Music roundup for Feb. 27, 2014

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By Kareesa Wilson, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eilen Jewell at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, Stoughton Opera House, 381 E. Main St., Stoughton. Tickets: $20. Call 608-877-4400.

Singer Eilen Jewell's bluesy country tunes are more than worth the price of admission to one of her concerts.

Jewell's haunting, rich vocals echo such early blues singers as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Her talented songwriting skills—aided by a top-notch band—create a throwback sound akin to early rockabilly and blues.

Members of her band include Jason Beek, Greg Glassman, Jerry Miller, Daniel Kellar, Eric Royer, Daniel Fram and Johnny Sciascia.

The 34-year-old Idaho native started her career playing street corners and eventually clubs in New Mexico, California and Massachusetts. Her 2005 debut album, “Boundary County,” led to six more records, including the 2009 Loretta Lynn tribute “Butcher Holler” and Jewell's latest, “Queen of the Minor Key,” released in 2011.

It's surprising more people don't know Jewell's name or music, but she has slowly built a cult following. Here's hoping she keeps writing and singing until the world takes notice.

Alan Kelly Gang at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, The Sett at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St., Madison. Tickets: $22. Call 608-265-2787.

A wee bit o' the Irish is in order this time of year, and the Alan Kelly Gang is just what St. Patrick ordered for some Celtic fun.

This gang is fun, but it deserves respect, particularly for its interpretations of traditional Celtic songs and its original compositions. Critically acclaimed worldwide, the band is eclipsed only by accordionist Alan Kelly, who is “in league with the best piano accordionists in the world,” according to the Irish Voice.

Kelly is joined by flute player/singer Steph Geremia, fiddler Alasdair White and guitarist/singer Tony Byrne.

The gang's 2011 debut album, “Small Towns and Famous Nights,” earned praise from critics, with Folk World calling it one of the top 10 trade albums of 2011.

Cloud Cult at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison. Tickets: $20. Call 608-241-8633. (Also at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 2, Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $15. Call 414-286-3663.)

If you're going to join a cult, Cloud Cult is a worthwhile choice. The Minneapolis-based group's funky indie rock songs are always an adventure.

Another unusual thing about the band is that two artists paint pictures on stage during the show. The works are auctioned off for charity at the end.

Frontman Craig Minowa started Cloud Cult two decades ago. The Denver Post called Cloud Cult's 2007 album, “The Meaning of 8,” one of the top 10 albums of the decade, but the band struggled to get a studio contract and instead started its own label, Earthology Records. Minowa runs the nonprofit business at his organic farm and donates profits to environmental causes.

Minowa and his merry band make great music, give back and have fun doing it. Band members are Arlen Peiffer, Connie Minowa, Scott West, Sarah Elhardt-Perbix, Shawn Neary, Daniel Zamzow and Shannon Frid-

Krewella at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $37.50-$149. Call 414-342-7283.

Club hoppers rejoice: Krewella's in the house Saturday at The Rave. The Chicago trio's signature electro dance beats make DJs happy and dancers sweaty.

Singers and sisters Jahan Yousaf and Yasmine Yousaf and producer Kris “Rain Man” Trindl started recording six years ago. Their sound has evolved to incorporate dubstep, electro and bass rhythms. Their debut album, “Get Wet,” was released last year and hit No. 1 on Billboard's dance chart.

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