Having spent my teenage years in the wilds of western Wisconsin in the '80s, I'm particularly partial to the Twin Cities music scene. And what a scene it was back then with The Replacements, Husker Du and others blazing a sonic trail that was fast, loud and sometimes ragged, but always with a sense of melody that prevailed over the crashing din.
Dan Wilson, and his power-pop trio Semisonic, wasn't a part of that '80s Minnesota scene. They came after. But, the band that made "Closing Time" a smash hit made some of the dreamiest, hook-heavy pop the Minnesota scene ever produced, and now, Wilson is going on tour (through April 19) to support his solo debut, Free Life.
An interesting cross-section of pop and country artists join Wilson on this record, including Sheryl Crow, who sings sweet harmony on "Sugar." Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins exercises his digits with some expert, finger-picked acoustic guitar on "Free Life," while The Jayhawks' Gary Louris — Minnesota represent! — plays a guitar solo on "Cry" and Benmont Tench of The Heartbreakers sprinkles in some piano throughout.
On the Hotel Café tour:
Apr 1 2008 Record Bar <http://www.therecordbar.com/> Kansas City, Missouri
Apr 3 2008 Fox Theatre <http://www.foxtheatre.com/JabbaWeb/Index2.aspx> Boulder, Colorado
Apr 4 2008 Bluebird Theatre <http://www.bluebirdtheater.net/> Denver, Colorado
Apr 5 2008 Avalon Theatre <http://www.theavalontheater.com/> Salt Lake City, Utah
Supporting Kathleen Edwards
Apr 10 2008 The Fillmore NY @ Irving Plaza <http://www.irvingplaza.com/april.htm> New York, New York
Apr 11 2008 Rams Head On Stage <http://www.ramsheadtavern.com/annapolis/onstage.html> Annapolis, Maryland
Apr 12 2008 The Fillmore @ Theatre of Living Arts <http://www.livenation.com/venue/getVenue/venueId/1681> Philadelphia, Penn.
Apr 14 2008 Birchmere <http://www.birchmere.com/> Alexandria, Virginia
Apr 16 2008 Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall <http://www.thegreyeagle.com/> Asheville, North Carolina
Apr 17 2008 Headliners Music Hall <http://www.headlinerslouisville.com/> Louisville, Kentucky
Apr 18 2008 WorkPlay Theatre <http://www.workplay.com/> Birmingham, Alabama
Apr 19 2008 Mercy Lounge <http://www.mercylounge.com/> Nashville, Tennessee