Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Kyle Matteson of Richfield:
1 Silver Synthetic, "Silver Synthetic." While the New Orleans band's album is fairly breezy on its surface, it's filled with killer psych grooves and slinky guitar work. The last 90 seconds of the song "Around the Bend" features some of the finest guitar I've heard all year.
2 Morgan Wade, "Reckless." Produced by Sadler Vaden (guitarist in Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit), this debut is just one of the many indications that Wade is swinging for the fences to become a big name in country music. She'll open for Lucero Nov. 6 at First Avenue.
3 Lanue, "Lanue." With her new moniker and album, Duluth's Sarah Krueger is poised to break out beyond the Midwest this year. The record is full of lovely folk-tinged country songs with her smooth and sultry voice, reminiscent of Norah Jones.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 ACM Awards. Not only did the Academy of Country Music rule super-popular Morgan Wallen ineligible because he was caught on video uttering a racial slur, but the ACMs highlighted voices of color, including presenters Blanco Brown and Darius Rucker plus singers Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton (a co-host), CeCe Winans (who joined Carrie Underwood for a gospel segment) and War and the Treaty (who induced goose bumps collaborating with Dierks Bentley on a bluegrassy reading of U2's "Pride [In the Name of Love]").
2 Cher on late-night talk shows. Promoting her "Cher and the Loneliest Elephant" documentary, she was her irrepressible self, sparring with Stephen Colbert ("I'm not a big Cher fan," she confessed) and James Corden (mocking him for a cheap turn-back-time joke).
3 Jimmy Buffett's four outdoor Florida shows in May. The beachy superstar is trying to devise a pandemic-safe concert, by limiting tickets to a modest 888, with people stationed in socially distanced pods of four, at 3,500-capacity Pavilion at Old School Square in Delray Beach, Fla.