Autumn and Music: 10.14 – 10.20

October 14, 2015

IMG_2915Can it really be the middle of October already? Whatever the time of year may be, we’ve got more music than a person can attend in a week, and are lucky for it. New combinations of Twin Cities musicians, music from around the world, and visiting musicians of note. Get out and enjoy it. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, October 14

Debbie Duncan: Billie Holiday Tribute @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This year marks the centennial of Billie Holiday’s birth, and so we’ve seen a couple of modern tribute albums, and, in other cities, tribute concerts, so this one might be consered as overdue for the Twin Cities. Duncan is an excellent vocalist and interpreter, and I expect she’ll be in top form for this performance. It’s also the 97th birthday of Crooners’ owner Mary T’s mom, just to add even more levity to the celebration.

There has to be a recording studio around here somewhere

There has to be a recording studio around here somewhere

Red Planet invites Bill Carrothers @ Creation Audio, 2543 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) First, Red Planet, which is Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, and Jay Epstein, will make a recording with pianist Bill Carrothers  Then the four of them will hold a concert. Tickets for this amazing collaboration, if still available, and more information, can be had here.

Thursday, October 15

Amina Figurova @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This internationally known pianist/composer and bandleader was born in Azerbaijan, spent many years in Rotterdam, and now lives in NYC with her husband and musical partner flautist Bart Platteau. They’ll be joined by Ernie Hamnes, trumpet; Mark Mommaas, tenor; Jeroen Vierdag, bass; and Chris Strik, drums; all of whom are on her latest release. She and her band have won critical acclaim at the Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and all over the world, including the Twin Cities Jazz Festival some years ago.

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This is one of the few times you can see this big band outside of Jazz Central open rehearsals. They are sure to fill the club with sound, and may even fill it with dancers (at least between the tables).

Friday, October 16

Donald Washington Trio @ the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) For those willing to stray beyond standards, reedman Washington always provides a refreshing blast of musicality, no matter how improvised his music might be. He’ll be joined by son Kevin Washington on drums and Jimmie Wallace on sax. Here’s Washington (center) with a different group.

Joyce Lyons @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) We’re lucky to have this nationally recognized jazz vocalist in town. Enjoy her singing at this southern suburb’s Italian lounge with Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Yolande Bruce Group @ Walker West Academy, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Bruce is appearing as part of the Walker’s Eight O’Clock Jump series. She is known for her work with Moore by Four, and has been active in a solo career, as well as in theater productions at Penumbra, Illusion, Guthrie and the Ordway Theaters.

JT Bates’ GRAIN @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Drummer JT Bates has put together a B3 trio, which seems just right for this basement club, featuring the talents of Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Seru, Bates, and Granros @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) That’s Davu Seru, percussion, Chris Bates, bass; and Dean Granros, guitar, combining for a night of original jazz and cool versions of jazz standards.

Saturday, October 17

Ms Funk and Mr. Brueske

Ms Funk and Mr. Brueske

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/pianist Ms Funk is back at the Saint Paul Hotel, entertaining guests and visitors with songs by artists ranging from Blossom Dearie and Nat King Cole to Dan Penn and Leonard Cohen. As always, she’s accompanied by the versatile Jeff Brueske on bass, and occasional guests.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Another stellar line-up of music for this popular Saturday Night series. At 7pm it’s the Chris Olson Group with Olson, guitar and Greg Byers on Cello mixing and matching tonalities. Then at 8:30pm, Le Percheron plays mostly 21st Century jazz, with Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; Cory Healy, drums; and leader Adam Linz on bass. Bound to be a bit crowded, so get there early.

Sunday, October 18

Solomon Parham. Photo by Andrea Cantrer

Solomon Parham. Photo by Andrea Cantrer

Solomon’s Sessions @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Trumpeter Solomon Parham collects some colleagues and students from MacNally Smith and presents an opportunity for selected musicians to try out their chops in different configurations. It’s a controlled version of a jam session, with participants selected beforehand. Whoever plays, you are sure to hear modern rhythms as well as some long accepted jazz standards.

Monday, October 19

Twin Cities Seven @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) There is no doubt that this is a swinging aggregation  that will set your toes to tappin’, your sacroiliac to gyrating, and your mouth to humming. There’ll be some dancing as well. It’s led by saxophonist/clarinetist Doug Haining, and features Dave Graf, Trombone; Steve Wright, trumpet; Kent Saunders, guitar; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Dick Bortolussi, drums. Maryann Sullivan provides the charming vocals.

Junior Ranger @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Emerson Hunton, drums; Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Noah Gershwin, guitar; Eric Krouse, piano. Hunton and Suihkonen are both alumni of the Dakota Combo. Based in Oberlin, Ohio and exploring non-traditional orchestration, free improvisation, and firm compositional structures, they spent a month in Amsterdam studying Dutch improvisation and will soon release their debut album, Monster Masks.

Fall of the House of Usher CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) This is a large aggregation, releasing Icehouse & Elsewhere, an album of both live and studio recordings. Members include: Greg Schutte, Chris Bates, Cole Pulice, Adrian Larkin, Chris Thompson, Chris Cunningham, Ivan Cunningham, Charlie Lincoln, Nathan Hanson, Adam Conrad, Elliott Wachs, Jon Davis, Adam Svec, and many other extremely talented musical voices that roam the sonic free-range of the Twin Cities.

