Bayfront Blues Festival: Now in its 31st year, this three-day Duluth event emphasizes quality live acts over big names. Friday’s headliner is Bobby Rush, the 85-year-old Blues Hall of Famer who won his first Grammy in 2017 and has worked with Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and so many other greats. Headlining Saturday is Serbian-born blues guitar sensation Ana Popovic while the Kentucky Headhunters, those veteran Southern rockers with a flair for humorous country tunes, close out Sunday’s schedule. Among the many other performers are Ken Valdez, Sena Ehrhardt & Cole Allen, Joyann Parker, Lamont Cranston and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. (11:30 a.m. Fri.-Sun., Bayfront Park, Duluth, $50 and up, bayfrontblues.com)

Gary Clark Jr.: What a difference a year has made since his sizzling show at the same venue last summer. The Texas blues rocker released his most varied yet definitive album yet, “This Land,” which shows there’s a lot more to the Austin native than his genuinely awesome, Stevie Ray Vaughan-like guitar-hero skills, as he easily slides between the Prince-influenced slow groover “Pearl Cadillac” to the punk-rocky “Gotta Get into Something” to the bombastic, racially outraged title track. (6:30 p.m. Fri., Surly Brewing Festival Field, 520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., sold out.)

Gladys Knight: Even though she’s playing in a casino, seeing the Empress of Soul is no gamble, judging by how she tore it up last fall at the Ordway in St. Paul. Part sermonizing preacher, part chatty neighbor and all sanctified soul singer, she has a jukebox full of gems, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” (8 p.m. Fri.. Mystic Lake Casino, $39 and up)

Lady Midnight: The dog days of summer seem like the perfect time for this Twin Cities neo-R&B singer to release her rhythmically chill but musically and lyrically sultry debut solo album, “Death Before Morning.” After her attention-grabbing collaborations with P.O.S. and Bon Iver, the full-length LP confirms her unique ability to deliver ethereal, soothing vocals with deep soul and power, with traces of Sadé and even Nina Simone over modern, innovative electronic grooves. It also nods to her Afro-indigenous roots along with a strong visual component via both music videos and her live show. Ziyad, Boo Boo and DJ Keezy will help her celebrate. (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, 1601 University Av. W., St Paul, $12-$15, eTix.com.)

Bruce Hornsby: Friend of the Grateful Dead and Bon Iver, the adventurous piano man brings his Noisemakers to showcase his daring new album, “Absolute Zero,” featuring collaborations with Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and filmmaker Spike Lee. Opening is Bon Iver drummer/singer S. Carey, who also played on the album. Read an interview with Hornsby at startribune.com/music. (8 p.m. Fri., Pantages Theatre, Mpls., $68-$78)

Brewer and Shipley: These harmonizing Vietnam War-era folkies are best remembered for their 1970 classic “One Toke Over the Line,” perfect for these pro-pot times. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, Mpls., $20-$25)

Queen + Adam Lambert: Movies have enabled Queen to enjoy a great afterlife. First, it was “Wayne’s World” in 1992, reviving the hit song “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Last year, it was the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” reviving the life of late singer Freddie Mercury. Bigger than ever, Queen is back on tour with original members Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums, and vocalist Lambert, the campy, glam “American Idol” runnerup who is fulfilling his destiny. (8 p.m. Sat., Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, sold out.)

Grand Country Night: It’s a day-long twang fest headlined by the great Hollywood honky-tonker Dwight Yoakam, he of those crazy legs, along with the rebounding Billy Ray Cyrus of “Achy Breaky Heart” and now “Old Town Road” fame, deep-voiced hitmaker Josh Turner and southern rockers .38 Special. (1 p.m. Sat., Grand Casino Hinckley, $79-$109)

Pizza Lucé Block Party: Rampant construction hopefully won’t put a dent in downtown Minneapolis’ longest-running block party, which boasts its usual supreme mix of musical styles this year with Har Mar Superstar headlining alongside Night Moves, who just dropped their third album for Domino Records, “Can You Really Find Me.” Also performing are a hip-hop trifecta with Sean Anonymous, Haphduzn and Dimitry Kilstorm, Chastity Brown, the Lioness, Erik Koskinen, McNasty Brass Band and the Green/Blue, featuring members of the Soviettes, Blind Shake and Birthday Suits. (Noon-10 p.m. Sat., outside Pizza Lucé, 119 N. 4th St., Mpls., all ages, free.)

Minnesota’s Last Waltz: A popular tradition at the Cabooze every winter gets its deserved outdoor summer airing for the second year in a row as a band of local all-star sidemen stand in for the Band and recreate its legendary 1976 farewell concerts, including Peter Sands, Jon Herchert and David Russ. Local singers will play the parts of Van Morrison (Adam Levy), Joni Mitchell (Andra Suchy), Neil Young (Chris Castino), Bob Dylan (Dan Israel) and Ronnie Hawkins (Nate Dungan) et al. (6 p.m. Sat., Como Lakeside Pavilion, St. Paul, $20.)

