This weekend, the music is all over the place: jam bands, blues staples, electronic students, and jazz icons will all make appearances in venues across the city.
On Friday night, Pappageorge’s will start the weekend off with a bang, as local jazz legend and Minnesota Music Hall of Fame member Les Fields hits the stage at around 7 p.m, accompanied by Debbie Schreyer on banjo and Tom Owens on bass.
Fields specializes in playing Dixieland jazz and has played through some momentous historical moments. As Harley Flathers pointed out in his piece on Fields in February of this year, “Les is very proud to have been the welcoming band for four U.S. Presidents — Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George Bush and George W. Bush.” Flathers also noted that Fields once played a set while flying aboard an airplane in 1984. His appearance at Pappageorge’s, which closes at the end of the month, is another opportunity for Fields to leave his mark on Rochester’s story.
Speaking of traveling the airways, Space Monster, a funkdafied jam band from St. Paul, will invade the stage at Kathy’s Pub on Friday night, starting at around 8 p.m.
Their Bandcamp page, spacemonster.bandcamp.com, features the option to stream the entirety of their latest album, 2013’s “Abduction.” That album’s opening track, “Skat,” is as good an introduction to their sound as any; the nine-minute track features squawky guitars, cryptic lyrics, and a frenzied crescendo. For more information, check out the band’s Facebook page, facebook.com/spacemonsterband.
On Saturday night, blues takes hold of the city, starting at Kathy’s, where local blues and soul staple Annie Mack will take the stage to play some of her patented jams. In case you’ve missed Mack performing around the city over the last few years, her website, anniemackblues.com, can help catch you up. It features plenty of her original songs off of 2013’s “Baptized in the Blues,” including the all-too-catchy “Fool to Believe.”
Meanwhile on Saturday, the Wicked Moose will play host to Sno-Ballin’ Blues, a three-band showcase featuring the talents of Lisa Wenger, Mojo Perry, and Mojo Lemon.
Wenger plays a stripped-down, funky version of the blues, which draws heavily on her roots in North Dakota as well as some Southern influences. For an idea of what to expect from her, check out lisawenger.com, where you can stream tracks from her 2010 release, “Publicly Raw.”
Mojo Perry, from Milwaukee, Wis., is a performer known for his “Northern Sound,” which combines psychedelic rock and raw blues. His website, mojoperry.com, features a handful of samples to stream, including “Ghost Track,” which is a perfect introduction to the band’s woozy blues.
Mojo Lemon rounds out the trio of acts. For a taste of their sound, including a suave, guitar-led version of “St. James Infirmary Blues,” head over to mojolemon.wix.com/mojolemonblues.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the music begins at 7. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
For a softer palette of sounds, head over to Sontes on Saturday night, where Duluth duo Beth and Les start playing at 7:30 p.m. Comprised of vocalist Beth Moeller and guitarist Les Hazelton, the duo plays a romantic melange of vocal standards, light jazz, and easy listening tunes. Check out their website, bethandlesmusic.com, for an idea of their sound.
Finally, on Tuesday, RCTC’s Charles Hill Theatre will play host to a free performance by the college’s electronic music students, called “Circuits and Skins.” The annual performance pairs electronic compositions with hand drumming. It starts at 7 p.m., runs until midnight, and should be an eye-opening experience.