While all of these are worthy artists, it's easiest to get psyched up about Tony Levin's presence on the bill. One of the great bass players, bar none, Levin arrives heavily armed for this gig with the California Guitar Trio and drummer Pat Mastelotto: He's bringing his Music Man five-string, a Chapman Stick and his electric upright. Expect to fight all the bass geeks for prime seats.
Levin is best known for his work with the '80s and '90s lineups of King Crimson, and for collaborating with Peter Gabriel throughout the latter's solo career. In the studio, Levin has appeared with everyone, and on everything, from Paul Simon and Laurie Anderson to John Lennon, Tom Waits and the Ally McBeal soundtrack. Levin is both an avant-garde rocker and the consummate studio musician. He also has established his own record company so that he can release Internet-savvy, esoteric, noncommercial recordings without having to bow to label pressures.
This current tour is unusual, in that Levin is the guest of the California Guitar Trio. According to Levin, fans can expect a few numbers from his solo album, Waters of Eden (Narada), scattered among all those CGT songs. As a treat, the band also does a couple of Crimson tunes, unplugged.
The California Guitar Trio with Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto
McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk
Thursday, August 30; 713-528-5999
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It's King Crimson that binds these musicians. The ironically named California Guitar Trio (Belgian Bert Lams, Tokyo native Hideyo Moriya and American Paul Richards) first met during an advanced six-string course offered by Robert Fripp (who recruited Mastelotto to pound skins alongside Bill Bruford in a '90s Crimson incarnation) and eventually toured with Fripp and his League of Crafty Guitarists. Levin, of course, has played with Fripp for more than two decades, so consider this a feast of minor royals at the Court of the Crimson King.