The 5 Best Shows In Houston This Week: Victor Wooten, Merchandise, etc.
The Victor Wooten Band
Photo by Steven Parke
Victor Wooten San Jacinto College Central
Victor Wooten is the kind of musician who leaves other musicians, especially bass players, in awe. One of his four older brothers taught Wooten the four-string arts at age three, and he's gone on to a distinguished career that includes stints with both jazz-fusion master Stanley Clarke and progressive-bluegrass pickers Béla Fleck & the Flecktones.
Today Wooten owns a Nashville studio and runs his own record label, VIX Records, which is releasing two albums this month: The instrumental Sword and Stone, and Words and Tones, which welcomes vocalists such as Sharon Jones, Meshell Ndegeocello and Beyoncé backup singer Divinity Roxx. Tuesday's show is a benefit for the Brittany Williams Scholarship Fund. See arts.sanjac.edu for info. CHRIS GRAY
All-American Rejects House of Blues, Tuesday
Barely out of high school, Good Charlotte-esque Oklahoma pop-punk heartthrobs the All-American Rejects reached base in their first at-bat when "Swing, Swing," the leadoff single from their eponymous 2002 debut, hit Billboard's Modern Rock Top 10 and, not surprisingly, soon got sucked up by EA Sports for its MVP Baseball video-game franchise.
But front man Tyson Ritter and his cohorts have kept right on swinging, charting three songs from 2005's Move Along and reaching the Top 5 with 2008's "Gives You Hell." Now pushing this year's Kids In the Street (and pushing the term "kids" a little), the Rejects nontheless impressed allmusic.com, which called it "their richest and most varied album to date." With Boys Like Girls. CHRIS GRAY
Blues & Burgers Discovery Green, Wednesday (11:30 a.m.)
The Houston Blues Museum is hoping to jump-start its campaign to find a permanent building - and, just as importantly, find some funds to help them secure that building - by reminding us all that many of Houston's great blues players are still alive and well, right in our midst, and performing on a regular basis.
All this month, local musicians including Milton Hopkins, Texas Johnny Brown, Grady Gaines, Diunna Greenleaf and many more will present a series of lunchtime concerts at Discovery Green's "Blues and Burgers" series honoring Duke/Peacock Records, the legendary Houston label that gave the world everything from Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog" to Bobby "Blue" Bland's Two Steps From the Blues. It's free, but bring your checkbook please. CHRIS GRAY
Aaron Tippin, Joe Diffie, Sammy Kershaw Stafford Centre, Wednesday
This triple bill is practically guaranteed to jog your memory with at least one song you remember singing along to on '90s country radio, maybe even several. It could be Aaron Tippin's take-no-crap pronouncements like "Kiss This" or "You've Got to Stand for Something"; goofy Joe Diffie novelties such as "Third Rock From the Sun" (which predates the NBC sitcom) and "Bigger Than the Beatles"; or Louisiana-bred Sammy Kershaw's Cajun-tinted "Cadillac Style" and "Third Rate Romance." Now you're starting to remember. CHRIS GRAY
Merchandise Mango's, Thursday
Tampa, Florida's Merchandise may come from a breezy, sunny clime, but their latest album, Children of Desire, is six tracks of positively cloudy yet catchy indie-pop. Lead singer Carson Cox intones like a mix of King Morrissey and Chris Isaak, evoking early New Order but mostly 2008's lost Glaswegian act Glasvegas. "In Nightmare Room" should be Merchandise's calling card, more than five minutes of sturdy '80s alternative history wrapped up in a downbeat package. With Wild Moccasins and Bed Moves. CRAIG HLAVATY
Also: Balmorhea, Showers, Monday, Fitzgerald's; My Darkest Days, Scout Bar (Clear Lake), Tuesday; Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man, Shoeshine Charley's Big Top, Thursday
As always, this list was put together using our own nifty Houston Concert Calendar. Check it out yourself.
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