Take one look at Teresa Kolo, and if the word “brains” doesn’t pop into your head, you need corrective lenses. Kolo is one of those people you’d say has “pluck,” like the girl in True Grit, and save the occasional gig, she’s been off the scene. But she’s recently moved back downtown and so is better able to bring her smart, urban, Rickie Lee Jones-ish tunes back to the small stages where they’ve always been well-received.
A few years ago, when Kolo was a regular on the acoustic scene (open mics, small showcases), she put out an album called Carapace (I warned you she's smart!) that former Press music editor John Nova Lomax once remarked was “so weird I really didn’t know what to think of it.” She’s gone through a few changes since then, getting a Master's degree in science and working in cancer diagnosis, but songs like her popular “Traveling Hat” still resonate, and she’s putting new twists on her old standbys.
Kolo has always written songs in response to people and events; her subjects range from waitressing to asshole bosses, and if you’ve ever crossed her, she probably wrote a sarcastic song about you. She reports she’s got some new material to try out, so chances are some people may be ducking and dodging as Kolo trips through these new lyrics; rumor has it she’s almost ready for a new album. I’m just glad I’ve never been her boss, co-worker, or dated her. - William Michael Smith
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7 p.m. tonight at Waldo’s Coffee House, 1030 Heights Blvd., 713-869-0700.