A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Charlie Dean of Minneapolis:
1 Powderhorn Porchfest. This south Minneapolis music festival featured 14 bands, food trucks, water stations, beer gardens, dancing in the streets, art on the streets and a new Princely guitar sculpture (still at the corner of 32nd Street and 17th Avenue S.). Fun for the whole family sounds clichéd, but this was it. My calendar is already marked for Sept. 19, 2023.
2 Saturday Sounds at Midtown Global Market. Enjoy the food that had folks standing in line at the Minnesota State Fair while listening to an eclectic and exciting lineup of musicians. There are different artists every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. On Oct. 1, it’s the most unique one-man band you’ve ever seen, Blood Brother (Philip Westfall).
3 Reba McEntire on “Big Sky.” Reba is ever changing, but she’s always Reba and always entertaining. Can’t wait to see her bring “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” energy to this ABC drama on Wednesdays.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 Taylor Swift speech, Nashville Songwriter Awards. Accepting the songwriter/artist of the decade for 2010-19, she gave a gracious speech, acknowledging the more experienced co-writers of her early years. She also explained her three styles of songwriting by categorizing them with pens: quill (using antiquated words or inspiration), fountain pen (modern storylines with a poetic twist) and glitter gel pen (carefree, syncopated to a beat). Artfully expressed.
2 Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, the Dakota. The son of the late, legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti led his funky, jazzy 10-person ensemble in the infectious spirit of his father. Influenced by James Brown, the Neville Brothers and Fela, the colorful singer-saxophonist was an emotive, effervescent and exciting dynamo who never stopped moving.
3 Good Time Gals, St. Paul yard concert. This Twin Cities quintet sparkled on their spirited mix of le hot jazz, classic country, vaudevillian blues and smart vintage-styled originals from their LP “Whiskey Kisses.” Shout out to lead singer Debbie Briggs and accomplished guitarist-singer Miss Myra.
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.
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