Monday, August 21, 2006

Willie at the 400 reminder . . .

Don't forget! You can get in free to Willie Murphy's Blue Monday between 7 and 8 p.m. at the 400. Later it's $2 or $3 and you can get PBR's for $2. Willie was the first musician ever to play the 400 in the late '70s or early '80s — he played weekly there on Weds and Saturdays, at a piano in the small corner with Tony Glover on harp. I highly recommend people come listen to Willie as he returns to the only remaining music venue of the early West Bank music scene. (Palmer's may get a music license, but that's TBD).

He'll keep playing on with musicians joining the jam over time (they get in free) until midnight or later. If there's good support, Willie will keep on playing. On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4 Willier shares the night with "The Beautiful Girls" from Australia. Over the next month, Willie will be playing the same night as John D. Graham from Austin, TX, a regular performer at the Continental there, like Willie's former weekly Viking gig.

Happy to have Willie continue his tradition on the West Bank? Come out and show him and the 400 who are "big fans of Willie" and are happy to have him back.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weeks and Pigs Packed the Eagles nest

Over 200 people packed the very large dancehall space of the Eagles Club Friday night, for Randy Weeks' fabulous CD release party. The new home of the Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs Friday 7 - 9 happy hour hoedown is a great fit as the sound is great and there's plenty of room to dance. They owned the space, which was rearranged skillfully by singer Mary Leinfelder, with rows of tables triangulated so the dance floor is more intimate like the Viking used to be, and you would inadvertantly see your buddies and chat on the way, or choose to sit closer to the stage. Seems the entire community that the Viking and the Pigs, and Willie and Jackson's Juke Joint and more built, flew to the Eagles, plus many more. And, community is what Eagle's Club is about. Tireless booker of many years Vince Gillespie has worked hard bringing in the legendary musicians that love to play there on a regular basis such as Willie Murphy, the X-Boys, The New Riverside Ramblers, Trailer Trash and more. Vince told I and a local Pulse editor/musician "We're here for the community. That's what we do." She exclaimed in all her years and all the clubs she's been to, that's the first time she's heard that, and was majorly charmed by the Eagle's to boot, as so many of us who've drifted there have been. It's the new hot spot, you'll know what I mean, when you check it out if you haven't already.

And with the X-Boys and Willie Murphy alternating following the Liquor Pigs on Fridays, its fine times at the Eagles, and still in our community close to the gone but not forgotten Viking, and other fun hotspots like the Hex and Memory Lanes, Nomad and more. Now that Viking refugees have been offered residencies by 400 (Willie), 331 Club (Jackson's Juke Joint) I highly recommend supporting them at their new digs . . . even if drink prices are slightly more than the Viking, the bottom line is if we want a music scene, we gotta get out and see the shows, so these places don't die a Viking death.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Willie Murphy & Friends move to the 400 Bar

Wondering, where's Willie? Beginning this Monday, Aug 21, Willie Murphy is moving his regular Blue Monday residency to the 400 Bar on 400 Cedar Avenue. He and a number of musician friends who swing by to join in Willie's jam session perform from 7 p.m. to midnight or later. There's a very small fee of a couple/few bucks and the drinks are cheap. Come out and dance this Monday to help celebrate the continuation of one of the best weekly performances that we've been missing since the Viking Bar unfortunately closed.

A note from Willie -- the rumor that people going outside 400 aren't allowed back in, is not true.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Last Call at the Viking Bar

Here is my Last Call at the Viking Bar article on the closing of the Viking Bar, with highlights of Willie Murphy's last performance there, crowd shenanigans, and anecdotal history.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

When Pigs Fly . . .

they land at the Eagles (Club) nest. The latest, from Patrick Courtemanche: Pigs Fly to Eagles

With the closing of the Viking Bar on the West Bank, the Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs seemingly eternal Friday night happy-hour residency appeared to finally resolve itself. In an attempt to fill the void being experienced by their displaced community of “Pigheads,” however, the group has landed at the Eagles Club, 2507 E. 25th St. in Minneapolis. They plan to continue the Friday night 7:00 to 9:00 pm tradition at the Eagles until further notice (or until they receive their notice, whichever comes first). The Eagles Club, with its rural flourishes right in the heart of the city, is becoming a punky and funky destination with The X-Boys (ex- Suicide Commandos, Suburbs and Wallets members) and the Willie Murphy Band on (most) alternating Fridays following the Pigs.

This Friday, August 18, the Liquor Pigs will be joined by Randy Weeks (on his CD Release tour of Minneapolis for Sugarfinger). Weeks is a Los Angeles-based (Minnesota native) roots-rocker who penned the Lucinda Williams tune “Can't Let Go.”

The Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs loved the Viking Bar and the great crowd, but were typically unprepared for Last Call.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Where do we go, now that the Viking's closed?

