Thursday, June 1
Summer unofficially begins in St. Paul with the kickoff of the Lowertown Sounds series, featuring a rootsy lineup with Good Morning Bedlam, Sarah Morris and country duo Trevor McSpadden and Mary Cutrufello (6-9:30 p.m., Mears Park, all ages, free); McSpadden and Cutrufello then head to the White Squirrel Bar's second anniversary bash, where Martin Devaney, Loser Magnet and Crush Scene also are playing (5-11 p.m., free); between blues festivals in the Netherlands and Brazil, rising blues/soul/rock star Vanessa Collier, a sassy triple threat singer, saxophonist and songwriter, makes a pit stop in Minneapolis (7 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$35); forgotten country singer Hunter Hayes, who had a No. 1 country hit with "Wanted" in 2011, is touting his new album "Red Sky" (8 p.m. Amsterdam Bar, $32-$35); Ethopian-Israelian singer Gili Yalo is known from the Israeli reggae group Zvuloon Dub System (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $20-$25); psychedelic indie-rockers Immaculate Beings, Sleeping Jesus and Beemer team up for the Under the Canopy series (7 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $20); local punk faves Off With Their Heads are back in action (9 p.m. 7th St. Entry, $18); hard-working, hopeful local rocker and folkie Billy Johnson is playing a special gig for his birthday (8 p.m. Aster Cafe, $10).
Friday, June 2
1. Alejandro Escovedo: The only musician you'll see in both the Punk Rock Museum and Austin City Limits Hall of Fame who also recently appeared on the Latin music charts — oh, and he opened for the Sex Pistols in 1978 with his first band, the Nuns — the storied Tex-Mex rocker is finally back out on his first post-lockdown tour. In the meantime, he put out "La Cruzada," a Spanish-language version of his acclaimed 2018 album "The Crossing," about Mexican and Italian immigrants who make a musical journey into America. He's sure to mine his deep 40-year catalog, too, performing with a trio. (7 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $50-$60, dakotacooks.com)
Also: When lead singer Jack Blades was hospitalized in March, Night Ranger had to postpone some gigs but he's back at 100% so the '80s rockers can revisit "Sister Christian" and other oldies (7:30 p.m. Canterbury Park, sold out); a rising star in Somali music from his namesake Hilaac Band, Nimcaan Hilaac is touring America for the first time since 2020 (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $25-$30); distinguished Canadian trumpeter Jens Lindemann, who teaches at UCLA, tackles pieces by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Dizzy Gillespie and others in a big band format, featuring pianist Ian Parker (8 p.m. Crooners, $30-$40); the Twin Cities' hard-grooving Afrobeat blast unit Black Market Brass is back from hiatus to tout a new 7-inch single with fun opener Obi Original (8:30 p.m. Turf Club, $15-$20).
Saturday, June 3
2. Jaedyn James: Already gaining traction as one of Minnesota's most alluring and intense young soul/R&B singers, the Minneapolis native takes a bold step on her new album, "Loving You So Hard." She found a new producer and collaborator in fellow Twin Cities buzzmaker Ehn Jey, aka Nick Jordan, who's also opening these two release shows. They forged a cool, retro-'70s, Chaka Khan-do vibe around James' tender but tearing voice and heart-on-her-sleeveless dress love songs, as evidenced by the first single "Here in Your Love." Bring a tissue and a sweat towel. (6:30 & 9 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, $20-$30, dakotacooks.com)
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: At last, heads will roll again in the Twin Cities. Wondrous frontwoman Karen O and her art-pop digi-punk band of "Maps" and "Cheated Hearts" fame haven't been to town since 2013; and they haven't played anywhere else besides First Avenue since bursting out of the then-thriving New York indie-rock scene in 2003. In their other sporadic tour dates this year, they're pulling as heavily from last year's mellow excursion "Cool It Down" as they are from their 20-year-old debut, "Fever to Tell." Bonus fun with Seattle synth-pop master Perfume Genius opening. (8 p.m. the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., all ages, $65, ticketmaster.com)
4. Morris Day & the Time: It's time to bring the Minneapolis Sound to Red Wing and perhaps share some new tunes. Last year, Day released his first solo album in 18 years, "Last Call," which he says will be his final studio album. There are definitely touches of the Time's vintage sound on the new LP, with plenty of updates and assists from guests Snoop Dogg and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Nonetheless, expect the performance to be heavy on Time classics like "Cool" and "777-9311" and Day solo nuggets like "The Oak Tree." (8 p.m. Treasure Island Casino, 5734 Sturgeon Lake Rd., Red Wing, $29-$49, ticketmaster.com)
5. Brooks & Dunn: After splitting up in 2010, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn discovered that those solo careers didn't quite work out as hoped. Seldom does for country duos, Wynonna Judd notwithstanding. So B&D, who were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2019, have reunited for a tour but no new album. Their last recording effort was '19's aptly titled "Reboot," which featured remakes of their hits with guests like Luke Combs and Kacey Musgraves. It's time to reprise some of their 20 No. 1 hits — including "Brand New Man," "My Maria," "Neon Moon" and "Boot Scootin' Boogie" — simply as a veteran duo. Wear your dancin' boots and show up early for openers Scotty McCreery, the former "American Idol" winner who has a handful of Nashville No. 1's of his own, and buzzy newcomer Megan Moroney. (7 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $25 and up, ticketmaster.com)
Also: Twin Cities honky-tonk mainstays Trailer Trash are hosting their big 30th anniversary bash as part of the Under the Canopy series with a cavalcade of guests including Wain McFarlane, Adam and Noah Levy and Dana Thompson (6:45 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $24-$40); after her very well-received outing last year with Katie "Waxahatchee" Crutchfield as the Americana vocal duo Plains, warm Texas warbler Jess Williamson is out on a solo tour with a new album, "Time Ain't Accidental" (9 p.m. Turf Club, $20); Twin Cities singer-guitarist Joe Flip presents an evening of Texas blues-rock featuring the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Johnny Winter and others (4 p.m. Crooners, $20-$30); Twin Cities vocalist extraordinaire Joyann Parker celebrates her new album, "Roots," which won't be widely available until September but she's selling them at this gig (8 p.m. Crooners, $25-$35).
