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Continued: The Big Gigs for the week of July 26

  • Article by: , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 25, 2013 - 3:27 PM

COUNTRY

David Letterman took a shine to Texas singing great Dale Watson’s “I Lie When I Drink” during a recent “Late Night” performance, and so should barflies across the globe. It’s just one of a half-dozen new drinking songs on his latest release for St. Paul’s Red House label, “El Rancho Azul.” The great hometown country band Dan Lund & Buffaloaf gets things started right. (8:30 p.m. Mon., Lee’s Liquor Lounge, $15.)

Tom Surowicz

 

The ever-popular We Fest has found a new headliner, rough-around-the-edges country-rocker Eric Church, known for the hits “Springsteen” and “Drink in My Hand.” He’s set for Thursday, along with Rodney Atkins and Big & Rich. Guitar hero Keith Urban tops Friday’s bill, which also includes the underappreciated “Pontoon” harmonizers Little Big Town and hard-country Gary Allan. “American Idol”-launched country princess Carrie Underwood closes the festivities on Saturday, preceded by rich-voiced, hardworking Darius Rucker, the enduring “Gambler” Kenny Rogers, and underrated talent and “Dancing With the Stars” champ Kellie Pickler. (Aug. 1-3, Soo Pass Ranch, Detroit Lakes; tickets start at $92.63 for one day; www.wefest.com.)

Bream

JAZZ

Percussionist extraordinaire Babatunde Lea has recorded with sundry legends, including McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders and Van Morrison. He’s played some inspired local gigs, too, thanks to a friendship with Twin Cities guitarist Zacc Harris. Now he has a new and illustrious local supporting cast: pianist Richard Johnson and bassist Anthony Cox, plus Detroit-born trumpeter Solomon Parham. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists’ Quarter, $15.)

Surowicz

 

Kermit Ruffins’ latest album is called “We Partyin’ Traditional Style.” Frankly, the New Orleans trumpeter, vocalist and bon vivant could have slapped that title on just about any of his albums of old jazz and Tin Pan Alley tunes, many culled from the songbook of his hero Louis Armstrong. This is his most overt Satchmo salute yet, with frisky renditions of “Chinatown, My Chinatown,” “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” “Exactly Like You,” “Jeepers Creepers,” even the inescapable “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.” (7 & 9 p.m. Sun.-Mon., Dakota Jazz Club, $25-$35.)

Surowicz

 

After a fertile residency at the cozy Jazz Central in northeast Minneapolis, the Adam Meckler Orchestra moves its refreshingly modern big-band sounds across town. The group will play the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Artists’ Quarter, where composer/arranger/conductor and ace trumpet soloist Meckler already works regularly with Pete Whitman’s X-Tet and Lulu’s Playground. You may also know him from Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric, the Jack Brass Band, the Good, the Bad & the Funky, the Nexus Ensemble or the Jana Nyberg Group — he’s a talented and busy fellow. (9 p.m. Tue., Artists’ Quarter, $10.)

Surowicz

 

Milwaukee jazz band Opus titled its new album “Timeless!” — fitting, since the combo is celebrating its 35th year. Its sound is a funky mix of bop, post-bop, soul jazz and fusion that’s sophisticated, yet instantly accessible. Guitarist Steve Lewandowski and multi-reedman Curt Hanrahan both are skilled composers, as is keyboardist James Sodke, whose tune “Palmetto Dunes” recalls vintage Pat Metheny. The sleeper jazz deal of the week. (9 p.m. Wed., Artists’ Quarter, $5.)

Surowicz

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