Bessie Smith

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2014

    Ledisi Comes Home: A Time for Omawale

    Note: this article was written by Houston-based writer Son-Christopher. This Friday Houston welcomes home Ledisi, a dynamic singer and daughter of the bayou area. But can you ever really go home again? A famous text says, "They asked us to sing songs, but how can we sing songs of Zion in a strange ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2014

    Top 10 Songs to Download While Drunk

    Boozy playlists are the very best, better still when they randomly appear on your playlist the day after you've knocked back a few beers. Your drunk brain always knows what kind of music the sober you needs. Or most of the time, anyway. Unfortunately, sometimes drunken downloading can be just about ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2012

    Last Night: Valerie June At Leon's Lounge

    Valerie June Leon's Lounge March 20, 2012 "Tell your tale and listen too, as others tell their tale to you," stated Valerie June around the start of her set Tuesday, framing the tone for the rest of the night. "Find a point at which you meet, and form a bond that's strong and sweet. But if your lif ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2011

    The Funky Chicken: Good Stuff in the Mailbox

    Yeah, it's like that.​Once again our mailbox has filled to overflowing with CDs (and zip files). The desk looks like a Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown of jewel cases, and the entire room is littered with (largely unread) piles of hype-and-tout. And while much of what comes over the transom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2011

    Blues on the Light Rail: Ensemble Theatre to Ride & Sing

    Making waiting for the train entertaining.​Well my mama told me, my papa told me too Now my mama told me, papa told me too Well I shouldn't be here tryin' to sing these railroad blues. Metro will ignore this parental advice Wednesday when they partake in a stunt that actually sounds like it c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2011

    Ray Benson: "Before Keith Richards, There Was Bob Wills"

    ​Although he grew up outside Philadelphia, Ray Benson is the quintessential Texas musician. Somewhere in his rambling South Austin studio/office compound is a proclamation declaring him the 2004 official state musician, not to mention the umpteen Grammys he's won as front man and bandleader of ... More >>

  • Culture

    June 30, 2011

    Summer Blues

    A jukebox musical entrances audiences at the Ensemble.

  • Calendar

    June 16, 2011
  • Blogs

    November 23, 2009

    Listology: Nick Gaitan of the Octanes and The Umbrella Man's Favorite Female Vocalists

    This is a big week for all-everything Houston bassist Nick Gaitan. Not only have his Monday-night Continental Club gigs with atomic-powered rockabilly trio the Octanes been steadily been picking up steam, his other band The Umbrella Man - which just happens to play Tuesday nights at the very same p ... More >>

  • Calendar

    February 5, 2009
  • Music

    October 23, 2008
  • Music

    April 17, 2008
  • Music

    February 28, 2008
  • Blogs

    February 27, 2008

    This Just In: Get Ready for iFest

    The Houston International Festival, also known as iFest, has announced the lineup for its 37th annual edition, set to take place April 19-20 and 26-27 on nine stages spread across downtown. Instead of spotlighting a specific country this year, its theme “Out of Africa: The Three Journeys,” encom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2007
  • Music

    September 27, 2007

    Houston's Very Best Songs Ever

    ...otherwise known as the H-Town 20

  • Music

    July 26, 2007

    Tori Amos

    American Doll Posse

  • Music

    December 30, 2004
  • Music

    February 5, 2004

    The Gossip

    Saturday, February 7

  • Music

    October 16, 2003

    The Real Shock Rock

    From California to New Hampshire, blackface minstrelsy is re-emerging. Should it?

  • News

    January 13, 2000

    Lost Legends

    Tary Owens helped rescue the early roots of Texas music. Then those songs saved Owens from himself.

  • Music

    April 29, 1999

    My Kinda Sound

    Chicago plays home to the blues in Houston

  • Music

    April 15, 1999

    Young Blood

    At 20, Shemekia Copeland is more than old enough to sing the blues

  • Culture

    March 6, 1997

    A Day to Remember

    Stages digs into the joy, and the pain, of Billie Holiday's life

  • Music

    March 14, 1996
  • Calendar

    October 6, 1994
  • Music

    April 14, 1994

    The Horn of Africa

    Trumpeter Hugh Masekela hears the beat of the music in the world

  • Culture

    January 20, 1994

    Sing, Muse, the Wrath of Ma Rainey

    More than just a blue period, Ma Rainey sings -- and boasts and celebrates and laments -- the tale of a culture

  • Culture

    January 20, 1994

    Playing the Blues

    Playwright August Wilson talks about the birth of Ma Rainey