Consider their membership:  Steve Kenny, trumpet and fluegelhorn; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Byron Jonson-Blanchard Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Donation) Drummer Johnson-Blanchard’s quartet comes to the late night show at JC. The young percussionist (a 2008 grad of McNally Smith) plays around town in various groups, most steadily with the R&B horn band High and Mighty. Tonight he’s joined by cohorts David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund guitar; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Saturday, May 3

Women In Jazz Workshop & Concert @ Maplewood Community Center, Maplewood. 2-4:30 workshop (free) 7pm concert ($20/adult, $10/student, free w/workshop) Pippi Ardennia’s non-profit, PipJazz and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education are teaming up to present a workshop introducing young female musicians to the women who have contributed to the growth of jazz as performers, composers, and bandleaders. The workshop will feature a history of women in jazz and end with an open jam session. then at 7pm the women leading the workshop will perform an evening concert. Participants include vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Patty Peterson, Kathy Jensen, sax; Laura Caviani, piano; Joan Griffith, bass, and drummer Sheila Earley. A special guest will be saxophonist Ebony Rainwater, a student at Sibley High School. Register for the workshop at: http://pipjazz.org

Paul Renz Quartet @ Rosemount Steeple Center, 14375 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount. 7pm ($5) Guitarist Paul Renz  uietly goes about teaching, regularly records, and tours the East Coast every now and then. This is a rare area performance by Renz, who is joined by Baltimore pianist Alan Blackman; Josh Granowski, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.

Monday, May 5

Peter Vircks Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Vircks is a busy sax-man about town, recording and performing with groups ranging from Doug Little to Moveable Feast, Park Evans, and the percussive dance group Rhythmic Circus. His recent album What You Believe is True, has received praise from critics and musicians alike. He’ll be joined by Kevin Washington, drums; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Brian Ziemniak, piano. Here he is performing a classic in a guitar/sax duo.

 

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 30

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Guitarist Joe Demko and his quartet play romantic music, as well as swing, boogie boogie, and jump blues. It’s perfect for the swing dancers and folks who, to quote a Sinatra song, know that “what is dancin’ but making love set to music, playing.” Here’s an example.

 

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) Vocalist Wenger has sung the blues at area festivals, on the national blues circuit, and at Sturgis. Her approach to blues singing is direct, and appeals to a wide variety of listeners. She surrounds herself with a talented band, too.

Thursday, May 1

UnknownKate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows Present a Dinner Dance @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Music only, $45 Music + 3 course Prix Fixe dinner).  Here’s an fun concept presented by a group that brings a fresh approach to jazz and pop from the 1920s to the 1950s. There’s a dinner set starting at 7pm, then at 8pm there’s be an abbreviated dance lesson for folks who need a refresher in basic dance steps, followed at 8:15 by a dance set from the band. Think of it as a “wedding dance without the wedding.”

 

Swamp Poppas @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm ($5) Karl Smelker leads this quartet in an evening of, what else, Swamp Pop, that mixture of Cajun music with Rock n’ Roll and the R&B of New Orleans. The resulting plaintive ballads and uptempo numbers will fill the dance floor with swing dancers, Cajun two-steppers, and couples who take delight in simply gliding around the dance floor.

Friday, May 2

Chico Chavez & Guayaba @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Twin cities based Peruvian percussionist Chico Chavez has put together an 8-piece band to play Andean and Amazonian music known as “chicha.” It’s mostly a mix of mid-tempo Cumbia rhythms and slightly psychedelic guitars, with some songs that touch on other tropical rhythms. Get a taste of their music on their website

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s another Freewheelin’ Friday from KFAI’s Jackson Buck, tonight featuring Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, with opener Dave Babb & Friends. Kaul plays fingerpicks a resonator guitar, and with the backing of the Brass Kings (Mikkel Beckman, washboard, found objects; Brad Ptacek, washtub bass; Jillian Rae, country/psychedelic fiddle) takes the music far beyond your typical acoustic realms. The evening starts of with Dave Babb, of the Liquor Pigs, and some of his friends. Of course, there’ll be a food truck available. Let’s hope the weather allows the warehouse doors to be open.

A new fashion trend?

M.O.R.T sporting a new fashion trend

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) M.O.R.T brings a batch of rockabilly and reverb-heavy surf music to the east metro. The middle-aged crowd at the Station is perhaps more used to the likes of Motown & bluesy rock, but the insistent bass and cheeky guitars of M.O.R.T. is sure to have them crowding the small dance floor.

Ray Bonneville CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 9pm ($12) Bonneville is known as a “roaming musician” who records for Saint Paul’s Red House Records. He’s Canadian by birth, is a Vietnam vet, drove a taxicab, and served as a bush pilot in Canada. He’s an acoustic bluesman who has won awards for his work and is heavily influenced by the music of New Orleans, where he spent time in the 1980s. The new CD is entitled “Easy Gone.” Here’s a video of Bonneville in action.

 

Saturday, May 3

For Pete’s Sake @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30) Pete Seeger would have been 95 on this date, and Minnesota singer/songwriter Larry Long, a long-time friend, has brought together a colorful cast of musicians, activists and narrators to celebrate all the phases of Pete’s life through song, stories, and spoken narratives. The cast ranges from former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayle-Belton and Poet Louis Alemayehu, to musicians such as Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, Tony Glover, Estaire Godinez, Chastity Brown, Peter Ostroushko, Long himself, and many, many more. Seeger is known as the “Father of American folk music” and influenced the likes of Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Bruce Springsteen and thousands of budding musicians. Governor Dayton has proclaimed May 3 as “Pete Seeger Day” in Minnesota.

Unknown-3Sonny Knight & the Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm Door. ($10 Advance/$15 Door) Knight is another story of a “rediscovered” soul singer. He finally has a debut album after recording his first single over 50 years ago. The album, I’m Still Here, is a slice of funk and soul that will surely appeal to both boomers and today’s hipsters. This is going to be a big bash, what with the Honeydogs and Southside Desire opening.

Dad Horse Experience @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($8) Owner Chris Johnson has added Nashville hot chicken to his BBQ, and continues to bring us outsider music that’s accessible in its own weird way. Example number one: Dad Horse Experience, a one-man band (banjo, kazoo, bass pedal) from Bremen, Germany, playing Gospel music that you’d never hear in a church. He sings and howls as if alone in a dark basement, desperately seeking redemption from a life of hard, hard sin. Definitely the under-the-radar gig of the week. Check out this video to see what I mean.

 

 

Sunday, May 4

Paul Thorn @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($23) Some guys are just able to sing the truth. Thorn is one of them – a former boxer who’s dad was a Pentacosal minister, and who had an uncle who was a pimp. Their advice and influence forms the basis for his bluesy Americana. He also does a terrific and often funny job of introducing his songs. Here’s an example.

 

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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