Thursday June 16
Tonight, Jeff White hits The Doggery with his alt-country and Western folk stylings. White possesses a distinct Wisconsin drawl that delivers his dark-country thoughts with accuracy. I recommend checking out “Please Come Back to Me,” which errs on the more traditional side of the country fence. As a follow-up, check out “One That I Desire,” which features White doing his best Leonard Cohen impression. It’s just the kind of thing I want in my ears while I watch sugar cubes dissolve under absinthe waterfalls.
Friday June 17
At 8 on Friday night, Forager Brewery hosts Jillian Rae, an Iron Range-raised violinist and singer/songwriter. Her music strives to hook your thinking into a more positive place by incorporating country, folk, polka, blues and pop sounds, and, man, if it doesn’t do its job well. Rae has a clear voice with an authentic warble that give her songs an earnest edge that’s hard to hate on.
“Heartbeat” is streaming on her website. Its precise guitar-work and guttural instrumental textures combine for an aural image that sounds like train tracks cutting through the plains, until the bridge’s polka-shift hits. That’s when you realize you’re listening to a whole new thing.
Saturday June 18
On Saturday night, gypsy squad Dang Ol’ Triole hits Kathy’s Pub. Their music sounds like the Squirrel Nut Zippers met with the Buena Vista Social Club or something. I don’t know, check them out and let me know if you have a better categorization at @PBBLund on Twitter. Until then, I’ll keep listening to “Rise and Shine,” which features very rad percussion and some wry horns.
Also on Saturday night, Sterling Haukom continues to push the music scene ahead with a semi-secret performance that functions as a CD release, housewarming party, art exhibition and 30th birthday party.
He’ll play through the entirety of his debut, seven song solo album, “Turquoise.” For a taste of his music, check out sterlinghaukom.com.
The event will feature a keg of Forager Brewery’s finest, as well as performances by Joel Ward, whose praises you may have read me sing before, and Justin Calkins, who Haukom says will turn your insides to goo with his music. There’s also a showing of Haukom’s visual art, a meat-free grill, lawn games, and Sega Genesis. I should be on hand to punish anyone looking for lessons in humility in Street Fighter. Afterward, Sterling has invited people to stick around for a fire and jam.
The only way you can get the address is by buying a ticket. Tickets are $10, but if you buy 5 or more at a time, you get a 15% discount. Kids get in free. Bring lawn chairs and a blanket.