Lindsay Guentzel of Crystal:
1 The 2019 Basilica Block Party lineup. I squealed out loud when I saw Kacey Musgraves, straight out of her Grammy win, on Friday’s lineup. Saturday intertwines some oldies but goodies such as Hanson and Jason Mraz with performers I’ve been dying to see again such as Lissie.
2 Ray LaMontagne. Speaking of Basilica Block Party, I squeezed close to the stage during his set there in 2011. With Valentine’s Day on the mind and all of the sappiness that goes with it, just play all of his music.
3 Toby Keith, “Don’t Let the Old Man In.” Clint Eastwood was 88 years old when he started working on the movie “The Mule.” So how perfect that the story ends with Keith softly singing, “Ask yourself how old you’d be if you didn’t know the day you were born.” Watch the movie and listen to the soundtrack.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 “Bird on a Blade” by Rosanne Cash and Dan Rizzie. Couplets, verses and lines from various recent Cash songs are paired with Rizzie’s drawings, collages and paintings in this charming new book. Her words resonate with a different kind of poetic poignance in this context, and his remarkably uncomplicated art perfectly complements her work.
2 William Bell, the Dakota. Backed by a splendid horn-fueled band, the seemingly ageless Stax soul man, 79, relied on his voice to provide the showmanship. The right combination of technique, control and passion.
3 Eric Church, night two, Target Center. He was more aggressive, talkative and consistently vibrant than on the previous night.