The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Rusty Shackle, Black Joe Lewis, Failure, etc.
On last year's One Hundred -- amazingly, his first-ever full-length release -- DJ Sun pours his 20-plus-year career as one of Houston's most in-demand DJs into a seamless work that never lulls, never lags and maintains an unshakably mellow groove throughout. Its intricately laid-back latticework should come as no surprise to anyone lucky enough to have met the man and easily made it one of 2013's standout Houston albums.
Among his multitude of weekly gigs, Sun's long-running "Rocksteady Mondays" residency at the Flat, where he is now managing partner, is probably the most chill environment to glimpse this true turntable craftsman at work.
It's impossible not to see the shadow of Mumford & Sons in the music of Rusty Shackle, but only for the short-sighted. The latter is a six-piece formed in remote South Wales only a few months after Mumford's Sigh No More began its steady march to pop domination; it's not like traditional folk music belongs to this decade or the last one anyway. By now Rusty Shackle has released two albums and one EP (2013 LP Bones is the latest) and appeared at a number of UK events like the Cambridge Folk Festival and Folk By the Oak. Their credentials are solid, so if any word in their self-description "dirty bluegrass folk n' roll" appeals to you, so will they.
Leaving the crust on soul music since his audacious 2009 arrival Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!, Black Joe Lewis came up through Austin's punk and garage-rock clubs playing the kind of music that blew those audiences away with its immediacy and raw gutbucket power. Scandalous followed two years later and then Electric Slave last year, Lewis not so much refining his sound as diversifying into more traditional areas of R&B and funk (though in a relative sense). Although powered by one of the most dynamic horn sections anywhere, the 2014 Lewis is just as profane and sweaty as he ever was, and his concerts are a lock to reach near-dangerous levels of intensity.
More shows on the next page.