A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:


Rhiannon Giddens, the Pantages. Having seen the Carolina Chocolate Drops and heard the “New Basement Tapes” album, I was not prepared for the incredible range of songs she so wonderfully delivered — blues, Celtic, jazz, folk, classic country. Her rendition of “She’s Got You” has replaced Patsy Cline’s on my mental mix. The occasional breaks in her mostly formal presentation were welcome punctuations, as well.

Drive-by Truckers, First Avenue. Being seated and playing acoustic guitars all night did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm and passion with which these guys played. Plus, I heard almost every lyric. It was so much fun that it’s hard to believe the show lasted almost three hours.

Outdoor music. Alabama Shakes at Hall’s Island, the My Morning Jacket/Mumford & Sons extravaganza in Iowa, Dawes/Lake Street Dive/Lone Bellow at the Cabooze Plaza, good shows (again) at the Minnesota Zoo, Kenny Chesney in residence at Target Field, street festivals, the State Fair and some old British band at the football stadium. Get your “good weather, please” reservations in early.

Charlie Moore, Mpls.

E-mail popmusic@startribune.com.


Prince shines a light on Baltimore. Never the most topical of artists, he held a dance for peace last weekend at Paisley Park (making pointed statements from the stage), and he’ll perform Sunday in Baltimore, promising to play his new song, “Baltimore,” reflecting on race relations.

Crosby, Stills & Nash, PACER Center benefit. The harmonies, humor, spirit and Stephen Stills’ guitar were in top form.

Stevie Wonder tribute, the Dakota. Julius Collins and Ginger Commodore spearheaded the funky and fun evening, with spontaneous guest performances by Yolanda Bruce and T. Mychael Rambo.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune