The Big Gigs for April 26-May 2

  • Updated: April 26, 2013 - 11:07 AM


One of the most soulful bar-rock bands around, Lucero took on a more sophisticated musical tone for last year’s album “Women & Work,” with lots of lively horn parts and rollicking piano work around frontman Ben Nichols’ Springsteen-on-Beale-Street writing style. The mighty Memphis sextet follows a similar path on the new EP “Texas & Tennessee,” which you can sample at Another high-energy, passionate live act, howling folk-rocker Langhorne Slim opens Lucero’s tour following a great performance on “Conan” last month with the show’s host as part of his band. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $20.) Chris Riemenschneider


Last month, prolific guitar hero Joe Bonamassa released a live acoustic album recorded in Vienna. Next month, he’ll issue his second collaboration with raspy-voiced rocker Beth Hart, featuring soul classics. But now he’s touring with his electric trio, displaying his crowd-pleasing, fast and flashy blues-rock ways. (8 p.m. Fri. State, $73-$103.) Jon Bream


Kansas City’s favorite daughter Kelley Hunt is back at the Dakota. Let’s hope the blues-rocking pianist takes her listeners to church, because that brings out an extra-special passion in her. (8 p.m. Sat., Dakota Jazz Club, $25.) Bream


Like the Super Bowl, Chicago has educated us on Roman numerals. The horn-accented, Windy City-born ensemble is up to album XXXIII, 2011’s “O Christmas Tree,” with lots of guests including Dolly Parton, America and BeBe Winans. More interesting, though, was XXXII, 2008’s “Stone of Sisyphus,” which was actually recorded in 1993 but Warner Bros. didn’t think it was commercial enough to be released. The album, produced by Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band fame, was more political, less tuneful and a bit jazzier than classic Chicago. We’re betting on the classic fare this time around. (8 p.m. Sat., State Theatre, $64.50-$130.) Bream


Peter Yarrow is performing more now than he did during the later years of Peter, Paul & Mary. It’s not because he feels compelled to sing in front of a crowd but because his concerts help fund Operation Respect, a school-affiliated, anti-bullying campaign he has been supporting for 14 years. Righteous causes have always motivated the man who once married the daughter of Sen. Eugene McCarthy. Mustard’s Retreat opens. (8 p.m. Sat., Hopkins Center for the Arts, $28.). Bream


In what could pass as a warmup for the Girls Got Rhythm Fest May 10-11 at the Turf, the so-called Leather & Lace RNR Party is being put on by all-female punkabilly quartet L’Assassin — who would’ve been great in a Roger Corman movie— to celebrate a new EP, “Lovin’ on the Run.” It’s a “release party” of a whole other kind for Pink Mink: Co-leader Christy Hunt is about to have a baby and is calling this her last show for a while. Punky power-poppers the Pinsch, made up of members of the Short Fuses and the Deaf, also perform along with the grit-rocky Sex Rays, who don’t have any female members but own a lot of leather. (10 p.m. Sat., Turf Club, $7.) Riemenschneider


St. Paul-reared folk-pop darling Lucy Michelle didn’t have her reliable band the Velvet Lapelles with her for her newest album, “Attack of the Heart,” but she did have two familiar names helping out: John Munson and Chan Poling of the New Standards served as her primary collaborators on the Kickstarter-funded project, and they will also perform at the release concert. Their involvement is a good indicator of the record’s classic piano-pop approach, from the McCartney tone of “Beat Like Mine” to the ’50s doo-wop vibe of “All I Need” and what sounds like a Cole Porter influence throughout. Pop-punky female vocal quartet Southside Desire opens. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $10-$12.) Riemenschneider


Americana/country-rock stalwarts Todd Snider and Jason Isbell are very different songwriters, but each has a knack for writing stories with vivid characters. The playful and colorful Snider, who always merits a comparison to John Prine, made Rolling Stone’s top-50-albums list last year with “Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables.” Former Drive-by Trucker Isbell is newly married to fellow musician Amanda Shires and has a new album coming June 11, “Southeastern,” reportedly based on his fight for sobriety. (8 p.m. Sat., Fitzgerald Theater, $21-$24.) Riemenschneider


Since Christine McVie retired in 1998, Fleetwood Mac concerts have pretty much turned into the Buckingham Nicks Show. How are Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks getting along? Rumors are that it’s better than the last time they toured in 2009. She still sings with a throaty rasp, and he still plays guitar with refreshing passion. They’ve reportedly recorded a couple of new Fleetwood Mac songs, and are performing a Nicks solo tune and one McVie classic. (8 p.m. Sun., Xcel Energy Center, $47.50-$147.50.) Bream

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