The Big Gigs for Jan. 10-16: Keith Urban, GRRRL PRTY, Ralph Stanley and more

  • Updated: January 10, 2014 - 11:40 AM

This week's concert spotlights, also including the Reverend Horton Heat, Cash Only XIV, Buffalo Moon, Sean Anonymous and Tiempo Liebre.

Keith Urban

Photo: Owen Sweeney • Invision/Associated Press,

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COUNTRY

There have been no bumps in the road for Keith Urban since he became a judge on “American Idol” last year. In fact, his “Fuse” album, released last fall, went to No. 1 on Billboard’s country and pop charts and has yielded two country hits, notably a chart-topping duet with Miranda Lambert, “We Were Us.” Always an exciting live performer, the guitar hero is touring with Little Big Town, the up-and-down coed quartet that reached a peak with the Grammy-winning “Pontoon” in fall 2012, and fresh-faced Dustin Lynch, who made some noise in 2012 with “Cowboys and Angels.” (7 p.m. Sat., Target Center, $37-$82.) Jon Bream

BLUEGRASS

The masses may know Ralph Stanley from the Coen brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou” (he sang “O Death”), but the bluegrass patriarch has been almost as important to the genre as its king, Bill Monroe. With his brother Carter, he worked as the Stanley Brothers from 1946 until Carter’s death in ’66. A master of the clawhammer banjo, Stanley has carried on, mostly with the Clinch Mountain Boys, which features grandson Nathan on guitar and vocals. He turns 87 next month and is on a farewell tour that ends in December. Expect high lonesome vocals and plenty of pickin’ and grinnin’ from this joke-telling, old-school showman.(8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center. Sold out.) Bream

POP/ROCK

New Jersey pickers Railroad Earth might not be the hippest or sexiest of the “newgrass” Americana string bands (see also: Trampled by Turtles), but it’s one of the better ones to see live, with a little of Little Feat’s Southern boogie adding to the fun. We’re the second stop on a winter tour behind its seventh album, “Last of the Outlaws,” which lands Tuesday. Missouri twang-rockers Ha Ha Tonka open. (8 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $22.50-$25.) Chris Riemenschneider

Between last weekend’s “Last Waltz” revival and next weekend’s Janis Joplin celebration, the Cabooze hosts its longest-running January tribute show, Cash Only XIV, which actually started two years before Johnny Cash faded to black. The same core cast has been involved nearly every year, with Cash’s friend Sherwin Linton — the Twin Cities’ most storied country singer — as a centerpiece, plus tribute sets by honky-tonk stalwarts Trailer Trash and Dana Thompson, twangy rockers Ol’ Yeller, the White Iron Band and Molly Maher and Erik Koskinen and at least one punky band, Eleganza. This one always goes well beyond “Ring of Fire” and “I Walk the Line.” (8:30 p.m. Sat., Cabooze, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider

What do the Twin Cities hipsters in psychedelic rock band Buffalo Moon know about tropicália, bossa nova and other South American music genres? A lot, actually. Frontwoman Karen Freire is from Ecuador and led her bandmates on an extended stay below the equator in 2011, which partly explains the sonic DNA as well as the delayed ETA of their long-awaited third album, “Machista.” Produced with Elliott Kozel of Sleeping in the Aviary notoriety, the record finally sees the light of day with a January release party that seems perfectly timed as a wild winter warm-up. With psyche-pop rocker Frankie Teardrop and a Tickle Torture DJ set. (11 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, $7.) Riemenschneider

Just because he’s celebrating his birthday with a new 7-inch and a mainroom headlining gig doesn’t mean Saturday night is all about Sean Anonymous. Proceeds from the bash and the two-track record benefit the Twin Cities Music Community Trust. Plus, the scrappy rapper is giving away copies of the booming release, featuring Lizzo and Phillip Morris, to the first 100 fans. He’ll perform with DJ Name, Dreamcrusher and other guests. Toki Wright and Big Cats, Dem Atlas and Enemy Planes open. (8:30 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $10-$12.) Michael Rietmulder

After earning a music degree at the prestigious University of North Texas, Calley Bliss tried her luck as a singer-songwriter in New York City, took a music-teaching job at an Idaho arts high school and recently returned to her native Twin Cities. Her 2010 disc, “Pigeonholed,” showed a strong, dusky soul-jazz voice and an affinity for Anita Baker and minor-key piano ballads. Her new back-in-Minneapolis single, “The City,” suggests deeper sophistication from the Patricia Barber school of moody, intelligent jazz. (11:30 p.m. Sat., Dakota, $5.) Bream 

In Kyle Sobczak, the world might just have the shirtless hipster Studs Terkel it’s been waiting for. The talented musician (Sleeping in the Aviary, Rupert Angeleyes) is the first performer in the third year of 416 Club Commissions, a grant-funded program that gives local artists platforms for adventurous new works. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley,” Sobczak will present “Talking to Strangers: A Travelogue of Minnesota,” a composition rooted in interviews with Midwesterners. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Cedar Cultural Center, $5 or $25 for series.) Jay Boller 

Nashville “modern folk” band Neulore kicks off the new year with its first headlining tour. The core duo of frontman Adam Agin and guitarist William T. Cook has inked a deal with a Universal subsidiary and had a track featured on “Grey’s Anatomy.” While there’s still no release date for their “Animal Evolve” LP, lead single “Shadow of a Man” has a Mumford-meets-Kings-of-Leon vibe. (9 p.m. Tue., 7th Street Entry, $7-$10.) Rietmulder

Toronto folk-rockers Rural Alberta Advantage played here many times after the release of their acclaimed 2011 album “Departing,” so it’s about time they came to town with something new. The trio picked Minneapolis’ finest listening-room-style club as the first of only eight stops on a winter tour to road-test songs for the next record. Milwaukee power-popsters Midnight Reruns open. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center. Sold out.) Riemenschneider

With a new label and a familiar old sound, Dallas’ beloved psychobilly trio the Reverend Horton Heat is due a comeback-like buzz in 2014 with its first new album in four years, “Rev.” The album lands Jan. 21 via Chicago metal/punk imprint Victory Records and harks back to the high-revving, raw power of early RHH albums for Sub Pop, with echoes of Bill Haley, Gene Vincent and the Cramps. Road hounds Jim “The Rev.” Heath, longtime bassist Jimbo Wallace and drummer Scott Churilla feel strongly enough about the record to play Minnesota in January, and they’re bringing a strong supporting cast: the Nekromantix, Creepshow and guitar ace Deke Dickerson. (8 p.m. Thu., Mill City Nights, $20.) Riemenschneider

One of the nicest stories in roots-rock is the return of Milwaukee’s Semi-Twang after a two-decade layoff. Superior songwriter John Sieger — who also has a smart, soulful new CD with blues-rock guitar all-pro Greg Koch (“A Walk in the Park”) — never had a better vehicle for his storehouse of great material. This former major-label crew of lifelong buds headlines this month’s “Real-Phonic Radio Hour” with octogenarian Mississippi bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch, promising local trio BBGUN and the usual cast of rockin’ librarians: Erik Koskinen, Molly Maher, et al. (8 p.m. Thu., James J. Hill Lib­rary, 80 W. 4th St., St. Paul. $10-$20.) Tom Surowicz

HIP-HOP

Another branch in the ever-growing family tree planted by Minneapolis hip-hop trio the Chalice, GRRRL PRTY features the Chalice’s two locally transplanted MCs, Lizzo and Sophia Eris, plus a third powerhouse rapper, La Manchita, pictured. A small army of other talented women have also been known to join the fray. Their White Castle-evoking single “Wegula” and other incubatory-stage songs echo the fierce but frisky sound of Lizzo’s solo work with a little more electronic-dance mayhem. Tapped for First Ave’s Best New Bands of 2013 showcase coming up Jan. 30, the PRTY committee is playing its last in a series of monthly Icehouse gigs with Dessa as host and “special guests” promised. (10:30 p.m. Fri., Icehouse, $10.) Riemenschneider

L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle made waves last fall by selling 1,000 CDs of his buzz-recapturing “Crenshaw” mixtape for $100 a pop. Is it worth a C-note? Maybe if you’ve got Jay Z money (Hov notably bought 100 copies). But as a free download for the 99 percent, it’s an impeccably deep collection of Cali-cruising bangers and street-life asseverations — surprising, since they’re leftover tracks from Nipsey’s anticipated “Victory Lap” album. With Erk tha Jerk. (9 p.m. Wed., Mill City Nights, 18-plus, $20-$40.) Rietmulder

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