The sad event of the closing of the Viking Bar, one of the oldest bars and most legendary music venues in the Twin Cities is hard to recover from. It leaves a gaping hole in the West Bank music community, and musicians whose livelihood has been seriously dwindled. A few good bars in town are picking up the pieces. I highly recommend people go and support live local music at these clubs, so they do not suffer the fate of the Viking. There were nearly 200 or more people pouring in and out of the Viking all night Monday, drinking and dancing to the funky soul and r & b of Willie Murphy and friends including Max Ray and Mike Rivard. It was a wild night to be remembered. Would that there were more. If people support these musicians at the other venues they perform at such as the 331, The Eagles Club, Mayslacks and more, they can keep it goin' on.

Many of us who've been heading down to the Viking Fridays for nearly 9 years to experience the good times of the Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs, need look no further down the road than the Eagle's Club tonight, from 7 - 9 p.m. followed by the X-Boys (members of the Suburbs, the Wallets, Things that Fall Down, Suicide Commandos) 9 - 11. And I think Willie Murphy, who's performed Blue Monday performs at the Eagles Club every other week. I think tonight he plays after the X-Boys, but you might want to call Eagles Club to check 612.729.4469. The Eagle's is located at 2507 E 25th St, Mpls.

Mayslacks is hosting Jackson's Juke Joint next Wednesday August 9, with the legendary Joe Price and Moreland & Arbuckle (on their way to the Bayfront Blues Fest).

Jackson’s Juke Joint begins a two-month trial run at the 331 Club beginning Aug 23. It’s not that far from the West Bank, (only about 5 minutes drive) so show them your support in this beautiful cozy club that also has good food.

I air a music calendar at 10 a.m. Thursday's Dakota Dave Hull show on KFAI 90.3 FM Mpls, 106.7 FM St. Paul. I'll keep you posted on where people are playing that used to play at the Viking, as well. Here's this week's music calendar of my recommended shows.

Thursday, August 3 —
• Tin Star Sisters regular gig at the 331 Club at 9 p.m.
• this Thursday Demo Lo-Fi features: Lonnie Knight, Felonius Bosch with Freddie Argir from Austin, and more . . . at Acadia 7 pm
• The Raconteurs, Jack White’s new band, tonight at First Ave! 6 pm AA
• Big Ditch Road/Dan Israel/High on Stress/Beight at the 7th Street Entry
• Cadillac Kolstad, his “honky tonkin’ love action” regular Thursdays gig at the Varsity 4:30 – 6:30 p.m

Friday, Aug 4 —
• Liquor Pigs at Eagles Club 7 – 9! After them, it’s the X-Boys, fe: members of the Suburbs, Wallets, Things that Fall Down and Suicide Commandos. Come support them at another venerable institution that’s trying to keep legendary live music happening. Willie Murphy also plays there every other Friday. Next Friday is his next gig there.
• At the 331Club, it’s the Como Avenue Jugband, all 12 of them spilling out from a little stage, a ripsnorting good time. With Tuesdays Robot, and Gabe Barnett, great singer songwriter. At the 331 at 9 pm.
• DEMO PRESENTS – Charlie Burton and the Dorothy Lynchmob Salad CD Release Show w/ Stook & the Jukes, Jake & Dubs, and Cadillac Kolstad
6pm-8pm Pre-show BBQ / 8pm Show
• Fans of honky-tonk piano can find Cadillac Kolstad Fridays at the Loring Pasta Bar with Cornbread Harris. Harris plays from 6 – 10, Cadillac from 10 – Close, and a bird told me they meet on the keys somewhere in between.
• Tangled Roots at Dulano’s 8 - midnight

Saturday, Aug 5—
•The Get Up Johns at the 331 Club with the Carpetbaggers at 9. You know what to do.
• Jonah Montranga and Attention, at the Varsity 5 p.m. All Ages
• At the Turf, its Vetiver from Florida, with the Dad in Common. 9 p.m. at the Turf
• Brennen Leigh at Dulano’s 8 - midnight

Monday, Aug 7 —
• The Roe Family Singers at the 331 Club @ 9
• Old-time square dance at the Eagles Club with stringband fe: Matt Neill, Adam Kiesling, Adam Brainard, and Doug Lohman. Great way to kick up your enthusiasm for upcoming MBOTMA! Dancing starts at 7:30

Tuesday, Aug. 8
• phenomenal blues guitar/singer Joe Price, from Chicago. An inspiration to many, including our fave local washboard player, Mikkel Beckmen.

Wednesday, Aug. 9
On August 9, Jackson’s Juke Joint is hosting KFAI’s Harold Tremblay’s 50th birthday party with the legendary Joe Price and Moreland & Arbuckle (on their way to the Bayfront Blues Fest). Jackson’s Juke Joint is beginning a two-month trial run at the 331 Club beginning Aug 23. It’s not that far from the West Bank, so show them your support in this beautiful cozy club that also has good food.

Coming up next week: Mark your calendars for Aug 10 - 13, the Minnesota Old-time and Bluegrass Music Festival, at el Rancho Menana. Go to for more info. on this fun annual event.

This year's old-time stringbands include Foghorn Stringband from Portland, OR(Thu-Sat), Rhythm Rats (Fri & Sat), New Bad Habit (Thu-Sat), and the Mill City Grinders (Sat & Sun).