The Best Shows In Houston This Weekend: Phil Anselmo, Harpeth Rising, Whiskey Sisters, etc.
It's been more than a decade since Texas metal gods Pantera broke up, but lead screamer Philip H. Anselmo still sits upon a throne of reverence in the Lone Star State's headbanging community. Anselmo's main musical project these days is New Orleans sludge supergroup Down, but last year he released his first solo album, Walk Through Exits Only, an angry, heavy and pained record that the singer wrote himself.
Backed by his band the Illegals (featuring longtime Houston shredder Marzi Montazeri on guitar), Anselmo returns to his Texas club-circuit roots Friday to deliver a sermon on agonized self-aggrandizement in his trademark gravelly shriek. NATHAN SMITH
Harpeth Rising's unusual instrumentation of banjo, violin, cello and hand percussion belies both their academic background (they met as Indiana University students) and growing profile as one of the hottest acts in contemporary folk music. Now based in Nashville, where their close harmonies and dextrous tunes prompted the Tennessean to anoint them "Best Local Band," the quartet recently released fourth album Tales From Jackson Bridge and has wisely been routed through the Heights' Cortlandt Street Series, which offers an intimacy hard to come by even in Houston's cozier listening rooms. Reservations recommended; email email@example.com for details. CHRIS GRAY
The Whiskey Sisters were an instant hit from the moment Teel Collins and Barbara Nesbitt met each other at a mutual friend's show. In short order they had recruited a six-piece band (including Collins' husband/Mother Truckers bandmate Josh Zee) and recorded a CD of tuneful pop-rock, classic country and rootsy R&B that helped them win Best New Act at the 2013 Austin Music Awards.
Already owners of a successful residency at Austin's Continental Club, and after helping Willie Nelson and Delbert McClinton ring in 2014 at ACL Live, Saturday the Sisters make the drive east to see what kind of sparks they might be able to kindle here. With Graham Wilkinson. CHRIS GRAY
FIVE OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Royal Bangs: Tennessee trio picked up a patron in the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, who produced last year's Brass. (Fitzgerald's, January 10)
Who's Bad: Remember what we were saying earlier this week about tribute bands? (House of Blues, January 11)
Bowielvis Night: Southern Backtones bid both David Bowie and Elvis Presley happy birthday a few days late; we don't think either will mind. (Fitzgerald's, January 11)
School of Rock Season Ending Show: Clear Lake's class of 2014 features more than 60 students subdivided into "Punk Meets Funk," "Keys to Zeppelin," and "Glam Rock of the '80s." Sounds fun; doors at 2 p.m. (Fitzgerald's, January 12)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS