Big Turn Festival: Modeled after the decade-old Mid West Music Fest downriver in Winona and LaCrosse in late spring, Big Turn takes over historic downtown Red Wing for a weekend, presenting Minnesota rock, hip-hop and folk acts at venues ranging from an Elk’s Lodge to an Episcopal church (variety is part of the fun). This year’s lineup includes Dessa, Charlie Parr, Gaelynn Lea, Toki Wright & Big Cats, Dosh, the 4onthefloor, Mark Mallman, Frankie Lee, Little Fevers, Chris Koza and dozens more. (Fri. & Sat., $35/one-day pass, $55/two-day, bigturnmusicfest.com.)

 

Big Head Todd and the Monsters: Are you ready for the newly muscular Monsters? Some 30 years into their Twin Cities-pleasing run, Todd Park Mohr and crew are mining a heavier sound on their latest album, 2017’s “New World Arisin’.” Two tunes, “Glow” and “Mind,” have been around for 20 years, waiting for the right studio album on which to rumble ’n’ roar. The title track could be classified as metal gospel. Do you hear shades of Husker Du in “Detonator”? The album closes with a suitably assertive reading of Jimi Hendrix’s “Room Full of Mirrors.” (8 p.m. Fri. Palace Theatre, $40-$75)

 

Pert Near Sandstone: With the same familial vibe as their popular Blue Ox summer music fest, Minnesota’s fun-loving bluegrass revivalists settle in for another two-day Winter String Gathering. Duluth favorites Feeding Leroy open the first night, and Bellville, Ill.-reared pickers Old Salt Union appear the second night before their upcoming tour with Yonder Mountain. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $17-$20, $30/two-day, thecedar.org.)

 

Beirut: The eclectic baroque-pop ensemble named after Lebanon’s capital — but actually from New Mexico’s capital city — just dropped a new album named after a fortressed Italian coastal town, “Gallipoli.” Got all that? It’s the first album in four years by brooding, brass-blowing bandleader Zach Condon and his crew, and it shows the influence of their Italian stayover in beautiful, inspired ways. Electro-Latino-pop hybrid Helado Negro opens. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $41-$56.)

 

Grand Funk Railroad: The revamped rockin’ pride of Michigan is in the midst of a 50th anniversary tour featuring original members Don Brewer (drums) and Mel Schacher (bass). The group’s heyday singer-guitarist, who turned to Christian rock years ago, tours with Mark Farner’s American Band. So it will be singer Max Carl, a former replacement vocalist in .38 Special, and guitarist Bruce Kulick, a former replacement in Kiss, helping to deliver “Bad Time,” “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “We’re an American Band.” (8 p.m. Sat., Mystic Lake, $29-$79)

 

New Orleans Suspects: Celebrate Mardi Gras with some Crescent City musicians whose resumes include stints with the Neville Brothers, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, James Brown and Joss Stone, among others. Regular visitors to the Twin Cities since 2012, these NOLA mainstays always deliver a funky good time. Opening acts are Mae Simpson Band on Friday and Jaedyn James & the Hunger on Saturday. (9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Bunkers, $25-$28)

 

Walter “Wolfman” Washington: In a city famous for R&B and funk, this revered New Orleans veteran stands out by playing classic, lowdown, high-energy blues. Anti- Records just released one of the most acclaimed records of his career, “My Future Is My Past,” produced by Ben Ellman of Galactic and featuring such guests as Irma Thomas and Jon Cleary. He and his longtime band the Roadmasters make an overdue return to head up the Lowertown Blues Fest’s winter fundraiser, also featuring Davina & the Vagabonds and Big George Jackson. (5-10 p.m. Sun., Famous Dave’s Uptown, $25, lowertownbluesfestival.com.)

 

Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples: These two veterans have more in common than a hometown (Chicago) and spots in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Both continue to record and tour, filling theaters with personality and passion. Blues guitar hero Guy, 82, just won his eighth Grammy for “The Blues Is Alive and Well,” featuring Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger. Staples, 79, the great gravelly gospel and soul singer, most recently released the politicized “If I Was Black,” the third impressive album she’s made in this decade with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy producing. (8 p.m. Sun., Mystic Lake Casino, $49-$99, ticketmaster.com.)

 

Young the Giant: The Southern California pop-rock band has consistently cranked out records and alt-rock radio hits since its 2010 debut album, including “My Body,” “It’s About Time” and the airier, breathier new single “Superposition,” from the group’s fourth album “Mirror Master.” The quintet is playing indoor dates before its summer festival schedule with openers Sure Sure, another L.A. area band that earned big streaming numbers with its 2016 single “New Biome.” (7:30 p.m. Sun., Palace Theatre, $30.)

 

Action Bronson: The big, beefy, bawdy and biting Queens, N.Y., indie-rap vet and renowned foodie is serving up more wily and topical tunes on his latest album, “White Bronco,” which he’s touting on tour with fellow New York rappers Roc Marciano and Meyhem Lauren. (8:30 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, $35.)

 

Shrimpnose & K. Raydio: After working with CRAM, Spencer Joles & Nazeem and others, Minneapolis producer Riley Smithson (aka Shrimpnose) has crafted his own dense, dark and mysterious collection of electronic grooves and enlisted local R&B/hip-hop vet Krysta Rayford (aka K. Raydio) to lend her earthy but ethereal voice and evocative lyrical prowess. Their album, “... And the World Weeps,” arrives Friday via the NYC label AntiFragiel Music. The release party will also feature Destiny Roberts, Radio Ahlee and Joles & Nazeem. (9 p.m. Sun., 7th St. Entry, $10-$12.)

 

Corky Siegel and Howard Levy: One is identified with the Siegel Schwall Band, the other with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. But the accomplished harmonica blowers and skilled keyboardists are versatile players, with compatible senses of humor. For the past 20 years, Siegel has led his Chamber Blues ensemble while Levy has worked with a variety of jazz and pop stars including Paul Simon, Paquito D’Rivera and Donald Fagen. (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota $25-$35)

 

Marcia Ball and Sonny Landreth: These two Bayou State treasures team up for a must-see Mardi Gras doubleheader. A barrelhouse pianist and exuberant vocalist, Ball sounds upbeat and positive on 2018’s bluesy, rootsy “Shine Bright,” name-checking such inspirations as Neil Armstrong, Little Richard and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on her originals and adding fitting covers of Jesse Winchester’s “Take a Little Louisiana” and Shelley King’s timely “When the Mardi Gras Is Over.” King of “slydeco,” Landreth is a virtuoso slide guitarist steeped in zydeco, blues, swampy rock and all kinds of Louisiana sounds. (7 p.m. Wed., Dakota, $50-$70, dakotacooks.com)

 

Ella Mai: Since being recruited to replace Cardi B as the opener on Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic Tour last fall, Ella Mai has made big impressions on “SNL” and then at the Grammy Awards, where her playful but earnestly lovelorn single “Boo’d Up” won for best R&B song. The sultry but sly-sounding 24-year-old London singer is back out for her first major headlining tour mostly playing venues she’s already too big to play. Opener Kiana Brown doubles as an actor in MTV’s “Scream” series. (8 p.m. Thu., Varsity Theater, 1308 SE 4th St., Mpls., sold out.)