Talent Abounds: 7.25 – 7.31

July 25, 2018

Alma Andina, appearing at the Cedar

This week’s music offerings once again include jazz from emerging talents on summer vacation from college, as well as some intriguing presentations from jazz veterans. We also have some visiting artists presenting world music, a couple of rockers, and two veteran soul men to touch our emotions and shake our hips. Music lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 5

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul 8pm ($6) Pianist Will Kjeer is making the most of his summer vacation, playing around town in various groups including Hoaxer, which he co-founded, and Group 47, as well as leading his own trio, as he does tonight, with Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Erlich, drums.

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: Skyscaper Wits @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) The warm, intimate vocals of Ms Hixson  and the ever-tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson combine to bring us the wittiest writers of the Great American Songbook: Lorenz Hart; Dorothy Fields; Noel Coward; Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Cole Porter; and others. They’ve performed this program in London, Manhattan, and Portland, OR, and now we get to hear it.

Thursday, July 26

Fred Steele: Baritone 201@ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. &;30pm ($25, $30) Actor/singer/producer Fred Steele will give us a bit of baritone history by singing songs made famous by baritones from Broadway to Las Vegas, including material from Harry Belafonte, Harry Connick Jr, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, & others.

Chrisette Bany @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Back when Crooners had open jam sessions, vocalist Bany’s appearance at the mic caused Larry Dunsmore, the late co-founder of the club to declare, “Discovering your talent is rather akin to seeing a new comet for the first time.”

Riverdog @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5-$10)  Leo Remke-Rochard, electronics; Jack Dzig, drums. Remke-Rochard  was surrounded by music growing up, especially free improvisation, so his appearance at this boundary bending venue seems only natural.

Friday, July 27

Django Festival All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30, $35) High energy “hot jazz” from some of Europe’s most talented oerformers of the genre, including guitarist/violinist Dorado Schmitt and his sons Samson and Amati.

Peter Goggin’s Glass Bead Games @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 ($10) Here we have some college-age talented musicians playing with a resident master on the drums: Goggin, alto; Jordan Anderson, piano; Sam Worthington, bass; Phil Hey, drums

Saturday, July 28

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul, MN. (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm: The Joan Hutton Trio with Matt Peterson on bass.  Hutton plays sax and clarinet, and is a member of the Ancia Quartetas well as an educator and composer. At 8:30, The Aaron Hedenstrom Big Band, 16 pieces strong, featuring a strong generational cross-section of resident musicians.

Monday, July 30

Depths, George Marich Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) JT Bates is the curator of the Monday Night’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse, presenting forward looking groups such as tonight.  1st Set is from Depths: Cole Pulice, sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin cornet; Adam Zahler, electric guitar. 2nd Set by the George Marich Trio: George Marich, drums; Ted Godbout, piano; Josh Granowski, bass.

Tuesday, July 31

Katia Cardenas Video Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Vocalist Katia Cardenas grew up in a musical family and learned to integrate both jazz and R&B in her performances. Tonight she’s celebrating the release of her music video for There Will Never Be Another You, the Harry Warrner song that’s a staple of her repertoire. Besides showing the video, she’ll be performing with her finely tuned, stellar band: Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Beth Varela, drums, as well as backing vocalists Sheridan Zuther and Andrina Brogden.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 25

Kashimana @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Singer/songwriter Kashimana was born in Nigeria and moved to Kenya with her family when she was 8, where she lived until coming to the Twin Cities to go to college. She has a warm presence and sings catchy, simple songs in a soulful voice.

Medicinal Purposes on the House Party (KFAI, 90,3FM) and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) This Iowa Duo knows that music heals. Cowgirl Pearl Breitbach and Scott Kerry Guthrie have each been in many other groups, but now they create originals as well as original arrangements. Of course, you can listen to them before deciding whether to attend their performance at the 331 Club.

Thursday, July 26

Lee Fields & The Expressions @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm Doors. ($20 Advance/$25 Door) This is the Under-The-Radar gig of the week, since original soul man Fields has received minimal airplay here in town. Fields has been plying his craft since 1969, touring with folks like Kool & the Gang, OV Wright, and Darrell Banks, as well as releasing dozens of singles, and most recently, a quartet of albums that have taken him and The Expressions to sold-out shows around the world. Between Fields’s sandpapery-yet tender voice, and the Expressions tight musicianship, you get a sound that encompasses the music of Sax, Fame, Motown, and Atlantic Records, yet copies none of them.

Friday, July 27

Johnny Rey & The Reaction CD Release @ The Hook& Ladder, Minneapolis.7:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) As a founding member of Flamingo, which became the Flamin’ Oh’s, Rey has been a fixture of the Twin Cities rock scene for four decades. He’s got a new CD, “Modern Age,” and is celebrating its release tonight, with guests Little Man, and The Carnegies. 

Alma Andina Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13 Advance, $15 Door) As ten-year veterans of the area’s music scene, Alma Andina’s members come from throughout Latin America. They play a variety of Latin dance music, as well as modern Andean music using pan flutes and other traditional instruments. They’re releasing a new album tonight, and will be joined by Los Rolling Ruanasof Bogota, Columbia, whose intriguing goal is to put rural back in rock n’ roll.

Saturday, July 28

Rich Mattson & the Northstars @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rich Mattson is known for his work with the Glenrustles, Ol’ Yeller, and The Tisdales, though nowadays the “human jukebox,” as he’s known, is leading the Northstars. Also on the bill is Superior Siren, an all-female outfit whose eerie folk melodies might tempt sailors on Lake Superior, and Dirty Frames, a three-guitar, rockin’ quintet.

Boom Boom Stevie V & The Knockouts @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm (No Cover) Master harp slinger Steve Vonderharr and the Knockouts bring the blues to the bar in the basement of NOLO in the North Loop.

Monday, July 30

DakhaBrakha @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) This Ukrainian quartet plays world music with many influences, though they might also be characterized as a circus of oddness.

Tuesday, July 31

Femi Kuti & Positive Force @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($50 Advance/$55 Door) Sweat-inducing, modern Afrobeat from a son of Fela, the guy who invented the genre.

Willie West @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) West has performed with the late-era Meters, and has recorded with Allen Toussaint. Now, he lives here in Minnesota, and we get to hear his sweet, soulful voice.

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.

 


What A Week: 4.18 – 4.24

April 18, 2018

Well it’s certainly a busy week when it comes to music, so much so, that it’s nigh unto impossible to pick only 20 or so events to highlight. Of course the anniversary of Prince’s death has spawned a number of tributes and events, and then there’s Record Store Day on Saturday, where many of your favorite vinyl shops will feature live music. Add in 4/20 Day, visiting artists, and new combinations of resident artists, and you have a delightful week for music fans. Lucky us – Music Lifts the Spirit

 Jazz

Wednesday, April 18

Pete Whitman & Friends, feat: Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Saxophonist Whitman brings pianist Schimke and other stellar friends to the basement scene, including Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; Omar Abdulkareem, trumpet; and Jay Epstein drums.

Thursday, April 19

Lucia Newell w/The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Latin tunes, songs about spring and love by Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter and many more. Here’s Lucia with a different group.

Adam Larson Trio @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalists take a night off as NYC-based saxophonist Adam Larson visits Jazz Central with his cohorts: John Kizilarmut, drums; and Bob Bowman, who has played at Jazz Central before and often played at the Dakota with Karrin Allyson when she was based in Kansas City. Here’s Larson at a master class.

Friday, April 20

Cory Healy’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Drummer Cory Healy leads Nathan Hanson, saxes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Erik Fratzke, bass; through an evening of his original compositions. Here’s a track from their album of a couple of years ago.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 20, 21, 22

BingSongs @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm Fri, 2pm, Sat, Sun ($22) Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and Jennifer Eckes will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on the ivories in this concert of Bing Crosby’s biggest hits, such as “I’ll be Seeing You”, “Accentuate the Positive”, and “Blue Hawaii”. There may be no better interpreters around. Here’s Arne and Jennifer interacting in a fun way.

Saturday, April 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) With over 200 performances, the Saturday Night Jazz series continues to feature both veteran and emerging artists. Tonight’s performances begin at 7pm with Amethyst 3: Byron Johnson-Blanchard, Drums; Park Evans, Guitar; and Josh Granowski, Bass; and continues at 8:30 with Chris Bates’ Red 5 featuring: ​Chris Bates, Bass; Thomas Nordlund, Guitar; Pete James Johnson, Drums; Jake Baldwin, Trumpet; JC Sanford, Trombone; and on saxophones, Chris Thomson and Brandon Wozniak.

MN Hard Bop Collective Plays Gigi Gryce @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7 & 8:30pm (No Cover) Clay Pufahl, alto; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and leader Jesse Simon, drums; envision the music of the under appreciated saxophonist Gigi Gryce, a mainstay of hard bop recording sessions in the late 50s and 60s. Some of his compositions have become jazz standards. Here’s a cut from a session led by Gryce.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) This 18-piece band features the trumpet and original compositions of Meckler, who has toured internationally with the Youngblood Brass Band and has served on the faculty of McNally Smith and MacPhail Center for Music. Additionally, the AMO features some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians, including Nelson Deveraux, sax; Cameron Kinghorn, vocals and trumpet; and percussionist Adrian Suarez, with special guest: internationally renowned trumpeter Rex Richardson, who is in town to take part in the AMO’s new album.

Sunday, April 22

Jazz Legends @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 2pm-3:30pm ($20 Adults, $10 for ages 5-17) Patty Peterson will host this event, and  reminisce with Twin Cities’ jazz legends who have achieved local and national acclaim. Among these notables are Ahmed AbdulKarim, Trumpet; Reuben Ristrom, Guitar; and others. These Jazz Legends will be accompanied by the Phil Aaron Trio, featuring Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Phil Hey, Drums.

Gene Bertoncini & Gordy Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 2:0pm ($15) Here’s an afternoon delight for guitar fans. Bertoncini has a fluid, lyrical style that has earned him the sobriquet “Segovia of jazz.” He’s played with a galaxy of stars, including Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, Wayne Shorter, and more, and has earned rave reviews around the world. He’ll be accompanied by our own inestimable Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tuesday, April 24

John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins.6pm Social Hour, 7pm Concert ($45) Grammy-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano and the equally lauded guitarist/composer John Scofield are touring with Ben Street on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. Both Lovano and Scofield have appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in recent years.

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

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, April 18

Gabe Barnett & Them Rounders on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Minneapolis troubadour Barnett creates a crazy quilt of music evoking nostalgic Americana, folk, and jazz croonery, for a sound that’s completely his own. Tune in, listen, and see him in person.

Donna Grantis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($40, $45, $550, 9PM ($30, $35, $45) Canadian guitarist Grantis was the co-leader of Prince’s last band, 3RDEYEGIRL. She now lives in the Twin Cities and has recruited resident stalwarts Bryan Nichols, keys; and Cody McKinney, bass; along with Jason Thomas, from Snarky Puppy, drums; and MN-born, NYC-based Suphala on table to play fiery instrumentals of 70s-inspired jazz-rock fusion.

Thursday, April 19

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $45) Hillman was a co-founder of the Byrds and helped bring them to country-rock. He went on to play with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Steven Stills & Manassas, and the Desert Rose Band, where he was joined by Herb Pedersen, who’s played with John Fogerty, Linda Ronstadt, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, and a host of others. I wouldn’t surprised to hear them play an old hit or two in the Bluegrass/Newgrass style that they’re now performing.

Night Before 20 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Though cannabis consumption is illegal in Minnesota, some people want to celebrate 4/20, which, besides being tomorrow’s date, is a bit of shorthand for cannabis culture. Tonight, you’ll hear bluegrass from the Burberries; Pink Floyd music from the Pink Floyd tribute band Dark Side of the Moon; country covers from The Rare Cuts; and psychedelic funk-rock Space Monster.

Friday, April 20

Liv Warfield @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($50, $60) This Prince protege toured with him as a backing singer for several years before breaking out with what she calls “alternative R&B Soul with a little bit of rock n’ roll.” She’s got a late show with special guests that’s sold out at 11:30, so try, if you can to get tickets for tonight’s early show. Note: she’s also appearing at a Purple Jam afterparty Saturday at 11:30 ($50 reserved, $40 GA)

Hot Pants 45 RPM Dance Party @The “Uptown” VFW, 2916 Lyndale South, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) DJs Brian Engel and Ben Mena dip into their vast collections of highly danceable rare soul and funk 45s so you can get down. They’ll be joined by DJ Adrian Small from Germany.

Saturday, April 21

Willie West @ Bistro LaRoux, Circle Pines. 7pm (No Cover) Soul singer West sang with the Meters and worked with arranger Wardell Quezergue, Deacon John, and Allen Toussaint, and left New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and settled in Saint Cloud. Bistro LaRoux serves up Cajun and Creole dishes, making it a great spot to hear West, especially if you live in the north suburbs. For the rest of us, his voice is worth the drive.

Joyann Parker @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis.9:30pm (No Cover) If weather kept you from seeing her at last week’s  CD release party, here’s a chance to see her in the comfy Basement Bar. Check out Jon Bream’s laudatory article in the last week’s Strib.

Sunday, April 22

Blues on the Chippewa Fundraiser @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 2pm ($10) The free annual festival needs some support in order to stay free. Giving their own support are: Five Finger Discount; the Dee Miller Band; Armadillo Jump; Little Wing; and the Gopher Tones.

Monday, April 23

Bad Companions @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Swing Dance Night at Dave’s, and the Companions will supply roots-rock music to inspire dancers. The band is Alan Subola (Vibro Champs), guitar & vocals; Dan Gaarder (Trailer Trash), guitar; Hayden Grooms (Hillions), drums; and W.E. Keefe (Vibro Champs), upright bass.

Tuesday, April 24

SPCO Trio @ Tne Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Ruggero Allifranchini, violin; May Papach, viola; and Julie Albers of the SPCO will be performing Beethoven’;s String Trio Op.9 No.1 in G Major and other works in the main gallery of this fine museum.

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.

 


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays: 12.20 – 12.26

December 20, 2017

Toy Trains at Christmas

Or to put it more humorously and inclusively, Happy Chriskwanzacuh – and don’t forget the celebration of Winter Solstice, since we can look forward to increasing daytime light after Thursday. This is a time of year when a number of faiths and cultures have special celebrations, and if you don’t practice those faiths, you can nevertheless appreciate and even enjoy some of their traditions (including setting up toy trains). You still have the opportunity to hear great music throughout our area, though admittedly, you might have to settle for watching Netflix and getting Chinese takeout on December 25. Besides a couple of holiday shows, we can choose from the last appearance in town by the original Bad Plus, a couple of dance-oriented bands, and some roots music. Whatever your traditions at this time of year, enjoy the season, and remember, music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 20

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Pianist Chris Lomheim gathers Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums; for an evening of swinging tunes and subtle ballads. Here is what Lomheim sound like in a trio setting.

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 10pm (Free) Original eclectic jazz and creative covers from pianist/composer Mark Vandermyde, with Jason Parvey, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums.

Wednesday, Dec 20 – Saturday, Dec 23

The Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($40) Since the turn of this century, Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Kennedy, bass; and Dave King, drums; have been making annual visits to the Dakota to present their iconoclastic jazz, reimagining rock hits and jazz standards while creating songs that are often as quirky as their titles (i.e., 1979 Semi Finalist, Epistolary Echoes). This is the last gig featuring pianist Iverson, who is leaving the group after their New Year’s Eve appearance at the Village Vanguard. His droll wit will be missed, but he’ll be ably replaced by Orrin Evans. Stay tuned….

Thursday, Dec 21

Holiday Piano Bar @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) The “Piano Bar” isn’t really such, since Jazz Central isn’t a bar. Nevertheless curator Sarah M. Greer describes the evening as part open mic, part jam session, and part caroling singalong. Ms Greer will host the evening, aided by pianist Jon de Vall. Bring instruments, charts, your lyric sheets and requests.

Belle Amour Holiday Show @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Looking at their website, it appears that this four-piece group – vocalist, keys, bass, drums – seems to specialize in wedding and corporate gigs. It appears that Graydon Peterson is on bass, though I don’t recognize the other performers. Listening to their songs reveals a tight, jumping outfit that plays vintage jazz, including songs from Bessie Smith, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, The Andrew Sisters, and other performers from the 1930s and 40s. Their music is bright, breezy, and fun.

Aerosol Pike @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Acoustic-based spontaneous composition from Philip Mann, Ryan Reber, and Rick Ness on horns (and other instruments?).

Friday, Dec 22

Peter Schimke Trio @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room can be a bit noisy to fully appreciate the playing of pianist Schimke, who always has A-list players with him. Just sit close, enjoy a cocktail, and relax after doing your holiday shopping.

John Raymond’s Standards Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Minneapolis native Raymond is a trumpeter/flugelhorn player who was called a “Rising Star” by no less than DownBeat Magazine. His four albums have all been well received by the NY Times, Downbeat, and Jazz Times. He’s currently Professor of Trumpet at Indiana University. His trip home provides us with a chance to hear him, accompanied by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here he is with his New York group.

Saturday, Dec 23

Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15, $20) Carrothers, a pianist whose imagination is always inventive and far-ranging, seems to have fallen in love with the Dunsmore Room, as the Saint Paul native makes the trip from Michigan quite frequently to appear in various groups. He’s recorded 26 albums as a leader and has appeared as a sideman with a wide range of jazzers including Buddy DeFranco, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Dewey Redmanm, Toots Thielman, and more. He’ll be appearing solo to play on the 9-foot Steinway at the intimate listening room.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Cole Mahlum opens at 7pm, leading his own group. At 8:30pm bassist Ted Olsen appears with frequent collaborators Javi Santiago on piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 24, 25

Merry Christmas! Enjoy a technicolor Christmas at the movies, or a Chinese meal for those who don’t practice the Christian faith.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Dec 26, 27

Connie Evingson: Holiday @ Dunsmore Lodge, Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($22) With its view of a snow-covered lake, the Dunsmore will easily bring to mind a cozy country lodge as Ms Evingson, of the cool, yet sultry voice, celebrates the season, accompanied by Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Here’s a cut from her gorgeous Christmas album.

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, Dec 20

Ben Eaton on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Roots/Americana songwriter/guitarist Eaton is a native of Des Moines who now lives in Minneapolis. He’s working on a 5-song EP with drummer Dwight Dario, who used to live around here, and Matt Woods. Tonight he’ll have a 4-piece band with him, featuring guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson.

Thursday, Dec 21

Draper-Beckmen-Kiesling @ The Dubliner Pub & Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The Twin Cities hardest-working washboard player teams up with bassist-around-town Liz Draper and Adam Kielsing (of Pert Near Sandstone) to play old-time music, country blues, early jazz, and maybe a holiday tune or two for your happy hour pleasure.

Friday, Dec 22

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?, $10?) Blues, swing, jump, jive, & jazz for dancing in the Ernie Mattson Ballroom at the commodious Eagles Club.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:45pm (Tip Jar) Though Dusty’s is under new ownership, they remain committed to providing the rootsy groups that have been appearing there for years. Example number 1: Nikki & the Rue-mates, whose folk-blue-rock has long been a Dusty’s favorite, often packing the place while they play in the “big green booth.” Nikki’s clarion voice and Rich Rue’s terrific fretwork are always a treat, with the added delight of guitarist Dean Mikkelson often sitting in to accompany Nikki on a jazz standard or two.

Saturday, Dec 23

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) You say you want to hear some heady, sometimes inscrutable lyrics, performed with cool, jazzy pop? Then this Steely Dan Tribute Band may deliver just what you need.

Joyann Parker Band @ Crooners’ Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover, but $10 guaranteed seat) Vocalist/pianist/guitarist Parker has a powerful blues and R&B voice that’s just right for the Pre-Christmas Saturday night crowd at Crooners. She’s been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, and represented Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society.

Sunday, Dec 24

Enjoy Christmas Eve!

Monday, Dec 25

Christmas With Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) Get your gospel groove on with the highly popular and one-of-a-kind Robinson, who gets rave reviews wherever he appears. Some examples: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal called him “a volcanic talent,” while the Salt Lake City Desert New called his performance “glorious,” and the Star Tribune described him as a “soaring presence.”

Tuesday, Dec 26

Willie West @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Louisiana-born Willie West is a classic soul singer who recorded for Allen Toussaint with the score for the blaxploiotation film Black Samson, and later worked with The Meters in the late 70s and early 80s. He then worked all over Bourbon Street until Hurricane Katrina, after which he moved to Saint Cloud, where he currently lives. In the last few years he’s recorded with some Finnish funk/soul groups (see video), and still has the vocal prowess and emotional power that makes a soul singer a soul singer.

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.


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