Nicholas David/ Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness

Nicholas David/ Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness

Jamey Johnson, Jonny Lang, Los Lobos and hometown hero Nicholas David top the list of the second announcement of acts playing at the Music in the Zoo series at the Minnesota Zoo this summer.

Johnson, the country maverick probably best known for his award-winning hit “In Color,” will make his zoo debut Aug. 18.

David, a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” who grew near the zoo in Eagan, will Aug. 15.

Lang, the blues-rock guitar hero who launched his career in Minneapolis, returns to the zoo on June 21, and Los Lobos, zoo regulars, are set for June 22.

Veterans Taj Mahal and Mavis Staples, the only Rock Hall of Famer at the zoo this year, team up on June 29. 3 Doors Down is booked for an acoustic show on June 11.

Also scheduled are the BoDeans on July 25 and Marc Cohn on July 19 – two acts that have played at the zoo's Weesner Family Amphitheater as often as some of the birds who perform daily.

And the date of the Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo show has been changed to Aug. 24.

As noted when the first announcements were made last week, this year’s lineup -- which includes Steve Earle, Trombone Shorty and Rufus Wainwright -- is heavy on repeaters. The most noteworthy new names are the Hold Steady, Josh Turner and Jamey Johnson. (See the full lineup at

While it’s encouraging to see the zoo promoters present current mainstream country acts for the first time, Turner at $66 on Aug. 23 — which is during the State Fair – seems like bad timing and quite pricey.  Johnson, who has fared well in Twin Cities bar rooms, is a more prudent booking.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. April 26 at the Electric Fetus,, and 1-800-514-3849.

One new change at zoo concerts will be no smoking – period. (That includes no e-cigarettes.) That’s a Minnesota Zoo policy as of April 1. There used to be designated smoking areas by the amphitheater. 

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