KPFT/90.1 FM has long been admired by local blues fans for its eclectic and numerous weekend blues programs, including Joe's Roadhouse (Saturdays, 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.).
For the past year, the Roadhouse has also presented something unique for Houston: regular monthly live broadcasts. Originating from the Rhythm Room, the shows feature sets from mostly local and regional talent in front of an enthusiastic audience. Co-hosts Smokin' Joe Montes and "the lovely Marquessa" have decided to throw a special show to celebrate the first anniversary of the broadcasts and their respective 50th birthdays.
"Live music has a joyful dynamic that's usually lost in the laborious process of laying down tracks in the studio," Montes says. "But put musicians in the right environment with a good crowd, and you can get the best performances possible out of them."
Smokin' Joe's Roadhouse Live Broadcast Anniversary Show
Rhythm Room, 1815 Washington Avenue
Saturday, September 13; for more information, call 713-863-0943
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Headlining the matinee show will be Houston blues legend Jimmy "T-99" Nelson, supported by sets from Sweet Mama Cotton and the Sugar Daddies, Kern Pratt and the Roadhouse All-Stars -- an ad hoc supergroup featuring Mark May, Kenny Cordray, Ricky Tallefero, Clyde Dempsey and Cameron Scott.
The music will run 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live during the regular show slot. Montes says that the first year has "surpassed" his expectations, and adds that more than 30 artists and bands have been recorded. A CD series might be on the way. And with KPFT streaming the shows on its Web site, listeners around the world have heard plenty of Houston blues.
Montes can now laugh about early broadcast follies, like when his first headliner canceled the day of the show and another performer had to bow out after breaking his hand while trying to block a karate kick.
"Horseplay," Montes sums up, "is not recommended for guitarists."