Tag Archive for 'Upcoming Show'

(Upcoming Show) 2010 American Idol Finalist Crystal Bowersox at CSPS Friday 8/12

Crystal-Bowersox-photo

Though some would debate this, it’s my opinion that American Idol’s Season 9 in 2010 was the last season worth watching. The winning chemistry of American Idol to me was always a combination of the judges and the talent, and 2010 was the year that Paula Abdul was no longer a judge and in 2011, show creator and longtime judge Simon Cowell was gone. My wife and I– longtime followers of Idol– didn’t tune in for Season 10.. Over the nine years that we watched, there have been standouts in the talent, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Season Five’s edge-of-the-seat powerhouse of Chris Daughtry/ Katherine McPhee/ Kellie Pickler/ Elliott Yasmin, Jordin Sparks, David Archuleta, David Cook and Chris Allen. One of my favorites for that nine-year run was Ohio native, by way of Chicago Crystal Bowersox. Though most of the highlights of American Idol have been squarely Top 40 types, Bowersox was an honest-to-goodness songwriter who could play and sing. She, with her slightly crunchy hippy personae topped with questionable dreadlocks, came off somehow as an underdog contender that I had hoped would take the top honors, but complications related to her Type-I diabetes (of which she is a spokesperson) cost her the top spot (Though, it could be argued that taking the top spot doesn’t always help your career– I’m looking at you Ruben Studdard and David Cook).

Since Idol, Bowersox has released three albums, with her most recent full-length All That For This released in 2013 and produced by reknowned Los Lobos member and producer Steve Berlin and features guest Jakob Dylan. Notably, she also shed her dreadlocks in 2013. Her most recent release is a self-released 7-track EP titled Promises. It’s difficult to glean what her next steps will be in her career based on her website, but she’s touring quite a bit. I’m certainly interested to see her live. Check out this great performance of the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah.”

Crystal Bowersox will be performing for the 2nd time at CSPS this Friday night with a small band. The show is at 8PM (the doors and box office generally open an hour before) at tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door (if there are any left). You can purchase tickets at the CSPS box office or online. Details at the Legion Arts website.

(Upcoming Show) Play B-Sides “Top 20” Artist Charlie Parr at Daytrotter Studios Grand Opening – Saturday 1/23

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As part of the week of Grand Opening celebrations for the Brand Spankin’ New Daytrotter HQ in Davenport, Duluth, MN country blues aficionado Charlie Parr is playing a “Four O’Clock Rock” matinee show! Parr’s new album Stumpjumper made my list of “Top 20 of 2015.” Produced by another of my Top 20 recipients Phil Cook, it gives Parr’s signature boogie a much-deserved fleshing out.

The new digs for Daytrotter are a big upgrade over the old location in Rock Island– with its climate control issues and its control and live room dating back to its original use as a TV studio– but that was part of its charm, certainly. The expanded facility now has a live venue in it and I’m sure they brought some of the mojo from the old location with them. I bet that minifridge stocked with PBR is somewhere in the new space.

Charlie will be hitting the stage at 4PM– doors are at 3PM– on Saturday, January 23rd. Tickets are a reasonable $8, and while you’re there you can try out their selection of Daytrotter Pale Ale beer brewed by Exile Brewery. The new location is at Renwick Building at 324 Brady St. next to the Davenport Public Library.

Get your presale tickets HERE.

Listen to Charlie Parr’s latest Daytrotter.com session, which includes songs from Stumpjumping.

Here is Charlie Parr performing my favorite song “Over The Red Cedar” from Stumpjumping.

