Holidazed: Music: 12.18 – 12.24

December 18, 2013
Santa got hip

Santa got hip

Well, the holidays are certainly upon us as there are special performances throughout the week. I’ve listed seven, and I’m sure you can find many more. Along with holiday specials are a few unique performances from both visiting and resident artists that are worth your while.  Of course, there is the whole finding time conundrum, which is especially difficult for many this time of year. At any rate, have a good week, and if you’re overwhelmed, remember, live music can lift the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, December 18

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Joe leads his group through swinging love songs, some jump blues, and a few holiday favorites for those of you who like dancing with your jazz.

Snowblind w/Dave Hagedorn @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Since its inception in 2005, Snowblind has become a formidable ensemble of relatively young players, in part because they rehearse so much, and in part because the AQ has provided them with regular gigs. Tonight they join forces with vibist Dave Hagedorn to perform the music of Dave Holland. Members of the group include: Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Scott Agster, trombone; Shilad Sen, tenor; Graydon Peterson, bass; Reid Kennedy, drums. Should be a memorable evening.

Thursday, December 19

Larry McDonough CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter. 9pm ($5) Pianist McDonough has gathered some of his favorite holiday songs in a new CD entitled, “Angels, Kings, and My Favorite Things.” He uses a variety of band formats, as well as odd time signatures and always interesting harmonies to have the listener hear such songs as My Favorite Things, and Scarborough Fair with new ears.  Here he is with a quartet.

George Maurer’s Big Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Pianist/composer/producer Maurer brings 14 other musicians with him to play some music for the holidays.

Friday, December 20

Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10pm (No Cover)  Though some readers may equate going to Bloomington with a road trip, it is definitely worthwhile to hear Vicky sing, made all the better by the fact that she’ll be accompanied by Chris Lomheim on piano and Matt Peterson on bass.

Heather Masse – Red House Live! @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($15) Masse isn’t necessarily known as a jazz singer. After all, she was part of the Wailing Jennys, a folk duo that made the Billboard charts. However, she grew up listening to the Great American Songbook (her mom was a pianist), and a collaboration with pianist Dick Hyman on Prairie Home Companion led to the two of them recording the CD “Lock My Heart,” which has been well received in the jazz press, thanks in large part to her warm voice. She’ll be performing songs from the album, and perhaps a holiday chestnut or two.  BTW, I’ll be hosting.  Here she is doing a song that is definitely not of this season.

Watch out for these oung cats!

Watch out for these young cats!

Young Beasts @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Jazz is definitely not dead. It’s alive and well. The proof? This evening of music from three high school and college combos: The Farmington Quintessential Quintet; The Eau Claire Ice Bergh Combo; and The Will Kjeer Combo. Stick around for the jam that takes place during the second set.   

Friday, Saturday, December 20, 21

Eric Alexander & David Hazeltine @ the Artists’ Quarter, 9pm ($20) A couple of NYC stalwarts of the AQ return for one more performance before owner Kenny Horst calls it quits. Alexander has a big-toned, meaty sound on the sax and is a standard bearer for hard bop and post-bop jazz. Hazeltine‘s piano is a perfect match, as shown on a number of collaborations. They’ll be joined by Billy Peterson on bass and Kenny Horst on drums. Here’s an example of their playing from a few years ago.

Saturday, December 21

Let It Snow: Maud Hixson, the Wolverines Trio, & Dave Karr  @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($25) Maud, the Wolverines, and Dave visit classic carols and songs from vintage films, with the special help of film clips from the collection of Bob DeFlores.

Sunday, December 22

Doug Little Quartet @ Eat Street Social, Minneapolis. 8pm –  10:30pm (No Cover) A great way to end the weekend. Little is a reed player of immense talent, with a predilection for Latin rhythms. Listen while partaking of the room’s special cocktails.

Sunday, Monday, December 22, 23

The New CD

The New CD

Karrin Allyson’s Yuletide Hideaway @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35) Ms Allyson has long had a large contingent of fans from the area, since she spent some of her formative singing years here. She has a warm voice and cool delivery, which she uses with equal aplomb on bossa novas, blues, and bop. The Wall Street Journal, in describing her newest, Yuletide Hideaway, said, “Even “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” seem darker and moodier than ever before.” I’ll be doing a phone interview with her Saturday morning.

Monday, December 23

Jake Baldwin vs. B3 Organ @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Baldwin is a young trumpet player who has been making his mark around town in a number of group settings. Tonight promises a new adventure, as he is joined by two of the guiding lights of Jazz Central, Tanner Taylor on Hammond B3 (!) and Mac Santiago on drums.

