The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Turnpike Troubadours, Untapped Fest, Tallest Man On Earth, etc.
Photo by Justin Voight
Revention Music Center, September 11
The world is rapidly waking up to Oklahoma's Turnpike Troubadours, whose new self-titled LP recently reached the Top 5 of iTunes' country albums chart in the pre-order stage. At this point the Troubadours are a well-known commodity in these parts, reportedly selling more than 200,000 copies of their two previous albums. And sure, close-to-home delights abound on the new album – Cajun frolics “The Bird Hunters” and “Bossier City,” honky-tonk romp “7 Oaks,” or Tulsa two-step “Easton & Main” – but radio-ready country-rockers “Ringing In the Year” and “Long Drive Home” suggest the Troubadours' days as a regional phenomenon could be more numbered than ever. Even their galloping Old 97's cover, “Doreen,” sounds like a hit. With Jonny Burke.
Photo courtesy of Jim Weider
Dosey Doe, September 12
The Cliff's Notes legend of The Band is that the Dylan-endorsed Americana-rockers gracefully slipped away into music-critic immortality after their Thanksgiving 1976 all-star “farewell” concert (later turned into Martin Scorcese's eulogistic 1978 film The Last Waltz), but that's not quite what happened. Instead the group reconvened in the early 1980s minus Robbie Robertson and kept at it until bassist Rick Danko's death in 1999, losing keyboardist Richard Manuel in 1986 but releasing better-than-respectable albums like Jericho and Jubilation along the way. But after drummer/spiritual guidepost Levon Helm's passed away in 2012, several alumni of Helm's Midnight Ramble Band and the latter-day incarnation of The Band formed The Weight, the Woodstock-based ensemble – named after the original group's most famous song, naturally — that has quickly gathered a reputation of doing true justice to one of the heftiest legacies in rock history. Saturday will be their first appearance in the Houston area.
Discovery Green, September 12
Saturday, Untapped's expanding roster of Texas cities cycles back to Discovery Green for its third Houston installment, as usual offering a carefully curated selection of performers and beverages alike. Of the latter, more than 70 breweries will be on hand to pour some 250-plus varieties of suds, or something to wash down every musical taste. In the top spot are L.A. indie-rock survivors Cold War Kids, now enjoying their biggest hit in almost a decade with “First”; the moody and seductive electronic soundscapes of Twin Shadow; Rhode Island Americana tweakers Deer Tick; and one of Dallas' best young singer-songwriters, Sarah Jaffe. Houston counters with punk-rock-loving, punchline-savvy rapper Fat Tony; the well-tailored indie-rock of New York City Queens; digital cumbia artiste Gio Chamba, the breakout act of Free Press Summer Fest 2015; and a rump-loosening DJ set by crate-digging DJ duo Wrestlers.
The Tallest Man On Earth
House of Blues, September 12
Every year a handful of albums get passed around the Internet like not particularly well-kept secrets, hitting critical mass with the media as word of mouth translates into sold-out signs in box-office windows along the tour. Last year it was The War On Drugs' Lost In the Dream, and in 2015 that honor rests with the Swedish singer-songwriter who performs as The Tallest Man On Earth. His fourth LP, Dark Bird Is Home (Dead Oceans), is a lovely and bittersweet album about romance and the lack thereof that has inspired critical raves from the Guardian and NPR on down, plus surely a year-end best-of list in a few months' time. Don't be left out of the conversation.
SIX MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
Electric Foam: Featuring Liquid Todd vs. Surain, and starring one “Super-Massive Foam Cannon.” (Stereo Live, September 11)
David Ramirez: Critically acclaimed Americana singer-songwriter has an album full of fresh Fables to share. (Walters Downtown, September 11)
Kyle Hubbard: Welcome the Houston MC home as he performs brand-new EP Majestic Hotel in full; followed by a listening party for Duran Duran's Paper Gods. (Cactus Music, 1 p.m. September 12)
Numbers' 37th Anniversary: Toast more than three and a half decades and the upcoming documentary with DJs Wes Wallace, Carmina, Damon and vvJames. (Numbers, September 12)
John Paul Keith: Memphis rocker keeps carrying the Sun Records torch, brightly. (Big Top Lounge, September 12)
Dan Penn: Soul songwriter supreme; co-author of “The Dark End of the Street,” “I'm Your Puppet,” “Cry Like a Baby,” and many more. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, September 12)