The big gigs: 10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week

Thursday, June 23

1. Blue Ox Music Fest: Returning to June after bumping to August last year, the famously familial and laid-back roots-music camp-out in Eau Claire is also sticking to the core bluegrass/string-band sounds that define its homegrown host band, Pert Near Sandstone. Railroad Earth headlines Thursday, Old Crow Medicine Show tops it off Friday, and Saturday features Bela Fleck’s My Bluegrass ensemble along with veteran pickers Sam Bush, Punch Brothers and the Del McCoury Band. Other acts through the weekend include Samantha Fish, Joseph, Paul Cauthen, Cedric Burnside, Fruition, Erik Koskinen and Mae Simpson (4 p.m. Thu., noon Fri. & Sat., Pines Music Park, Eau Claire, Wis., $239/three-day, $219/two-day, $119/Sat. only, blueoxmusicfestival.com)

2. Harriet Tubman: The Black Rock movement is alive, and it can be experienced in Minneapolis. This ferocious New York City power trio unites three veterans — bassist Melvin Gibbs, drummer JT Lewis and guitarist Brandon Ross — who mix jazz, funk and punk and bring it to the boiling point in explosive performances. Not to be outdone, Twin Cities masters Anthony Cox, Kevin Washington, Brandon Wozniak and Kip Jones open with their project Black Prince Albert. (8 p.m. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Av., Mpls. $25-28. icehousempls.com)

Also: Music returns to the Minnesota Zoo in a new arts festival format with Yam Haus and International Reggae All-Stars (6 p.m. Minnesota Zoo, $30-$40); it’s time for the New Standards’ annual popular outdoor performance of lovable lounge jazz (8 p.m. Mears Park, free); alto sax ace Joe Lovano helps kicks off the Twin Cities Jazz Festival with the Dave Douglas Quintet (7:30 p.m. Crooners tent, $45); country-rockers Pure Prairie League bust out their 1975 hit “Amie” (7 & 9 p.m. Dakota, $30-$45); it’s a trio of jazz combos: Steve Kenny Quintet, Kenny Horst Quartet and Jon Weber Trio (6:30 p.m. KJ’s Hideaway, $20); garage-rockers Mad Mojo Jett play before a screening of “Empire Records” (7 p.m. Parkway Theater, $9-$12).

Friday, June 24

3. Twin Cities Jazz Festival: There are so many commendable things about this terrific annual event: It’s outside and inside in various locations with local and national names offering a wide range of sounds under the jazz umbrella — and, best of all, it’s free (with a few exceptions). The main action is in Mears Park in St. Paul’s Lowertown where the Emmet Cohen Trio and Matthew Whitaker Quintet will be featured on Friday evening and the Treme Brass Band will headline on Saturday. Other venues, from the St. Paul Hotel to Dual Citizen Brewing, will present Ginger Commodore, Blue Ox Jazz Trio and Steve Clarke & the Workings Stiffs, among many others, in the 24th TC Jazz Fest organized by Steve Heckler and crew. (Fri.-Sat. twincitiesjazzfestival.com for schedule)

4. Minnesota R&B Music Experience: Here comes yet another chance to relive some vintage R&B. Headliner Keith Sweat helped pioneer New Jack Swing in the late ’80s with “I Want Her” and “Make You Sweat.” Also appearing will be Tamar Braxton, the “Love and War” hitmaker and reality TV star; Tevin Campbell, known for the Prince-produced “Round and Round” and his role in the film “Graffiti Bridge”; 112 of “Peaches & Cream” renown; Silk, remembered for their 1993 smash “Freak Me,” and Minnesota’s own Next, who scored their No. 1 hit “Too Close” in 1998. (8 p.m. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N., Mpls., $65-$250, ticketmaster.com)

5. Doug Collins & the Receptionists: Whether it’s something as menial as a pair of shoes, an oddly named Missouri town or a major life change like death and divorce, this smiley and warmly voiced Twin Cities Americana singer has a knack for writing songs that are easily relatable, lightly humorous and undeniably sweet. On his new album “Too Late at Night,” he also now has an ace band to lay down stylish twang behind the tunes, including two Gear Daddies members. Lolo’s Ghost and Annie Fitzgerald open the release party. (8:30 p.m. Turf Club, 1601 University Av. W., St. Paul, $15, axs.com)

Also: Jonatha Brooke & Cello Songs Project features Minneapolis’ eminently literate singer-songwriter in collaboration with cellist Rebecca Arons and keyboardist/arranger Adi Yeshaya (7:30 p.m. Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, $20-$30); St. Paul & the Minneapolis Funk All-Stars celebrate Paul Peterson’s first solo album since 2003 (7 & 9 p.m. Dakota, $35-$45); Indigo Girls join the Minnesota Orchestra for “Closer to Fine” and other folk-rock tunes (8 p.m., also Sat., Orchestra Hall, $42-$92); piano star Lori Dokken leads the 50th anniversary of Pride All Star Cabaret Show (8 p.m., also 4:30 p.m. Sun., Crooners, $35 and up); one of Texas’s finest old-school honky-tonk vets Wayne Hancock takes it outside with Becky Kapell (7 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $22-$34); Nashville’s Southern rockers Thelma & the Sleaze play inside later at the Hook with Eleganza opening (10 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $15-$20); “Little Suzi”-rocking ’80s metal group Tesla are on the casino circuit again (8 p.m. Treasure Island, $39-$69).

