The Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Bill Carter, Chase Hamblin, Deftones, etc.
With wife/writing partner Ruth Ellsworth, Bill Carter co-wrote 1989's "Crossfire," one of Stevie Ray Vaughan's last big hits. That song went on to earn music publisher BMI's "Million Airs" award for more than 2 million radio spins; musically speaking, it granted Carter license to do whatever the hell he wanted. Today a talented journeyman musician with interesting friends (Johnny Depp, Billy Gibbons), Carter has had his songs recorded by more than 200 artists, and anchored his rootsy Austin band the Blame for some 30 years now.
This past January he released the Springsteen-ish Unknown (Unison Music Group), not only the sort of album that rhymes "marijuana" with "Americana," but the sort of album that makes you wonder why nobody thought of that before. At both Duck sets (7 and 9:30) Friday, Carter will be joined onstage with crazy-talented Austin brothers Charlie and Will Sexton for a helluva Texas trio. CHRIS GRAY
Fitzgerald's, March 29
One of Houston's hardest-hustling troubadors for no small amout of time now, Chase Hamblin finally has something to put in his stall alongside 2009's Fine Time EP. Recorded with Hamblin's backing band of late, the Roustabouts, brand-new album VAUdeVILLE certainly spotlights his abiding love of Britpop classicists that start with the letter "B": Beatles, Bee Gees, early-early Bowie.
However, its abundance of pizzazz and showmanship point back even further, to Britain's music-hall heyday and even a little ragtime. As befitting a proper vaudeville evening, Friday's release party also promises tarot readings, magic, a performance by Kiki's Sordid Sideshow, and no doubt the inevitable surprises. With the Trimms and Bonneville Night Life. CHRIS GRAY
Gurf Morlix is one of Texas' preeminent song whisperers, someone far better known for his work with others than for the jewels he hides away for his own records. Morlix's ridiculously long resume includes a patch in Houston's storied '70s singer-songwriter scene and producing Lucinda Williams' albums Lucinda Williams and Sweet Old World, to go with works by Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves and lots more. (Lots.)
Up to his eighth solo album himself with the brand-new Gurf Morlix Finds the Present Tense (Rootball Records), Morlix is an expert in simple arrangements that are inversely proportional to the complexity of his songs, which come richly veined with dry wisdom, bitter wit, and weary compassion. Morlix also performs at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth. CHRIS GRAY