Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
John Medeiros of Minneapolis:
1 Cactus Blossoms, Turf Club residency. These brothers out-Everly the Everly Brothers. Great songwriting and beautiful harmonies. I laughed when I saw them billed as “Family Music.”
2 The Puppini Sisters. Heard their rendition of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” while dining at Midori’s Floating World in Minneapolis. They succeed at bringing the Andrews Sisters to a new generation. I downloaded their album before I even left the restaurant.
3 Greta Van Fleet. Just heard their newest “Always There” on the Current. Now grandparents get to tell their grandchildren all about Led Zeppelin in a way they’ll understand.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Billie Eilish to perform on the Academy Awards. After deservedly grabbing the Big Four Grammys (Christopher Cross was the only other artist to do so, 39 years ago), the super confident 18-year-old will perform on the Oscars. Will it be her theme song from the James Bond flick “No Time to Die” due in April? Remember, after his Grammy sweep, Cross won an Oscar for “Arthur’s Theme (Best You Can Do).”
2 Rebirth Brass Band, the Dakota. After opening with a taste of second-line New Orleans music, these veterans unleashed some dynamic, jazz-funk originals along with choice covers, including a NOLA funkified version of “It’s All Over Now.” Fun fact: Each of the seven musicians was the youngest member of Rebirth when he joined.
3 Wesley Stace, the Hook and Ladder. The Philly-based Brit formerly known as John Wesley Harding showed how humor and cleverness make his folk protest songs even more effective. Props to his lone sideman Robert Lloyd on mandolin, accordion and piano, plus Jayhawks members Tim O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg harmonizing on “Our Lady of the Highways,” which Stace had recorded with them in Minneapolis.