As anyone who has descended the back stairs of Java Jack's coffee shop on a Friday night can tell you, the Mad Ripple Hootenanny is a one-of-a-kind experience. Led by music writer and musician Jim Walsh, a loud-mouthed and passionate ringleader with an ear for undiscovered talent, the hoot is an opportunity to see some of the best songwriters in town in a no-frills, unamplified environment. Musicians perform round-robin style and tell stories between songs, making for an intimate concert experience. Friday's hootenanny is the last of the season, and a send-off of sorts; Walsh plans to take the hoot on the road with a seven-night stand at Banjo Jim's on the Lower East Side in New York, followed by a stint at a pub in Dublin, Ireland, this fall. To celebrate, this week's hoot will take place at the Lake Harriet Bandshell and feature Walsh's brother Terry, who is lead singer of the town's best Van Morrison cover band, the Belfast Cowboys; Slim Dunlap, a local songwriter best known for his stint playing guitar in the Replacements; Venus, the gender-bending lead singer of goth group All the Pretty Horses; Brianna Lane, an up-and-coming "anti-folk" songwriter; and "pretty much anyone else who shows up." All Ages.
Fri., June 6, 7:30 p.m., 2008