Saturday, June 25

6. TC Pride concerts: Probably the biggest act yet to headline a Pride party in Minneapolis, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen became a hero to the LGBTQ community via the music video for her 2012 megahit “Call Me Maybe.” She has churned out lots of prideful dance-club jams and pop anthems since then, including her dramatic new single “Western Winds.” Her appearance at the Armory is a first for Pride festivities, but the concert will be preceded by the usual daytime festival on Saturday with music by Nunnabove, the Von Tramps, Rebel Queens and many more in Loring Park, where rock heroes Tina & the B-Sides, the Roxxy Hall Band, Prairie Fire Lady Choir and others perform Sunday. (Jepsen: 8 p.m. Sat., the Armory, 600 S. 5th St., Mpls. $50, ticketmaster.com)

7. Brandy Clark: She’s recognized as one of Nashville’s finest songwriters, co-penning “Mama’s Broken Heart” for Miranda Lambert, “Follow Your Arrow” for Kacey Musgraves, “Better Dig Two” for the Band Perry and many other stellar songs. But Clark is also a superior singer-songwriter, as evidenced by the recent deluxe edition of her third album, “Your Life Is a Record.” In an intimate evening titled the Art of the Storyteller, she’ll talk about working recently with Brandi Carlile, Lindsey Buckingham and Randy Newman. (9 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $40-$50, dakotacooks.com)

Also: Somali’s Sharma Boy, who has worked with K’naan, makes his first North America appearance while in Minnesota for a brief residency (8 p.m. Ted Mann Concert Hall, $60); Milwaukee’s still-cult-loved “Blister in the Sun”-making acoustic punk band Violent Femmes are on a fun Gen-X twofer nostalgic tour with ex-Pixie Kim Deal’s mighty Breeders (8 p.m. Palace Theatre, $45-$75); for MN Salsa Fiesta, Minnesota’s own Charanga Tropical opens for La Gran Charanga, featuring master Cuban conga player Yuya Rodriguez (6:30 p.m. Mill City Museum, $25-$35); Canada Music Hall of Famers Barenaked Ladies, who are working on a secret project with Rush’s Geddy Lee, will be joined by ’90s favorites Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Gin Blossoms (6:30 p.m. Mystic Lake Casino Showroom, $45-$125); Samara Joy, winner of the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, makes her Minnesota debut (6:30 p.m. Dakota, $30-$40); one-time local buzzmaker Thomas Abban returns to town (8:30 p.m. Turf Club, $15-$18); youthful local punks Vial top a bill with Lila Blue, Zora and more (8 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $15).

Sunday, June 26

Max Weinberg Jukebox plugs in again for an evening of cover songs while the drummer awaits the next Springsteen tour (7 & 9 p.m. Dakota, $30-$50); the Mississippi Valley Orchestra will be joined by guests Jillian Rae, Fathom Lane, High on Stress and Katy Vernon (5 p.m. Parkway Theater, $20-$27).

Monday, June 27

Red Lake Band of Chippewa tribal member and south Minneapolis native Joe Rainey, who’s been a fixture at Minnesota pow wows as well as Bon Iver’s Eaux Claire festival, recently earned an 8.0 rating from Pitchfork for his new Andrew Broder co-produced album “Niineta” (7:30 p.m. 7th St. Entry, $15).

Tuesday, June 28

The Hold Steady’s Edina-reared frontman Craig Finn returns home behind another of his more idiosyncratic but similarly literary, character-driven solo albums, “A Legacy of Rentals,” with Monica LaPlante opening (8 p.m. Turf Club, $30); veteran award-winning Canadian country singer Corb Lund brings his rootsy sound (8 p.m. 7th St. Entry, $22-$25).

Wednesday, June 29

8. Wallows: “Goosebumps” and “13 Reasons Why” star Dylan Minnette is giving his childhood-generated acting career a run for its money with his now-5-year-old L.A. pop/rock band. They scored a Top 40 hit in 2019 with the lightly bobbing Clairo collaboration “Are We Bored Yet?” and are hitting festivals and big rooms like the Palace this summer in support of their second album, “Tell Me That It’s Over,” full of Phoenix-meets-Strokes-style dance-rock grooves. (7 p.m. Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, all ages, $35, axs.com)

9. Minnesota Beethoven Festival: Founded in 2007, this three-week collection of concerts in the Mississippi River town of Winona always boasts an impressive roster of international classical musicians. The festival opens with a past winner of America’s celebrated Van Cliburn competition, Olga Kern, performing a recital that’s mostly Russian romantics (3 p.m. Sun.). Then Australian violinist Ray Chen is joined by pianist Julio Elizalde for music of Beethoven, Giuseppe Tartini and others (7:30 p.m. Wed.). Concerts continue through July 17. (Page Theatre, St. Mary’s University; $25; mnbeethovenfestival.org)

10. Tierney Sutton: She postponed four weeks ago because of COVID in her touring party. Time for the makeup date. The masterly Milwaukee-reared, Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist teamed up with her guitarist husband Serge Merlaud (and occasionally flutist Hubert Laws) on this year’s sumptuously graceful “Paris Sessions 2.” Her 15th album features some Brazilian numbers, tunes with lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and a sublimely understated mash up of “April in Paris” and “Free Man in Paris.” (7 & 9 p.m. Dakota, $20-$40, dakotacooks.com)

Rob Hubbard and Tim Campbell also contributed to this round-up.

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