1. Count Basie Orchestra: Under the direction of Scotty Barnhart, this snazzy 18-piece ensemble still plays the charts associated with the late, great legendary bandleader. Plus, two of these musicians — vocalist Carmen Bradford (joined in 1983) and trombonist Clarence Banks (1984) — were hired by Bill Basie, who died in ’84. Not only does the orchestra include many veterans but a few 20-something players such as drummer Robert Boone, baritone saxophonist Josh Lee, and alto saxophonist/flutist Markus Howell. (4 & 7 p.m. Belvedere tent at Crooners, 6161 Hwy 65 NE, Fridley, $45-$55, croonersmn.com)
Also: One of the more reputable younger acts playing old-school Cajun music out of Lafayette, La., the Revelers make a rare trip north with the New Riverside Ramblers opening (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $15); Django Festival All-Stars, led by Samson Schmitt, play le hot jazz of Django Reinhardt (7 p.m., also Fri. Dakota, $40-$45); the Minnesota Zoo’s mostly local Wild Nights concert series continues with a hip-hop and funk night featuring Nur-D, Lazerbeak, Apollo Cobra and Carolyne Naomi (6 p.m., $20-$30); violin-bowing singer/songwriter Jillian Rae and alt-twangy rockers Farewell Milwaukee pair up for the Lowertown Sounds series (6:30 p.m., Mears Park in St. Paul, free).
2. Burna Boy: A decade after gaining a buzz off his debut “L.I.F.E.,” the Nigerian singer continues to blend hip-hop and African beats in infectious and innovative ways on his sixth album, “Love, Damini.” The real-life Damini Ogulu, 31, also blends gospel and Caribbean/Latin influences into the mix with guests including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, J Balvin, Khalid and Ed Sheeran. After big festival gigs overseas at Glastonbury and Primavera Sound, he’s touring America now for his biggest local gig to date. (7:30 p.m. the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., $57-$197, all ages, ticketmaster.com)
3. Kane Brown: In his January concert at Target Center, the buff, macho-looking country star showed alluring vulnerability and genuine humility. He connects with his songs like “Heaven” and “Homesick” and with his humble and homey personality. His third album, “Different Man,” is due in September. “Hot in Herre” rapper Nelly is on board at Twin Cities Summer Jam to join Brown for their collab “Cool Again.” Also appearing are Kidd G, Callista Clark and Restless Road. (2 p.m. Canterbury Park, Shakopee, $89 and up, tcsummerjam.com)
4. Minnesota Orchestra: This may be the best week of “Summer at Orchestra Hall.” At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, English conductor Kerem Hasan leads a nature-inspired program, featuring Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony and “Moonlight” Sonata, courtesy of pianist Jon Kimura Parker. At 10:30 p.m. Friday, Osmo Vänskä offers a quiet coda to his recently concluded music director tenure by performing a Brahms clarinet trio with cellist Anthony Ross and pianist Parker. Then, at 11 a.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. July 29, Chinese conductor Yue Bao leads a wonderfully varied program featuring local hip-hoppers the BRKFST Dance Company performing to Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge,” soprano Jessica Rivera singing Richard Strauss’ “Four Last Songs,” and a finale of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. (Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; $32-95; minnesotaorchestra.org.)
5. Motion City Soundtrack: After their reunion tour following an eight-year hiatus was put on hold by COVID, the Twin Cities’ ’00s-era pop-rockers are rolling strong again and wrapping up another monthlong tour. The shows are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Warped Tour-buoyed quintet’s cult-loved second album for Epitaph Records, “Commit This to Memory.” Never mind that they’re two years late. All Get Out and Neil Rubenstein open. (7:30 p.m. also Sat., First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $37, all ages, axs.com)
Also: Superb Texas singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney, a queen of heartache and morning host on “Willie’s Roadhouse” on SiriusXM, previews her September album “Married Alone” (7 p.m. the Hook & Ladder outdoors, $15-$25); James Walsh and Gypsy, Minnesota’s original prog rockers, show they’re not “Dead and Gone” (7 p.m. Belvedere tent at Crooners, $35-$45); Minneapolis-reared, world-class keyboardist Bobby Lyle brings his “Summer Flow” show to his hometown (7 p.m. also 8:30 p.m. Sat. Crooners, $35-$45); Five for Fighting, remembered for the ’00s hits “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” and “100 Years,” step out with the Verve Pipe of “The Freshmen” fame (7:30 p.m. Ames Center, ($45-$75).
6. Blake Shelton: NBC’s “The Voice” made him a household name but the casual Nashville cutup has delivered a diverse collection of country hits since 2001, including “Honey Bee,” “I’ll Name the Dogs” and “Nobody But You,” his duet with wife Gwen Stefani. Look for opening act Trace Adkins to join Shelton for their rollicking duet “Hillbilly Bone.” Also appearing are Southern rockers .38 Special, Twin Cities Summer Jam’s token rock act, and country newcomer Elvie Shane of “My Boy” fame. (2 p.m. Canterbury Park, Shakopee, $89 and up, tcsummerjam.com)
7. Lyle Lovett: A regular visitor to the Twin Cities, the Texas troubadour has released his first album in 10 years, “12th of June.” A jazzy collection that’s representative of his enrichingly eclectic concerts with His Large Band, the record features a few songs inspired by Lovett’s 5-year-old twins, including “Pants Is Overrated” and the title track which is their birthdate. Francine Reed, a longtime member of His Large Band and always one of the highlights of their concerts, is featured on three numbers on the record, but she has retired from touring. (8 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $56-$89, ticketmaster.com)
Also: “Youngblood”-hitmaking Australian pop band 5 Seconds of Summer is back on the road pre-hyping its September album, “5SOS” (7 p.m. the Armory, $96); cabaret stalwart Ann Hampton Callaway explores the Linda Ronstadt songbook (7 p.m., also 5 p.m. Sun. Belvedere tent at Crooners, $40-$50); Latin Caribbean groovers Malamanya return to the Under the Canopy series (7 p.m., Hook & Ladder outdoors, $15-$20).
8. Alanis Morissette: The ultimate expression of 1990s female angst, “Jagged Little Pill” has been rereleased several times, rerecorded in acoustic form and become the subject of a jukebox Broadway musical. After years of meditation and motherhood, Morissette has come to grips with the blockbuster record that made her world famous. Because of a pandemic delay, she is now celebrating the 25th anniversary of that 1995 classic. Fresh from a run through her native Canada, Morissette has invited Garbage, a still vibrant ’90s band featuring the always passionate Shirley Manson, to open. (7 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $45-$360, ticketmaster.com)
9. Mavis Staples: Ahead of her pairing with Bonnie Raitt at the Ledge Amphitheater on July 29, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame gospel-soul legend Staples is playing her own standalone set at the Down by the Riverside series in downtown Rochester. Twin Cities fans can consider the gas money getting down there a wash since it’s a free outdoor gig. Expect to hear her family’s classics like “I’ll Take You There” alongside other other anthems that speak to the times. Bluesy southeast Minnesota picker Mike Munson opens. (7 p.m. Mayo Park, 30 Civic Center Drive SE, Rochester, free, rochestermn.gov)
10. Weird Al Yankovic: Even with a Hollywood movie in the works about him, starring a curly-wigged Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe, the madcap novelty songman is taking a more humble route on tour and asking fans to “lower your expectations again.” He’s skipping the costumes and props this time around and going for more intimate and personalized shows with (sometimes) more serious songs, ironically dubbed the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-advised Vanity Tour. (7 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $63-$73, ticketmaster.com)
Also: Showy blues guitar legend Buddy Guy shares a bill with John Hiatt, one of Nashville’s finest non-country singer-songwriters who is featuring swampy guitar ace Sonny Landreth in his band (8 p.m. Mystic Lake Casino Showroom, $49-$119); Rodney Justo, Atlanta Rhythm Section’s original lead singer, has returned to deliver the 1977 classic “So Into You” (7 & 9 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$45); eight-time Grammy winner Stephen Marley, son of Bob, brings the roots, rock and reggae (6:30 p.m. Bar 10 outside, Long Lake, $50-$60).
Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum is a fanciful moniker for “Dexter” and “Six Feet Under” actor Michael C. Hall’s arty synth-pop trio that has been aptly described as more “Twilight Zone” than Disney (7:30 p.m. the Varsity, $25 and up).
Lo-fi, highly ironic Chicago indie-rock trio Horsegirl just released its debut album for Matador Records, “Versions of Modern Performance” (8 p.m. Fine Line, $16); Twin Cities music vet Wain McFarlane of Ipso Facto fame and lots more is performing a special “and Friends” show (7 p.m. the Dakota, $15-$20).
Electro-R&B/hip-hop singer Lady Midnight moves up to the Dakota with soul-rocker Thomas Abban opening (7 p.m., $20-$30); reverberating Australian indie-rock band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is out supporting its new Sub Pop album “Endless Rooms” (8 p.m. Turf Club, $20).
Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.
Chris Riemenschneider has been covering the Twin Cities music scene since 2001, long enough for Prince to shout him out during “Play That Funky Music (White Boy).” The St. Paul native authored the book “First Avenue: Minnesota’s Mainroom” and previously worked as a music critic at the Austin American-Statesman in Texas.
Jon Bream has been a music critic at the Star Tribune since 1975, making him the longest tenured pop critic at a U.S. daily newspaper. He has attended more than 8,000 concerts and written four books (on Prince, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan). Thus far, he has ignored readers’ suggestions that he take a music-appreciation class.
© 2022 StarTribune. All rights reserved.