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

Mike Henderson of St. Paul:

1 2023 Beale Street Music Fest, Memphis. I've gone to the fest (held the first weekend in May) for over two decades, and it rarely disappoints. This year was no exception. Caught Gary Clark Jr., followed by the duo of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. They even sang the classic Zep tune, "Rock and Roll." Catch them if you can!

2 Willie Nelson's 90th birthday celebration at Hollywood Bowl. Although being there would've been grand, the festivities will be shown in theaters on June 11, 13 and 14. There are local showings. For details, go to

3 Rosanne Cash and Bob Dylan share a birthday on May 24. True and collectible trivia: We learned through Cash's book, "Composed," that after John Lennon's murder, she had the engineer etch "Goodbye John" in the run-out groove of her album, "Seven Year Ache." About 25,000 such copies were printed; I have three.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:

1 Ambrose Akinmusire, Walker Art Center. The jazz trumpeter and his Honey from a Winter's Stone ensemble offered an intriguing 90-minute suite, featuring his frantic, festive and ethereal trumpet, interludes by the Mivos Quartet and pianist Sam Harris, and thought-provoking spoken-word observations and philosophizing from the captivating force known as Kokayi.

2 Rickie Lee Jones, the Dakota. Promising a jazz concert, one of pop music's true originals brought a smart combination of innocence and experience to a program of standards. Her brilliantly unhurried, intimate, late-night interpretations made one rethink the familiar. Props to Vilray, the guitarist with the right light touch. However, Jones' quartet had trouble with her desired tempo on her lone oldie, "Weasel and the White Boys Cool," that abruptly ended a too-brief 63-minute set.

3 Rare childhood photos of Bob Dylan published. On the week of Dylan's 82nd birthday, the Duluth News Tribune published two photos of a young Bobby Zimmerman, one from 1942 with his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, the other, circa 1945, with a cousin and a friend. Reporter Jay Gabler received these photos separately from a Dylan first cousin, once removed, and a man whose aunt was friends with Dylan's mother. Both snapshots capture something that would become familiar in later years: the camera-shy Dylan's contemplative countenance and that freewheeling hair.

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