The Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Tianna Hall, Tom Russell, Bruno Mars, etc.
You could argue that Tianna Hall is the best jazz singer in all of Houston. I mean, you could argue against it, too, but it's like arguing that the moon landing was faked. Her smoky voice is a fine mix of skill and improvised magic, and it's landed her on the Grammy nomination ballot three times. Name any high-class Houston gathering that could use a set of pipes on loan from an angel, and Hall has been there owning every inch of the stage. JEF WITH ONE F
Think of the ballyhooed Texas "singer-songwriter tradition," and Tom Russell may not be the first name that comes to mind, but he absolutely belongs up there with the Elys and Hancocks and Lovetts and Earles. The longtime El Pasoan is in many ways roots music's answer to fellow borderlands citizen Cormac McCarthy, author of one volume after another of story-songs rich in drama, poetry, legends and blood. Many of his albums, including the latest, 2011's Mesabi, qualify Russell as much as a folklorist as a songwriter. CHRIS GRAY
Little Joe Washington
Boondocks, March 5
Out of a Third Ward blues guitar school that has now graduated to the great beyond Albert Collins, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Johnny Guitar Watson and Joe Guitar Hughes, Little Joe Washington is the last man standing. And he's hardly standing still: He's also pedaling his Schwinn from gig to gig, Fender strapped to his back, doing things with it you've never heard before and never will again, and then passing his hat around for tips. JOHN NOVA LOMAX