Houston Concert Watch 6/29: Jason Isbell, Fleet Foxes, and More

Beaumont native Clay Walker will headline the Freedom Over Texas celebration on July 4.  Other acts on the bill include Sawyer Brown, Blanco Brown, Walker County, and Step Rideua and the Zydeco Outlaws.
Beaumont native Clay Walker will headline the Freedom Over Texas celebration on July 4. Other acts on the bill include Sawyer Brown, Blanco Brown, Walker County, and Step Rideua and the Zydeco Outlaws. Photo by cliff1066. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
After two years of virtual celebration, Houston’s Freedom Over Texas festivities will return to an in-person mode on July 4, with live performances by Clay Walker, Sawyer Brown, Blanco Brown, Walker County, and Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws. The music will, naturally, be followed by a ton of fireworks. Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks are hosting the wingding, which will start at 4 p.m. And at the risk of sounding like your mom, use plenty of sunscreen, stay hydrated, and don’t eat a bunch of junk food, OK? In addition to the official shindig, there are plenty of other opportunities to get in a celebratory frame of mind around the holiday.
Like some of the other artists performing in Houston this week, Texas musician Rosie Flores has always been tough to pigeonhole. Flores, whose material has been pegged as alt-country, rockabilly, and surf rock over the years, is now exploring the blues, as featured on her recent release Simple Case of the Blues. She will perform an early show at the Mucky Duck on Thursday. It’s a great room dedicated to great music.
Visitors to Las Vegas can’t escape Rod Stewart. Like something out of The Great Gatsby, Rod’s eyes follow tourists up and down the Vegas strip, courtesy of multiple billboards which depict the still-frisky septuagenarian peering over a banner promoting his residency (over 10 years now!) at Caesar’s Palace. Rod’s Vegas extravaganza is billed as “The Hits,” and Houston fans can expect much of the same when he visits the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday, with Cheap Trick as the opener. A look at recent set lists indicates a healthy helping of the most popular songs from Stewart’s career, along with some intriguing covers. Fun fact: Before “product” for men’s hair was widely available, Rod the Mod would ensure that his spiky haircut stood up properly by pouring lemon juice over his tresses and then hanging his head off the edge of a hotel room bed, waiting until everything dried into a crunchy coif.
Seattle folk rockers Fleet Foxes are hitting the road this summer to perform songs from their pandemic-released, Grammy-nominated album Shore. Since 2008, founders Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset have sporadically dished out gentle music informed by many hours spent with records by Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan, and The Band. Fleet Foxes will perform on Saturday at the 713 Music Hall, bringing a welcome dose of mellow to these troubled times.
Jason Isbell isn’t what would be considered a “typical” country artist. In fact, Isbell’s music might be more correctly categorized as Americana, but that is a semantic discussion for another time. In addition to receiving kudos for his songwriting and guitar prowess, Isbell has been recognized as a voice for justice and equality. Case in point: when he played eight consecutive nights at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium last year, he chose Black female artists to open seven of the eight shows, which garnered notice in a notoriously conservative town. The eighth night? He gave the opening slot to his wife, singer-songwriter Amanda Shires. Hey, a guy has to preserve domestic tranquility. Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit, will be at the 713 Music Hall on Sunday, and it is one of the season’s most eagerly anticipated shows.
Like any rapper worth his salt, Rick Ross has a way of living large and therefore keeping himself in the news. Most recently, Ross took to social media to share his pain at having to charter a private plane at a cost of $50,000. “I’m backstage at the Juneteenth celebration and just found out all the commercial flights being canceled because of people quitting, and now I’m being forced to charter a private jet. Man, that’s $50,000 I could’ve spent on my garden or buying some buffaloes. Come on, Delta," Ross said.  I’m not sure what the going rate for a buffalo might be these days, but 50 grand would probably get a guy a whole herd. Ross will bring his act to Rise Rooftop for an “Independence Weekend” celebration on Sunday. And who knows, we just might catch Ross cruising Buffalo Speedway and wandering the banks of Buffalo Bayou, no doubt looking disappointed.
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Contributor Tom Richards is a broadcaster, writer, and musician. He has an unseemly fondness for the Rolling Stones and bands of their ilk.
Contact: Tom Richards