Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Dean Schieve of Lakeville:
1 Belfast Cowboys’ St. Patrick’s Day gig on Facebook. Because of COVID-19, Terry Walsh and the boys couldn’t do their Van Morrison tunes at a local club, so they carried on for nearly four hours in a basement studio (with appropriate social distancing), and viewers contributed nearly $6,500 to Foothold Twin Cities, a nonprofit providing assistance that traditional programs don’t cover.
2 Dixie Chicks, “Gaslighter.” Compared to today’s political rhetoric, a relatively benign comment in 2003 by lead singer Natalie Maines put a huge damper on their thunderous music career. For the first time in 14 years, they’re back, unapologetically, with a new song they performed on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Superb singing, a feisty and savvy statement, with an outrageously rockin’ video. Their album is due May 1.
3 Buck Curran, “Immortal Light.” With his pregnant wife and their young child, he is an American living in Bergamo, Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak. With a nationwide lockdown, he still offers his extraordinary meditative music through outlets like Bandcamp, currently his only source of income.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Singers livestream concerts from home. Homebound because of COVID-19, many stars — including John Legend, Pink, Keith Urban, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Rufus Wainwright — have offered free concerts on the internet and social media this week.
2 Bono, “Let Your Love Be Known.” Locked down in his Dublin home on St. Patrick’s Day, he delivered via Instagram this song about isolation, written an hour earlier, with just voice and piano. Raw, imperfect and real.
3 Wynonna Judd and Cactus Moser, the Dakota. As undaunted holdouts before the coronavirus ban, he played guitarist, straight man and court jester to his wife’s smart-alecky zingers, chatty philosophizing and terrific vocals that justified her being called the female Elvis.