Red Warehouse Live, May 3
The latest Christian band to cross over into the "active rock" mainstream, Nashville quartet Red indeed takes its name from the blood of the Lamb, but not in an overly dogmatic way. In fact, their success among the heathens keeps right on growing, with fourth album Release the Panic debuting in the Billboard Top 10 earlier this year and publications like Revolver singing their praises.
Produced by Howard Benson (P.O.D., Daughtry), Red infuses enough kinetic energy into Panic to raise the album a cut or two above standard-issue radio-rock.
Diana Krall Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, May 4
You don't see many jazz artists booked into the Woodlands Pavilion these days, but Diana Krall is hardly a typical jazz artist. The Vancouver Island, B.C., native's 1999 LP When I Look In Your Eyes was the first jazz album in 25 years to be nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy, if that tells you anything.
Krall has gone on to both critical acclaim and commercial success by deftly negotiating the line between traditional pop and modern jazz, as much for her nimble yet understated piano skills as her husky, sensual vocals. (She also happens to be Mrs. Elvis Costello.) Her latest album for Verve, last year's Glad Rag Doll, is rooted in the Tin Pan Alley tunes and gentle, subtle swing of the '30s and '40s.
Jonny Fritz Fitzgerald's, May 5
After attracting quite a bit of attention in alt-country circles as Jonny Corndawg, this Nashville-based artist wisely rechristened himself Jonny Fritz last summer, telling American Songwriter "I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I don't want to see credited to a goddamn cartoon."
A genuinely funny singer-songwriter in the Tom T. Hall tradition, Fritz's ATO debut Dad Country was released earlier this month.And really, who needs a gimmicky last name when you have song titles like "Suck In Your Gut," "Trash Day" and "All We Do Is Complain"? With The Devil Makes Three.
ELEVEN OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Alkaline Trio: Matt Skiba's prickly-sharp emo-punk crew cycles through behind brand-new Epitaph LP My Shame Is True (House of Blues, May 3)
Brit Floyd: UK-based space-rock doppelgangers promise to do five full sides of LPs like Animals, Wish You Were, The Division Bell and -- of course -- a 40th-anniversary salute to Dark Side of the Moon. (Bayou Music Center, May 3)
Trace Adkins: The surly Celebrity Apprentice all-star revisits his "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" days. (Arena Theatre, May 3)
Steady Boy Records Showcase: Featuring Freddy Steady 5, Al Staehely & the Explosives and Emily Grace Berry, with a 5:30 p.m. double dip at Cactus Music. (Continental Club, May 3)
W&W: Dutch trance duo made a strong showing at last fall's Something Wicked festival and will be at Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas next month. (Stereo Live, May 3)
Texas Bands, Brews & BBQ: Texas country identical blondes the Rankin Twins and Zac Brown's kissin' cousins the Dirty River Boys head up Bear Creek way to benefit Ronald McDonald House of Houston. Gates open at 5 p.m.; "country casual" attire; see Web site for further details. (Houston Farm & Ranch, 1 Abercrombie St., Addicks, May 4)
Gladys Knight: "Midnight Train to Georgia." 'Nuff said. (Arena Theatre, May 4)
The Band Perry: Nashville sibling sweethearts try out the rice in Winnie behind brand-new album Pioneer; with the Casey Donahew Band. (Nutty Jerry's, May 4)
The Queers, The Dwarves, Flat Tires, Hell City Kings, the Freakouts: Look out. (Fitzgerald's, May 4)
Jack Saunders: Releasing new CD Grit & Jangle; see our Rocks Off 100 profile from Thursday. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, May 4)
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The Wanted, Carly Rae Jepsen: Hot 95.7's springtime teen-pop bash. (Bayou Music Center, May 5)