H-Town Blues Festival, with Clarence Carter

In bars across South Louisiana, whenever people hear a couple of Morse-code hi-hats followed by the words "When I make love, I don't just make love...I be strokin'!" they know it's time to put down their drinks, suspend their conversations and assemble on the dance floor for a curious "Thriller"-like line dance known as "The Freeze." The impetus is "Strokin'," the salacious and unlikely 1993 crossover hit by sightless Alabama-born soul man Clarence Carter that has since been endlessly anthologized on albums like Nasty Blues and Booty Jams. Carter, also the man behind late-'60s hits "Slip Away" and "Back Door Santa" — whose horn break Run-DMC sampled for the opening to "Christmas in Hollis" — tests Houston's freeze-ability Friday night at the third annual Valentine's Day H-Town Blues Festival, alongside San ­Antonio-born smooth operator Mel Waiters, the always elegantly heartsick Bobby Blue Bland and "Woman to Woman" Stax alumna Shirley Brown. How do you like to make love?

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray