Thanks for Music: 11.23 – 11.29

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all;

Arlo Guthrie may have the most famous Thanksgiving Day story of all: Alice's Restaurant

Arlo Guthrie’s tale, Alice’s Restaurant, may be the most famous contemporary Thanksgiving Day story of all.

It will be a day of food consumption for many, and a weekend of leftovers and stuffed bellies. But don’t fear, there are opportunities to dance off your lethargy over the weekend, and others where just listening to music will help calm a stuffed stomach. Let music be something we’re all thankful to have in our lives. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 23

Dave King Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $55 dinner show) This is the second of a two night stand for drummer Dave King and this trio. King is best known for his work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple,though he also seems to have a dozen or so other projects, many of which explore the outer edges and realms of jazz and rock. Tonight, though, he gathers the fine talents of bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to mine the richness of jazz standards and create some beautiful music. Here’s a longish video of a performance.

Dorado Schmitt & the Django Festival All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($20, $30) Guitarist Dorado Schmitt grew up in the same region where Django Rheinhardt lived. He was born of Roma parents and grew up surrounded by Gypsy Jazz, though, like other teenagers, he emulated Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix before turning to the music fo his heritage. Back in the mid-2000s, he appeared in town as part of the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival, and has become the star of New York’s annual Django Festival. He’ll be accompanied by his son, guitarist Amati Schmitt; as well as accordionist Ludovic Beier, and violinist Pierre Blanchard.

Thursday, November 24

Thanksgiving with Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. Noon – 3pm  (No Cover, but Dinner) If you don’t want to cook, and are looking for some music with your Thanksgiving Meal, then you’re in luck, as Ms Duncan sings jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, and some occasional R&B.

Thanksgiving with Robert Robertson @ The Dakota, Minnepaolis. 7pm ($30) Get righteous, and not in arguments with your crazy uncle, but by listening to the gospel sounds of the incredible Robert Robertson, as soulful a singer as you will ever find.

Friday, November 25

Zacc Harris/Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Harris – No Cover), 9pm (CAO – $10) Perhaps you’ve spent the day shopping. If so, relax with the dinner hour performance of guitarist Zacc Harris, followed at 9:00 by the Cafe Accordion Orchestra, whose album entitled Berets and Bongos pretty much sums up their approach to music.

Good Trouble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Good Trouble is a septet from Appleton, WI, which includes both past and present students at Lawrence University. Members of the band include: Ben Phillips – Trumpet; Will Fraser Alto Saxophone; Carson Caldart – Tenor Saxophone; Matt Blair – Piano; Sam Genualdi – Guitar; Jakob Heinemann – Bass; and Jack Lussenden – Drums. Listen to them here.

Friday, Saturday, November 25, 26

Third Annual Dave King Takeover @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12) Drummer Dave King is busy this week. After two nights at Crooners early in the week, he’s taking over late night at the Icehouse to feature two more bands of which he’s a member. Friday night it’s the Dave King Trucking Company: Erik Fratzke, guitar; Chris Morrissey, bass; Chris Speed and Brandon Wozniak on saxes; and King on drums. Then on Saturday night it’s Happy Apple, the trio named after a toy: Erik Fratzke, Fender bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and King on drums. This is the place to be for young jazz fans home for Thanksgiving, as well as older ones who can stay up late enough to dig these sounds.

Saturday, November 26

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Riley Swain Jazz Ensemble at 7pm, followed by the Atlantis Quartet at 8:30pm. The Riley Swain Ensemble is presented as part of the JazzInk Youth Showcase, which features talented high school students playing jazz. The Atlantis Quartet is Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. They’ve been around about 10 years now, spreading the gospel of 21st Century jazz.

Sunday, November 27

Geoffrey Keezer and Gillian Margot @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20 – $35, $65 w/Dinner) Pianist Keezer is a native of Eau Claire, who spent his 20s working with Joshua Redman, Benny Golson, and Ray Brown. Now in his 40s, he’s performed and recorded in all sorts of musical combinations, and of late, has been doing solo gigs and recording. He’s performed with both Diana Krall and Diane Reeves, and now with singer Gillian Margot, who manages to avoid the usual cliches of jazz singers while delivering original interpretive delivery.

