Mary Gauthier

Updated 3/6/2013

Thursday: Underrated alt-country songwriter brings the noise to James J. Hill Reference Library.

Mary Gauthier
Photo by Rodney Bursiel

Mary Gauthier

8 p.m. • James J. Hill Reference Library, 80 W. 4th St., St. Paul • $20

The stately, multi-story atrium of the James J. Hill Reference Library is a perfect setting in which to hear the haunting sounds of Mary Gauthier, the best alt-country songwriter you’ve never heard of. She writes with the grit and honesty of Merle Haggard and the literate darkness of Townes Van Zandt. Her voice has the Louisiana drawl of Lucinda Williams but with more range and musicality. Gauthier will appear at the monthly Real-Phonic Radio Hour, which will also feature Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles and Dead Man Winter, in a rare solo performance. Of course, there’s the most excellent house band led by the underappreciated Eric Koskinen, Minnesota’s best country writer/singer. Jon Bream

Hot Tuna

7:30 p.m. • Mill City Nights • all ages • $34

Chatty rock and blues legends Hot Tuna — Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady — will be in the acoustic format this visit, joined by constant collaborator Barry Mitterhoff, a versatile mandolin wizard. The Jefferson Airplane grads and lifelong Reverend Gary Davis devotees just reissued eight of their classic Hot Tuna CDs in limited-edition faux vinyl packages, with state-of-the-art remastering. So, you can get a fresh, juicy copy of “Burgers” in 24-bit audio. My, that’s tasty! Tom Surowicz