The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Skid Row, Stephen Marley, etc.

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John Egan The Big Easy, May 19

Solo bluesman John Egan sings in a tone that suggests someone is constantly walking over his grave, and his lyrics are loaded with bad mojo like nature gone haywire and apocalyptic visions. All he needs live is his National Resonator, one of those shiny silver guitars that sting and snarl, and has begun mastering the followup to 2012's spare and sinister Phantoms. Earlier this year Egan advanced to the semifinals of the International Blues Challenge's solo competition for the second year in a row, vying with bluesmen and women from all over the planet. CHRIS GRAY

Skid Row Scout Bar, May 20

When it comes to proper '80s hair bands, Skid Row is up there with the best of them. Thanks in part to enigmatic front man Sebastian Bach and songs like "18 and Life," they stood apart from the hairsprayed crowd. Both 1989's Skid Row and their heavier, more speed-metal followup, Slave to the Grind, were massive commercial beasts, but the band never quite made it back from an extended hiatus following the latter.

They sure tried, releasing a number of followups and EPs, but nothing took off the way that those first two did. Even still, Bach and company have continued making the concert rounds, and you can bet your skinny jeans there will be a sea of denim jackets in Clear Lake Tuesday. With Tame Fury, Skrewpipe and American X. ANGELICA LEICHT

DJ Flash Gordon Parks Alley Kat Lounge, May 21

If you see Flash Gordon Parks around a set of turntables -- which you can every Wednesday at the Big Top's tiny next-door neighbor, the Alley Kat Lounge -- it's better than even money you're in for a funky good time. Parks pours an encyclopedic knowledge of soul, funk, jazz, hip-hop and more into sets that will make you think as much as they make you sweat. That's no easy feat, but he makes it sound that way. CHRIS GRAY

More shows on the next page.

Paul Ramirez Band Continental Club, May 21

Versatile Houston blues-rockers the Paul Ramirez Band's set Sunday are mellow enough for a late-night lounge vibe, only pocked with heavier, Cream-like moments of pure jam and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In the Wall, Part 2" that heads straight to the planetarium. Now working on a followup to 2012 debut Sex With a Dragon, on which the Santana-esque "Gypsy Woman" was a highlight, the group balances a keyboard-heavy Latin-jazz groove with Ramirez's probing guitar solos, some of which can get pretty far out there. CHRIS GRAY

Stephen Marley House of Blues, May 22

One would hope that the son of reggae legend Bob Marley would have a bit of that Jamaican soul in him, and luckily Stephen Marley -- or "Raggamuffin," as he's endearingly known -- well surpasses those expectations. His style blends traditional reggae sounds with hip-hop and R&B influences in a way that not only updates the old-school vibe of his father's sound but sets Stephen apart from Bob's legacy.

Not that he's strayed too far, though: Besides a solo artist, Marley was a longtime member of the Melody Makers alongside siblings Sharon, Cedella and Ziggy (the group's eventual leader). Stephen's 2011 album Revelation Pt. 1: The Root of Life won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, his fifth; followup Revelation Pt. 2 is slated to drop later this summer. ANGELICA LEICHT


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