Sunday, June 4
6. Jimmy Webb: He's written songs for the Fifth Dimension ("Up, Up and Away"), Richard Harris ("MacArthur Park") and the Highwaymen ("Highwayman"), among others. Webb is best known for the many hits he penned for Glen Campbell, including "Galveston," "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." A captivating storyteller and luxe pianist with a songwriter's voice who has released 10 solo albums, Webb will spin tales of his many years working with Campbell. (7:30 Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., $49-$69, theparkwaytheater.com)
7. Ray Brown Jr.: He is jazz royalty. His father was famous jazz bassist Ray Brown, who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson, among others. His mother was Ella Fitzgerald, arguably the most famous of jazz vocalists. As a singer, Brown Jr. sounds nothing like his mother. (Actually, he was adopted; his birth mother was Ella's half-sister.) Whether he's singing standards, blues or contemporary material, he evokes an appealing molasses-voiced Michael McDonald. Brown will be accompanied by an all-star Twin Cities ensemble of drummer Kevin Washington, bassist Matt McIntyre, saxophonist Sophia Kickhofel and pianist Kavyesh Kaviraj. (5 & 8 p.m. Crooners, 6161 Hwy. 65, Fridley, $40-$50, croonersloungemn.com)
Also: Remember Grand Ole Day? It's hoping to make a comeback in St. Paul with "beer garden" stages featuring the Jayhawks, Bad Bad Hats, White Iron Band, Sophia Eris, JB & the Routine and more (11 a.m.-6 p.m., Grand Avenue, $10-$15 for wristbands); T. Mychael Rambo, man about town, presents psychedelic R&B singer Cameron Wright in an ensemble that includes percussionist L.A. Buckner and bassist Ethan Yeshaya (7 p.m. the Dakota, $15-$25).
Monday, June 5
8. Accordo: It's been 15 years since the principal string players of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra decided to form their own chamber group, and the chemistry Accordo has honed always spells for marvelous music making. The group welcomes one of America's most prominent oboe soloists, Katherine Needleman of the Baltimore Symphony, to premiere an Oboe Quartet of her own and another by Mozart. Then a String Sextet by Johannes Brahms caps the season. (7:30 p.m. Westminster Hall, Nicollet Mall and Alice Rainville Place, Mpls.; also 7:30 p.m. Tue. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Av., Mpls., $23-$33, Schubert.org)
9. Love & Rockets: Much like how they carried on as a trio the first time their older band Bauhaus collapsed in 1983, bandmates Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins rolled with the punches when the Bauhaus reunion tour got abruptly canceled last year and went straight into reforming L&R. The "No New Tale to Tell" and "So Alive" hitmaking band's first real tour since the late '90s kicked off at L.A.'s nostalgic Cruel World festival two weekends ago and has been earning rave responses. Hot take: The trio was always better than Bauhaus anyway. Drag cabaret singer Vinsantos opens. (8 p.m. Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $60-$100, axs.com).
Tuesday, June 6
Romantic piano man Jim Brickman, a frequent visitor with his holiday show, opts for an intimate club engagement this time (7 p.m., also Wed., the Dakota, $50-$70); an offshoot of the same El Paso, Texas, rock family tree that spawned At the Drive-in and Mars Volta, Sparta is touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "Wiretap Scars" (8 p.m. Fine Line, $23-$45).
Wednesday, June 7
10. Dr. Mambo's Combo: On what would have been Prince's 65th birthday, his favorite Minneapolis band to sit in with is saluting him. Instead of their usual Sunday night gig in Bunker's (where Prince had a table dedicated to him), this veteran all-star combo is presenting "Forever in My Life" in a theater. The current lineup features vocalists Julius Collins and Margaret Cox (of Ta Mara & the Seen), former NPG bassist Sonny Thompson, keyboardist Brian Ziemniak, guitarist Geoff LeCrone and drummer Peter Suttman. (7:30 p.m. Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., $40-$50, theparkwaytheater.com)
Also: It's the Dance Electric to celebrate Prince's 65th birthday spearheaded by DJ Dudley D, former Paisley Park DJ and currently with the Timberwolves, Lynx and Twins (9 p.m. First Avenue, $15-$20); two of the buzziest bands out of East Los Angeles since Los Lobos, Thee Sinseers and the Altons blend Chicano rock and classic '60s soul vibes (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $17-$22); Groovin' in the Garden series showcases the Innocent Reggae Band (6-8 p.m. Como Zoo, free); wild and energetic Kentucky cow-punk/swinging blues vets the Legendary Shack Shakers return with Dex Romweber of Flat Duo Jets opening (7:30 p.m. Hook & Ladder Theater, $20-$25); Curtiss A's bluesy garage-rock unit Dark Click has its cult-loved monthly gig (7:30 p.m. Schooner Tavern, free).
Classical critic Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.