Rob Colbert of Minneapolis:
1 Whitney Rose, 7th Street Entry. Fantastic show by this ridiculously underappreciated singer. She delivered her own tunes as well as covers of Don Williams, Lucinda Williams, Gram Parsons and Lesley Gore. “You Don’t Own Me” knocked the infamously low-hanging roof off the place.
2 Hinterland Music Festival 2019. A very impressive lineup including our own Hippo Campus, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and the new first couple in country music — Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly. There’ll be a lot more to hear than just the corn growing in Iowa this August.
3 Billy Bragg book event, Magers & Quinn. Socialism of the heart, indeed. As a prelude to his Fine Line residency, the singer-author talked: Leadbelly’s “Rock Island Line” brought guitar playing to the U.K. Skiffle followed, then the British Invasion. What led to Brexit is in his next book.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Billie Eilish, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” With attitude and electronics, this moody 17-year-old Los Angeles musicmaker establishes herself as a compelling force to be reckoned with.
2 Beyoncé, Madonna and Taylor Swift offer new albums. Without notice, Queen Bey dropped a live Coachella album to accompany her Netflix concert special, and the other two pop queens announced new studio projects coming soon. Women will run the music world in 2019.
3 “Hello, Dolly!” at the Orpheum. I finally got to hear the overly familiar title tune in context, delivered with panache by Broadway legend Betty Buckley, who’s joined by a strong, light-on-their-feet cast.