Dave Nevison of Plymouth:
1 Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Ames Center. Part ’60s soul revue and part Jersey bar band, this 15-piece group led by Steven Van Zandt of E Street Band fame rocked the intimate Burnsville theater. His TeachRock program is his new passion, and educators got in free.
2 Rich Lewis Band. For more than 50 years, Lewis has been the unsung journeyman of Twin Cities musicians, gigging at Erte, Eagles Club and elsewhere. Don’t miss his all-star Christmas gig at Whitey’s Saloon in Minneapolis Dec. 30.
3 “The Big Interview With Dan Rather,” AXS-TV. To my surprise, his interviews with music’s elite are as good as it gets. The Kid Rock and Gene Simmons episodes stand out.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Bruce Springsteen cover story, Esquire magazine. Writer Michael Hainey does a deep dive into the Boss’ psyche and DNA via his memoir, Broadway show and a series of interviews. The piece is as analytical and revealing as “Springsteen on Broadway” if not as humorous.
2 Leo Kottke, the Guthrie. After introducing himself as “the ghost of Christmas future,” the white-bearded Minnesotan told quirky stories and played masterful six- and 12-string guitar. Highlight: the solo on “Eight Miles High.”
3 Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Orpheum. Derek Trucks got gritty and aggressive, Minneapolis native Mike Mattison got raspy and soulful, and Susan Tedeschi tore into “I Pity the Fool.” Good band, great jams.