John Egan The Big Easy, July 1
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. CHRIS GRAY
Trae Tha Truth Birthday House of Blues, July 2
A gruff but oddly soft-spoken and mellow rhymesmith, Trae tha Truth has now completely recovered from the gunshot wound he suffered outside a southwest Houston cabaret in June 2012. Trae has also been on the roster of ATL-based Grand Hustle Records since that March, and his proper debut for the T.I.-steered label draws ever closer.
In the meantime, he's in good company and a frequent guest feature among labelmates Young Dro and B.o.B., and recently appeared on his boss' new single "Check This, Dig That." Closer to home, Trae is a 2013 Houston Press Music Awards nominee for Best Local Song for his Future duet "Screwed Up," and the guest of honor at his own birthday celebration Tuesday, which is scheduled to include performances by Double H-Town, Moe Gang, J-Dawg, Mystikal and Big K.R.I.T. Lil Duval hosts, while DJs Mr. Rogers and Young Samm keep the crowd grinding between acts. CHRIS GRAY
Little Joe Washington Boondocks, July 2
Out of a Third Ward blues-guitar school that has now graduated to the great beyond Albert Collins, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Johnny Guitar Watson and Joe "Guitar Hughes," Little Joe Washington is the last man standing. And he's hardly standing still: he's also pedaling his Schwinn from gig to gig, Fender strapped to his back, doing things with it you've never heard before and never will again, and then passing his hat around for tips. JOHN NOVA LOMAX
Kings of the Mike Tour Bayou Music Center, July 3
The second nostalgic package tour to hit Houston in a week is bound to be equally ridiculous, albeit much different from the other one. Each one of these groundbreaking artists -- LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, De La Soul and DJ Z-Trip -- has bridged the gap between hip-hop and mainstream music, changing the face of pop culture in a way that hasn't been replicated since.
The tour comes on the heels of both LL's 14th studio album, Authentic, as well as Public Enemy's 25th anniversary and recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ANGELICA LEICHT
Ed. Note: Houston Press style is to abbreviate "microphone" as "mike."