Critics' Picks: The Lemonheads, Trombone Shorty, and Drive-By Truckers

The Lemonheads revisit their breakout album, It's a Shame About Ray
Piper Ferguson

The Lemonheads

First Avenue on Saturday 10.22

For this tour stop the Lemonheads will run through all of their breakthrough album, It's a Shame About Ray, from way back in the summer of 1992, when unemployment neared 8 percent (hey, that sounds pretty good) and folks still used actual phone booths to arrange drug deals. Working with producers the Robb Bros., Evan Dando and temporary bandmates Juliana Hatfield and David Ryan fused their key influences (Hüsker Dü, Replacements, Elvis Costello, AM pop, hippie country) into a charming sort of folk-rock, at once accelerated and slack. The songs had no great claims to make but the hooks were as seductive as Dando's drawl and Dennis Wilson's looks. It's a 30-minute album, so there should be ample time for other material. Apt openers the Shining Twins make scrappy pop-punk that gets away with what ought to be an excess of cuteness. 18+. $18/$20 at the door. 6:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Dylan Hicks

Warren Haynes Band

Fitzgerald Theater on Wednesday 10.19

Certified guitar monster Warren Haynes is all over the place, playing with the Allman Brothers and the Dead, popping up on numerous guest shots, as well as leading his own Gov't Mule. So it's little wonder Haynes's current solo album is titled Man in Motion, nor that it's on the revived Stax label, given the Memphis soul influences that course through it. There are Steve Cropper-like guitar phrases, bristling horns, Booker T-like keyboard work, and plenty of gospel/soul vocals both from Haynes himself (a fine singer whose bluesy inclinations suggest Gregg Allman) and the potent backup tandem of Ivan Neville and Ruthie Foster. Haynes also covers the William Bell-Booker T tune "Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday." All the rest are solid Haynes originals tapping the soulful end of the blues-rock spectrum he's long worked, showcasing his vocals most prominently but as always also featuring a guitar clinic, here a bit more nuanced than usual. The band has been doing full-set tributes to Sly and James Brown. Although not scheduled here, maybe a few of their nuggets will sneak into the mix. All ages. $30-$35. 8 p.m. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651.290.1200. —Rick Mason

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

First Avenue on Friday 10.21

The brash phenomenon of Trombone Shorty and his infectious, wildly eclectic, New Orleans-spawned "supafunkrock" (as it's been lately dubbed) rolls on with the recent release of For True. Arriving a year and a half after his major-label debut (Backatown) rocketed Shorty (a.k.a. Troy Andrews) to international acclaim, For True delivers another potent dose of his roiling blend of NOLA tradition (brass bands, funk, jazz) and broad contemporary influences, ignited by his trombone and trumpet work, propelled by his charismatic vocals and stage presence. Andrews has learned essential lessons on Crescent City street corners since the days he was dwarfed by his trombone, and that raucous spirit still informs his music. A slew of guests show up on For True—Jeff Beck, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Ledisi—but they're merely incidental to the bold, confident, transcendent, naturally funkalicious force that is Trombone Shorty. 18+. $25. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Rick Mason

Matt Slocum Trio

Artists' Quarter on Friday 10.21

This three-night AQ residency marks the return of New York-based drummer-composer Matt Slocum to his hometown. The St. Paul-born, western Wisconsin-raised Slocum last week released his second album, After the Storm, an elegant, thoroughly engaging showcase of modern jazz sophistication that should enhance his and his ensemble's reputation as a growing force in the jazz world. Slocum, pianist Gerald Clayton, and bassist Massimo Biolcati have been collaborating since their days at USC a decade ago, and their intuitive response to one another yields an especially creative cohesion. A keen melodicism in particular seems to flow from one instrument to another, even as Slocum's lithe, complexly textured rhythms swing mightily. Slocum's opening "Jacaranda" shimmers, the piano and bass unveiling brightly hued multi-faceted blossoms while the rhythms jostle them with gusts of constantly shifting intensity. "The Catalyst" is more driving, the trio exploring shadowy corners that evolve at odd angles. And Slocum's dramatic arrangement of Ravel's "La Vallee des Cloches" is alive with twisting intrigues that the band etches with dynamic flair. 21+. $15. 9 p.m. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 651.292.1359. Also Saturday and Sunday —Rick Mason

Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls

Triple Rock Social Club on Sunday 10.23

Having already conquered England, Frank Turner takes his band on a headlining U.S. tour, including Sunday's stop at the Triple Rock. Turner's direct, honest songs conjure familiar names—Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen come to mind—but his voice is all his own, using an anthemic punk-rock quality that adds an element of communal catharsis to his folk approach. His works pull from traditional places and stories, mixing it up between solo voice/guitar reflections and full band compositions that are ultimately rock-inspired folk music. With a strong, personal stage presence, consider it An Evening With... rather than a spectator/performer experience. Having toured with Green Day, Social Distortion, Flogging Molly, the Offspring, and the Revival Tour, Turner takes center stage himself in support of June's England Keep My Bones. With Andrew Jackson Jihad and Into It, Over It. 18+. $15. 7 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Loren Green

Drive-By Truckers

First Avenue on Tuesday 10.25

Despite early punk influences that had no particular geographical tilt (notably including the distinctly northern Replacements), the Drive-By Truckers are about as Southern-fried as contemporary rock bands get. Musically, the inevitable Skynyrdisms always lurk about. But even more pronounced are the DBT's Southern gothic literary leanings, particularly in the songwriters' vivid character studies of fundamentally flawed individuals struggling against insurmountable odds. Especially in these grim times, many of their circumstances may be universal, but the twists, turns, and essential character of their conundrums all originate below the Mason-Dixon. So it is on the ever-prolific DBT's latest, Go-Go Boots, in which songs like "Used to Be a Cop" probe angst so debilitating it drapes its victims like kudzu. Opening will be the Tennessee country-punk Southern belles of Those Darlins. 18+. $20/$22 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Rick Mason

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