Music roundup for Oct. 24-30, 2013

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By Kareesa Wilson, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chris Tomlin with Louie Giglio at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, Milwaukee Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $26-$35. Call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

Christian music artist Chris Tomlin is burning up the charts.

The 41-year-old singer/songwriter from Atlanta won the 2012 Grammy Award for best contemporary Christian album for “And If Our God Is for Us….” His “Burning Lights” album, released this January, became just the fourth Christian music album to debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 100 chart.

Tomlin's recording career began more than a decade ago with his 2001 debut album, “The Noise We Make,” which became popular for its worship songs. His success had been limited to the Christian music world until three years ago. Besides the Grammy, Tomlin has won several Dove Awards for male vocalist of the year.

Tomlin continues to work as a worship leader at his home church in Atlanta. Christian speaker Louie Giglio has worked alongside Tomlin for more than 15 years and joins him for this tour.

Cowboy Junkies at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, Stoughton Opera House, 381 E. Main St., Stoughton. Tickets: $20-$40. Call 608-877-4400.

Cowboy Junkies' singular brand of country-blues-alt rock is just plain fun. It must be—after all, the Canadian band is celebrating more than 25 years together.

Their 1986 debut, “Whites Off Earth Now!!,” barely made a splash in the music world, but a follow-up record, “The Trinity Session,” cemented a cult-like status among fans and critics. The Los Angeles Times called that 1988 album one of the 10 best albums that year.

Since then, the band—siblings Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins and Peter Timmins, and Alan Anton—has released more than 20 albums and continues to tour. The Junkies' innovative recordings and genre-bending sounds have helped to define a new niche in country music.

Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, The Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $59.50-$89.50. Call 414-286-3663.

When musical geniuses Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck collide, it's always going to go well for the audience. Wilson's and Beck's historic tour has met with critical praise, with The Los Angeles Times calling the shows “music for music's sake … Good vibrations, indeed.”

Milwaukee's Riverside Theater is the final stop on the tour.

Wilson, a founding member of the Beach Boys, and English rock guitarist Beck perform solo and together. Close to three hours long, their concert kicks off with traditional Beach Boys hits, Beck's set and then an encore with both of them. At one point, 17 people are onstage. 

“I was totally and utterly mesmerized—the sound and the performance, all the harmonies, just mindboggling,“ the English guitarist told The Associated Press, referring to watching Wilson and the others perform. Beck first performed with Wilson at his MusiCares Person of the Year tribute in 2006. 

Wilson, now 71, told the AP that he has improved since the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour last year. “It was a very sentimental experience, but the vocals are even better now.”

Cyndi Lauper at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St., Madison. Hunter Valentine also performs. Tickets: $39.50-$69.50. Call 608-258-4141.

Cyndi Lauper just keeps having fun.

The 60-year-old pop rock superstar is enjoying a year of accolades. She wrote all the music and lyrics for the Broadway hit musical “Kinky Boots” and became the first woman to win the Tony Award alone for composition. The critically acclaimed musical swept the Tonys this year, winning six awards including best musical.

But Lauper was on a roll anyway. Her 2011 album, “Memphis Blues,” earned a Grammy nomination and topped Billboard's blues chart.

Lauper hit the music scene with her 1983 megahit debut, “She's So Unusual,” which produced four hit singles, including the anthem “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” It earned Lauper a Grammy for best new artist. Now, 30 years later, Lauper has proved she has formidable staying power and more talent than her early pop singles might have shown.

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