Kane Brown: On his self-titled 2016 debut, this 23-year-old country newcomer sounds alternately like the kid brother of one of the dudes in Florida Georgia Line or Randy Travis’ son. Brown can go smooth-flow bro (“Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” “Hometown”) or traditional balladeer (“Cold Spot,” “Granddaddy’s Chair”). Brown has had a Bieber-like ascent, starting by posting YouTube videos of his tattooed self covering popular country songs. That led to a record deal with Sony Music Nashville. (7:30 p.m. Sun. Varsity Theater, Mpls., $27-$40, varsitytheater.org).

Sonny Knight and the Lakers: Minnesota’s unstoppable 68-year-old soul man and his young, hard-charging, tighter-than-James-Brown’s-pants band will throw down at their third annual holiday residency at the Dakota. Expect a generous helping from this year’s soul-sational album, “Sooner or Later.” (7 & 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Dakota, $16-$20.)

Soul Asylum: Some of the best shows in First Ave history have been with this name on the calendar, and while the names of the band members have changed except for frontman Dave Pirner — most recently with the addition of the Melismatics’ Ryan Smith on guitar — these year-end homecoming concerts with Minnesota’s biggest rock group of the ‘90s are still loaded with glad tidings. McNasty Brass Band opens. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $20.)

Ian Alexy & the Deserters: One of the two Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank trades in his rootsy Americana songs for a rockier, rowdier new band, whose debut EP invokes ’80s-era Springsteen and Petty. The Federales, Lowland Lakers and Teague Alexy open. (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, $10.)

Smokey Robinson: It’s no surprise that the Rock Hall of Famer was awarded the Gershwin Prize this year for his contributions to popular music. An MVP at Motown, he helped shape soul music from the 1960s to the ’80s as a singer, songwriter, producer and executive. Hear him sing hits he recorded (“Tears of a Clown,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “Cruisin’ ”) and wrote for others (“My Girl,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do”). He might even add a holiday tune. (8 p.m. Sat. Mystic Showroom, Prior Lake, $69-$109, ticketmaster.com)

Mark Mallman’s Peace on Earth: Minneapolis’s adventurous, fun-loving piano rocker picked a helluva year to get serious and promote optimism, an underlying theme on his dramatic 2016 album “The End Is Not the End.” Staying positive is also the (welcome) purpose of his holiday show, which will include many guests, such as “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” reconstructionists Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski as well as local Bowie acolyte Venus de Mars. Opening band Porcupine features Hüsker Dü bassist Greg Norton and Story of the Sea drummer Ian Prince. (11 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, Mpls., $10, IcehouseMpls.com.)

Mike Dreams: Put this South Side rapper back on the list of Minneapolis’s best lyricists and MCs with his new album, “Pardon My Vices,” offering echoes of Drake and The Game and steeped in personal confessions. Muja Messiah, Ashley DuBose and Destiny Roberts appear on the record and will perform at the release party. (10 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry, $8.)

Low & Friends Christmas: The winteriest Minnesota band of all time is returning home from a U.K. tour — where their 1999 album “Christmas” is especially adored — to stage one U.S. holiday gig with friends and vendors to help stock Second Harvest Heartland’s food shelves. Guests will include Hippo Campus, Gaelynn Lea, TBT picker Erik Berry and many more. (8 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $20-$25.)

Silverteens Christmas: The ’60s-flavored garage-rockers bring together an A-list of some of the B-team local bands of the ’80s and ’90s scenes for the holidays, this year including headliners Arcwelder, the Magnolias, Mighty Mofos and a reunion by Dragnet. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Eagles Club #34, Mpls., $10.)

Nachito Herrera and the Universals: Minnesota’s great Cuban-American pianist has found some simpatico world-class players who can match his chops, creativity and energy. The Universals are bassist Cheikh Ndoye from Senegal, drummer Raul Pineda from Cuba and violinist Karen Briggs and saxophonist Mike Phillips from the United States. Their emotional first gig ever was on the night the Cuba embassy opened in Washington D.C. in 2015. This will be their first gig since Fidel Castro died. (7 p.m. Tue.-Wed. Dakota, $35-$45)

Home Free: Before they won NBC’s “The Sing-Off” in 2013, Minnesota’s Home Free made two homegrown holiday albums. This year, the a cappella quintet offers one on Columbia Records. On “Full of (Even More) Cheer,” they interpret the chestnuts, deliver humor (“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”) and even offer Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather” as holiday fare. Why not. Let’s hope they warm us with “Ring of Fire,” the song that defined their victory on “The Sing-Off.” (7:30 Wed. Northrop, Mpls.,$29.50-$150; northrop.umn.edu)

The Bad Plus: With Holidazzle long gone from Nicollet Mall and Macy’s perhaps following suit, at least one holiday tradition continues on downtown Minneapolis’ purportedly pedestrian-friendly strip. The beloved and bedeviling piano/bass/drums trio always winds down its year at the Dakota Jazz Club. This year saw appearances at the Newport and London jazz festivals and dozens of club gigs following one of the group’s most acclaimed albums to date, “It’s Hard,” featuring jazzy reinterpretations of modern classics by TV on the Radio, Peter Gabriel and Prince. (7 & 9 p.m. Thu.-Fri. & Dec. 25 & 26, Dakota, Mpls., Mpls., $40-$45, DakotaCooks.com.)

Dumpstaphunk: Two heirs to the Neville Brothers music factory, Ivan and Ian Neville, lead this classic New Orleans funk band. A staple at Jazz Fest and Tipitina’s, the group is steeped in the Meters family legacy as well as the Family Stone, and it takes its funk serious enough to feature two dueling bassists. The Big Wu’s Mark Joseph opens with his new band the American Soul. (8:30 p.m. Thu., Hook & Ladder Theater, Mpls., $35-$30, Ticketfly.com.)