Steve Forbert Still Looking for Inspiration -- and Finding It

Categories: Playbill

Photo by Alan Messer
Steve Forbert still looking for inspiration from Jimmie Rodgers
After almost 40 years in the music business, Steve Forbert could be forgiven for taking it easy or resting on his laurels, but the singer-songwriter who comes to McGonigel's Mucky Duck Saturday night for two shows still has the fire in his belly. A brief two-stop Texas weekend tour is an interruption of what he describes as the grueling process of mixing a new record he hopes to release this fall.

"Playing the shows is where the real joy lies in all this," he explains from a studio in New Jersey. "Just take my guitar and get up there, no obsessive worrying about little things like is there enough bottom end in that. That's what gets my juices going -- the live playing is still the big fun.

"The other part of it this far along in my career is that people who come out to hear me want to be there," laughs Forbert. "So I'm playing to a pretty select group, not a bunch of people who've never heard me. They come for a specific reason, and that's great by me. Realizing that, I still find myself surprised that I'm not more relaxed than I am when I'm onstage."

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Upcoming: Dan Deacon, Faith No More, Geto Boys, Kenny Chesney, Mojo Nixon, Reptar, etc.

Categories: Playbill

Photo by Dustin Rabin/Courtesy of Speakeasy PR
Faith No More perform at Bayou Music Center on July 28
4/19 Smoke Something Death Metal Mini Fest: With Suicidal Impulse, Destroy The Living, Flesheater, Within Hatred, Imperial Affliction., Sun., April 19, 8 p.m. Acadia Bar & Grill, 3939 Cypress Creek Pkwy., Houston, 281-893-2860.

Adam Klein: Sat., May 30, 9 p.m., $7. Natachee's Supper 'n Punch, 3622 Main, Houston, 713-524-7203.

The Agonist: With Fit For Rivals, Diamante, Falling For Scarlet, Apothica. Sat., May 2, 8 p.m., $10 to $13. Scout Bar, 18307 Egret Bay Blvd., Houston, 281-335-0002.

Ambrosia: Sun., June 28, 7:30 p.m., $78 to $118. Dosey Doe, 25911 I-45 N., Spring, 281-367-3774.

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Upcoming: Action Bronson, Ben Folds, GBH, Smashing Pumpkins, Vans Warped Tour, etc.

Categories: Playbill

Photo by Groovehouse
The Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson (pictured) perform at NRG Arena on July 16
2nd Annual Crawfish Boil: With John Evans Band, Mandi Powell, Mike Dean, The Captain Legendary Band., Sat., April 25, 2 p.m., $10 to $30. Redneck Country Club, 11110 W. Airport Blvd., Stafford, 281-809-4867.

3LAU: With Botnek, Bright Lights. Fri., May 15, 9 p.m., $15 to $25. Stereo Live, 6400 Richmond, Houston, 832-251-9600.

Action Bronson: With The Alchemist. Sun., May 31, 7 p.m., $25 to $30. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, Houston, 888-402-5837.

Alan Haynes: Sat., April 25, 9 p.m., $5. The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club, 5731 Kirby, Houston, 713-523-9999.

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The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Bad Religion, Datsik, Slim Thug, etc.

Categories: Playbill

Photo by Amanda J. Cain
Bad Religion's Greg Graffin at House of Blues in 2013
Bad Religion
House of Blues, April 3

Since 1980, before their future nemesis Ronald Reagan even set foot in the White House, Bad Religion has been one of the main standard-bearers for L.A. punk, confronting all manner of societal ills and weathering endless shifts in popular taste to emerge bloodied but unbowed, and more beloved than ever. Springing to life at about the same time as Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, the barrel-chested crew led by Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz (founder of Epitaph Records) has exerted an immeasurable influence on generations of punk fans via albums such as 1989's No Control and 1990's Against the Grain. And lots more: the band's entire staggering discography is streaming on their Web site, all the way through two 2013 LPs, True North and Christmas Songs -- the latter a bit of holiday levity that proved Bad Religion aren't so humorless after all. With Off! and Dead to the World. CHRIS GRAY

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Upcoming: 311, Ariana Grande, Gin Blossoms, H.R., Juicy J, Van Halen, Wishbone Ash, etc.

Categories: Playbill

Photo by Groovehouse
Van Halen returns for a show at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on September 25
311: With The Green., Fri., July 31, 8 p.m., $39.50 to $49.50. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas, Houston, 713-225-8551.

420 Evening Fest: With Decades Of Rock, Black Kennedy, Vanilla Whale., Mon., April 20, 6 p.m., $5. Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 E. 24th, Houston, 713-862-8707.

8Ball & MJG: With Lil Keke., Sat., April 4, 8 p.m., $29.50. Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Fwy., Houston, 713-988-1020.

