Pick Six: Jonathan Wilson, U2, Art Garfunkel interview, Ruthie Foster, Mayer Hawthorne, more

  • Updated: February 22, 2014 - 2:00 PM

A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:

Jonathan Wilson, Turf Club. Promoting his second album, “Fanfare,” this guitar-kickin’ rocker and his ace band enraptured the crowd. Wilson is a star on rapid rise.

U2, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” The band kicked off a new “Tonight” era with a rousing rooftop performance of “Invisible,” then sat for an interview and impassioned acoustic performance of “Ordinary Love,” joined in a joyful finale with the Roots. Simply extraordinary.

Q&A with Art Garfunkel, Rolling Stone. The 72-year-old pop legend speaks candidly about the singular bond he shares with Paul Simon, and of the frightening loss and hard-won recovery of his grace-laced falsetto after being diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal cord in 2010. As he launches a U.S. tour, thankfully, his time again has come to shine.

Lisa Dahlseid, Robbinsdale

To contribute, e-mail popmusic@startribune.com.

Ruthie Foster, the Dakota. The Texan’s unclassifiable blend of gospel, blues, jazz, soul and folk was feel-good music delivered with a powerfully emotional voice. Her ballad treatment of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” was like a soothing, sexy massage.

NBA All-Star Game halftime show. Trombone Shorty led a festive multigeneration celebration of New Orleans music, with cameos by the always colorful Dr. John, the always inspiring Gary Clark Jr., the always invigorating Janelle Monae and the always soulful Earth Wind & Fire. Good times with a nod to the game’s location.

Mayer Hawthorne, First Avenue. Hawthorne’s yacht soul suggested that his dad had a fabulous record collection that has inspired the son to fashion R&B party music for a new generation.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune

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