Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mondays in Minneapolis

I'm not a Minneosta native, but I have fallen in love with its long, cold winters. It's that time of year when I hibernate, focus on life at home--writing, baking and catching up on all those movies I missed in the summer months, when I was traveling to various music festivals. I tend to go out less and read more. If I don't do errands or go to the gym on the way home from work, it just doesn't happen. Once I get home, I stay there. It has to be a really great show and/or a persistent friend that can entice me out.

January can be a slow concert month here with less touring artists coming through, but the Twin Cities is blessed with so many great local musicians that there is plenty to do if one can manage to leave the house. One of those acts worth leaving home for is The Roe Family Singers. They play every Monday at the 331 Club, an unpretentious neighborhood bar in NE Minneapolis with great drink specials (i.e. $2.50 gin and tonics) and free live music. Although I don't go there as often as I should (especially in the colder months), I made my second trip in a week (the first was with Storyhill's Chris Cunningham to see Duluth bluesman Charlie Parr) to see The Roes. The reason I went this Monday? It was Kim Roe's belated birthday celebration (she got sick on her actual birthday and spent most of the night in the ER). She was in fine form this Monday, though, reminding me once again of a modern-day June Carter Cash, with her clean country voice and easy charm. With husband Quillan Roe and the rest of the "family," they played their usual blend of traditional folk tunes and country classics mixed in with their own unique originals. Although Quillan didn't play enough banjo tunes (despite my repeated requests), it was a fine show. One of the highlights was guitarist/singer Dan Gaarder (also a member of popular honky tonk band Trailer Trash) covering "Gentle on My Mind." Don't know if it was Dan's version or something I failed to notice before, but my friends Jerad and Rachel pointed out that the beginning chord progression was very reminiscent of Greg Brown's "The Poet Game." With the sweet tunes and Kim's sassy cowboy boots, it was a fun show and well worth the trip outside the house.

Other notable locals in attendance Monday: Jon Rodine, Brianna Lane, and "Sneaky" Pete Bauer, who was doing sound.


Ellen Stanley said...

a perfect example of what i talked about...tonight i will not go to see the carolina chocolate drops at the cedar cultural center, even though i know it will be a fantastic show since their folk alliance showcase last year brought down the house. it's just too damn cold (3 degrees now--the warmest it's been all weekend), and i have 5 partially written songs to work on.

Matt Winters said...

Come on, the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers played football in 0 degree temperatures, and you can't go out to see a folk show? ;-)