Patrick Walsh of Hutchinson:
1 LangFest, Villard, Minn. This annual concert is a must for central Minnesota cabingoers. The Northeast Timberland Band joined local songster Tim Lang for a unique evening of easy-listening rock in an old farm pasture.
2 RiverSong, Hutchinson. This weekend fest really hit its stride with the Gin Blossoms. Farewell Milwaukee and Michael Shynes were also great, and the Fabulous Armadillos did their extraordinary Eagles tribute.
3 The Shins. After a five-year absence, the band has reemerged with an acclaimed album, “Heartworms,” and a nifty three-song set on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Herbie Hancock, Minnesota Zoo. The jazz keyboard giant dazzled as a soloist, bandleader and composer. Magical!
2 Irv Williams’ 98th birthday party, the Dakota. The ageless St. Paul sax man still has admirable tone, timing and attitude. After an hourlong set, he said he was tired but played another hour with panache and personality anyway. God bless this local music treasure.
3 Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer, “Not Dark Yet.” They make sad songs by Bob Dylan, Jessi Colter, Townes Van Zandt and others even sadder with their sisterly harmonies.