Lissie Announces “Road to RAGBRAI” Solo Tour – Teases New Song “Sun Keeps Risin’

ragbrai
For the uninitiated, RAGBRAI is the “Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.” Each year thousands of bicycle riders take a week at the end of July and ride across Iowa. This has been going on for 42 years in 2015. From Lissie’s website:

I’ve always wanted to do (RAGBRAI), so I will be doing the ride in the middle of the tour. Having grown up just across the river in Illinois, Iowa is a gorgeous state that I love! So to make it a reality I’ll be going back to my roots in more ways than one. I started in music playing acoustic guitar and singing from the heart, so it’s only fitting that I sing my way back to the heartland solo! I hope that you can all join me at a show leading up to, on the ride or at one of the gigs after.

So, she’s doing a run of dates with Tyler Lyle leading up to and following RAGBRAI. What we don’t know is if she might be busting out her guitar on the ride! Even if she doesn’t, these shows promise to be really special and intimate affairs.

Along with this announcement, she teased a new song titled “Sun Keeps Risin'” which is slated for her new album which is slated for January of 2016.

 

Here are the dates of the solo tour with links to where to get tickets.

July 11 – Los Angeles @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
July 12San Francisco @ The Chapel
July 14Salt Lake City @ Urban Lounge
July 15Denver @ Bluebird Theater
July 16Omaha @ The Waiting Room
July 27Chicago @ Lincoln Hall

August 4Milwaukee @ Turner Hall Ballroom
August 5Minneapolis @ Varsity Theater
August 7Nashville @ 3rd & Lindsley
August 8Atlanta @ Terminal West
August 9New Orleans @ The Parish at House of Blues
August 11Austin @ The Parish

(Upcoming Show) Nellie McKay at CSPS in Cedar Rapids Tuesday 4/28/15


Nellie McKay is in a lot of ways an artist from a different time. Compared to what is generally regarded as “pop music” currently, popular music from the 50’s/60’s and even the 70’s seemed to cut a much wider swath through genres. Jazz, Rock, Country, Folk and American Songbook. In that same spirit Nellie McKay has not been content staying in one genre– even per album in most cases.

For McKay’s sixth album titled My Weekly Reader, she opted to dive into the rich catalog of 60’s pop and rock and create an album of covers that demonstrates her incredible musical chops and catalog knowledge as well as presents the songs with her unique and smart sense of subtle irony and humor. While I really appreciate her original music more, the opportunity to see her dive into covers (as she did on her album of Doris Day covers Normal as Blueberry Pie) also reveals her influences.

And I haven’t even mentioned her stints on Broadway and film!

McKay is bringing her solo show back to Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, April 28th. She was here in September of 2012 (which is where the picture above was taken). Her shows are a lot of fun– she’s a great artist, musician and wonderful singer. Her adopted stage personae at first seems a little scatterbrained, but she uses that disarming “aw-shucks” delivery to make some sharp and thoughtful commentary about everything from veganism to feminism to current politics. When she performed last time, she improvised a cute song about Iowa.

She was interviewed recently on NBC 4 in New York City about her new album:

She is a performer who continues to impress me and we are fortunate that she chooses the big stage at CSPS to bring her show. Don’t sleep on this!

Tickets are $21 in advance and $26 at the door. The show is at 7PM. More information at the Legion Arts website!

The Ragbirds’ Bio-Diesel Van Rolls Up to CSPS on Sunday 2/8

Ragbirds

Ypsilanti, Michigan folk rock band The Ragbirds are a family-affair. Fronted by Erin Zindle on vocals, violin, mandolin, accordion, banjo and percussion (whew!) she is joined by her husband, percussionist Randall Moore and her brother T.J. Zindle on guitar. The current lineup is rounded out by Loren Krantz on drums and Brennan Andes on bass guitar and percussion.

With this many members of the band playing percussion you might imagine that The Ragbirds are a polyrhythmic sort– and you’d be right. The band calls their sound an “infectious global groove”– a mix of Eastern folk, afro-cuban, Celtic and African all poured into the funky stew. It sounds like a cross between Rusted Root, Camper Van Beethoven and Edie Brickell and New Bohemians to me.

The Ragbirds will be taking over the stage at CSPS in Cedar Rapids on Sunday night at 7PM. Shaking it to the grooves of The Ragbirds would be a great way to shake off the winter cold– so you should make a point of heading down to NewBo, and while you’re down there you should check out the restaurants, book store and the Farmer’s Market before the show!

In addition to their musical endeavors, the band also conducts workshops on “Eco-Touring.” The band has a diesel Ford F-350 van converted to use waste vegetable oil– using cooking grease from local restaurants and preparing it for use in their van. They won’t be conducting a workshop in Cedar Rapids, but I’m sure they’d be happy to talk about it after the show.

More details and ticket information HERE:

  • Sun Feb 9 2014 – 7:00 pm • CSPS Hall
  • $15 advance | $18 door

(Upcoming Show) PHOX and Har-di-Har at CSPS 11/24/13 – Lots of links to audio and video

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Back in June, Wisconsin six-piece band PHOX opened up for six-piece Seattle band Hey Marseilles at CSPS. Hey Marseilles was gaining some critical attention at the time and were on a run of dates in support of their new album Lines We Trace which included the great single “Heart Beats.” The band asked PHOX to open for this run of shows and the show I saw at CSPS had me enthralled– lead singer Monica Martin has a beautiful voice and the whole band has an astonishing amount of talent and skill. Monica is just getting her bearings as a frontwoman, but her stage banter with the audience the band was funny and heartfelt. It’s great to see this band getting more attention and it is clear it hasn’t gone to their heads.

Since PHOX played in Cedar Rapids, they have had some high-visibility gigs including a wonderful Daytrotter session (a vinyl LP of which has Hey Marseilles on the flip) and playing the iTunes Festival in London opening for The Lumineers.

 

You should watch this really great session PHOX did at Audiotree.tv, too!

Har-di-Har

We are really lucky to get PHOX back at CSPS– this time as the headliner with former Cedar Falls, IA-now-Twin Cities husband and wife duo Har-di-Har— another favorite band of 2013 for me.  Julie and Andrew Thoreen have put together what amounts to a full band by sharing the percussion duties with a split trap kit while they take on guitar, keyboards and bass duties as well as vocals. And, what vocals they are! Very tight harmonies sounding a lot like British Folk from the 60’s and 70’s.  I reviewed their three EP’s over the last year for Little Village including their latest Hard Parent/Thick Child:

Album Review : Har-di-Har – Words of Whim/Feudal Kind EP’s

Album Review : Har-di-Har – Hard Parent/Thick Child EP

Har-di-Har also did a wonderful Daytrotter Session, too!

This not-to-miss show will be on Sunday, November 24th at 7PM. Tickets are a VERY REASONABLE $9 in advance and $13 at the door. Get the details at the Legion Arts Website.

(Upcoming Show) John Reilly and Friends at Codfish Hollow Barn on June 21st

John Reilly and Friends at Codfish Hollow Barn Poster

Continuing the trend of jaw-droppingly awesome shows at Codfish Hollow Barn in Maquoketa, this Friday, June 21st,  it will play host to actor John C. Reilly’s non-film music endeavor John Reilly and Friends.

For the past few years Reilly has been working with some musician friends of his to bring a revue of old country and folk music  of the likes of the Stanley Brothers, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, The Everly Brothers, Claude Ely and the Delmore Brothers to name a few. With regular “Friends” sidekicks Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond and Tom Brosseau (solo and of Les Shelleys) Reilly cut two 7-inch singles on Jack White’s Third Man Records.

The band is doing a run of dates through the Midwest from June 13th to June 22nd, with a stop at the wonderful Codfish Hollow Barn in Maquoketa, IA– home of many Daytrotter.com Barnstormer shows as well as a few shows put on by the Biehls themselves. Joining Reilly, Stark and Brosseau will be Mt. Vernon, IA native Dan Bern (who headlined his own show in May), Willie Watson— formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show (OCMS’s “Wagon Wheel” has been covered by Darius Rucker and climbing the charts currently), and Sebastian Steinburg– formerly of Soul Coughing and these days a go-to bass sideman (Marc Ribot, Dixie Chicks, k. d. lang). That’ s one hell of a lineup with lots of varing backgrounds, so you can count on some pretty inspired performances!