Square Lake Festival: Already hosted in an idyllic woodsy setting with a fantastical indie-movie component, this year’s bike-in, camp-out fest boasts a dream bill of Twin Cities-based Americana music makers with the Cactus Blossoms, the Pines’ David Huckfelt and local Stillwater boy Frankie Lee, all touting moving new albums. Alan Sparhawk’s blues-snarling Black Eyed Snakes, elegant folk-pop harmonizers the Owls, hazy rockers Lazy Scorsese, banjo maestro Mike Rossetto and all-star experimenters Saltee also perform. (2 p.m. Sat., 13359 Partridge Rd., Stillwater, sold out.)

Gloria Gaynor: Her disco classic “I Will Survive” has become an enduring anthem for people dealing with many different challenges, from hurricanes to dread diseases. But Gaynor is no one-hit wonder; don’t forget about her version of “Never Can Say Goodbye,” which many people think was superior to the Jackson 5’s treatment. (7 & 9:30 p.m. Sat., Dakota, $50-$80)

Howard Levy: At the Minnesota Zoo this summer, his return to Bela Fleck & the Flecktones was an eye-opener to his magical jazzy prowess on piano and harmonica. The two-time Grammy winner, who has recorded many albums under his own name as well as on projects by Paul Simon and Paquito D’Rivera, will be working with guitarist Chris Siebold. (6 p.m. Sat., Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley, $30)

Kamasi Washington: After his 2015 triple album “The Epic” took off, this Los Angeles jazz guru has clearly caught on with jazzheads and non-jazzists alike locally, earning us a now-annual visit. He and his incomparably funky band are sneaking back into town on an off day from their summer tour with Herbie Hancock, who’s also caught the Kamasi bug in a big way. (8 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, $30-$35.)

Chris Isaak: No one does reverb-boosted retro with the panache, humor and love of this veteran California roots rocker. He’s been around so long that his seductive 1991 MTV smash “Wicked Game” has become a hit again, thanks to Theory of a Deadman’s current version. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, $49.50-$125)

Dobet Gnahore: A native of the Ivory Coast who has lived in France for 20 years, she delivers a mesmerizing mix of modern pop electronica and traditional acoustic West African sounds. Her fifth and current album, “Miziki,” might suggest Lauryn Hill with the political consciousness of Erykah Badu if she were singing in French and Bete, Gnahore’s native language. Direct from the North American festival circuit, she is known for colorful theatrics and aggressive dancing. (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota, Mpls., $35-$45)

Amanda Shires: Earning new attention as part of the all-star group the Highwomen alongside Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris, the Texan singer/songwriter/violinist issued her best album yet last year, “To the Sunset,” after juggling a solo career for many years, most recently around tours with her husband Jason Isbell’s band. She’ll have even more to juggle in the coming months, so see her while you can. (8 p.m. Tue., Fine Line, Mpls., $25.)

Ben Folds & Violent Femmes: The first of two fun twofer outdoor concerts at Surly next week finds the North Carolinian piano man Ben of “Brick” and other ’90s alt-rock radio fame sharing the bill with the scrappy and wily Milwaukee trio of “Blister in the Sun” and early-’80s college radio notoriety. Folds is earning raves for his new memoir, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” while the Femmes have a fun new album in “Hotel Last Resort,” only their second LP of this decade. (6 p.m. Wed., Surly Brewing Festival Field, 18 & older, $50.)

Ben Harper and Trombone Shorty: A cool double bill for a casino. Harper is a soulful Grammy-winning blues-rock guitarist-singer, whose latest projects include collaborating on a blues album with harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite and writing and producing Mavis Staples’ new gem of an album, “We Get By.” Trombone Shorty always brings a jazzy, funky, horn-happy New Orleans party. (7 p.m. Wed., Mystic Lake Showroom, $59 and up)

Irv Williams: Mr. Smooth is turning 100! That’s an occasion to celebrate for the venerated jazz saxophonist, who played behind Ella Fitzgerald, Fletcher Henderson, Billy Eckstine and other stars before settling in the Twin Cities. He’ll bring his sax and, if he’s feeling up to it, join other musicians in the festivities. (7 p.m. Wed., Dakota, $10-$20)

Sounds for Silents: For the third summer in a row, the Walker has commissioned an artful local band to produce an original score to some of the films in its collection. Providing the soundtrack this year is Astralblak, the Afrofuturistic hip-hop/R&B/funk collective formerly known as ZuluZuluu, whose spacey but topical tunes are cinematic on their own. (8:30 p.m. Thu., outside Walker Art Center, Mpls., free.)

Denzel Curry: After going over well opening for Billie Eilish at the Armory in June with his highly danceable and lyrically playful brand of hip-hop, the Florida rapper is back already on a headlining tour touting his buzzing new album, “Zuu,” which explores the gritty side of Miami and thus features Rick Ross alongside many other guests. (9 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, $25.)