Minneapolis’ Matt Wilson and John Munson first performed together in Trip Shakespeare, an alt-rock band with a ‘60s sensibility fueled by Wilson’s sweet falsetto and offbeat songwriting. After Munson and fellow band member Dan (Wilson’s brother) went on to enjoy commercial success as Semisonic — the group that contributed “Closing Time” to our collective late ‘90s soundtracks — Wilson and Munson teamed up again in folk rock band The Twilight Hours. The call-backs to Trip Shakespeare’s Beatles-meets-Billy Preston sound in 2016’s Black Beauty are both copious and welcome, whether it’s the strumming guitars, Munson and Wilson’s voices harmonizing, or Wilson’s sweet falsetto, which hasn’t lost an octave.
Dylan Hicks and his band employ country motifs, beachy harmonies, blues riffs, and jazz tinctures to arrive at a sound once described, by Hicks himself, as "roadhouse cabaret." At other times they explore a sort of second-generation yacht rock from the bow of an inflatable dinghy. His album, Ad Out, was produced by John Munson and includes eleven smartly written and arranged songs in lyrical modes ranging from barroom monologues to domestic realism.