Tuesday, October 20

Laura Caviani Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Caviani is a pianist of wit and taste who also sings from time to time. Tuesday night jazz at Crooners is a fine opportunity to experience her talent.

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, October 14

Bernie King and the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Once again, host Harold Trembley has booked a blues/roots group for your listening pleasure. King’s original songs evoke Johnny Cash and Tom Waits, using washboard, bass, guitars, and tom toms. Once you hear him singing “Drinking with the Lord,” you may want to get baptized.

Thursday, October 15

Alma Andina @ The World Live! at the Hill, JJ Hill Library, downtown Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) The JJ Hill Library is producing a new series of world musics in collaboration with Fresh Air Radio. Tonight kicks off the series with Alma Andina performing Andean and Latin American music, with a decidedly modern bent, though there is not doubt that Andean flutes will be involved. There’s likely to be a small dance floor, not to forget some adult beverages and a chance to hear how the library can help entrepreneurs.

Deano and the Dinosaurs @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Described as uncomfortably disturbing yet harmless, it’s Dress Like Deano Day, celebrating the birthday of Dean Mikkelson, a superb guitarist. He’ll be joined by Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, upright bass; and Dehl Gallagher, drums. Don’t be surprised to see special guests. As to dressing like Deano, get some Converse Chuck Taylors and a cabin shirt, and you’ll be set. Prizes for best costume, dirty joke, and Deano-ism.

Friday, October 16

John Lennon Tribute @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. ($5) 5:30 – 11pm  Featuring The Lanes, Steve West and the Northern Stars, The Totems, Roady Tate, Laurie Leigh, Charle Dush, and a host of special guest artists.

Scottie Miller Band CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Keyboard player Miller is releasing his 9th CD, Reciprocation. At times, his piano playing evokes the New Orleans sound of Professor Longhair, the Chicago blues of Otis Spann, and the Mississippi piano of Pinetop Perkins, though he own style, influenced by rock n’ roll, always shines through. Miller is an inductee into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, has received a Blues Music Award, and is the touring keyboard player for Ruthie Foster.

Hot Pants 45 RPM Dance Party @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) The rare funk n’ soul dance party moves to the paneled dance floor at Lee’s.

Reina Del Cid @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($8) Del Cid is a singer/songwriter and guitarist with a great way with words, and inspired covers. She has a great band, especially guitarist Toni Lindgren, whose work turns the literary mindfulness of Del Cid’s songs into engaging pop rock. Opening are The Meadows: Pete Linham, Wendy Lewis, and Jeff Waryan.

Saturday, October 17

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $75) Back in the 70s, the heavy sound of The Edgar Winter Group’s synth-driven Frankenstein was all over the radio. Previous to that, his lesser known, but still successful group White Trash made some noise as as a hard charging R&B horn band. My guess is that some members of the audience may want to use the ear plugs available at the club’s entrance while rockin’ out.

Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13) We have a number of fine finger-pickers in the Twin Cities, and tonight two of them (each of whom won the National Fingerpicking Championship – in different years). Heywood has a pleasant baritone voice as well, which he puts to good use every once in a while.

BB King Tribute @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 – $15) A passel of Twin Cities musicians gather to celebrate the music of bluesman BB King, including Detroit Don King, John Franken, Paul Mayasich, Jeremy Johnson, Jim Anton, Rob Stupka, and others.

Flamin’ Oh’s Record Release Party @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($10) Another record release party, this time from that Twin Cities 80s favorite the Flamin’ Oh’s. The Groove open at 9pm, followed by the Oh’s at 10:15, and Little Man at midnight. Here’s one of the Ohs better known songs.

Sunday, October 18

Pedrito Martinez Group @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23) Conguero/percussionist Martinez appeared at the Dakota last March, and at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival the summer before last. He’s a Cuban-born virtuoso, who has supplied rhythms for folks like Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdes, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Joe Lovano, among others. There will be a dance floor, and a discussion of Cuban-American cultural exchanges at 6:30.

Tuesday, October 20

Paul Mayasich and guests Maurice Jacox and Bobby E. @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) Their collaboration at the Station a few months ago was delightful, so Paul asked Maurice and Bobby back for another night of soulful vocals and stunning guitar work.

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.

Twin Cities Music: 5.20 – 5.29

May 20, 2015
One way to get to the gig

One way to get to the gig

Where to go, what to do. There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many entertainment dollars at our disposal. I try to give you some ideas on where to go. You’ve got to come up with your own resources to support the arts. And they do deserve your support. Musicians have mastered the techniques of their instruments, collaborated with other artists on arrangements, often booked their own gigs, and then transported equipment and set up without the help of roadies. Just so we can listen and be inspired, or dance, which is pretty awesome when you think about it. Music lifts the spirit.

Wednesday, May 20
Stu Blue and Friends @ Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 Upton Avenue South, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 8:30 ($10) This is part of a new program by the Spiritual Community, and will feature Stu Blue, vocals, sax, flute; Martin Stovall, Sr., Percussion; George E. Antrim, III, Keys; and Ade Adegun, bass.

Whitman takes a solo

Whitman takes a solo

Boomers vs Millenials @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) More of a Boomers AND Millenials, since this quartet is made up of Pete Whitman, sax and Jay Young, bass (the Boomers) and Javi Santiago, piano and Miguel Hurtado, drums (the Millenials).

Thursday, May 21
Damman, Seru, & Fultz @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Thursdays at Khyber Pass can be challenging for casual listeners, but for jazz fans, the night can be eye-opening and inspiring. Tonight features Joseph Damman, guitar; Scott Fultz, saxophones; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion. Damman and Seru have played together in Body Omara, a band that mines the Desert Blues of Northern Africa. Fultz contributes fine improvisations, no matter the musical circumstance.

Friday, May 22
Kristin Sponcia Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist/vocalist Sponcia is back in the Twin Cities, taking a break from her graduate studies at the University of Illinois. Tonight the former MacNally Smith instructor is leading a group of mighty fine musicians: Chris Olson, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Stanoch, drums.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The lounge at this D’Amico restaurant is a perfect place for the stylish playing of Anderson, vocals and piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Things are bound to get soulful at this Black Dog debut of Brian Ziemniak, B3 Organ; Troy Norton, guitar; Pete Hennig, drums.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Lomheim on piano is joined by Gordy Johnson on bass and Reid Kennedy on drums. This is jazz, pure and simple. Here is Chris with a slightly different trio.

Concert for Nepal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($20 Suggested Donation) This concert is raising money for the village of Suspa, a village hard hit by the recent earthquakes in Northeast Nepal. Javi Santiago, piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and Pawan Benjamin, on sax and Bansuri (a bamboo flute) will be providing Nepalese music, as well as soul and jazz, while you provide the donations, all of which will go to rebuild the village of Suspa.

Saturday, May 23
Granias, Thomas, & Ewart @ Studio Z, Saint paul 7pm ($15) If you are looking for adventurous, improvisational music, go no further. Chris Granias, piano; Carei Thomas, piano; and Douglas Ewart, reeds & invented instruments; will be exploring new improvisations for two pianos and assorted instruments.



Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Central Standard Time opens with Steve Kenny, trumpet; Stgen Johnson, sax; David Roos, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Dennis Glaus, drums. They are followed at 8:30 by Firebell: Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Patty & the Buttons, featuring Connie Evingson @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Patty & the Buttons is a four-piece swing band that uses material from a variety of genres as well as creating their own originals. Tonight they’re joined by chanteuse Connie Evingson, who thoroughly knows her way around a song. Here are Patty & the Buttons during one of their Sunday Swing Dance Brunch shows.

Monday, May 25
David Martin @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Guitarist Martin, who often accompanies vocalists, will himself be accompanied tonight by Jim Cheoweth on bass and Joel Arpin on drums. You can expect some tunes from Martin’s recent duet album, Tough Commute.

Tuesday, May 26
Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. (donations welcome) This is an open rehearsal for this 18 piece big band. Donations are used to add more music to the project.

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, May 20
Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) Like two straws in a Coke, Guitarist/vocalist Scott and harmonica maestro Blake fit are a perfect musical duo. Scott’s voice has enough texture to give the blues some gravitas, while Blake provides fitting punctuation and commentary through his harp.

Sailing Away @ the Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm  Downtown Saint Paul becomes more of a seaport than a river port for this evening of Sea Shanties, and sea songs. Heading the lineup is scholar/educator Bob Walser, who worked for a time as a shantyman at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and has released 3 CDs. He’ll be helped along with music from Steven Levine, a regular at the Dubliner, and Saint Paul’s own Eddies, those mirthful purveyors of songs about work, death, and the sea.

Thursday, May 21
Mikkel Beckmen & Papa John Kolstad @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen hosts a weekly gig at the Dubliner when he’s not recording or touring with the likes of Charlie Parr and other roots musicians. Tonight he brings in the venerable, wry Papa John Kolstad, who can swing and play the blues with equal aplomb.

Reina del Cid CD Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15)  Reina del Cid is an excellent songwriter with a literary bent who manages to exceed the limitations of singer/songwriters by using a very good band, especially the very talented guitarist Toni Lindgren.  Her new album, The Cooling, also makes use of a string quartet on the title track. Opening sets by Red Daughters and Pocket Watch.

Orgone @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The 21st Century revival/adaption of soul n’ funk continues with Orgone,  an 8-piece funk n’ jam band from Los Angeles. Frogleg opens.

Friday, May 22
Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7 pm (435) The Lone Star troubadourhas had more of a rock influence than other Texas singer/songwriters. He sang with The Clash, was a member of the Flatlanders and Los Super Seven, and is one of those guys to whom the phrase “Outlaw Country” can easily be applied. Opening set by the Twin Cities own Dan Israel, who was named one of Austin Texas top songwriters when he lived there and who, in 2006 was named Songwriter of the Year here in Minnesota.

Unknown-2Scottie Miller Band @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance floor at The Station (formerly Manitou Station) will be filled with folks gyrating to the pianistic New Orleans sounds of Mr. Miller, who, by the way, can rock out with authority as well.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the dancing shoes and floor talc. With the University beginning to empty out for the summer, there will be more room to dance to the rare funk n’ soul 45s of the Hipshaker crew.

Saturday, May 23
4th Annual West Bank Reunion @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul ($10 advance, $15 Door) 8pm Former hippies, activists, and other aficionados of the West Bank scene will break out dancing shoes and gather once again to catch the rockin’ R&B of the Willie Murphy Band, with special guest Maurice Jacox. Mississippi Driftwood, with Larry Hayes, Tom Burns, and John Beach, will open.

Groove Merchants feat Jimi Prime Time Smith @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The 7-piece Merchants used to be the engine that helped power the late Big Walter Smith. Though they no longer have his powerful voice, they still chug along quite mightily, and feature the stinging guitar and vocals of Jimi “Prime Time” Smith.

Ray Barnard @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. (11:30pm ($5) Barnardused to lead the roots-rock group The Copperheads. He’s also played with Erik Koskinen, Molly Maher, and Bill Geazy of Stoney Lonesome, among others. His most recent CD Where Would I Be Without You is his second solo effort, is largely self-performed, though with some help from guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson and guitarist/arranger Koskinen.

Saturday, Sunday, May 23, 24
Memory Lanes Block Party @ Memory Lanes, Minneapolis. 4pm (Free) Saturday seems to be set up for devotees of younger bands such as Black Audience, Southside Deisre, and Fort Wilson Riot, while Sunday is set aside for veteran rootsy bands such as L’Assasins, Crankshaft, Davina & the Vagabonds, and the Cactus Blossoms. HIpshaker Deejays will also be on hand both days. Here are the Cactus Blossoms.

Monday, May 25
Otto, Roux, & Rue @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (Tip Jar) Doug Otto holds down the early spot on Mondays at the 331 Club and tonight is joined by Nikki Roux and Rich Rue of Nikki & the Ruemates for an early evening of blues and folk-rock. Stick around for the Roe Family Singers at 9pm.

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.

Cold Weather. Hot Music; 1.7 – 1.13

January 7, 2015
These people know how to party - the Ice Music Festival of Norway

The Ice Music Festival of Norway

A cold, wintry greetings and salutations;

The wind chill may be cold enough to close schools, but hey, we’re Minnesotans, so we’ll go out to hear music and dance, even when it’s cold. Of course some of us are lucky enough to go somewhere warm for at least a few days each winter, but wherever it is, I’ll bet they don’t have as good a music scene as we do here in the Twin Cities.

If I may, I’d like to draw your attention to a special event occurring Tuesday evening, January 13th. It’s a benefit, with no cover charge, for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, an organization that brings working musicians into schools to encourage and support jazz as part of a young persons education. More information is found below. Now, put on your layers of clothing, just like the folks in the above picture, and enjoy the talent found in our cities. Music is good for the spirit.


Wednesday, January 7

Chomsky and Thomas Nordlund @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double-bill, double bass night at Jazz Central. Bassist Andrew Foreman will start out the evening with his new group Chomsky, which includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; and Zach Schmidt on drums. Then, with a bit of reconfiguration, Thomas Nordland and group will play new music from his forthcoming EP of baritone guitar music: Nordlund, baritone guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Kevin Gastonguay, keyboards.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 7, 8

Ramsey Lewis Electic Band w/Philip Bailey @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70), 9pm ($35 – $60) Back in 1974 Ramsey Lewis was a bit tired of his acoustic approach to jazz and wanted to liven things up a bit. He reunited with Maurice White, who had been in his band and was now leading Earth, Wind, and Fire, and created an up to date sound featuring members of that group. the resulting album and its singles shot up the charts, hitting number 1 on both the Black charts and Jazz charts of the time. Philip Bailey  also of EWF, contributed vocals, and he’s back with Lewis for this tour, which I suspect will feature soaring vocals, and some funky funky jazz.

Thursday, January 8

Radio Joe Demko @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Radio Joe brings his swing-centric band, together with their tangos, ballads, and other groovy music, to the basement club.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has put together this band, which has only played a handful of gigs to date, but what a band! Brandon Wozniak on sax; Cory Healey on drums; and the young, but very talented Levi Schwartzberg on vibes. The first set will consist of duets, and the second set will feature the full band. Wine, beer, and small plates are available.

Friday, January 9

Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Last June guitarists Shapira and Granros performed at the Black Dog as part of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and recorded the results, now being released as Jazz Guitar Duets. It’s a delightful compendium of songs plucked on steel and nylon strings, with tunes ranging form Ornette Coleman compositions to standards.

JT Bates Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) I’ll admit I’m a sucker for B3 groups. If the soulful, greasy sound of guitar, organ and drums gets your fingers snapping, your toes tapping, and your head bobbing, head over to Jazz Central to catch JT Bates, drums; Kevin Gastonguay, organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double header at JC tonight with saxophonist Kaszynski, a native of the Twin Cities currently living and teaching in Eau Claire taking the second spotlight. Tonight’s show has a literary bent. Author Miri Francis haas written (and will read) a love story, with accompaniment by Kaszynski and his band, including: Josh Huot-Gallus, trombone; Josh Gallagherm, piano; Sam Olson, bass, and Adam Nussbaum, drums.

Saturday, January 10

Bill Carrothers Trio @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) I know of many Twin Cities jazz fans who are salivating over this date. In a rare appearance with his own trio, pianist Carrothers returns to his home town of Saint Paul. He’s recorded 17 albums as a leader, and has worked with artists ranging from Buddy DeFranco and Curtis Fuller to Lee Konitz, Dewey Redman, and Gary Peacock. He’s bringing a couple of Irish musicians with him: drummer Kevin Brady, and bassist David Redmond. There will be a short master class at 6pm, included in the admission price.

Mancrush @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Mancrush is Lars-Erik Larson, drums; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols, piano. Opening set by Tommy Bentz Quartet at 7pm.

Connie Evingson w/The Parisota Hot Club @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Vocalist Evingson recently received a positive  review in Downbeat for her album “All the Cats Join In.” Tonight, she’s performing songs from the album, with the Parisota Hot Club and special guest, the ever-youthful octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr. Here’s a selection from the album.

Monday, January 12

Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Meckler leads his own 17 piece band, is a key member of the Jana Nyberg Group, leads a quintet, and is a member of a few other groups as well. Tonight he gets to step out on his own, playing originals and original arrangements of other songs.

Ryan Franesconi and JT Bates & Michael Lewis @ the Icehouse, Minnepolis. 9;30pm )$10) Guitarist Franesconi, 1st set. Bates (drums) & Lewis (sax), 2nd set. Franesconi is a Portland based guitarist and composer whose way with stringed instruments from Eastern Europe qualifies him as a multi-instrumentalist obsessed with Balkan Folk Music. Bates and Lewis are 2/3 of Fat Kid Wednesdays, with enough imagination between the two of them to grab your attention and hold it tight.

Tuesday, January 13

This year's Dakota Combo

This year’s Dakota Combo

Dakota Combo & Kevin Washington Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Though there is no cover, this is a fundraising benefit for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which brings working jazz musicians into area schools to work with student musicians, provides free-metro wide workshops for young musicians, and gives out scholarships to summer jazz camps and members of the Dakota Combo. This year’s edition of the Dakota Combo will perform, as well as a group comprising Kevin Washington  drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet.

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, January 7

Reina Del Cid on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Reina Del Cid is coming into her own as a folk-rock singer/songwriter with a great back up band. She recently performed well-recieved sets at CMJ – New York, Summerfest in Milwaukee and The Underground Music Showcase in Denver. Part of the band’s appeal is flat-picking guitarist Toni Lindgren, who always surprises with her choice of licks.

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Wenger’s direct approach to singing the blues appeals to hard-core blues fans as well as more casual fans, say those who may be just going out with their spouse or date. She’s got an excellent band as well.

Friday, January 9

Malamanya @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) It’s Latin night at the Cedar, as Malamanya brings their hip-swaying, toe-tapping, salsa dancing melodies and traditional Cuban rhythms to the concert/dance hall. Opening act Alma Andina goes further South for their inspiration, performing music of the Andes and Latin America.

Ronnie Baker Brooks @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) The son of the late Lonnie Brooks, guitarist  Ronnie  is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, yet he is moving beyond what his father did by occasionally incorporating funk rhythms and a bit of hip hop into his musical mix. As he put it, “It’s a hip hop world right now, but I want to bring a little blues to the party.”  His latest CD, The Torch, was produced by Minneapolis producer/guitarist Jellybean Johnson.

Saturday, January 10

Daisy Dillman CD Release @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm ($24) Thirty-four years after their last album, these Minnesota country rockers from the 70s and 80s are back with a new CD, Radio. the current lineup features four of the original five members, who charted in the Billboard Hot 100 and toured with bands like Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers and many others. They

The Groove Merchants w/Jimi “Prime time” Smith @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) The Groove Merchants are aptly named, as the late Big Walter Smith built them into a funky blues group that easily inspires dancers. Since his death, they’ve recruited talented guitarist Jimi Prime Time Smith as a front man, a good decision on their part.

Sunday, January 11

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 2pm – 6pm ($10?) Okay, this is the last fundraiser to help this year’s Minnesota representatives to the International Blues Challenge pay their way to Memphis. Today’s performers include  Jimmi & the Band of Souls, and Brother Sun, Sister Moon, both of which are this year’s representatives, as well as  the Annie Mack Band, Tampa Spatz, The Black Water Band, and the IBC All-Stars, made of of past participants.

Mikkel Beckmen & Charlie Parr @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5:30 pm. Mikkel is celebrating a birthday, and he’s got Charlie Parr to help him out. An irish Bar. Minnesota’s nationally recognized bluesman. Mikkel’s always fun percussion. Sounds like a heck of a party.

Dobet Gnahoré @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $45) Gnahoré is one of Africa’s premier contemporary vocalists and talents. She stunned at her appearance at the Dakota in November of 2011, for which I wrote a brief review which you can find here. Prior to the show, at 6:30, there will be a discussion on Afro-pop with Janis Lane-Ewart, drummer Sowah Mensah, and Doug Cain, of KFAI’s Global Beat.

Monday, January 12

Marshall Crenshaw Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Back in the 80s, Crenshaw was all over the place, performing in the off Broadway production of Beatlemania, playing Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic, and hitting the charts with songs long Something’s Gonna Happen, and Someday, Someway, which became a hit for Robert Gordon. With 13 albums and hundreds of songs recorded over three decades, Crenshaw has proven to be a master of melody and songwriting. His songs have been recorded by folks like Bette Midler, Rlonnie Sp;ector, Kelly Willis, and the Gin Blossoms. Tonight it’s just Crenshaw and his guitar. Opening is Kevin Bowe, the Twin Cities own prolific songwriter.

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.

Lotsa Ladies. Music: 7.31 – 8.6

July 31, 2013

Unknown-2Seems there are quite a few female vocalists – jazz, roots, & rockers – in this week’s selection of mostly under-the-radar gigs. Then we have some up and coming artists, as well as a couple of veteran performers. Plus there are a few gigs outside the core downtowns of these Twin Cities. All of which makes for a wonderful week of music.


Wednesday, July 31

UnknownAnthony Cox’s Happy Spirits Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Cox has gathered Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, to create modern, post bop jazz. They cooked at the recent Jeremy Walker benefit, laying down complex rhythms and melodies that swung.


Opus @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This Milwaukee group has been together for 35 years, playing both straight ahead jazz and their own brand of fusion. They’ve played with the Milwaukee Symphony and won a WAMI, for Wisconsin’s best jazz group.

Thursday, August 1

Jana Nyberg Group Tour Kick-Off @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Jana and the guys have some new tunes under their belts and they’re ready for their annual tour to Door County and Eastern Wisconsin, where they’ll be playing a festival in Appleton. Jana is a fun vocalist, and whether she’s singing originals, standards, or new interpretations of recent pop fare, she’ll have you thinking about songs in a new light.

Young Lions Night, Part 1 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is not aware of the steady growth of young players in this area. Thanks to the folks at Jazz Police, the monthly Young Artists series continues at the AQ, tonight featuring Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Sam Wildenauer, bass; and Ermerson Hunton, drums. All three are recent grads of South High in Minneapolis. Suikhonen and Hunton have just completed their first year at Oberlin Conservatory. Wildenauer has been working as a free-lance bassist and playing free jazz.

Young Lions Night, Part 2 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul.  9pm ($5) Stick around for a slightly older generation of musicians, as Miguel Hurtado, drums; Javier Santiago, piano; and James Buckley, bass, take the stage. Hurtado  and Santiago have been playing in various groups for years now. As far as I know, this is the first time they’re featured with Buckley, the old man of the group. He has been playing professionally in the Twin Cities since 1999, and was profiled in City Pages in 2009.

Friday, August 2

Connie Olson & Marie Louise Knutson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Ms Olson has sung with the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from the bands of Prince, Madonna, and Brian Setzer, and you have undoubtedly heard her on any number of commercials. Tonight, she’s singing with the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, who has her own impressive list of credits, including numerous stints with Doc Severinsen, in the lounge area of Parma 8200, a D’Amico restaurant in an office tower. It’s quite a nice little spot.

Vicky Mountain @ Kelly Park, 6855 Fortino Street, Apple Valley. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Summer certainly brings out music in the parks, in the suburbs as well as in the core cities. Tonight, vocalist Vicky Mountain is joined by James Allen, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. Food and drink are available for sale and there will be some give-aways as well. 

Saturday, August 3

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Whether you’re dining at the Kitchen, or looking for a cocktail before heading out on the town, Ms Miller will provide a sophisticated soundtrack for an early evening rendezvous. Her singing will make your Martinis seem drier and your Cosmos seem sweeter.

Horst, Whitman, Hagedorn, and Bates @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kenny Horst continues to find ways to bring together new combinations of musicians. Pete Whitman, sax; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes; have played together in Pete’s X-Tet, and Chris Bates, bass; has played with Kenny before, but I think this is a first time for this combination. Given the melodic strengths of Whitman and Hagedorn, and the rhythmic strengths of Horst and Bates, this should be a night of great music.

Linda and Patty Peterson @ The Ivy Hotel, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The siblings of Minnesota’s first family of music sing alone and together, while Linda tickles the ivories at this new, cozy destination for Saturday Night Jazz.

Saturday, Sunday, August 3, 4

Aakash Mittal CD Release Party @ Dakota Late Night, and The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11:30pm (Saturday, Dakota – $5), and 7pm (Sunday, The Icehouse – $7) Two opportunities to see Mittal, an alto saxophonist from Denver who is exploring new territory in jazz by incorporating elements of music from India, his parent’s birthplace. The results are imaginative and energizing, key ingredients in jazz, as seen in this video.

Monday, August 5

Minnesota Jazz All Stars @ The Old Log Theater, Greenwood. 7:30pm ($24) Here’s a chance for those in the western burbs to hear some of the best jazz Minnesota has to offer in their own back yard. This group of veterans includes Cliff Brunsell, violin; Tanner Taylor, piano; Irv Williams and Dave Karr, on saxes; Clyde Anderson, bass; Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Mac Santiago, drums. Charmin Michelle is the guest vocalist. Nuff said.

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, July 31

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Ahh, Berets and Bongos, Musette music and a bit of swing. If the accordion is a natural instrument in a land of Scandinavians and Germans, then credit Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton with showing us it’s possibilities in a variety of genres, from blues to cajun/zydeco, to rock n’ roll and swing. This noontime performance is sure to rejuvenate you for an afternoon of work. Bring a lunch or get one at the Center’s cafe.

SAMSUNGRadio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) Do some swing dancing on a great dance floor as Radio Joe lays down classic boogie woogie, the occasional Sinatra-type swing number, and then hug your honey as he sings and plays I Only Have Eyes for You. You can also catch him on Friday at the Minnehaha Falls Pavillion (7:30) where the dancing is a bit harder on dirt and grass.

Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 11

Minnesota Fringe Festival @ various venues around town.  (Times, $, Varies) Normally, I wouldn’t write about something so large, but there are a few shows here that are worth noting: Standing on the Hollow features music by flutist Julie Johnson and dance by Tamara Ober; five appearances @ Intermedia Arts. Bump in the Night, written by bluegrass comedienne Courtney McLean, features dancing and adult language; five appearances  @ U of M Rarig Auditorium. The Education of Murray Sanderson @ Theater in the Round is a comedy about four parents stuck in parent/teacher conferences. Naturally, there’s much, much more. Check out the Fringe Festival website for a complete schedule and rundown of performances.

Unknown-1Javier & the Innocent Sons, featuring Hurricane Harold @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) If we had out-of-the-way roadhouses, or back alley joints in the Twin Cities, Javier & the guys would be the perfect house band, with their clean, swinging blues, and the potent guitars of Javier Matos and Dan Scwalbe. They’ll be joined tonight by harpmaster Hurricane Harold, whose playing adds new spice to an already hot recipe for fun.

Friday, August 2

Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($6) Reina del Cid is more than a singer/songwriter, she’s a storyteller whose tales of heartbreak and social ills seem the product of someone who is way older than 24. If you’re of a similar age and have any thoughts of writing songs, listening to Reina will cause you to either change professions, or double down on your efforts. The Cidizens, her backing band, are coming into their own as well. Here they are doing a Van Morrison song.

Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “PrimeTime” Smith @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 8pm – 11pm. ($7) Head further south and a bit to the west to this wine bar in a shopping center to hear the Duchess of the Blues. Miller sings with the authority of a woman that won’t brook any BS. Smith plays guitar to match.

The Meadows @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 9 -11pm (Tip Jar) Together, Pete Linman, Wendy Lewis, andJeff Waryan, have played and performed with a number of bands over the years, ranging from North Equator Nine, to the Bad Plus, to Curtiss A. Now, they’re playing together, and the results are folkish, noirish, and darkish, and delish.

imagesBernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) When people say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they are thinking of someone like Allison, the guitar slinging progeny of Luther Allison. Like his dad, he plays the blues with rock n’ roll energy, but without blues-rock excess. David Z produced his 2011 album the Otherside, and managed to bring in a contemporary sound while displaying Allison’s stinging guitar and R&B vocals.

Saturday, August 3

Papa John & the Cool Club of East Lake @ St Anthony Village Beer Garden, 35th & Silver Lake Road, Saint Anthony Village. 4pm – 7pm. (Free) Papa John will have the usual suspects on hand: Sam on trumpet, Deano on guitar, and Bill Grenke on bass. Outdoors at a beer garden. Sounds great. And if you don’t catch them there, check out Merlins on East Lake, from 8:30pm – 12:30am.

Silvertones @ Kenny SummerFest, Kenny Park, 1328 58th St, W, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:00pm (Free) It’s a neighborhood festival in southwest Minneapolis, with sno-cones, mini-donuts, and other foods, a car show from 5-7pm, and bike and stroller parade, and fun for the whole family. Opening, from 5:15 – 6:15 are Dynamaxium & the Cosmic Troubadors. Then come the Silvertones, whose cover tunes will entertain moms and dads of all ages.

The Eddies @ Cafe Amore, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm. A rare chance to catch the almost-acapella purveyors of sea shanties and work songs in their natural habitat – Saint Paul’s WestSide neighborhood (I know, I know, it’s South of downtown – just let it go). Head up the High Bridge to Smith and Anapolis, where they are performing as part of “Art on the Avenue” a neighborhood art crawl.

Eilen Jewel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Queen of the Minor Key uses rockabilly, alt-country, and folk as starting points for slyly written tunes that will have you bouncing in your seat, if not stompin’ on the non-existent dance floor of the Dakota. Here she is singing the song that earned her that nickname.

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.

This weeks Music Ideas: 11.28 – 12.4

November 28, 2012

Whether you are actually staying out later or not, there’s already a couple of shows to celebrate the season, as well as a show devoted to the music of Monk, an album release party, Brazilian trailblazers, and, as is often the case, many talented area musicians performing in the clubs.


Wednesday, November 28

A genius at workWhat Would Monk Do? @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Steve Kenny, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums, give their own answers to the question, drawing on Monk’s repertoire, which, historians note, was not immediately accepted when he came on the scene in the late 40s and early 50s. Many of his tunes, like Round Midnight, and Well, You Needn’t, are now part of every jazz musicians book.

Dan Musselman Trio @ Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 10pm (no cover) Dan is a sensitive and inventive pianist, who plays around town in various configurations and teaches at McNally Smith. He just completed his masters in composition and is now working on a doctorate.

Thursday, November 29

Dakota Combo @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free)  Here’s a chance to catch some young talent stretching their musical muscles. Each year a new edition of the Combo is formed from open auditions. This year’s combo features eight talented high school students who have been rehearsing under the tutelage of bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail. This concert is part of the Young Artists Series of the Twin Cities Jazz Society. Stick around for the Pete Whitman X-Tet at 9pm.

