Schlitz Kickin' country, Chuck Mead and Jack Klatt perform this weekend
Jack Klatt's new album Mississippi Roll is easily gonna be one of the best local albums of the year, mark my words. Recorded in two free-rollin' ten-hour sessions with production assistance from classic guitar virtuoso and composer Dakota Dave Hull, Klatt is backed as usual by the Cat Swingers -- fine musicians in their own right -- and the album features collaborations with Hull, Charlie Parr, Spider John Koerner and Cornbread Harris.
The best part about the project, as such? It's a chance for the uninitiated to take in some of the finest in local country/blues/western swing/jazz/folk/ragtime (uh, Traditional American I s'pose is how you abridge that mouthful). It's blues from Great Lakes Country, where the Mississippi runs blue, cool and clear, not hot and muddy, and its sound shows it - there's a skip yet to the step, perhaps a side effect of spending winters frozen and coming out again each spring born anew, rather than spending days after nights after days in thick, sticky, sweltering mosquitoed hot hot heat.
Klatt and company will be celebrating the release of Mississippi Roll this Saturday at the Cedar, with special guests Dakota Dave Hull and Cornbread Harris, plus a performance by The Cactus Blossoms (7:00, $10 advance, $15 door). And be sure to check out Dave Hoenack's in-depth conversation with the crew about the project in this week's print edition.
Can't wait 'til Saturday for a country show? Schlitz Kickin' country is set to take over St. Paul's Turf Club tonight (8:00, $6). Expect throwback bluegrass from Pocahontas County, acoustic cowpunk from Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Backs, and a bender-ending performance at evening's end by real-deal local outfit Union Suits (an act which coincidentally features Cactus Blossoms/Cat Swingers collaborator "Razz" Russell on fiddle).
And tomorrow, Chuck Mead of 1990s traditional honky-tonk alt-country quintet BR549 plays Lee's Liquor Lounge (9:00, $10). Since his BR549 days, Mead has acted as Music Director for the Broadway hit Million Dollar Quartet, and has collaborated with everyone from members of The Mavericks and Old Crow Medicine Show to Bobby Bare, Jamey Johnson, and surviving members of Music Row's original 'A Team.' All told, an exceptionally fine weekend for country music shows.
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