Cedar Cultural Center on Sunday 4.3

Of all the contemporary bands messing around with vintage R&B, funk, soul, and blues, none come close to the raw, primitive, incendiary, sweat-drenched glory of Austin, Texas's Joe Lewis and the horn-stoked Honeybears. Shouting, growling, and testifying like James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and R.L. Burnside rolled together, Lewis howls with blistering intensity about lyin', cheatin', and dangerous livin' while his guitar slashes viciously and the Bears weigh in with a taut tumult of raunchy rhythms and blazing horns. The band's new Scandalous ricochets from stark Delta blues to talking blues to punk-informed blasts out of north Mississippi, Memphis, and Detroit. Nearly as wild is the Tennessee female trio Those Darlins, who apply a punk ethos to a genuine feel for country roots, with convincing covers of the Carter Family and Uncle Dave Macon joining nice originals. All ages. $15. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Iris Dement

Dakota Jazz Club on Sunday 4.3

Bright Eyes tour in support of what could be their final album
courtesy of the band
Bright Eyes tour in support of what could be their final album

Over three extraordinary albums in the early 1990s, Iris DeMent established herself as a brilliant singer and songwriter whose timeless material embraced country, folk, and gospel while probing rare depths of emotion. Her voice in particular—brittle yet fortified with inner spirit; weary yet unbowed, glowing with a deeper wisdom—seems as elemental a force of nature as an Appalachian brook or the prairie wind. And it's perfect for her songs, which often grapple with scenes of life and death seemingly captured on sepia-toned photographs. But apparently DeMent's muse arrives only at odd intervals. She hasn't recorded an album of new material since 1996's The Way I Should, although recently she's said she almost has enough material for a new album. Maybe she'll slip a new one into her already rich catalog during this relatively rare foray up from Iowa. $45. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

Joe Lovano & Us Five

Dakota Jazz Club on Monday 4.4 and Tuesday 4.5

By now a saxophone titan in his own right, Joe Lovano has carved a sterling career by re-imagining, re-contextualizing, and in subtle ways revolutionizing jazz history with a strikingly contemporary perspective. Rather than creating tortured fusions, Lovano ventures into logical but largely unexplored tangents that shed new light on roots as well as break new ground. That's the premise of Bird Songs, Lovano's latest with his superb, equally lithe and innovative Us Five: the percussion tandem of Otis Brown and Francisco Mela, pianist James Weidman, and 2011 Best New Artist Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding on bass. Bird Songs lovingly reinterprets Charlie Parker's canon with a profusion of fresh harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic ideas culminating in "Birdyard," a brief but wild inversion of fractured Bird themes. $40 at 7 p.m.; $25 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

Hayes Carll

Varsity Theater on Tuesday 4.5

The latest in a string of clever outlaw Texas singer-songwriters that run to the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, Hayes Carll is a honky-tonk bard whose "other American stories" (as his new album is subtitled) are sharp vignettes from barrooms and beyond. Most of the songs on KMAG YOYO are laced with pedal steel and twang. But the title cut ("Kiss My Ass Guys You're on Your Own" in military jargon) tears on a jag virtually identical to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" while giving the riveting account of a hapless soldier in Afghanistan. Carll and guest vocalist Cary Ann Hearst make like a contemporary George Jones and Tammy Wynette on a bickering mating dance called "Another Like You." Opening will be Hearst (whose voice sometimes suggests Neko Case's) and partner Michael Trent, a.k.a. Shovels & Rope, a South Carolina duo mining a compelling blend of country, blues, and '60s pop and rock. 18+. $14. 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Rick Mason

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