Keith Martinsen of Mpls.:

1 Flowstate, Honey. The group put on a wild show, blending eclectic elements of hip-hop and EDM to bring its new "drop-hop" genre.

2 Postmodern Jukebox. I discovered the group on YouTube while looking at Von Smith and Joey Cook, who are among the rotating artists in this ensemble. I really like their vintage arrangements of pop songs and am excited to see them Feb. 6 at the State Theatre.

3 Martin Zellar, house concert in Edina. The Gear Daddies singer's performance and stories made the intimate evening feel like I was spending it with old friends — if my old friends were famous musicians.


Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:

1 Randy Bachman, the Ordway. This may have been the best storyteller-style concert I've experienced. His stories about the songs of the Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive were expansive, vivid and humorous. He told where key lines for songs came from — such as from a combative truck driver, or Bob Dylan's "Ballad in Plain D," a lyric of which ("she was easily undone") sparked the Guess Who's "Undun." Wonderfully entertaining with some cool guitar licks, too.

2 Jamecia Bennett and Rajané Katurah Brown, the Dakota. This revue of Sister Rosetta Tharpe songs was as exciting as their recent Park Square play, "Marie and Rosetta." Highlight: Bennett taking the bluesy "I Looked Down the Line" to church. Breathtaking!

3 St. Paul Peterson, Icehouse. With guest Adrian Crutchfield on sax, the medley of Prince's "Housequake" and the Family's "Mutiny" was totally funky.