UPDATED: The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: John Egan, Icona Pop, Colt Ford, etc.
Photo by Barry Sigman
UPDATE (Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.): Fat Tony is no longer playing Fitzgerald's on Thursday 22, but is still playing 3 p.m. Saturday 24 at Cactus Music (2110 Portsmouth).
John Egan The Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club, August 19/House of Blues, August 22
Earlier this year, John Egan competed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where the Houston kinda-acoustic bluesman advanced to the semifinal round of 28 -- so by that reckoning, Egan is one of the Top 30 solo acts of his kind in the world. "Perhaps I was too edgy for the finals?" Egan quipped on Facebook. "All in all it was a great trip and a lot of fun."
He won't be too edgy for his Monday-night Big Easy residency, which has already allowed him to whip up a new batch of songs to go along with the ones on last year's excellent Phantoms. Egan fans get a double dose this week -- he's also appearing this Thursday at House of Blues' Crossroads Stage (in the restaurant), again for no cover. CHRIS GRAY
Bill Carter McGonigel's Mucky Duck, August 20
With wife/writing partner Ruth Ellsworth, Bill Carter co-wrote 1989's "Crossfire," one of Stevie Ray Vaughan's last big hits. That song went on to earn music publisher BMI's "Million Airs" award for more than 2 million radio spins; musically speaking, it granted Carter license to do whatever the hell he wanted.
A talented journeyman musician with interesting friends (Johnny Depp, Billy Gibbons), Carter has had his songs recorded by more than 200 artists, and anchored his rootsy Austin band the Blame for some 30 years now. In January he released the Springsteen-ish Unknown (Unison Music Group), not only the sort of album that rhymes "marijuana" with "Americana," but the sort of album that makes you wonder why nobody thought of that before. CHRIS GRAY
Icona Pop Fitzgerald's, August 21
Sweden is famous as a country where killer pop instincts are practically added to the drinking water, and this year Icona Pop has done their homeland proud. First came "I Love It," a candy-coated techno creampuff that won a prominent placing on HBO hipster bible Girls; it became such a social-media sensation that the song has almost 12,000 Facebook likes.
Then, no sooner did the wave of "I Love It" hysteria subside (a little) than the female duo hit back with "Girlfriend," which oh so shamelessly has its way with the refrain of Jay Z & Beyonce's hit duet of a decade ago, "2003 Bonnie and Clyde." How much staying power Icona Pop has remains to be seen, but that's completely beside the point. With K.Flay and Sirah. CHRIS GRAY
The picks continue on the next page.
Colt Ford House of Blues, August 21
This may be damning Colt Ford with faint praise, but the rotund, blinged-out Georgia native is about the only artist associated with the ongoing "hick-hop" craze we don't find completely revolting. Mostly this is because it's obvious that Ford, who debuted with 2008's Ride Through the Country, doesn't take himself too seriously. Even he admits to the incongruity in "Hip Hop In a Honky Tonk," where guest Kevin Fowler says "I'll give you 20 buck to turn that shit off," before having second thoughts upon seeing girls "dancing like strippers but they kept their clothes on."
Regardless of your opinion of hick-hop, though, at this point Ford's Nashville credentials are legit: he co-wrote Jason Aldean's 2011 megahit "Dirt Road Anthem" before later appearing on the remix, and has also guested/welcomed other big-timers like Jake Owen, Tim McGraw and Jamey Johnson; he even showed up on a remake of John Anderson's "Swingin'." CHRIS GRAY
Ted Nugent House of Blues, August 22
He's baaaaaaaaaack! One of the side benefits(?) of the gonzo, gun-crazy rocker's relatively nearby residence in Waco is that it seems like he's playing Houston all the time these days. Duck and cover or go about your business, but it's still hard to deny the snarling '70s appeal of songs like "Stranglehold." CHRIS GRAY
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