Monday, November 28

David Martin/Martin Doolin CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarists Martin and Doolinb are releasing Dark Star, their third collaboration. It’s a fusion fueled CD, with guitar sounds that range from fuzzed-out to crystalline, and acoustic, punctuated with some funky drumming. Tonight they’re joined by Jim Chenoweth, bass; Shai Hayo, percussion; and Pete Hennig, drums.  I’ll have David Martin, and perhaps Doolin, on my show Saturday morning the 26th (10:30am – Noon, KFAI: 90.3 and 106.7FM)

George Maurer Quartet feat Ann Michels @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($12) Pianist Maurer is a versatile performer, composer and collaborator, having worked with Eric Clapton, scored films, and creating compositions for his nine-piece band. He’s based in Saint Cloud, so doesn’t get to the Twin Cities very often, making this a special event, and doubly so, since he’ll have just a quartet, as well as vocalist Ann Michels. Here’s Maurer accompanying a different singer: Rachel Holder.

Monday, Tuesday, November 28, 29

Jennifer Grimm’s Christmas with Family & Friends @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm  – 8:30pm ($22, $47 Dinner Show) Ms Grimm is a talented singer who is equally at home on a theater stage or in a bar. Either way, she’s an engaging performer, and with her family and friends, provides a highly entertaining evening.

Tuesday, November 29

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Rail & Chop House, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) If it’s the last Tuesday of the month, then it’s time for a shot of early New Orleans jazz, with a rotating cast of musicians led by Bill Evans.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 23

Nikki & the RueMates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s become an annual tradition for Harold Tremblay to feature Nikki & the RueMates on the night before Thanksgiving. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour to hear them perform some blues, 60s style folk-rock, and originals, all featuring Nikki’s clarion voice and the deft guitar of Rich Rue.

The Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 11:30pm. A cast of thousands, well maybe tens, brings you the finest in Swamp Pop entertainment. Rich Lewis, Dan Rowles, Lucinda Plaisance, Richard Kriehn, Bill and Ernie Batson, Jon Rodine, Dan Newton and the Rockin’ Pinecones, members of the New Riverside Ramblers, plus several other featured guests. All backed by the mellifluous noodlings of the Swamp Poppas Enhanced Big Band! All in a Benefit for Second Harvest Food Shelf.

Maurice Jacox Acoustic Trio @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Balladeer, bluesman, crooner, jazzman. All apply to vocalist Maurice Jacox, who will turn the slightly divey Schooner Tavern into a hip lounge tonight with the help of guitarists Bobby E and John Cravens.

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35) The youngest son of Fela Kuti continues voicing the political and social concerns  of his father, adding traditions from various African cultures and reflecting on the struggles of peoples throughout the continent. Expect a floor filled with writhing, dancing bodies as Kuti and the band create rhythms that connect with your innermost being.

Thursday, November 24

Deano & the Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight. It’s the man in plaid with the colorful hi-tops keeping up Merlin’s tradition of Thanksgiving Night music: Dean (or Deano) Mikkelson on guitar, along with pals Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, bass; and Del Gallagher, drums, will play jazzy acoustic music.

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you don’t like Turkey. Head over to Shaw’s for some BBQ and Blues as the Butanes take to the stage. If you’re stuffed with turkey, you can surely find a little space to dance as well.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Bunkers has a pretty good size dance floor for a bar, and it will undoubtedly be filled as the Socaholix play a lively mix of Soca (soul + Calypso) and other high-energy Caribbean rhythms.

Friday, November 25

Daisy Dillman Acoustic @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($15) This is the “unplugged” version of the band started in the late 70s by four guys from Excelsior. You’ll undoubtedly hear some of their hits from two nationally charting albums, as well as new material, all with three part harmonies.

The Pines @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) The cover of the Pines latest full release, Above the Prairie, features a star filled sky over a couple of ramshackle shacks set among open spaces. Their music evokes that openness, with both moments of stillness and moments of beauty, much like the plains of their native Iowa. They’ll be releasing a new EP tonight, entitled Pasture II, the second installment in a series of EPs that explore the timeless tradition and passage of the American folk songs. Frankie Lee opens.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Shake off your turkey-induced doldrums by dancing to rare funk and soul 45s.

Saturday, November 26

Feeling All Right: A Tribute to Joe Cocker @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Mick Sterling has gathered 13 musicians, including 4 drummer/percussionists for this tribute to the English white guy with the raspy voice of a Southern Soul singer. The late pianist/singer/composer Leon Russell led Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, so you can expect some of his tunes as well.

