McGonigel's Mucky Duck, June 1-7
For those who truly appreciate the art of songwriting, it’s hard to imagine a cozier or more receptive environment than McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. This week the world-class Upper Kirby pub/listening room celebrates its 25th birthday not with a big blowout, but a lineup that holds true to the recipe that has made it a preferred venue by musicians from across town and across the globe; click here to see birthday greetings from Duck favorites like Mike Stinson, Trout Fishing In America, Jack Saunders, James McMurtry, Cheryl Wheeler and more. Monday night, birthday night doubles as the anyone-can-play open-mike; Tuesday it’s young California duo the Easy Leaves; Wednesday is both board-game night and the long-running no-cover Irish session; Thursday is a pair of veterans in Lubbock sage Butch Hancock and TVZ pal David Olney (see below); and the upcoming weekend keeps the party going with Austin-via-Montana honky-tonk angel Tessy Lou and her Shotgun Stars, soul-searching troubadour Eliza Gilkyson, familiar face Lisa Morales and the soulful Austin duo of ex-Domino (as in Derek) Bobby Whitlock and his chanteuse better half Coco Carmel. Proprietors Rusty and Teresa Andrews’ acutely tuned ear for talent is only matched by their deep-seated gift for hospitality, so it’s the Press’ distinct pleasure to wish the Duck a happy 25th — and at least 25 more great years.
Sons of Texas
Warehouse Live, June 2
Holding strong in the race for the Lone Star State's breakout band of 2015, Sons of Texas have come storming not out of one of Texas' big cities but the Rio Grande Valley, as their "Baptized In the Rio Grande" has already become one of the year's most added Active Rock tracks. Drawing liberally from the power-metal grooves dug by fellow Texans Pantera — and making absolutely no apologies for it — their eponymous album on Razor & Tie is muscular in just about every aspect, from Mike Morales' vocals to Jes de Hoyos' guitar work and the lockstep fraternal rhythm section of Mike and Nick Villarreal. Tuesday's middle spot between L.A. metal monsters In This Moment and H-Town's SID 17 is just one of many opportunities Sons of Texas will have this year to prove they can slug it out with rock's big boys.
Toyota Center, June 3
In the world of Latin music, where every note is sensual and passionate, the genre known as bachata embodies that heat exactly – every hip thrust, shoulder sway, and lip bite exudes sex. And only a supremely confident and charismatic personality can hold court as “El Rey de La Bachata,” the title held by Romeo Santos. With the group Aventura, the Bronx-born Santos helped redefine and modernize bachata, updating its traditional Dominican elements with dashes of pop, hip-hop and R&B. Santos has continued to charm his fans as a solo artist with smooth tracks about love and lust; his latest album, Fórmula, Vol. 2, adds reggae and dancehall to the mix and welcomes superstar guests Drake, Marc Anthony, Carlos Santana and Nicki Minaj. (MARCO TORRES)
McGonigel's Mucky Duck, June 4
David Olney’s pedigree as an incorrigible teller of truths and spinner of tales goes back to tours with troubadours like Townes van Zandt, whom Olney could match drink for drink and song for song back in the day. But don’t pigeon-hole Olney as just another folk singer. With his electric-guitar-player sidekick Sergio Webb (formerly of Pinto Bennett’s legendary Famous Motel Cowboys), the Nashville-based singer-songwriter can rock it up with the best and brightest. His latest album, When the Deal Goes Down, alternates between beautiful melodies and sentiments like “Soldier of Misfortune” and brooding, dangerous tunes like “Something in Blue.” Olney’s singular talent for characterizations of slackers, lowlifes, small-time crooks, and plain old common folks is not to be missed. With Sergio Webb. (WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH)
Warehouse Live, June 4
Ministry's ongoing afterlife following founder Al Jourgensen's repeated attempts to call it quits is the best kind of inside joke, reminiscent of a junkie who can't help but come back for one last fix. And yet here is the abundantly pierced industrial-music icon now, well along the road to recovery from all manner of addictions, plowing through the nation's mid-size theaters and ballrooms yet again on the “From Beer to EternaTour.” Although neophytes expecting to hear “Everyday Is Halloween” might go home disappointed (and might get beaten up for their troubles), fans willing to sink their fangs deep into Ministry's Bush-hating, border-flavored post-Psalm 69 period will have trouble pulling away from the trough. Love him, hate him, or just plain don't understand him, Jourgensen doesn't give one single shit what you think...and why should he? With The Hunger.