Mild Weather, Hot Music: 11.29 – 12.5

November 29, 2017

Some more holiday shows are on the horizon this week, as well as interesting shows from both visiting and resident artists. The weather continues to be unseasonably mild, so even if the temps drop some, as shown on the AccuWeather map above, it’s still easy to get out and hear some live music.  On to a couple of personal notes, I’ll be retiring from my radio show, Rhythm & Grooves, at the end of the year. My last show will be December 30, though hopefully, I’ll show up occasionally as a sub for other programs. I am continuing this blog and my newsletter. Secondly, the treatment regimen for my health issues goes amazingly well. Thank you for all your positive thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. Now get out and take part in a live music experience, which certainly can lift your spirits.



Wednesday, Nov 29

Patrick Adkins Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Here’s a young group worth watching: Patrick Adkins – Piano; Tarek Abdelqader – Drums; Levi Schwartzberg – Vibes; Aidan Sponheim – Trumpet; Drew Stinson – Bass; Thomas Strommen – Saxophone

Thursday, Nov 30

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) With Reuben Ristrom, guitar; Larry Hillman, sax; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and David Schmalenberger, drums.

Also: George Cartwright’s Smashing Carp @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Cartwright, saxophones; Heather Barringer, Vibraphone; Noah Ophoven-Baldwinm, trupmpet; and Michelle Kinney, Cello. Smashing is right.

Sophia Shorai Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Underneath her sunny voice there is heartbreak waiting to be unleashed.

Friday, Dec 1

Kronick Quintet @ The Green Lantern (Public), Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Five veteran musicians playing jazz will entertain in the basement bar at Lowertown’s Public Restaurant.

Omar Abdulkarim Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) A young trumpeter with beautiful tone has veterans Peter Schimke, piano; and Billy Peterson, bass accompanying him.

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1,2

Earl Klugh @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($32, $37, $42) Acoustic guitarist Klugh cites Chet Atkins as being his most important influence, yet he has recorded with jazz artists, and his work is sometimes listed as New Age, or smooth jazz. He has a pretty tone and deft fingering, which come to the fore in his last album, Handpicked, a mostly solo outing, with two duets – one with Bill Frisell on Blue Moon and another with ukelelist Jake Shimabukuiro on Hotel California. 

Saturday, Dec 2

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Le Voyage opens at 7pm, featuring Matt Rice, alto sax; Donald Washington, saxophones; Richard Studer bass, and Steve Hirsh, drums. At 8:30, Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband will take the stage;: Geoff Senn, tpt; Pete Whitman, sax; Scott Agster, trombone; Chris Olsonm, guitar; Joe Strachan piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Kogan, drums. While there are no videos of the band performing, here’s a slightly different version of the band from their recording.

Also: Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) a charming, unaffected vocalist.

Sunday, Dec 3

Katia Cardenas @ Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave North, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) I’ve yet to make it to this funhouse/bar/restaurant with indoor mini-golf and other attractions, but the siren call of Cardenas’ vocals on jazz and occasional pop tunes just might do the trick. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Gadbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

Alley Cats Jazz Jam @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm  (No Cover) This jam is headed up by guitarist Joel Shapira, for a New York Jazzers Open Jam, though rules apply for participation.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 3, 4

Brad Mehldau Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $50), 9pm ($25, $30, $40) Whether improvising on rock n’ roll standards, a Charlie Parker blues, or the Great American Songbook, pianist Mehldau and bandmates bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard create intimate, often contemplative, music on their 2016 release Blues and Ballads. I can’t describe their music any better than Brit Robson did in the Star Tribune the other day, “Heres’s a group that manages to be cerebral and sentimental all at once.”

Tuesday, Dec 5

The Crosby/Clooney Story w/Hixson & Fogel @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson are reprising their popular show featuring the tunes and stories of the long friendship and working relationship between Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney. They’ll be aided by pianist Rick Carlson and bassist Steve Pikal. Here’s a video that shows Crosby and Clooney singing together.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Nov 29

Matt Woods on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist Woods is a native of Iowa who performs traditional American roots music in all its guises, from traditional delta, hill country and urban electric blues, to gospel, country and folk music.  

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Joe Demko’s romantic streak is evident in many of the swinging loves songs that he and the JazzBos play. He promises to debut a theme song tonight. Bring your dancing shoes and your dancing moves.

Turkuaz @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15 – $18) Brooklyn based funksters Turkuaz have a stage show described as combining influences from Sly and the Family Stone to Talking Heads into an explosive auditory and visual circus, a full-frontal assault on the senses. Opening are the Suffers, an 8-piece ensemble from Houston who play “Gulf Coast Soul.” They’ve done a tiny desk concert for NPR (which you can see here , and have appeared on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Thursday, Nov 30

Willie Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see this Walker, who was part of the original soul explosion in the 60s, in a fancy setting. During the past couple of years he’s experienced an uptick in overseas gigs, and has won two awards from Living Blues – Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his recording Nothing Ever Changes. Whether singing originals, or classics by Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, Walker has never sounded better.

