More like Fe-brrr-uary, am I right? (Because it is cold.)
J.J. Grey and Mofro @ First Avenue
Grey is a genuine blend of Memphis funk-soul, slow-building southern boogie, and gospel testimony. The grit and glide of that swampy, southeastern hedonism come naturally to him and his band, Mofro, like if Little Feat had recorded for Alligator Records. He hasn’t put out a proper record in nearly five years, nor come up this way in three, but you know what you’re getting—his vocals, guitar and harmonica all strive for honest connections to venerable music, and thus to the kindred spirits in his audience. Freddie & Francine open. 7 p.m. $30. 18+. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Friday music listings here.
Chris Morrissey @ Icehouse
Growing up in Minnesota, Morrissey spent countless hours at the Clown Lounge watching Happy Apple reinvent the jazz-rock template. Eventually he headed out to New York, fell in with the bands of drummer Mark Giuliana and then guitarist Jim Campilongo, became music director for Sharon Van Etten and Sara Bareilles, and cut four records as a leader. Now he’s back home and playing a set of his own recent music with two-thirds of Happy Apple (or, if you prefer, the Dave King Trucking Company minus Chris Speed): King on drums, Erik Fratzke on guitar, Brandon Wozniak on tenor sax, and Morrissey on bass and vocals. 10 p.m. $15. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Grace Potter @ Palace Theatre
Recent seismic changes—splitting from her husband and her band (the Nocturnals), remarrying, motherhood—were the genesis of Grace Potter’s current solo album, Daylight. Her lyrics are by far her most personal, baring her soul on confessionals whose raw emotions also elicit some of her most riveting vocals, especially on the spare, anguished gospel ballad “Release.” Pop infiltrations are minimal in favor of soulful Memphis flair, a sparkling countrypolitan ballad (“Repossession”), searing rockers (the Stones-like “On My Way”), and fresh passion that suggests a new dawn. Devon Gilfillian opens. 18+. 7 p.m. $38.50—63. 17 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul. More info here.—Rick Mason
Robert Randolph and the Family Band @ First Avenue
The most torrid of the sacred steel artists, Robert Randolph has bumped into the limitations of his genre, which has always been about depth more than breadth. After a fruitful run on Warner Brothers, the last four discs by him and his Family Band of real siblings have been on four different labels, with inevitable tweaks into more overt soul, funk, jazz, vocals, and blues (all of which naturally seep into the gospel country blues-rock of sacred steel anyway). Live performance will always be the best way to receive him, because surrounded by the fervent accompaniment of his group, his pedal steel remains wonderfully palpable, and still preciously hard to come by at such a high level. $25 in advance, $30 day of show. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Saturday music listings here.
Eddie Palmieri @ Dakota
Nuyorican pianist, Latin jazz icon, and salsa pioneer Eddie Palmieri has had a long, prolific, career that’s featured restless innovation. His sizzling Afro-Caribbean rhythms have fueled cutting edge jazz influenced by masters like Monk and Tyner, the latter particularly in his percussive keyboard attack. Reprising a thrilling late summer performance with his bristling combo, Palmieri, 83, returns to the Dakota with two new recordings under his belt: Full Circle and Mi Luz Mayor feature dynamic, fresh new arrangements of Palmieri and Latin dance classics respectively. 6 & 8:30 p.m. $30—45. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
The Infamous Stringdusters @ Varsity Theater
The Infamous Stringdusters have the peak picking prowess to mix it up with bluegrass’ finest, and often do so on the jamgrass circuit. But the quintet’s string flings and classic vocal harmonies also are tied to storytelling songs leaning to straight country, pop, and rock. Their covers, in fact, can stray from Johnny Cash to the Cure and Grateful Dead. Last year’s studio album Rise Sun, following up 2017’s Grammy winning Laws of Gravity, tried to put a hopeful spin on global angst with tunes like “Truth and Love.” The subsequent Live from Covington Kentucky, captures their infectious in-the-flesh exuberance. 18+. $23.50. 8 p.m. 1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Sunday music listings here.