Downtown St. Paul's tree-lined Mears Park will play host to a free music series under a new name, Lowertown Sounds, every Thursday this summer. / Star Tribune file

Downtown St. Paul's tree-lined Mears Park will play host to a free music series under a new name, Lowertown Sounds, every Thursday this summer. / Star Tribune file

There’s still going to be music in Mears on Thursday nights this summer, but it’s not called Music in Mears anymore.

The free weekly concert series in downtown St. Paul’s oasis-like Mears Park has been rebranded the Lowertown Sounds series this year. For the most part, though, the format and eclectic mix of local music makers looks relatively unchanged from the free Music in Mears shows of past years -- and the series still far outshines anything similar being offered in downtown Minneapolis’ sadly deadbeat public spaces.

Kicking off this Thursday with soulful groovers Jaedyn James & the Hunger, the Lowertown Sounds shows will again run from 6-9:30 p.m. each Thursday and will feature a tasteful selection of local brews/wine and food trucks.

Other performers throughout the season -- which goes until Aug. 29 -- will also include late-‘70s scenemakers the Flamin’ Ohs (June 27), Rochester area blues rocker Annie Mack (July 18), ukulele-strumming folk-popster Katy Vernon (Aug. 1), raucous sibling rockers the Shackletons (Aug. 8) and punky power trio Porcupine with Hüsker Dü alum Greg Norton (Aug. 15).

The June 20 installment of the series will be supplanted by the annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival, which is once again taking over Mears Park and surrounding spaces that weekend with a lineup that includes James Carter, local native Jose James (doing a tribute to Bill Withers!), Nnena Freelon and Yogev Shetrit.

One nice new change-up this year: The Lowertown Sounds shows will benefit the St. Paul Yellow Ribbon Network supporting military families. For more info, go to LowertownSounds.com.

Here’s the full lineup for the Lowertown Sounds series.

  • June 6: Jaedyn James and the Hunger, Federales, Hailey James
  • June 13: Alex Rossi, The Fattenin’ Frogs
  • June 20: Twin Cities Jazz Fest
  • June 27: Flamin Oh’s, Tom, Dick, and Harry
  • July 11: Maudlin, St. Paul School of Rock
  • July 18: Annie Mack, Nikki and the Ruemates
  • July 25: Purple Funk Metropolis, Brianna Kočka
  • August 1: Katy Vernon, Martin Devaney
  • August 8: The Shackletons, Porky’s Groove Machine
  • August 15: Porcupine, Southside Aces
  • August 22: Melismatics, The Plott Hounds
  • August 29: Mears Park Mystery Band, Saint Small, Joe Hunt

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