Lonesome Onry and Mean is torn as to his whereabouts this evening. Drive-by Truckers will be knocking down walls and eardrums at House of Blues, and that's where we'll probably end up. But if Galveston was 70 miles closer - it's not the drive down, it's the drive back! - we would certainly be headed for Wrecks Bell's Old Quarter Acoustic Café tonight for a singularly fine songwriters show with the elusive Richard Dobson, David Olney and Sergio Webb. The Truckers are touring behind their final New West album, The Fine Print, an extremely fine record despite its billing as an assortment of outtakes and rarities. In fact, the album has probably gotten more play in my truck in the past month than anything else I've received. From the opening track "George Jones Talkin' Cell Phone Blues" through covers of Tom Petty's "Rebels" and Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone," The Fine Print holds together with more glue than most albums can muster these days. And when the Truckers get down the fine points of southern existence - the love/hate relationship with TVA, used-car lot arson and insurance fraud - they hit the bullseye. In conjunction with the Truckers' show, frontman Patterson Hood will be doing an instore at Cactus Records at 5:30 in support of his new solo album, Murdering Oscar (and Other Love Songs).
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Richard Dobson was one of that elite group of songwriters - Townes van Zandt, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Young - featured in the seminal movie Heartworn Highways. He's probably most famous for David Alan Coe's monumental cut of Dobson's "Piece of Wood and Steel." He's nearing the end of a three week swing through Texas and some of his old haunts. Sergio Webb's excellent Bolivar Blues was released this week. It is sparse, mostly quiet, and always meaningful. Webb has lots of ties down this way -- his daughter is with Houston Ballet -- and he just gets the vibe of the Gulf Coast and our catastrophes. He and Olney have traveled together for years, and they put on one of the most robust acoustic duo shows anyone could hope for. These are not white wine and carrot sticks folkies, folks. These are lions who have chosen folk music as their outlet, although they're usually found at the rocking-est end of the folk music food chain. Anyway, go see some music this weekend. At least it will get you away from the trick-or-treaters. Patterson Hood: 5:30 p.m. today, Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth, 713-526-9272. Drive-by Truckers: 8 p.m. tonight, House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, 800-402-5837. Richard Dobson, David Olney, Sergio Webb, 9 p.m. tonight, Old Quarter Acoustic Café, 413 20th St., Galveston, 409-762-9199.