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, December 18

Jeff Ray & the Stakes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM) an 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ray is a guitarist who can put a new spin on old traditions, whether playing a Chicago-style blues, Bob Dylan, or the Grateful Dead. He’ll be accompanied by Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckman, percussion, and Hurricane Harold, harmonica.

Thursday, December 19

images-2Louisiana Rhythms Christmas Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($? – probably $5, but maybe more) Okay, lots of Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orlean’s bands play the Eagles Club on Mondays and Thursdays. Louisiana Rhythms’ host Karl Smelker is gathering many of them to play Christmas tunes as well as other favorites. Of special note, Adam Kiesling of Pert Near Sandstone, Corpse Reviver, and the Tune Jerks among others, will do a reading of Christmas Eve on the Big Bayou.

Holiday Rhapsody @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free, but donations are welcome) Now for something completely different. This is a concert of two piano duets, featuring classical favorites such as An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue, the Nutcracker Suite, and Russian Rhapsody, all performed on two grand pianos. Featured artists are Denis Evstuhin, Anton Melnichenko & Ivan Konev, with special guests, The Partners in Praise Girls Choir and Soloists from the Academy of Russian Ballet.

Johnny Rawls @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($10?)  Rawls is a journeyman soul singer who deserves wider recognition. He knows how to work the crowd, teasing the ladies, getting the men to dance and altogether delivering a soul-satisfying show. No wonder: he’s played for ZZ Hill and Joe Tex, and led the bands of OV Wright and Little Johnny Taylor before going solo.

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees and Alicia Kay & the Changeups @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($6) Larson, with her sweet voice, bittersweet country-ish lyrics, and highly supportive band, opens at 9pm sharp. The Changeups are scheduled at 10pm playing Americans with country and rock overtones.  Reservations are always a good idea at this cozy spot overlooking the river and downtown.

Friday, December 20

Winter Soulstice: Black Market Brass @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) It’s the shortest night of the year, and time for a soulful evening of music featuring: soul revivalists Black Diet; the Grolar Bears, large band film scorers; and Afrobeat champs Black Market Brass  Between set music provide by DJ Rambo Salinas.

Steve Clarke & Blue Book @ Thunder Valley Bar & Grille, 3809 Highway 13 West, Burnsville. Swinging saxophonist Clarke has a new band, at least for tonight, and he’s invited a number of musicians to sit in, including Maurice Jacox. So, without knowing any more than the fact that Clarke is leading the band and Jacox will be singing, you have more than enough reasons to venture to Burnsville.

Saturday, December 21

Ms Haus

Ms Haus

Brunch with the Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (Free) You’ve got tasty food, tasty libations, and the ever-so-tasty country blues of Ms Haus, singing about chickens, mechanics, and fools in power.

Hotpants 45RPM Record Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out those dancing shoes to celebrate the fact that days are gonna get longer. Deejays Brian Engel and Ben Mena party down with rare 45s, all of which will give you that itchy twitchy feeling.

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.


Outdoor Music and more…. 8.21 – 8.27

August 21, 2013
Fun at the Fair

Fun at the Fair

Can it really be time for the State Fair already? Just when we’re getting some actual summertime temperatures. Well, there are still many chances to enjoy music and art outdoors, as well as at the State Fair. I’ve listed a few things at the Fair, but you really have to check out their website to get a sense of all of the music (and food, and exhibits, and rides) that’s available. And if you don’t go to the Fair, there is still plenty of music in our Twin Towns. As usual, I’ll have some videos and a few more links on my blog.  Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 21
Snowblind @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Styled after the hard bop quintets of the 60s, Snowblind plays originals in the style of Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk, with inspiration from Ellington, as well.  Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Scott Agster, trombone; Shilad Sen, tenor; Graydon Peterson, bass; Reid Kennedy, drums.
Thursday, August 22
UnknownPatty & the Buttons w/Tom McDermott @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. (No Cover) Hot swing and gypsy jazz from accordionist Patty and his cohorts, Keith Boyles, bass; Tony Baluff, clarinet; and Mark Kreitzer, guitar; aided and abetted by McDermott, a highly regarded New Orleans pianist who played in the Dukes of Dixieland and formed the New Orleans Nightcrawlers. Joyous stuff.
Friday, August 23
Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Rhonda Laurie has a great sense of swing, which is only heightened when she performs with a small group, as she’ll be doing tonight. 
 
Fuzzy Math @ The Red Stag Supper Club, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Electrically-based jazz that’s imaginative enough that you’ll find yourself head-bobbin’ and finger snappin’ without realizing it.
Friday, Saturday, August 23, 24
Dave King Trucking Company @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Drummer King’s calendar must be awash in notation as he keeps track of the myriad bands for which he drums or is the leader (there are nine listed on his website). He leads this one, so you can expect some of his dry, off-beat humor as he hosts Eric Fratzke, guitar; Adam Linz, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. They seem to perform in town only a few times a year, so catch them while you can.
Saturday, August 24
12th Annual Freedom Jazz Festival @ Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 1pm – 7pm (Free) Best Kept Secret, Capri Big Band, Walker West Youth Jazz Ensemble, The Tangents, and more. The Freedom Jazz Festival features veterans, newcomers, and many musicians who don’t play out enough. This year it’s celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. This will start with a rally and speeches at Sabathani, at 11am and a march to the park at noon. Music begins at 1:15. For more information, go here.
Zacc Harris Trio @ Minnesota Wine Country, State Fair. 6:30pm – 9:30pm. (Free with Fair Admission) Now here’s some music that’s a bit unexpected for the Fair, yet it makes perfect sense, given the compatibility of vineyards and jazz. Guitarist Harris will lead a trio playing originals, jazz standards, and, I imagine, other standards as well.
Monday, August 26
Ready to study

Ready to study

Evan Montgomery Good-bye Concert @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm. ($5) Talented guitarist Evan Montgomery is packing his bags and heading to Los Angeles for graduate work. We’ll miss his precise, clean playing in bands like the Jana Nyberg Group, Lulu’s Playground, and the Adam Meckler Orchestra, among others. Both Lulu’s Playground and the Evan Montgomery Quintet will be playing tonight.

Tuesday, August 27
Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Their debut at the AQ last month was electrifying. Though this is a monthly residency, that doesn’t mean you should put off hearing Meckler’s modern compositions and arrangements for this 18 piece band. For some examples of the band’s music, go here.
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, August 21
Brass Band Night @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Two up and coming brass bands – the McNasty Brass Band (from McNally Smith) and the Dirty Shorts Brass Band will create a New Orleans Night at MMC, playing both the expected and unexpected when it comes to the N’Awlins repertoire.
 
Thursday, August 22
Mary Gauthier & Ray Wylie Hubbard @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30) Literate, country-edged songwriting from two masters of the craft. Gauthier has the kind of history that gives her a uniquely honest insight into the human condition: adopted, a runaway, philosophy major at LSU, opened and operated a Cajun restaurant in Boston, didn’t start writing songs until she was 35. If you’ve any interest in roots and Americana, you’ve undoubtedly heard her song “Mercy Now.” Ray Wylie Hubbard is an elder statesman of Texas troubadours. Back in ’73, Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his song “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.” Here’s an example of Gauthier’s honest songwriting.
 
images-2Andre Williams @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($12) Williams has achieved cult status as an R&B singer (and songwriter) who has toiled on the edges of stardom for over 50 years. He had a #7 R&B hit with “Bacon Fat” in 1957, wrote songs recorded by Stevie Wonder, Ike & Tina Turner, Alvin Cash (Twine Time), and Parliament/Funkadelic, recorded for a slew of small, independent black labels, managed Edwin Starr for a while, and started recording for Bloodshot Records in 1999. Since then, he’s recorded or toured with a number of punk blues bands. Appropriately enough, L’Assassins open. 
 
Thursday, Friday, August 22, 23
Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band @ Leinie Lodge Stage, MN State Fair. 1pm & 2:30pm (Free w/Fair Admission) Work off your mini-donuts, deep fried bread pudding, and other State Fair treats with high energy zydeco punctuated with funk overtones. 
 
Friday, August 23
Soul Tight Committee @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. 7pm ($7) Old School Funk n’ R&B from the 70s. You’ll find it hard to stay off the dance floor when the 10-piece band kicks into gear. 
 
Saturday, August 24
LoLA Musicians @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (No Cover in the afternoon, $5 after 6pm) The LoLA Art Crawl takes place throughout the Longfellow Neighborhood of Minneapolis, and the Tap Room is one of the sites. The Tap Room will be presenting the work of a number of artists, as well as the music of LoLA musicians such as blues/slide guitarist/singer Matt Yetter (noon), the adventurous jazz of John Devine sax; and Zacc Harris, guitar; (2pm), the Latin sounds of Rhumba Eterna (4pm). As the Crawl closes down, Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley, will perform at 6pm, and the White Iron Band will close out the day with their rockin’ mix of blues, country, and Americana.
 
