The 10 Best Shows in Houston This Weekend: Uncle Kracker, MxPx, James Taylor, etc.
Firehouse Saloon, June 13
For an artist who started his career as Kid Rock's DJ, Uncle Kracker has managed to find his country niche. That got going with the laid-back "Drift Away," the Dobie Gray tune Kracker turned into a throwback hit as a duet with the original artist back in 2003. His solo tunes are certainly nothing to shake a stick at, either.
"Smile," another hit from 2009 album Happy Hour, is a sweet, noteworthy jam that can stand with the country-rock best of 'em. Catching Kracker at a small venue like Firehouse Saloon could be a blue-moon kind of chance, one it would be wise to consider strappin' on those boots for. ANGELICA LEICHT
Hey, do your feet hurt? Did you fall from heaven? Well, they will once you set foot in Fitzgerald's for the MXPX show. It's been a little while since we've heard from the Washington state pop-punks - their last album, Plans Within Plans, dropped in 2012 - but it matters not because 1996's Life In General was about as good as skate-pop gets. These nice guys always kill it in concert, and if you're nice back to them, maybe they'll invite you to move to Bremerton and hang out. No promises, though. With Allister. ANGELICA LEICHT
James Taylor's achievements are so monumental he forces critics to use words like "archetype" when talking about him. The first artist to sign with the Beatles' Apple Records (which didn't last), the New Englander deepened and darkened the simple sounds of '60s folk-pop with music whose gentle nature often concealed serious grownup themes. Songs like "Fire and Rain" and "You've Got a Friend" both cracked Billboard's Top 5, while others such as "Country Road," "Sweet Baby James" and "Bartender's Blues" -- later a Top 10 country hit for George Jones - earned heavy airplay.
Soon enough, the airwaves were crowded with acts following Taylor's lead such as onetime wife Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot and John Denver. But most impressively, Taylor's appeal has never waned through the ensuing decades - the 1976 LP James Taylor's Greatest Hits has now sold more than 11 million copies in the United States. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
2706 White Oak, Houston, TX
2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX
911 Milby, Houston, TX
2425 Norfolk, Houston, TX
1120 Naylor, Houston, TX
300 Westheimer, Houston, TX
6400 Richmond, Houston, TX
615 Louisiana St., Houston, TX
3700 Main, Houston, TX