According to Brosseau’s website, there will be copies of the Third Man Records 7-inches as well as “the official John Reilly and Friends teeshirt” at the merchandise table. Tiffany Biehl also told me about exclusive stickers with art done by Dan Bern and limited-edition posters done by the Biehl’s and sent me images of those:

john reilly sticker

John Reilly and Friends Codfish Hollow Barn Sticker

john reilly pitchfork poster

John Reilly and Friends Limited Edition Codfish Hollow Poster available at the show.

Opening the show will be Andru Bemis from New Mexico.

As usual, there will be camping available (with no service hookups), food vendors with soft beverages and just good old fashioned great times with other people who are there for the music. Coolers are welcome. Here is a list of what food will be available onsite:

Grilled chicken sandwiches
BBQ pulled pork sandwiches
All beef hotdogs
Brats and sauerkraut
Veggie dogs/brats
Nachos and cheese
Beef taco nachos
Chicken/pork nachos
Vegetarian bean nachos
Chips
Candy bars
POP- Mt.Dew Pepsi, Diet Pepsi,Sprite
Water

YUM!

At the time of this writing there are still tickets left, but you should expect that this show will sell out this week. Doors are at 6:30PM with the bands hitting the stage at 8PM. The tickets are $25 in advance (plus some minimal service charges).

Click Here for the Facebook Event and RSVP!

Click http://johnreillyandfriends.eventbrite.com/ to order your tickets!

I was interviewed in The Cedar Rapids Gazette Arts and Entertainment magazine Hoopla– click here!

Click Here to visit the Third Man Records page on John C. Reilly and purchase his two singles.

Tour Dates:

15 June 13: The Assembly at the Women’s Club of Minneapolis: Minneapolis
16 June 13: Miller Caves: Milwaukee
17 June 13: Muskegon Unity Church: Muskegon MI
18 June 13: Ramsdell Theater: Manistee MI
19 June 13: The Magic Bag: Ferndale MI
20 June 13: Radio Radio: Indianapolis
21 June 13: Codfish Hollow Barnstormers: Maquoketa
22 June 13: Old Town School of Folk: Chicago

 

Power Pop Descends Upon CSPS in the Form of Chicago Rocker Dick Prall

Well, it’s been a pretty great week for acts at CSPS! The Duncan Sheik show on Thursday night was pretty damn amazing, and I found a couple of acts I want to keep an eye on– that new Alpha Rev album coming out next year will be one that I’m looking forward to.

Tonight the big stage at CSPS will be graced by Dick Prall who used to live in Iowa, but now crafts his Brit Pop-influenced Midwestern Rock from the Windy City. He’s put out a solid run of pop rock masterpieces since his first release Somewhere About Here in 1998.

This year he is kicking off a new project that is a little different than his standard album releases. He is working with Pat Sansone of Wilco and The Autumn Defense to release a series of digital singles which will culminate in a full release with bonus material next year. In an e-mail exchange with Prall he said, “We’re trying a different methodology this time around to hopefully keep folks interested and engaged on a monthly basis – that’s the theory, anyway. All the songs are being done with Pat Sansone, who digs the idea, so I’m in good company.”

If the first single “Wanted Blue” is any indication, it will be one for the “Best of” list for 2013! Prall also said that they are considering vinyl for this release! Listen for yourself and download:

Dick is bringing a band with him tonight that he describes as “drums, bass, violin, & hollow-bodied guitar put together in a sort of laid-back Buddy Holly & the Crickets meets Elvis Costello backed by Spoon sort of way.” Sounds like my kind of lineup!