Luke Warm & the Cool Hands CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) It’s an evening of progressive string music and general pickin’ and grinnin’ as Luke Warm & the Cool Hands celebrate the release of What Makes You Happy? The evening begins at 8pm with The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League playing music of the Prohibition era, updated for the 21st Century, then at 9pm its Luke Warm and the guys, including Ryan Young of Trampled by Turtles, followed at 11pm by The Stringdingers

New Riverside Ramblers @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) High energy Cajun dance music, transplanted from the bayous of Louisiana to the frozen plain of Minnesota, though performed within the warm confines of the Hamm Building’s basement. There will be waltzes, two-steps, and blues galore.

Saturday, Sunday, November 26, 27

Ronnie Spector @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) While the Ronettes may not have been the first girl group, or the most popular, they were the most iconic, thanks to beehive hairdos, eyeliner, and Ronnie Spector’s thrilling voice, at one child-like and wise. She was inspired by Frankie Lymon, and in turn, inspired Amy Winehouse. She’ll undoubtedly sing Sleigh Ride, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Frosty the Snowman, given that her versions are always among the most played songs at Christmas time. We’ll also hear Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, and perhaps a few songs from her tribute to British Bands, which came out last year. Here’s an older video of her.

Sunday, November 27

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 4pm (Tip Jar) Make your way to North Saint Paul’s main street to catch the ever-changing line-up of the Gang of Mischief, acoustic players of the blues and related music. Though membership varies, there are a few members you can depend upon: Papa John Kolstad, guitar and vocals, Harold Tremblay, harmonica, and Doug Otto, guitar and vocals.

Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers @ Aster Cafe’s River Room, Minneapolis. ($12) Molly Maher is an excellent guitarist and songwriter who’s been called the Queen of Twin Cities Americana. Her songs ring true, as she uses country rock, with a bit of blues swagger, to support her soulful singing. She’s backed by The Disbelievers, and excellent band consisting of guitar ace Erik Koskinen; Paul Bergen on guitar; Steve Murray, bass; and Richard Medek, drums. This is in the River Room, where there is bar service only.

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.


Resident and Visiting Artists, Music Ideas for April 11 – 17

April 11, 2012

A couple of note-worthy world music dates, some fun roots music, and a plethora of jazz, including over a dozen jazz events this Saturday. (See the Bebopified Calendar, link below, for more.) We supposedly have the best music scene outside of New York, LA, and Nashville, though I’d question whether Nashville has as much jazz as the Twin Cities.

Speaking of jazz, here’s a heads up. The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education is having a Jazz Brunch fundraiser Sunday, April 22, with guest presenter Grace Kelly, a young saxophonist who recently graduated from Berklee. Tickets are available online. Full disclosure – I’m on the board.

The above photo reminds me that life on the road isn’t easy. Whether our resident musicians are hanging at home for a while, or visiting musicians are in our town, I hope you will get out and enjoy some live music this week.

Jazz

Thursday, April 12

Zack Lozier & the Southside Aces; Louis Armstrong Tribute @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm ($5) The Southside Aces play traditional, danceable jazz. Tonight they have trumpeter-about-town Zack Lozier (Jack Brass Band, A Love Electric) to help pay tribute to the music of Louis Armstrong. A night of great music and lotsa fun.

Connie Evingson @ the Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) I’m stopping at the Lex with some regularity these days to hear the top-notch musicians that are playing Thursdays and Saturdays. The Williamsburg room is covered in wood, and there’s a great bar where they pay close attention to making classic cocktails. On top of that, you’ve got Connie Evingson tonight. She’s a great interpreter of the American Songbook, and can swing the the Beatles like nobody can.

Friday, April 13

Bryan Nichols & Dean Magraw @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Part of the always interesting Friday night series at the Dog. Nichols on keyboard, and Magraw on guitar should make for exciting interplay.

Friday, Saturday, April 13, 14

Bill Carrothers Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12). Carrothers is a sensitive piano player with a unique style. He’s a native-born Twin Citizen currently residing in Michigan’s upper penisula, and has played such prestigious venues as the Village Gate, The Knitting Factory, New Morning (Paris) and the Newport Jazz Festival. He’s played with such luminaries as Joe Beck, Curtis Fuller, Lee Konitz, and Dewey Redman. Last heard here playing with Anthony Cox and Jay Epstein.

Saturday, April 14

The Music of Kari Musil @ Sundline Music Hall, Hamline University, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm ($10/$5 for students and seniors). Composer/saxophonist Musil received a grant to compose a concert and CD of original jazz. This is the result, which features the Nova Jazz Orchestra, Leslee McKee on vocals, J. Otis Powell, poet, and Sue Leigh on sax.

Parker Paisley CD Release @ Jazz Central, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Donation) Park Evans, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Adam Wozniak, bass; Pete Hennig, drums. The new CD is called “Satori for a Hungry Ghost.” Evans’ clean guitar lines adopt well to jazz, latin, reggae, and other world musics, all of which might make an appearance tonight.

Saturday, Sunday, April 14, 15

Sinatra…Nice and Easy @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday. ($25) A tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes, with the Rick Carlson Trio and Jaxon Richards on vocals.

Sunday, April 15

Pippi Ardennia w/Solomon Parham @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm. ($25/door, $20 Advance) This edition of the PipJazz monthly series features Parham on trumpet, as well a student guest Alex Grothe, a young trumpeter with a future. Using a first rate backing band, Ardennia is an enjoyable, warm singer. Today’s collaborations should be fun.

Tuesday, April 17

Rhonda Laurie and Maryann Sullivan @ The Nicollet Coffeehouse, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm. (Tip Jar) The curators of the weekly jazz series at this fine little coffeehouse take to the stage to sing swinging standards.

Framework @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) Chris Olson, guitar, Chris Bates, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums. Solid trio. Solid music.

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, Thursday, April 11, 12

Suzanne Vega @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $30) Anyone who was around in the 80s knows “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner,” Vega’s hits which helped to spark a neo-folk revival at the time. I was never a big fan, but was delighted when Vega last played the Dakota in 2009. She was charming, which always helps, but it was her well crafted, insightful songs, most of which were new, which showed why she garnered such a big audience back in the day. This time around, she’s traveling with one other musician, so expect a stripped-down version of her songs.

Thursday April 12

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (no cover) Late night dancing to rare soul and funk 45s.

Friday, April 13

The Dollys @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) A female vocal trio that sings Americana and the music of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, as well as other female country artists. Great voices, superb harmonies. Hear a couple of tunes on their MySpace page.

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Big Sandy has been playing roots music for over two decades now. I suppose you could call it classic Rock n’ Roll, though it encompasses Western Swing, Rockabilly, and a bit of country. Heck, he’s even been known to thrown in some vocal group harmony stuff. This will bring out swing dancers, and anyone else who wants to cut a rug, to use a term that’s hep, not hip. Elmer and the Thunderjetts open.

Worldwide Discotheque & “Long Live Boogaloo” Record Release @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm. (No Cover) The Secret Stash folks are releasing a vinyl LP of rare Latin Soul and so are teaming up with WW Discotheque for an evening of funky vinyl worldbeats, with an emphasis on Boogaloo from the NY scene of the 60s. I’ll be joining Deejays, Steely Dan of Kinda Cloudy Radio and Brian Engel of Hipshaker to spin vinyl.

Saturday, April 14

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($35/$30 Advance) Seun is the son of Fela, Afrobeat pioneer, and tonight he’s bringing his father’s old 16 piece band to Minneapolis. Seun builds on his father’s legacy with pulsating, urgent music, filled with brass, percussion, and improvisation. His latest release, “From Africa with Fury,” was produced by Brian Eno is funky as all get-out, and is as intense and relentless as his father’s work, but with Seun’s own voice. It’s a standing-only show, but I expect there will be lots of free-form dancing and boogieing going on.

Brass Band Throwdown & CD Release @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8, $10 w/CD) Jazz, Roots, World music. It’s all here. Mama Digdown’s Brass Band is celebrating a live CD release and they’ve got the Brass Messengers to open for them. Talk about fun!

Monday, April 16

Vieux Farka Toure & Idan Raichel Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Two different cultures, two different music traditions. Toure is a master guitarist from Mali, following in the footsteps of his bluesman father, yet also transcending that heritage. He’s collaborated with Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, and John Scofield. Raichel is an Israeli pianist who went triple platinum with his initial release, blending African, Latin American, and other world sounds. Promises to be a sublime evening.

Tuesday, April 17

Jeff Ray & the Stakes @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. (No Cover) W/Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckman, washboard & percussion; and Hurricane Harold, harp. Jeff Ray is a helluva guitar player, with his own take on blues and folk/rock sounds. The Stakes raise ’em and then some. (argh) Really, The Stakes are all well-known blues players around town.

Peter Lang @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm. (No Cover) If you want some righteous fingerpickin’ with your dinner, this is the place to be, since Lang is a master the style known as American Primitivism (Leo Kottke, John Fahey). Just be sure to say you want to be near the music when you make a reservation. Of course, you can just sit at the bar and enjoy one of the Cafe’s signature cocktails.

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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