At the moment, Charlie Robison’s November tour dates include a string of real-deal venues like Coupland Dancehall, Masones Saloon, Hank’s Texas Grill, the Halfway House Bar & Grill, and the parking lot at Fort Worth’s Granada Theater for the Texas Chili Fest. A road warrior of the highest degree, Robison has seen the inside of so many barrooms that neon beer signs probably pop up whenever he closes his eyes. But his songwriting is a cut above that of many of his compadres in the Texas country scene, balancing longneck-hoisting anthems like “Barlight” with the sentimental streak that runs through “My Hometown,” characters that could have stepped out of a McMurtry novel with the sort of rough-and-tumble bon mots that could only come from him. Although he actually put a bunch of other people’s songs on his latest album, 2013’s High Life, the bill of fare still provides an excellent glimpse of where Robison’s head is at — Doug Sahm and The Band, Bob Dylan and Kinky Friedman, brother Bruce and sister Robyn Ludwick.
Still, the kind of pace he keeps up can wear a body down sometimes, and so a nasty bout of strep throat forced Robison to cancel his appearance at last week’s Houston Press Concert Series, the Wednesday-night gig that has been bringing the biggest names on the circuit to the relatively cozy Midtown environs of Pub Fiction — at no cost to you, the fans — for many, many years now. It’s back on for this Wednesday, 6 p.m., so come early. These things fill up quickly.
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