Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Bonnie Dickel Hoffman of Golden Valley:
1 Holtze family, Star Tribune Amateur Talent Contest. It had to be a hot time in the kitchen when this Rosemount family took first place with a nuanced rendition of “Fever.” Daughter Madison was pitch perfect on vocals, dad John plucked upright bass and daughter Petra turned scouring pads into percussion.
2 Glen Hansard’s 50th birthday. He celebrated with an invitation for “a glass and a song.” He put on a wonderfully casually show from his kitchen table, featuring a 16-minute love-filled greeting from his BFF Eddie Vedder. Watch it on YouTube.
3 “Rave On Van Morrison,” hotpress.com. In celebration of another Irish bard’s 75th birthday, many artists covered his songs. Highlights include Damien Rice’s “Crazy Love,” Bob Geldof’s “I’m Tired,” Hozier’s “Caravan” and Glen Hansard’s “Astral Weeks.”
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 The War and Treaty, “Lonely in My Grief.” Doing a special online Minnesota State Fair livestream on omgdigitalmediasolutions.com, this Nashville duo previewed a song from the album “Hearts Town,” out on Sept. 25. Dedicating the song to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, Michael Trotter talked about how all lives matter but especially Black lives. Then, with his wife Tanya Trotter and their band, he shared his grieving heart in this haunting gospelly tune.
2 Gladys Knight vs. Patti LaBelle. The latest faceoff in the “Verzuz” series, produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, will feature these royal soul sisters at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Fillmore in Philadelphia on Instagram Live. This could be more exciting than the recent terrific Verzuz battle between Brandy and Monica.
3 Cory Wong and Dave Koz, Crooners. Calling them as unlikely a pairing as Shaggy and Sting, the funky Twin Cities guitar star and his horn-happy band brought out the soulfulness of the smooth-jazz sax man. Look for a new combo album in the “smooth funk” category.