It’s been a dramatic year for the Prairie Fire Lady Choir, which debuted its first-ever batch of original songs for its “Songbird Sessions” concert in June but then lost member Kim Stevenson in a fatal road accident in July. The 40- to 60-member, volunteer-run women’s choir — which got its start singing TLC, Metallica and Prince covers — will revisit its “Songbird” collaborations with help from Aby Wolf and debut three new cover tunes. Offshoot group the Sparks and Mayda open. Watch Prairie Fire in performance at startribune.com/soundcheck. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $12-$15.) Chris Riemenschneider

Owing equal debts to Hall & Oates and Human League, Los Angeles’ Fitz and the Tantrums are a fun party band. Even though frontman Michael Fitzpatrick sometimes seems to phone it in (especially compared with more exciting colleague Noelle Scaggs), Fitz has won over Twin Cities crowds for the past three years in clubs and at the Basilica Block Party. Electronica act Big Data opens. (8:30 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, sold out.) Jon Bream

Eric Hutchinson is one of those out-of-town singer-songwriters who count the Twin Cities as their best market, thanks in his case to airplay for his catchy, Beatles-influenced pop. (His band leader, Elliott Blaufuss, also lives in Minneapolis.) Hutchinson’s track “Tell the World” appears on the new “Cities 97 Sampler Volume 26.” Opening is another Cities 97 favorite, Tristan Prettyman, the San Diego singer-songwriter who has finally escaped the shadow of her ex, Jason Mraz, thanks in part to her pop-smart single “The Rebound.” (8 p.m. Fri., Myth, $25.) Bream

Even at his most eccentric — like his love-song-themed set last year at the Varsity, with nary a conventional romantic tune nor any of his “hits”— singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock is always one mighty charming Brit. The former Soft Boys leader and late-’80s “Balloon Man” alterna-star veers a little more toward center on his latest record, “The Man Upstairs,” with folky tunes about life and death that should come to life amid the Dakota’s warm acoustics (hopefully with a few more of his standards this time). (7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Fri., Dakota Jazz Club, $40.) Riemenschneider

With seven releases in three years, Mike Doughty has been prolific, to say the least. This year’s “Stellar Motel” explores the ex-Soul Coughing singer's fascination with hip-hop and dance music, but the pop stuff stands out — the Mumford-y “When You Come Home” and the peppy, driving “These Are Your Friends,” cowritten with Rosanne Cash. But his mission on this visit is to reprise his World-Renowned, Award-Winning Question Jar Show in which he answers questions and requests from audience members. (7 & 9 p.m. Sat., Dakota, $25.) Bream

One of the Twin Cities’ finest classic-rock craftsmen, James Loney navigates the slippery terrain of midlife romance on a new self-titled EP by his group Lolo’s Ghost. “Blues and gospel making love through the speakers in my car,” he announces at the outset, and this disc indeed testifies to the seductive, simple gifts of six strings and a backbeat, rolling and tumbling on a bed of Hammond organ and the harmony vocals of Loney’s Ghostettes. Love may be elusive on the six tracks here, but there’s no shortage of passion and melody. Elizabeth Ghandour and Doug Collins & the Receptionists open, with the Swallows playing a late-night closing set. (7 p.m. Sat., Harriet Brewing, $5.) Tim Campbell

Serious, brooding Chris Daughtry lightened up on 2013’s “Baptized,” the fourth Daughtry album since his “American Idol” days. This time Train seems to be a more crucial influence than Creed, as his group modernizes things with electronica, folk-rock instruments and even Auto-Tune and an unmistakable pop/rock sheen. “Long Live Rock & Roll” sounds like a Rascal Flatts hoedown celebrating Billy Joel, Van Halen and Kurt Cobain. (8 p.m. Sat., Mystic Lake Casino, $59-$69.) Bream

Last seen locally at the 400 Bar in 2005, Toronto’s metallic dance-rock duo Death From Above 1979 was poised to break out of the underground when it abruptly broke up in 2006 following a tour with Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. A cultish legend grew around the band in the interim, enough to make it the toast of big festivals starting in 2011. Singer/drummer Sebastien Grainger and bassist Jesse Keeler are back in full-time mode with a new album, “The Physical World,” boasting the same teeth-rattling grooves with a little more melody and polish thrown in. Fellow Toronto heavy-hitters Biblical open. (9 p.m. Mon., First Avenue, $27.50.) Riemenschneider

Steve Faison is one of the Twin Cities’ most versatile musicians. A singer, percussionist and guitarist who has played with such groups as Samoa, Class Action and Moore by Four — and on hundreds of radio and TV jingles — Faison was sidelined in June by a stroke that resulted in staggering medical bills. A fundraiser will feature blues faves the Dee Miller Band with guitarist Jimi “Primetime” Smith; Faison’s daughter, Elizabeth Anne Faison, an up ’n’ coming singer and spoken-word artist, plus the band Who Nu. There will also be an open jam and a silent auction. (2-7 p.m. Sun., Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, 1638 Rice St., St. Paul, 651-207-0000. $10 suggested donation.) Tom Surowicz