Abbey Rode -- Beatles Tribute Band: With Already Gone -- Eagles Tribute Band., Sat., April 4, 8 p.m., $12. Main Street Crossing, 111 E. Main, Tomball, 281-290-0431.

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The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Mike Stinson, Big Business, Kiesza, etc.

Categories: Playbill

Photo courtesy of South Central Music
John Egan
The Big Easy, March 30

Give John Egan credit for taking chances. The longtime solo Houston bluesman's 2014 album, Amulet, is in some respects the polar opposite of its 2012 predecessor, Phantoms. Besides bringing in a few side musicians and respected Americana producer R.S. Field (Billy Joe Shaver, Webb Wilder), Egan has expanded his songwriting reach to include Latin-tinged jazz and melancholy pop, showing he's less reliant on his Resonator guitar's unforgiving tone but comfortable keeping the instrument as his anchor. The end result is a softer mood than Phantoms, whose songs sometimes showed visibly bared teeth, but Amulet's overall disquieting feel suggests Egan has done little to ward off the same tormentors who were after him last time.

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How Shinyribs Became Texas's Hottest Band

Photo by Jason Wolter
Winfield Cheek (l) funking it up behind Kevin Russell (r).
Winfield Cheek is just happy to be here. Now into his eighth year as funky keyboardist with Shinyribs, one of the fastest-moving bands in the Texas scene right now, Cheek seems content with his place in the band and the universe.

"Man, it took awhile but this band has really taken off," says Cheek from his home in Austin as he rests up after a long tour to Florida. "There've been times when I had my doubts if the project would even stay together, but it sure seems like we've cleared some major hurdles the past 18 months or so."

While the band has always had a strong base in Houston, where Kevin Russell put together what was at first just a side project outside his main band, the Gourds, Cheek notes that suddenly Austin seemed to catch on when the band did a Tuesday-night residency at Ray Benson's club The Rattle Inn.

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The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Schoolboy Q, Adnan Sami, Jewel Brown, etc.

Photo by Marco Torres
Schoolboy Q at Warehouse Live, March 2014
UH Frontier Fiesta
TDECU Stadium (University of Houston), March 27-28

Known as "The Cage," TDECU Stadium is still just getting started as the home of the fightin' Houston Cougar football team, but UH's annual spring carnival (which turns 75 years old this year) is the field's first real opportunity to test its sea legs as a concert venue; the shows are completely free thanks to UH student fees. After Sugarland's Kristian Bush started things off Thursday, Friday saucy UK pop-rap starlet Cher Lloyd ("Want U Back") makes her claim on some of that Iggy/Charli XCX market share, and rising young L.A. rapper Schoolboy Q's 2014 album Oxymoron will provide plenty of jams for a raucous Saturday-night finale. Go Coogs!

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Webb Wilder Keeps the Crackle in His Groove

Categories: Playbill

photo by David McLister
Webb Wilder, last of the full-grown men
Webb Wilder, who rolls into McGonigel's Mucky Duck on his first-ever solo tour Sunday, is a lifer, a rock and roll true believer who refuses to give in to the modern-day music business model. Thirty years after the release of his monumental cowpunk statement It Came From Nashville, Wilder soldiers on, doing his own thing, making a living the hard way, one show at a time.

"If you're going to do this," the last of the full grown men explains, "you need to keep bringing in new fans while being careful not to alienate and lose your old fans. I think every artist with much longevity has to deal with that dynamic, find some balance."

Wilder, who was signed to Island Records for his second release, Hybrid Vigor, has been through a Who's Who of noted roots-music labels: Praxis/Zoo, Watermelon, Blind Pig, Landslide, Racket and DixieFrog. Ironically, Wilder, who was a disc jockey on Sirius/XM radio for a while, will return to Landslide for his next release due later this year.

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Upcoming: Billy Bob Thornton, Boz Scaggs, Hans Raj Hans, Jewel Brown, Slash, etc.

Categories: Playbill

Photo by Craig Hlavaty
Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters perform at Firehouse Saloon April 5.
2X4: With Scavenger, REX, Far From Nothing, Thrones, Demoted to the Grave. Sun., May 3, 6 p.m., $12. Walters Downtown, 1120 Naylor, Houston, 713-222-2679.

8 1/2 Souvenirs: Sat., April 18, 9 p.m., $10. Natachee's Supper 'n Punch, 3622 Main, Houston, 713-524-7203.

A.J. Vincent: With the Journey Agents, Sun Thieves. Fri., March 27, 8:30 p.m., $5. Alley Kat Bar & Lounge, 3718 Main, Houston.

Anne McCue: Thu., April 9, 9:30 p.m., $20 to $22. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, Houston, 713-528-5999.

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