Making the relatively short trip to the Crighton Theatre can't help but feel a bit like stepping back a few decades, but with a contemporary twist. The Montgomery County fathers (and mothers) have invested no small amount of money into making Conroe much more than a sleepy bedroom community in danger of being subsumed by Houston's ravenous suburbia. Indeed, the town of some 60,000 people has nearly doubled in size since 2000, and renovated its quaint little courthouse square into a picturesque destination with enough nightlife options to make heading into the city on a Saturday night wholly unnecessary.
A handful of cafes, art galleries and antique shops now dot the square alongside bail-bond offices and law firms. This particular evening alone, within a stone's throw of the Crighton was a Waylon Jennings tribute show at the Corner Pub and former Nashville Star finalist Sheila Marshall at the Red Brick Tavern, plus whatever was going on at the Owen Theater across the way.
But it's the Sounds of Texas Music Series, presented by A&H Electric, civic nonprofit Friends of Conroe and Houston's own 90.1 KPFT, that brings top-shelf Americana talent to Conroe and makes it worth the 45-minute drive from "town." Even that might not be enough if the charmingly restored Crighton weren't, seriously, every bit the acoustic equal of the Wortham's Cullen Theater.