Leo Kottke’s annual post-Thanksgiving hometown concert is actually taking place the Monday before Thanksgiving. That’s OK because Kottke doesn’t often make sense — and that’s a large part of his charm. His quirky humor and oddball yarns are as entertaining as his guitar playing is rewarding. He’s a world-class guitarist, local treasure and fountain of intriguing but not always useful information. Opening is New York cabaret darling Nellie McKay, who, like Kottke, is quirkily comical and musically magical. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Guthrie, $39 & $44.) Bream

Thirteen years since their local profile rose like a rocket off a four-night Turf Club residency and 12 since their first Thanksgiving Eve gig, Irish-eyed workingman’s indie-rocker Ike Reilly and his Libertyville, Ill.-based band the IRA have a batch of new songs to drop on their Twin Cities base. “Born on Fire” will be out in the spring, their first album since 2009’s “Hard Luck Stories.” Offering a teaser for the faithful and a primer for new converts, the band tacked on four new songs atop a compilation of 14 older tracks that’s available for free via NoiseTrade.com. Anyone into First Ave tradition should dig these annual shows at least once. Locals American Scarecrows and Sam Cassidy open. (8:30 p.m. Wed., First Avenue, $15.) Riemenschneider


On her new album “Bittersweet,” singer, guitarist and kantele player Diane Jarvi again dives deeply into her Finnish heritage with beautiful, sometimes haunting results. The kantele is a Finnish harp, and Jarvi plays seven on “Bittersweet,” ranging from a tiny “pikku” to a 36-string model. The sound entrances, as does Jarvi’s lovely and character-filled voice, on songs about Finland, family members, strong women, hard winters and the mysteries of genealogy. For the release party, she will be joined by accordionist Dan Newton, jazz bass great Gordy Johnson, the DitchLilies, the Finn Hall Band, violinist Sara Pajunen — whose solo on “Meri Lintu (Sea Bird)” is a little wonder — and Jarvi’s daughter LiLi Jarvenpa, a fine kantele player herself. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, $12-$15.) Surowicz


Chris Lomheim, the outstanding Twin Cities pianist who likes Bill Evans just a little bit, recently unleashed a great new album: “Timeline,” an all-original disc that opens and closes with gorgeous ballads. Often contemplative, sometimes swinging, it features the same rhythm section Lomheim first recorded with 20 years ago: bassist Gordy Johnson and drummer Jay Epstein, who ought to be hired by the Bosphorus company to display the proper, sublime use of their cymbals, beautifully captured here by engineer Matthew Zimmerman. For this weekend’s show, Andrew Bergmann replaces Johnson on bass. Lomheim’s trio seems perfectly matched with this intimate listening space. (8:30 p.m. Sat., Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, $10 suggested donation.) Surowicz


St. Louis Park’s gift to the world of classical guitar, superstar Sharon Isbin is back with another edition of her “Guitar Passions” concert series pairing her with Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo of Trio da Paz renown. They have an easy rapport and share fluid and dazzling chops. Lubambo is a versatile co-star, having worked with famous Brazilians (Astrud Gilberto, Ivan Lins), modern jazz heavyweights (Michael Brecker, Dave Douglas) and classical bright lights (Yo-Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle). Expect an exquisite string fling. (7 & 9 p.m. Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $35-$50.) Surowicz


One of the nicest fellows on the local blues scene, bassist John Heck turns 50 with a party featuring his band Greazy Gravy, co-starring harmonica wizard Curtis Blake, guitar ace Jerre Maynard and drummer Greg Shuck. Over the years, barflies have seen these guys with the Little Red Rooster Band, Out All Night, Percy Strother and many other bar favorites. While they continue to have a lot of fun onstage, none has gotten remotely close to rich playing music — least of all John, who you might say keeps playing the blues for the heck of it. (3 p.m. Sun., Minne­sota Music Café, no cover.) Surowicz

After throwing down deep soul classics by the likes of Otis Clay and Bobby Womack every Wednesday at the Cabooze from 1988 to 1994, the Butanes Soul Revue only gets together on rare occasions nowadays. Chicago-weaned bandleader Curtis Obeda is pairing up again with soul belter Maurice Jacox (Willie & the Bees, Twin Cities Funk & Soul All-Stars) and the expanded 10-member ensemble to mark their old home base’s ongoing 40th-anniversary celebration. See a story in Sunday’s Variety section. (9 p.m. Wed., Cabooze, $8.) Riemenschneider


This weekend former music director Eiji Oue leads the Minnesota Orchestra for the first time since he stepped down in 2002. The program features the bassoon section, led by John Miller Jr., the longest-serving principal player in the orchestra’s history, who is marking his 44th year here. Miller will solo in all three movements of the Concerto for Two Bassoons by Christian Ludwig Dietter, a contemporary of Mozart, and be joined for one movement each by colleagues. The program also includes Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Orchestra Hall, $25-$63, 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org) Graydon Royce