Jim Walsh, Minneapolis writer:
1 Chuck Prophet and Katy Guillen, Turf Club. “The best thing about baseball and rock ’n’ roll is that with both, you don’t know what’s going to happen next,” waxed Prophet as these two great live bands turned in one of the most life-affirming and heart-bursting nights of rock I’ve witnessed in a long time.
2 HBO’s “High Maintenance.” The pearl-clutching GOP senators who killed the recreational marijuana bill in Minnesota should watch these empathetic, heartfelt, funny and wise New York stories, set to the perfectly-synced sounds of Devendra Banhart, U.S. Girls, Bon Iver, et al.
3 Cactus Blossoms, “Easy Way”; J.S. Ondara, “Tales of America”; Katy Vernon, “Suit of Hearts”; David Huckfelt, “Stranger Angels.” Four impressive, consistently beautiful Minnesota-hatched albums, harmoniously shuffling through my playlist and warming my winter-weary soul.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune:
1 #WomenWhoRock, Paisley Park. In an emotional return to Prince’s place, his protegées Judith Hill, Donna Grantis, Liv Warfield and Sheila E did him proud with passionate, very musical performances.
2 Stevie Nicks interview, rollingstone.com. As she heads into the Rock Hall as a solo act, she goes deep, especially about missing Tom Petty and Prince.
3 “Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul.” Too many stars tried rote readings of Aretha’s hits on this CBS special, but Patti LaBelle, John Legend and Yolanda Adams with Common put their own touch on tunes.