The cold might be here to stay for a while, but you’ve only got a short span of days to catch this weekend’s musical acts, who range from soothing to seething and back again, before they retreat back into the wintry abyss.
On Friday night, folk legend John Gorka graces the stage at Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota, starting at 7:30 p.m.
No stranger to this part of Minnesota, Gorka’s latest album, “Bright Side of Down,” came out back in March and features a host of songs in his trademark style. Expect his show to feature soul-warming folk originals and plenty of self-deprecating humor between tunes.
Tickets are $24 in advance or $27 at the door. To purchase, head over to the Crossings website, crossingsatcarnegie.com/concertpages/johngorka.html.
While folk music fills the air north of town on Friday night, country music establishes a firm foothold at the Wicked Moose, where Collin Raye and Hitchville will play a show on the big stage. The tumbleweed keeps rolling on the Moose’s acoustic stage, where local country phenom JT Thompson is scheduled to play a solo set from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Hitchville, led by lead vocalists Heidi Owens and Matthew Kneefe, is a band on the rise. They recently garnered national radio airplay with their first single, “Whoop it Up.” They hope to build off that song’s momentum with their newest single, “Even When It’s Bad It’s Good,” which will release on Jan. 19. For more about the band, head over to their website, welcometohitchville.com.
Collin Raye’s name might be familiar to you. He made his way into the national spotlight with his 1991 single, “Love, Me.” Later on that decade, he used his position of influence to help change lives: According to his website, collinraye.com, in 1994, the video for Raye’s track “Little Rock,” which was dedicated to people working to recover from addiction, inspired more than 100,000 people to call into Alcoholics Anonymous for help with their own addictions.
Doors for the double-bill open at 7 p.m., with Raye hitting the stage first, at 8, followed by Hitchville’s performance. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and are available at the Wicked Moose or online at tinyurl.com/lqtup8r.
Closer to the center of town, the stage at Kathy’s Pub will hold up the Groove Gun, a trio of Milwaukee funk aficionados who play covers from all genres.
Featuring Alex Vina on bass and FX, Emmanuel Fowlkes on drums and percussion, and Jeremiah Osei on keyboards and other sounds, the group labels its sound “experimental variety.” While I couldn’t find a link to any recordings of their music online, their Facebook page, facebook.com/TheGrooveGun, promises that the group bring the funk, with plenty of ringing endorsements from past audience members to back up the claim.
On Saturday night, Kathy’s plays host to Minneapolis garage rockers Modern Era and bluesy-rock outfit Jones.
It seems like Modern Era has taken a liking to our fair city as of late: They played a slew of shows here during the late summer and autumn, and most recently got the the North Star Bar shaking with a set over the holidays. Their presence is a bolt of fuzz-warped, slightly unhinged energy to the scene here.
If you haven’t caught one of their sets, you can get acquainted with their sounds at their website, themoderneramusic.com, where the band’s latest release, “The Holiday EP,” is available to stream. The album features the howling vocals and wild-style instrumentation that makes the band stand out.
Jones is a newer band, led by frontman Clayton Hagen and featuring members who hail from both Minneapolis and Chicago. They play a bluesified style of rock that’s suited to Hagen’s considerable vocal talents. For more information, head over to their Facebook page, facebook.com/jonestheband.
Finally, Booker & Friends will play a benefit for Linda Born at the Wicked Moose on Saturday. The band plays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., but the benefit runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature bucket raffles, a silent auction, and enticing food.
For more about the benefit, head over to facebook.com/events/362874450556660/?pnref=story.