Robust Night Of Roots-Rock Shows Scene's True Grit

Rocks Off feels like we live in a Western. This is nothing unusual for us, except right now is the part of the movie (every movie) where one cowboy turns to the other one and says, "It's quiet out here." The other answers, of course, "Yeah... too quiet."

Since about Free Press Summer Fest, the feast-or-famine nature of the live-music business has seemed amplified to us. Instead of the steady stream of reviews throughout the week we've grown accustomed to bringing you, it's been a couple of big shows at Toyota Center and/or The Woodlands, plus a handful from significantly smaller places. Sometimes not even that many. It reminds us of the weather - the creeks swell in the spring and fall around SXSW and ACL, and dry up to a trickle in the summer, briefly replenished by the occasional Britney/Rihanna/Katy Perry thunderboomer.

This weekend, the big stages were completely dark, which is why it was so gratifying that of the three places Rocks Off went Friday night, all three were packed. We took Saturday off... it happens. You will see why soon enough.

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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