Bill DeVille of 89.3 the Current:
1 Michael Kiwanuka, “Cold Little Heart.’’ Whether it’s live at First Avenue, the intro to HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” the radio edit or the full album version, this epic song is pure magic.
2 Colter Wall, “Colter Wall.” This 21-year-old newcomer sounds like he’s 60. He’s kind of a cross between Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt. He’s at the Fine Line on June 14.
3 The Cactus Blossoms’ “Mississippi” on “Twin Peaks.” The moody song seamlessly fits, and it’s captured forever by David Lynch with all of the cinematic glory.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Soundset, State Fairgrounds. Loved the vibe, atmosphere and the diversity of the crowd. The music rewarded, too, especially a potent if too brief Fugees-loving Lauryn Hill.
2 Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, the Dakota. This made me flash back to the first review I wrote for my high school newspaper — the Rascals in concert. Their fun-loving keyboardist not only played their hits but, like a human jukebox, other hits from that era. Perfect band for a baby-boomer high school reunion.
3 The Steeles, the Dakota. The always spirited Twin Cities siblings rewarded with gospel, funk and imaginative arrangements of Gershwin — and a special appearance by “The Gospel at Colonus” composer Bob Telson. Uplifting, indeed.