Ms Miller loves to laugh

Nichola Miller & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm. (Donation)  The musicians hang-out is hosting the irrepressible singer, Ms Miller and her pianist beau, the talented Mr. Taylor. With the musicality inherent in both of them, this will be a fairly sublime experience.

Friday, November 3

Mother of Masks @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5-$10 suggested donation)  This appears to be the inaugural performance in the new Bedlam space across from the Union Depot. Mother of Masks is Davu Seru, percussion; poet Louis Alemayehu; vocalist Mankwe Ndosi; saxophonist Donald Washington; and bassist Anthony Cox. The performance will combine jazz improvisation, poetry, singing and storytelling. According to Seru, the name “The Mother of Masks” is a reference to the Dogon of Mali (a group that, due to their sophisticated cosmogony and resistance to cultural imperialism has, for decades now, been the source of much pride among Black Americans interested in Africa.

Friday, Saturday, November 30, December 1

Atlantis Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums; have been working out some new tunes, and to celebrate, they’re returning to the club that’s become somewhat of a home for them. They’ve been named the best jazz artists in the Twin Cities, and have earned well deserved kudos from jazz periodicals. This is what 21st Century jazz sounds like.

Monday, December 3

Embezzler & Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5)  Embezzler is Paul Metzger, Adam Linz, and JT Bates. Bates & Linz will be joined by Michael Lewis to become Fat Kid Wednesdays for the second set.

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 28

Reina del Cid on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI 90.3, 106.7FM) and 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) I’ve had a couple of musician friends tell me that Reina is a very talented singer and songwriter, and a view of her videos show that it’s true. Tune in to KFAI to find out and then follow up with a visit to the 331. Check her out.

Thursday, November 29

Irma Thomas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60 – $50) 9:00pm ($50 – $40) The Soul Queen of New Orleans is a class act. No histrionics. No meltdowns. Just emotionally strong singing and a welcoming stage presence. Before Katrina, her cozy bar was one of the required stops for any music fan visiting New Orleans, in large part due to her warm and inviting manner. Here she is doing one of her early hits.

Carl Franzen, Rahjita Ren, & Antonio Monerroso @ The 3rd Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($?) Franzen is an introspective songwriter with a gift for words. That gift has served him as a successful ad man, writing some award winning jingles, and as a writer of On the Road, recorded by Michael Johnson and John Denver. He’s also recorded a couple of albums for RCA/Novus, and received a gold record as a producer of Najee’s Theme by the reedman. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by pianist Ren and guitarist Monerroso.

Friday, November 30

Os Mutantes @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25/door, $20/advance) Brazilian band Os Mutantes formed in the 60s, combining sambas, bossa novas, and psychedelic music. They were an influential band that helped birth the Tropicalia movement before breaking up. They reunited in 2006, released an album of new material in 2009, and are back touring the world. Here’s an early recording.

Silvertones @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Sometimes you just want to dance to some music you know. For those of a certain age, the Silvertones will do the trick. Just a band having fun playing older songs with verve so you can dance your heart out.

Saturday, December 1

Farmhouse Band & Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm (Farmhouse Band), 9pm (PWPP) (No cover) Acoustic roots music and freshy brewed beer. What a combo. Here’s a cute video of a PWPP song.

Eddies Annual Yulefest, w/Bara and HiBs @ The Hat Trick, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 11:00pm ($15 Donation – ALL Proceeds to the Emergency Foodshelf Network) This is the fourth or maybe fifth year that the Eddies are doing this at the Hat Trick, Proceedings begin with the ceili music of Bara, followed by the HiBs, a duo playing flute, whistle and fiddle who were a hit at the Irish Fair this year. The Eddies close things off with their combination of sea chanties, and songs of work, and death, with a few pop tunes thrown in for good measure.

Capturing the fun of Deep Blues & BBQ

Deep Blues Fest Album Release Party @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Deep Blues is an outgrowth of stripped-down Hill Country Blues, with (mostly) younger artists using elements of punk, folk, rock n’ roll and Americana to get their songs across. Tonight the Bayport will celebrate the release of “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest,” featuring seven bands that performed at the festival last summer, including Left Lane Cruiser and John The Conquerer. The bands all record for Alive Naturalsound, out of L.A. and hover around the rock n’ roll wing of Deep Blues, playing with a fire and urgency that will lift you off your seats. To celebrate, owner Chris Johson is bringing in Lee Baines III & the Glory Fires, who are on the album, with Eleganza opening.

Papa John & the Hot Club Quartet @ Merlin’s Rest. 8pm (tip jar) Acoustic swing from Papa John Kolstad, guitar; Deano Mikkelson, guitar; Sam Fiske, trumpet; and Liz Draper, bass. Papa John always surrounds himself with talented musicians. Tonight, Liz Draper (Black Blondie, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, Nikki & the Rue-Mates, among others) brings her swinging bass to the group.

Sunday, December 2

MN Blues Society Holiday Party, w/Kildahl & Vondehaar, and Crankshaft @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1:30 – 4:30pm. (Donation) This is also the Society’s Annual Meeting, so there’ll be a business meeting and elections before music by these two bands that are headed to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.

Barbara LeShoure @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 7pm Though she now lives in this area, LeShoure is a member of the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. She sings the blues as well as anyone, but can also throw in a standard or two from the Great American Songbook, using a bit of scat singing to get her point across.

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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