The Groove Merchants @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Big Walter Smith may be gone, but the Groove Merchants are good to go, doing a tribute to Big Walter with Jimi “Prime Time” Smith on guitar and vocals. Danceable R&B, with a 60s soul groove. 
 
Monday, August 26
It's gonna be a party

It’s gonna be a party

Big Sam’s Funky Nation @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) From the other end of the Mississippi comes Big Sam, a trombone player who joined the Dirty Dozen when he was 19 and now lays down the funk with his own brass band. He’s appeared with Alan Toussaint and Elvis Costello, as well as Karl Denson, Widespread Panic, and Dave Matthews. 

 
Monday, Tuesday, August 26, 27
Sena Ehrardt @ the International Bazaar Stage, MN State Fair. 3:15, 4:30, & 5:45pm (Free w/Fair Admission) Sena is an up and coming fresh-voiced blues star, who has won awards for her Blind Pig debut, 2011’s “Leave the Lights On.” Her latest release, “All In,” produced by Grammy Winner Jim Gaines, was just released in March. Here’s a video of one of its songs.
 
Tuesday, August 27
Paul Mayasich w/Jeff Ray &Nick Salisbury @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 8:30pm (No Cover) A couple of guitar wizards, Mayasich on slide & electric, and Ray on acoustic, together with Salisbury, who ably holds down the bottom on bass. 
 
Tango Pohjan Tahden @ Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Free) For the last night in their summer outdoor music series, the folks at MHC have come up with another act that stretches our imagination. Tango Pohjan Tahden plays Finnish Tango, which differs somewhat from its Argentinian origins. Though the popular conception of the Tango as a highly eroticized dance may clash with a view of Finns as staid and often depressed, the use of minor keys, and songs about longing (for a lover or home) match the music to the country. Pack a picnic, a blanket, some chairs, and enjoy the music. As always, there are dance lessons first, for those who want to match their moves to the music. Here they are, doing their thing.
 
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
 

Post-Election Music: 11.7 – 11.13

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

Jazz

Wednesday, November 7

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

Friday, November 9

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

Friday, Saturday, November 9, 10

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

Saturday, November 10

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

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

Sunday, November 11

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

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

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other… 

Wednesday, November 7

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

Thursday, November 8

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

Friday, November 9

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

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

Saturday, November 10

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

Monday, Tuesday, November 12, 13

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

Tuesday, November 13

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

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

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.  For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


New, Obscure, and Established venues – Music Suggestions for January 18th to the 24th

January 18, 2012

Rhythm and Roots will be heard at the James J. Hill Library this week.

It is heartening to see music being performed in venues that aren’t known for presenting music, like the James J. Hill Library (See Jan 19 listing under Roots). This week’s venues range from said historic  library, to a new club, small restaurants and coffee shops, a classic jazz joint, a classy restaurant/club, a high school, and a couple of small bars that feature a variety of musical genres.  We’ve a CD release by a jazz group and a vinyl LP re-release of a 60s soul singer. In between, you can hear from veteran musicians of all stripes as well as some talented musicians of high school age. Please support those who perform live music wherever they may appear.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 18

Parker Paisley CD Release @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm. (no cover) Park Evans, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Adam Wozniak, bass; Pete Hennig, drums. Quite the line-up here. Though Evans moved here to study classical guitar and composition, his musicality has landed him in about eight or nine different groups ranging from jazz to rock to world music. Expect modern jazz, with a bit of reggae, latin and other world  influences. Reservations are recommended if you want dinner.

Phil Hey, Tanner Taylor, James Buckley @ The Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm (No cover). Drummer Phil Hey is the veteran of the group, though pianist Tanner Taylor and bassist James Buckley both have impressive resumes of their own. I suspect that musical fireworks will ensue.

Thursday, Jan 19

7th Annual South High Singer Showcase @ South High School, 3131 19th Ave South, Minneapolis. 5pm dinner ($20 w/show) 7pm show ($8). South High has an excellent jazz program, though its vocal program usually concentrates on theatrical and pop singing. This year singer Rhonda Laurie has been working with some of the young performers as shown at left.  Tonight’s program will showcase 5 or 6 singers each performing a song with the Jazz Ensemble. Connie Evingson will then join the Ensemble and  sing a few songs as well.

Snowblind @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) With a three-horn frontline of Shilad Sen, sax; Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; and Scott Agster, trombone; together with Graydon Peterson on bass, and Reid Kennedy on drums, Snowblind produces a sound as full-bodied as a California Cabernet, while their grooves, improvisation, and rhythmic excitement provide some memorable spice.

Friday, Jan  20

Katie Gearty & Nichola Miller @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, 501 Washington, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s a two-chanteuse night at the spacious Crooked Pint (with room to dance) on Washington. As singers, Katie and Nichola are not your sweet naive things. They sing songs for grownups and have the chops to put most any song in its place. Plus, they’re backed by the Tanner Taylor Trio. A fun date. Here’s a video of Nichola at the Farmer’s Market last summer.

 Saturday, Jan 21

Kenny Lewis & the Barflyz @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Kenny Lewis was a touring member, producer, and writer for the Steve Miller Band since 1982. Other credits include working with folks like BB King, Dave Mason, Boz Scaggs, and Brian Wilson, among others. Wouldn’t be surprised if former bandmate Billy Peterson is part of this group.

Sunday, Jan 22

No Room For Squares Benefit for Ann Cirelli @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 5pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ann Cirelli (wife of drummer Bill Steiger) is recovering from Meningitis and facing a lifetime of disability. Hence this fundraiser to help with expenses. No Room for Squares is an impressive group, featuring the powerful Sue Orfield on sax; supreme bassist Billy Peterson; lyrical Chris Lomheim, piano; inventive Steve Kenny, trumpet; and Stieger on drums. You’ll have a fun evening and be helping someone out at the same time.

Tuesday, Jan 24

Maryann Sullivan @ The Nicollet Coffeehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm. (tip jar). The swingin’ Ms Sullivan is host of a couple of shows on KBEM and a fine singer in her own right. No doubt she’ll be backed by a combo that makes it easy for dancers to take advantage of the roomy wooden floor of The Nicollet.

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

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, January 18

Molly Maher & Erik Koskinen @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($4)  Moving a couple of blocks from Nye’s where she held down a residency for many years, Molly & Erik now perform in this intimate, comfortable space overlooking the downtown skyline. There is now a small cover charge. Well worth it to hear their soulful Americana.

Thursday, Jan 19

Paul Cebar and Dana Thompson @ The James J. Hill Library, downtown Saint Paul. 8pm. ($25) This is part of a roots music series put on by Real-Phonic Radio. It’s a great family-friendly event that’s broadcast live on the internet and then podcast. Cebar and his group are purveyors of genre-bending dance music, with influences from the Caribbean, Africa, 60s and 70s soul, and who knows what else. Singer/Songwriter Thompson has been in a number of bands, including the Strawdogs and Hot Head fiasco, been named Best Female Vocalist by City Pages, and has toured with her own band in support of her critically acclaimed album, Ox.

Friday, Jan 20

Mike Fugazzi & Friends @ The Hat Trick Lounge. 9pm ($7). Fugazzi is a rock harpist with a blues bent and a mission – to play hard, but with imagination. He’ll have you kicking up your heels. The intimate obscure Hat Trick is just the place for him to kick up the jams.

Saturday, Jan 21

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Jump/Swing/Retro Blues from San Francisco. Though her album covers make good use of Smith‘s “charms” the fact is she has a good voice and a cookin’ seven-piece band backing her up. In fact, Smith’s last album, “Everybody’s Talkin’ Bout Miss Thing” received 4.5 stars in Downbeat.

Mickey Murray @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis 8pm ($15). A soul singer who had a million seller in 1968 with Otis Redding’s “Shout Bamalama,” Murray was signed to King Records, ostensibly to replace the departing James Brown. His debut LP, “People Are Together,” hardly made it to the shelves, as a result of King being sold, and the title track being deemed too racially sensitive by black deejays in the South. Now, local crate diggers Secret Stash Records are re-releasing the LP and celebrating with this show. Deejays Bill DeVille and Jim McGuinn from the Current will open.

Sunday, Jan 22

Get Out of Town Fundraiser @ the Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm    Good Time Willy, Boom Boom Steve, John Franken, Davina & Vagabonds, Scottie Miller, Papa John Kolstad, Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, Javier & the Innocent Sons, Annie Mack, and more.  The Minnesota Blues Society has put together this show to raise funds to send bands to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Sunday, Monday, Jan 22, 23

Meshell Ndgeocello @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Meshells been nominated for a Grammy 10 times. Her bass playing and mix of jazz, funk, and African roots music, combined with personal and political lyrics is energetic, to say the least. She’s a musical explorer who can be in your face (If That’s Your Boyfriend, He Wasn’t Last Night), or take a quieter approach, as on her latest album, “Weather.” Give a listen.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.



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