St. Paul unveils band lineups for Green Line party, music fests


The Lowertown area will come alive with a series of gigs this summer in addition to the ever-popular jazz fest.

The 2012 Twin Cities Jazz Festival at St. Paul's Mears Park.
Marlin Levison

After several years of light-rail-related construction and other transitional development, downtown St. Paul is going to rock a little heavier this summer.

The lineup for the inaugural Lowertown Blues Festival with Shemekia Copeland and the Lamont Cranston Band was announced today for July 26 along with a Doomtree-headlined party to celebrate the  opening of the Green Line on June 19 at Union Depot. That’s in addition to the newly unveiled schedule for the Music in Mears series, which looks to be as strong as ever despite some challenges in funding this year.

Here’s the lowdown on each of these Lowertown events.


With: Shemekia Copeland, Hamilton Loomis, Lamont Cranston Band and Sena Ehrhardt / When: 3-10 p.m., July 19 / Where: Mears Park / Details: Free and all ages, the event has been on the wish list of Mayor Chris Coleman and his arts liaison Joe Spencer as a blues counterpart to the flourishing Twin Cities Jazz Festival (June 26-28) / Website:


With: 11 a.m. Southwire, 12:30 p.m. Koo Koo Kanga Roo, 2 p.m. Southside Desire, 3:30 p.m., the 4onthefloor, 5 p.m. Doomtree / When: June 19 / Where: Union Depot lawn across from the new LRT station / Details: St. Paul-based 89.3 the Current teamed with the Metropolitan Council to book the music for the party, which will be Doomtree’s first full performance since its Blowout concerts last December following P.O.S.’ kidney transplant.


The popular weekly happy-hour parties lost their STAR Grant funding this year (an every-other-year thing), but new sponsor Sun Country Airlines stepped in to help pay the bands. Here’s the lineup for each of the free Thursday shows, which start at 6 p.m. and wrap by 9 p.m. and are accompanied by Lowertown area food and beer vendors. More details at

  • Thursday, June 12: Galactic Cowboy Orchestra (opener), Farewell Milwaukee (headliner)
  • Thursday, June 19: Benjamin Cartel (of Kaiser Cartel), Melismatics
  • Thursday, July 10: Fort Wilson Riot, Communist Daughter
  • Thursday, July 17: Nathan Miller and Unstoppable Company, Sans Souci Quartet
  • Thursday, July 24: Carnage the Executioner, Toki Wright & Big Cats
  • Thursday, July 31: Small Cities, The New Standards
  • Thursday, August 7: Brian Just Band, Cactus Blossoms
  • Thursday, August 14:Greycoats, Chris Koza Band
  • Thursday, August 21: Ambulance Chaser (members of High on Stress), 3 Minute Hero