This weekend once again finds Rochester’s musical landscape all over the place. Things start off with dueling pianos, then descend into a labyrinth of local acoustic acts, ukulele-toting Americana crews, and rising country stars.
Deuces Wild!, a nationally-renowned dueling piano duo, set things off on Thursday night, when they play the Wicked Moose. Their performance is part of the fourth annual Rochester Senior Center fundraiser and will run from 7 p.m. until midnight.
Based on the photo and video evidence available on their website, wildpianos.com, this is a crew capable of bringing down the house. They don’t limit themselves to the keyboard; clips online show them ripping country and blues tunes on guitar, wailing through solos on saxophone and harmonica, and using the crowd as a percussive aid.
Their penchant for involving the audience in their show has led to some pretty extraordinary moments, like a clip on their Youtube channel, http://tinyurl.com/lby88rq, in which someone’s grandmother gets onstage to sing Metallica and goes into full-on headbang mode.
Downtown on Thursday night, Madison, Wis., imports Levi Kellogg and Newport Jam will bring a touch of rock, funk, and reggae to The Doggery from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Their latest album, 2013’s “Searching for Substance,” is available to stream or purchase on their Bandcamp page, newportjam.bandcamp.com. Cuts like “Run” show off the band’s ability to switch from funk-leaning guitar licks to frenetic ska with bluesy undertones at the drop of a hat and point to a roller-coaster of a live show, especially in an intimate setting like The Doggery.
On Friday night, energy-rich cover band Wreckless will light up the atmosphere in the VFW from 8 p.m. to midnight. Their song list includes hits like “What’s Up” by 4 Non-Blondes, “Fat Bottom Girls” by Queen, and “Fishin’ in the Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. For the full list of songs they’re capable of ripping through, head over to the band’s website, wrecklessband.com.
For a quieter Friday evening experience, look no further than Thyme Restaurant and Lounge, where local acoustic duo Parks and Kleist will take the stage for the first time starting at 6 p.m. and going until 10 p.m. They’ve been playing around town more and more lately, so expect their Jackson Browne, Jack Johnson, and Martina McBride sound to have even more polish than the last time you caught them. For more about the duo, check out their Facebook page, facebook.com/12strings.
Fargo-based BOOTS will hit Kathy’s Pub as part of their January mini-tour through the state. They play bluegrass and Americana music, and have been garnering a healthy amount of critical acclaim for their newest project, “1:30,” which was released earlier this month. The album is available to stream in its entirety on the group’s Bandcamp page, bootstheband.bandcamp.com. Songs like “South for the Holiday” show off the group’s harmonizing abilities, while their instrumental prowess is on display throughout the project.
In other Americana news, Cherry Dirt, a duo specializing in ukulele-inclusive American music will play the Canadian Honker from from 7:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night. For more info about them, head over to their Facebook page, facebook.com/cherrydirt/info.
If you’re looking for a harder edge with your red, white, and blue stained tunes on Saturday night, consider making a visit to the Wicked Moose, where Black 7, a Shell Rock, Iowa-based country band with rock buried deep within its DNA, will play starting at 8 p.m. Their newest album, “God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise,” came out this year to a decent amount of fanfare, and they are currently pushing their single, “Fine Wine,” on radio-waves across the country. To give it a listen, head over to their website, thenewblack7.com.