Also: Javier Matos @ The Basement Bar, 511 Washington Ave North, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Master of the bottleneck slide guitar, purveyor of the blues.

Friday, Dec 1

Church of Cash Holiday Show @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapoills. 6:30pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) You get a band that does a terrific job of honoring Johnny Cash while celebrating the holidays. What’s not to like?

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1, 2

Christmas Reggae Weekend @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($?) Expect Christmas music Yard Style and Soca Style, With Socaholix and The International Reggae All-Stars laying down the heavy bass. Wonder if they’ll do Sensimilla to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus? Here the All Stars tackle Purple Rain.

Saturday, Dec 2

18th Annual Jeff Arundel Holiday Show @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) His show at the Aster Cafe is sold out, so you’ll have to head west to take part in this holiday tradition: With Special Guests Kathleen Johnson, Paul the Beatle, Fred and Anne Vagle, Steele Arundel, and The Swedish Men’s Whistling Team

The 99ers and The Black Widows @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Pop punk from the 99s and the all woman Black Widows.

Also: Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover)

Sunday, Dec 3

Switched at Birth CD Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Saint Paul. 4PM ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Switched at Birth has been playing their genre-defying acoustic music since 1998, with a repertoire that includes, bluegrass, folk, blues, Cajun, Irish,m and rock n’ roll music – Whew! They are celebrating the release of their third studio recording A Labor of Love. Members are Rick Anderson, guitar, banjo, vocals; Pam Kolupailo (Pam K of KFAI), guitar, vocals; Mark Briere, Mandolin, vocals; Mark Rizzardi, bass, vocals; and Catie Jo Pidel, fiddle. Opening act Cousin Dad is another acoustic band with a surprising song list, including Latin, country buds, fiddle tunes, Motown, and more. Here’s Switched at Birth with a classic rock tune.

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.

Looking Back, Moving Forward: 11.8 – 11.14

November 8, 2017

We’ve a week of live music that reminds us of where we’ve been and points to ways forward, whether with visiting artists such as Kamasai Washington, Ann Hampton Calloway, John Primer, and Tom Rush. or resident artists like Graydon Peterson, Travis Anderson, or The Good, The Bad, The Funky. Whether you want to dance, snap your fingers, or let music wash over you, we have plenty of opportunities to learn how Music Lifts Your Spirit.


Wednesday, Nov 8

Connie Evingson & Andrew Walesch @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm – 7pm?) It’s a delightful happy hour as chanteuse Evingson teams up with pianist Walesch to entertain during happy hour. I wonder if they’ll do any duets?

Ann Hampton Calloway @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) This pianist/vocalist, perhaps the best known of today’s cabaret singers, combining jazz and pop to tell her stories. She has long been a champion of the Great American Songbook, and tonight will celebrate The Centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with Ella Century, including new, fresh arrangements of some of Fitzgerald’s signature tunes.

Thursday, Nov 9

Kamasai Washington @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 10pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door) It’s fitting that saxophonist Washington, who has been lauded for his 3 Volume release Epic, should play First Avenue, as his work (especially with Kendrick Lamar) has been embraced by many young people who had previously not been hip to jazz. If you are too old to stand for a couple of hours, you may have to arrive early (doors at 7pm) in order to secure a spot at one of the Ave’s few tables.

Bill Evans: Time Remebered @ The Heights Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This is a very special event – the Minnesota premier of “Bill Evans Time Remembered – The Life and Music of Bill Evans.” The film was 8 years in the making with over 40 interviews and over 30 archival photographers. The Larry McDonough Quartet will perform a set of material of Bill Evans; followed by the new documentary about Evans by Bruce Spiegel; and finishing with an interview of Evans by legendary jazz journalist Leigh Kamman. Here’s a trailer for the film.

Also: Southside Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5)

Friday Nov 10

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($12, $15) Graydon Peterson is a first-call bassist on the Twin Cities jazz scene, whether accompanying singers, playing in the Adam Meckler Orchestra, or providing the foundational rhythm for a number of groups. He also composes and will be playing some of his originals tonight, with bandmates Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez on drums

Saturday, Nov 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set – Roseville HS Combo 1: Liam Traynor, trumpet; Aran Koob, alto sax; Emily Dorr, piano; Karl Koob, guitar, James Klinkenberg, bass; Ben Martin, drums. 8:30 pm – Michael Shults Group: Michael Shults & Aaron Hedenstrom, Saxophones; Javi Santiago, Piano; Chris Bates, Bass; Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Also: Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)

Sunday, Nov 12

Harvey Diamond Quartet Featuring Melissa Stoudt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 4pm ($12) This early show features pianist Harvey Diamond, who has been a mainstay of the Boston jazz scene since the mid-60s, and is also a regular performer in NYC venues. He’s performed with Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Art Farmer, and a host of other Jazz Masters. He recently released is first CD as a leader and is touring behind it. He’ll be joined by Melissa Stoudt, a TwinCities saxophonist and composer who regularly performed with the late Eddie Berger, and is currently lead tenor with the Maple Grove Big Band. Here he is with a slightly different quartet.

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This vibrant singer of classic jazz & blues is a native of NYC, whose father was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director, and whose mother played with the legendary International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She has been a back-up vocalist for folks like David Bowie, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Levon Helm, Al Kooper, and others. Her sixth album, Harlem on My Mind, features songs originally done by Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, as well as other artists who played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Sunday, Monday, Nov 12, 13

Emmet Cohen Mini-Tour:   Emmet Cohen Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25); Emmet Cohen B3 Organ Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($20, $10 w/valid student ID) You have two chances to see irrepressible pianist Emmet Cohen, in two different settings. On Sunday night he’ll be at the Dunsmore Room with Russell Hall on bass and Evan Sherman on drums. His last appearance at the Dunsmore Room was delightful, with Cohen and his bandmates performing high-level improvisations and playfully quoting jazz standards. He’ll have Hall & Sherman with him at the Dunsmore. Then on Monday night at Jazz Central, he and drummer Sherman perform as a B3 organ duo, bringing some greasy funk to the basement club.

Tuesday, Nov 14

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Pianist Anderson, along with bassist Steve Pikal and drummer Nathan Norman, always swing.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Nov 8

Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) After 15 years in the Deep Blues/Progressive Roots outfit Moreland and Arbuckle the two parted amicably to pursue other roads forward. Dustin Arbuckle is now exploring traditional music by the likes of Charley Patton as well as the musical roots represented by The Band, Stax Records, Johnny Cash, and the Allman Brothers, among others. Tune in to check them out, and head over to the 331 to see Arbuckle and his band in person.

Craig Clark @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Craig Clark has most recently been seen giving added oomph to the Dee Miller Band. He’s performed with Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Mississippi Mass Choir with Reverand James Cleveland, Jimmie Van Zant, and Big John Dickerson, among others.

Also: Hula Peppers @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)

Thursday, Nov 9

MIkkel Beckmen & Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Beckmen brings slide guitar master Ray to the little stage at The Dubliner for some after work musical workouts.

Tom Rush @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) If you’ve any interest in folk music, this is the place to be this week. Singer/guitarist Rush has been a major influence on American music since the folk revival of the 60s. He’s championed songs by artists like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, and James Taylor, and has brought people like Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences in the beginning of their careers. Both Taylor and Garth Brooks name him as a major influence.

Colin Campbell & the Shackletons and Others @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) This is actually a four-band showcase of up and coming area bands. Colin Campbell & The Shackletons are a rock/blues band influenced by the “Minneapolis Sound.” The Grape Whales use long-form song structures to create mediative, bouncy psychedelic rock and roll. Fragile Canyons are a folk/rock quartet inspired by the Grateful Dead and Joni Mitchell, among others. Basement Apartment, which has been around in a number of iterations since 2001 released their third self-titled album in 2014.

Friday, Nov 10

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) From blues to folk-rock to originals, Nikki’s charming vocals and Rich’s ace guitar playing satisfy.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Seems we haven’t heard enough from Chicago bluesmen (or women) of late, but John Primer will fix that. He’s a guitarist/vocalist who honed his chops as bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops. He’s been nominated for a Grammy twice and has received a Lifetime Achievment Award, though neither of those accolades do justice to his guitar playing.

Friday, Saturday, Nov 10, 11

The Good, The Bad, The Funky 20 Year Celebration @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) GBF, as they are sometimes known, are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their first gig, which was held at the MMC. The dance-inducing horn band are celebrating with two nights of dance-floor filling music.

Saturday, Nov 11

Kildahl, Voderharr & Gravlin @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 8pm (No Cover) The “speakeasy” under Lucky’s 13 will reverberate with the blues tonight.

Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($12) I believe this is a first appearance at the Vieux for Walker and his band. The gritty soul man has been on a tear. After winning two Living Blues Music Awards for his 2016 album If Nothing Ever Changes, he recently released a new album, After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that backed him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise last month.

Also: Comotown Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 12pm (No cover)

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul,. 8pm (Tip Jar)

Monday, Nov 13

Joe Fingers & His So-Called Friends @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Fingers is a champion finger-picking guitarist and vocalist whose So-Called Friends are equally skillful, though it’s hard to know which ones will show up

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.

%d bloggers like this: