MUSIC PHOTOS | Pert Near Sandstone warms up the Cedar Cultural Center

Photos by Tom Baker

Performing for two nights at The Cedar Cultural Center, Pert Near Sandstone brought their talent and energy to whip fans into a foot stomping, butt shaking, arm throwing, and even waltzing, frenzy Friday night. With two cloggers to keep the rhythm going and the fans dancing (Andy Lambert and Matt Cartier), Pert Near (Nate Sipe, mandolin, fiddle, vocals; Kevin Kniebel, banjo, vocals; J. Lenz, acoustic guitar, vocals; and Adam Kiesling, upright bass, vocals) is such an energizing performance to experience that they could probably turn any white-collar worker into an overall and straw-hat wearing hillbilly. Smiles and dreadlocks touting fans abound, these boys are some fine musicians and it’s no surprise they’ve been successfully twanging, fiddling, banjoing, and harmonizing their way across the country for over ten years. They’ll play again tonight at The Cedar, then head out West to tour through the Rockies and to the coast before returning to the Midwest in June to play the Blue Ox Music Festival in Eau Claire, WI, June 11. Well worth seeing, get your clogging shoes on and go support these good ol’ Minnesota boys. 


MUSIC REVIEW | Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor plays a mixed bag at the Ordway

Photo courtesy Benjamin Grosvenor

There comes a moment in the career of every child prodigy in music when their early promise is held up against a light of adult scrutiny. Technical virtuosity from an early age is a laudable thing, but with increased years comes a demand for artistic refinement – demands that for non-prodigies may otherwise not be expected until a much older age. There is often a rush for judgment as listeners wonder whether a young musician will remain a flash in the pan or mature into a long and continuously fruitful career. Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor’s concert on Tuesday at the Ordway offered no clear answers to this question, but tossed more fuel on the fire.


Q&A | Beth Hart Better Than Home World Tour

Beth Hart at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, MN

On February 19, 2015, Beth Hart made a stop in Minneapolis, MN to perform the 3rd night of her Better Than Home World Tour at the Cedar Cultural Center. She was generous enough to sit down with me before the show and chat a bit about her life as a touring musician and the upcoming release of her new album. I talked to several people at the show who said Beth's music was significant in getting them through some tough life experiences. She has a gift of being able to communicate through her song writing what she has learned along her own life path and told me that she is an open book, so I hope you get a sense of that from this interview.


MUSIC PHOTOS | Hairball at Myth

Photos by Emmerlee Sherman

On Saturday, Feb. 21 Hairball played at Myth in St. Paul.

MUSIC REVIEW | Slow, luscious music with Natalie Lovejoy at the Icehouse

Photos by Ann Treacy

Natalie Lovejoy welcomed a sold out crowd to “slow, luscious music” at the Icehouse on Sunday night. She was there to introduce us to her third album, Hiding in the Light. The stage was as crowded as the house with as many as nine people on stage. I have to say, a string section on stage is worth the squishing!


MUSIC REVIEW | Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull a lot to like at Target Center

Photos By: 
Patrick Dunn

“Baby I like it,” is not just a line from Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull’s hit “I Like It,” it was also my impression when I left the Target Center on Saturday, February 21.


Real Phonic at Hill Library: Shannon McNally, Red Planet and Erik Koskinen with the Real Phonic Band

Every third Thursday of the month, my favorite 10 year old and I enjoy music in the reference room of the erudite James J Hill Reference Library and every third Thursday we learn a new chapter of m


MUSIC REVIEW | Beth Hart exudes true artistry at the Cedar Cultural Center

Unlike many of the current highly promoted music acts, Beth Hart doesn’t rap, perform to a backing track or rely on outlandish outfits to create headlines.


MUSIC REVIEW | Sleater-Kinney return to First Avenue after 10 years

Photos By: 
Steven Cohen

In the 10 years since they last played First Avenue, Sleater-Kinney grew into a legend of huge proportions. During the band’s previous run, it was rare for First Avenue to sell out the main room for indie bands of any stripe. Going to a show there sometimes felt like an act of rebellion; that the band, you and the few brave souls in the room were fighting the good fight - to keep rock alive, to fight for rights, to fight for art. Today, 1500 people line up upside First Avenue for hours in 0 degree weather on Valentine’s Day, waiting for their chance to see a band that embodied that fight. The trio of Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss (with backing musician Kate Harkin) made the effort, and the fight, worthwhile.


KFAI Benefit Sells Out: Mighty Mofos, X-Boys, Flamin’ Ohs and Michael Yonkers

Feb. 7 the Turf Club was jumping with a sold out crowd for KFAI’s Benefit with Friends show. It was one of those night when you dind’t need two people checking IDs at the door; not a lot of youngsters. Perhaps because the night was a flashback to the 1980s, which is maybe the last time I saw the Mighty Mofos.

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