The Best Shows in Houston This Week: John Egan, New Politics, Barrence Whitfield, etc.
Photo by Barry Sigman
John Egan The Big Easy, January 13
Solo bluesman John Egan sings in a tone that suggests someone is constantly walking over his grave, and his lyrics are loaded with bad mojo like nature gone haywire and apocalyptic visions. All he needs live is his National Resonator, one of those shiny silver guitars that sting and snarl. Egan has begun mastering the followup to his last album, 2012's spare and sinister Phantoms, and after advancing to the semifinals of the solo competition last year, later this month returns to Memphis to compete with bluesmen and women all over the planet in the International Blues Challenge. CHRIS GRAY
New Politics Warehouse Live, January 14
You may already know who New Politics are, even if you don't recognize the name. The Danish dance-rockers toured alongside Pink, Panic! At the Disco, and Fall Out Boy for most of 2013, helping pump up the audience for those big-name headliners. Their punk-pop mix is anything but low-energy, full of songs like "Harlem" that will make you wish you'd worn your orthopedics. With Sleeper Agent and Magic Man. ANGELICA LEICHT
Little Joe Washington Boondocks, January 14
Out of a Third Ward blues guitar school that has now graduated to the great beyond Albert Collins, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Johnny Guitar Watson and Joe Guitar Hughes, Little Joe Washington is the last man standing. And he's hardly standing still: before his recent health difficulties, he would often pedal his Schwinn from gig to gig, Fender strapped to his back, doing things with it you've never heard before and never will again, and then passing his hat around for tips. After Joe's hospitalization last fall for liver and kidney trouble, he's back playing gigs... again. JOHN NOVA LOMAX/CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Photo courtesy of Bloodshot Records
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages Under the Volcano, January 15
Barrence Whitfield has the sort of blueblood-sounding name that suggests some matriculation at Boston's Emerson College, which in fact he has. But it's only a stage name because by the time Whitfield got around to making a record, the name Barry White was already taken. (True story.)
But his name is about the only thing refined about the 58-year-old singer, whose leering, emery-board baritone recalls the great Screamin' Jay Hawkins and whose unhinged live energy has been likened to legendary wildmen like Little Richard. Last year's album Dig Thy Savage Soul (Bloodshot) is a raucous set of R&B and rockabilly that jumps, jives and wails until well past exhaustion has set in. CHRIS GRAY
Nick Greer & the G's The Corkscrew, January 16
Nick Greer & the G's are a musical force to be reckoned with, intent on forging their way to the top of the Houston music scene. At the Houston Press Music Awards showcase last August, they got the crowd dancing, snapping their fingers and crooning along to their infectious melodies.
Sporting green suspenders and striped pants, Greer kept to his keyboard and microphone while the Gs behind him danced in unison. "We are here to intimidate and inspire change," Greer said of his band back in June. If they keep performing that way, the G's are already well on the way to accomplishing both. MATTHEW KEEVER
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