The show is at 8PM at CSPS, and tickets are $17 in advance and $21 at the door. The opener is Stolen Silver. Details at the LegionArts.org site.

Listen to Dick Prall’s acoustic session on Daytrotter.com (it’s a free trial if you don’t have a subscription)

Here are upcoming shows (from dickprall.com)

Landfall Festival Alumni Ani Cordero Brings Her Band Back to CSPS on Saturday 10/6

A Young Fan Watches Ani Cordero at Landfall Music Festival
One of the great things about Legion Arts is their annual Landfall Music Festival. They manage to fill their stages some of the best world music acts touring the nation. Back in 2010, I had the opportunity to catch one artist that really captured my heart with her boisterous Latin-infused pop, folk and rock.

Ani Cordero has a really colorful history in the music business. In addition to recording a few solo albums as bilingual band Cordero, she has also been a member of Man or Astroman?’s associated band the Gamma Clones and as a founding member of Pistolera. Since 2010, she has been working on her most personal work to date with Sergio Dias of Os Mutantes. Titled Recordar, the self-released album is comprised of covers of songs that were part of the Nueva Cancion movement. Including songs from Latin activists and musicians such as Victor Jara and Violeta Parra the album exhibits the inspiration she found in the movement from her friend and mentor Dr. Juan Allende, nephew of Chilean President, Salvador Allende, who was overthrown in a military coup d’état in 1973.

The album is clearly a labor of love for Ani, and the effort pays off. She tapped in some friends with great musical pedigree to help bring the beautiful recording to fruition: Charles Giordano of The E Street Band, Kelly Pratt from Arcade Fire and Beirut, percussionist for Malian musician Vieux Farke Toure, Tim Keiper, long-time associate of Wynton Marsalis, Omar Akil Little, who also collaborates with world-renowned producer Lee Scratch Perry, and Brent Arnold of Modest Mouse. The album is a fitting tribute to the songs she chose as she delivers the emotion and passion of the songs as if they were her own.

On Saturday night Ani will be bringing the six-piece band she is touring though the midwest to CSPS in Cedar Rapids! When Ani and band played at the 2010 Landfall Festival, some of the crowd in Green Square Park got up and danced– maybe she can coax the usually reserved crowd at CSPS to get up, too?

The show will be this Saturday night, October 6th at 8PM. Tickets are $14 in advance and $18 at the door. For more information and how to order tickets visit the Legion Arts Website.

Here is the Facebook Event for the show.

Here is some video I shot of Ani and band at the Landfall Music Festival in 2010:

(Upcoming Show) Nellie McKay at CSPS in Cedar Rapids on 9/27

Nellie McKay
It’s difficult to summarize Nellie McKay’s very diverse career. Since the release of her first double album Get Away From Me– which is how I first heard her- she’s released four more albums, had a painful breakup with her record label, starred on Broadway, acted in a couple of films, and generally exhibited her resistance to staying in any one place for very long. Irrepressible, unsinkable, unbelievable Nellie McKay.

When I saw her in 2008 at The Dakota in Minneapolis with my wife and daughter (where the above picture was taken) she stayed primarily at the piano with a few ukelele tunes and performed a few songs from a proposed politically-themed musical that I’m not sure was ever produced.

So, when I heard that she was coming to our wonderful CSPS Hall, I was very excited to see her again– she draws from a very rich palate and Cedar Rapids will be guaranteed a very unpredictable and rich musical experience. Not to be missed, frankly.

The show will be at 7PM, and tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Visit the Legion Arts website for more details.

And, if Nellie’s flight gets in on time, she’ll be doing an interview with Gordon Paulsen on KCCK at approximately 4:20PM. Tune in on the radio at 88.3 FM in Cedar Rapids, or online at KCCK.org.

While you’re at it, you should check out Nellie’s Daytrotter.com session!

 

 

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