Bayport BBQ, Friday 6.29 Through Sunday 7.1

After a year's hiatus, the original Deep Blues Festival will be revived this weekend by Chris Johnson, who originated the idea and put on the first four fests beginning in 2007. The 2012 event will be more compact, leaner, maybe meaner, and now will take place at Johnson's juke joint along the St. Croix, the Bayport BBQ. There'll be 26 music acts from four countries and 16 states, but numbers only begin to tell the festival's story. The concept is revolutionary, especially in these latitudes, focusing on music that would seem to have most of its roots in morth Mississippi's Hill Country and the Delta, but whose gritty essence is celebrated with cultlike fervor around the globe. For the uninitiated, deep blues refers to the raw, primal sound of guys like the late R.L. Burnside: intense, down and dirty stuff about straight-edged razors to the throat and moonshine whiskey. And that somehow connected with a punk ethos out of elemental rock 'n' roll, along with the latter's affinity for wild and woolly country, folk, and bluegrass. This year's lineup is littered with wonders to discover and behold. To cull a few off the top of the barrel: David Kimbrough Jr., son of the late blues great Junior Kimbrough; Cincinnati's psychedelic-blues outfit the Buffalo Killers; the fiery, rabid Southern rock of Alabama's Lee Bains & the Glory Fires; gutbucket blues-rock from the Welsh duo Henry's Funeral Shoe; the grainy folk-blues of Iowa's William Elliott Whitmore. Sold out. 4 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. 328 Fifth Ave. N., Bayport; 651.955.6337. —Rick Mason

Joan Jett/Heart

Mystic Lake Casino, Friday 6.29

Japandroids, in post-celebration mode
courtesy of the artists
Japandroids, in post-celebration mode

In a dream lineup for lovers of classic-rock goddesses, Joan Jett and the sisters Heart are coming to Mystic Lake to take us all back to the days of acid-washed jeans, Chevy Caprices, and bodacious hair. A cornerstone of the nostalgic rock tour circuit, this will be Heart's fifth time in the Twin Cities in three years, following an appearance at the Big Minnesota Get Together last August with Def Leppard. It's really former Runaway and legacy badass Joan Jett who makes the lineup special and adds some needed grit. She hasn't been in the Cities since 2006 at First Avenue, though the club honored her and the Blackhearts with a star in its landmark rock-legend constellation in 2010. It probably didn't soften the sting when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gave her a virtual face-palm by passing over her nomination for inclusion into the hallowed halls, but Jett belongs in her own canon of cool. It's not every day you get to see such forces of nature on the same stage — and outdoors, no less. 18+, $35-$47, 8 p.m. 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake; 952.445.9000. —Jen Boyles

John Prine

Minneosta Zoo Amphitheatre, Friday 6.29

From Montgomery to Paradise, the hint of an illegal smile on his lips, John Prine has probed and dissected the essence of America's character over the past 40 years with a wry humor and sharp insight rivaling Mark Twain's. His first, early-'70s albums were revelations, populated with indelible working-class characters grappling with quiet desperation and worse, etched in folkie tales laced with dusty country, while Prine sang with a downhome twang reflecting his parents' Kentucky roots. Prine wrote those early classics while delivering mail in the Chicago burbs, then first recorded them in an impromptu Chicago studio session and live at a Chi Town club. Prine's Oh Boy label released both last year on The Singing Mailman Delivers, the title adopted from an old Roger Ebert review, and showing that his raw but riveting performances were already delivering the goods. At the zoo, Prine will be backed by bassist Dave Jacques and guitarist Jason Wilber. Willie Watson of Old Crow Medicine Show will open. $67. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley; 80.745.3000. —Rick Mason

The Walkmen

First Avenue, Saturday 6.30

David Byrne had us believing that heaven is the place where nothing ever happens, but then came the Walkmen's Heaven. Its release is the bookend of a decade that saw these East Coast rockers grow from precocious New Yorkers who lucked into a stunning debut with Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone into family men in tailored suits. They're having a lot more fun and have a far higher success rate than bond traders, though. Turns out that Heaven is where some of the finest pop-oriented material of a career happens, like "Heartbreaker" and "The Witch," while losing none of the hand-painted varnish of their older material. All live experiences with the Walkmen are high on style and substance, but there's this undercurrent of danger always lurking too. With Young Man. 18+, $20, 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Reed Fischer

Still Flyin'

7th St. Entry, Sunday 7.01

Starting life in 2004 as a 15-person, reggae-oriented enterprise fronted by former Masters of the Hemisphere frontman Sean Rawls, Still Flyin' eventually found their way back to the plucky pop sensibilities of Rawls's predecessor band without sacrificing their love for deep grooves. The San Francisco collective's ace third album, the just-released On a Bedroom Wall, throws a stylish New Wave dance party featuring plenty of shiny synthesizer squiggles and jangly guitars. Cross-breeding classic R.E.M.-styled college rock with the sleeker sounds of dance-friendly modern European acts like Phoenix, the album is an instantly ingratiating record chock full of the rare tunes kinetic enough to transform the 7th St. Entry on a Sunday night into a booty-shaking dance party. With the Joseph Bell and Dial-Up. 18+, $8-$10, 8 p.m., 701 First Ave. N, Minneapolis, 612.332.1775. —Rob Van Alstyne

C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band

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