The Five Best Shows in Houston This Week: Old 97's, Zakk Wylde, Kashmere Stage Band, etc.
Debonair Lounge Cafe 4212, May 26
Since approximately Labor Day 2013 -- so about six months now -- the only way to get each week off on a good foot has been at this Museum District oasis of cool. Debonair Lounge has already welcomed a who's who of Houston's hottest young hip-hop and R&B performers strutting their stuff for one of the most stylish audiences in town. Hosted by local scenesters Tay Mitch and Brad Gilmore, whom Channel 39's Newsfix called "ebony and ivory at its finest," these few hours will have you looking forward to every Monday...just not Tuesdays.
For Debonair's Memorial Day edition (no cover before 9 p.m.), Tay and Brad welcome Zachary-Devon, Anzeo David, Tawn Peron, Ray Mundo and, as always, that butter-smooth Debonair House Band. The party never stops on Instagram at @DebonairLoungeHTX, too. CHRIS GRAY
Old 97's Fitzgerald's, May 27
Unless we missed a show (they're here a lot), last time Houston saw the Old 97's they were celebrating the 15th anniversary of 1997's Too Far to Care, the Dallas veterans' blistering grab at the major-label brass ring that became an alt-country touchstone despite never quite getting the mainstream attention it deserved. Now they're back behind an album many critics are saying is their best since that one, Most Messed Up, another sheaf of quick-witted war stories from one of the most romantic Texas bar bands in history, with the benefit of that much more muscle memory and soulful wisdom. CHRIS GRAY
Little Joe Washington Boondocks, May 27
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: he's also pedaling 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 for liver and kidney trouble last fall, he's back playing gigs... again. JOHN NOVA LOMAX/CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Zakk Wylde playing guitar that was recently stolen off his tour bus, but recovered at the Chicago pawnshop featured on truTV's Royal Pawn.
Photo courtesy of eOne Music
Black Label Society House of Blues, May 28
Gifted like few others in modern metal with the ability to compose one perfect ear-scorching riff after another, Zakk Wylde always brings it heavy. Leader of Black Label Society since the late '90s, after serving time as Ozzy Osbourne's right-hand guitar man (a role he left following the Ozzmosis album), Wylde's frenetic fretwork was an instant hit with the biker-metal set, even if his red-line intensity limited his mainstream radio appeal.
From 1999 BLS debut Sonic Brew through this year's Catacombs of the Black Vatican, Wylde has held fast to the same leather-and-skulls aesthetic, but those who think he can't diversify are kidding themselves -- his Web site proudly offers Wylde's own brand of fair-trade coffee, "Valhalla Java," and the stein-like mugs to drink it in. With Devil You Know and Butcher Babies. CHRIS GRAY
Kashmere Reunion Stage Band Discovery Green, May 29
It's been well-told by now, especially in Mark Landsman's 2010 documentary Thunder Soul (presented by Jamie Foxx), but the Kashmere Stage Band's story never gets old. So here it is again: Alumni of Kashmere High School's Stage Band, actual students who put out several LPs of high-energy jazz/funk fusion in the '70s that eventually became staples in hip-hop DJs' crates, gathered in February 2008 for a tribute concert to their beloved band director and mentor, Dr. Conrad "Prof" Johnson. Landsman's cameras were rolling, and Johnson passed away two days later.
The group, now composed of KHS alumni and a few current students, reunited to promote the film at various film festivals shortly thereafter...and basically stuck around, becoming a welcome sight on the calendar each time, including last year's Free Press Summer Fest and Discovery Green's spring concert series Thursday with Austin's "teenage blues sensations" the Peterson Brothers. And if you don't own Thunder Soul on DVD by now, what are you waiting for? CHRIS GRAY
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