Concerts

Houston Concert Watch 1/18: Dave Alvin, C.J. Chenier and More

Zydeco legend C.J. Chenier brings the party to the Continental Club on Saturday.  Shows from Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Brad Absher and Gary Puckett are also on tap this week.
Zydeco legend C.J. Chenier brings the party to the Continental Club on Saturday. Shows from Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Brad Absher and Gary Puckett are also on tap this week. Photo by Lily M. Creative Commons.
It’s official. Madonna will mount a U.S. tour later this year, with a stop in Houston scheduled for September 13 at Toyota Center. Though Madge inexplicably hasn’t had many hits as of late – “Gang Bang,” “Illuminati” and “Unapologetic Bitch” have all failed to chart during the past decade – demand for tickets will no doubt be high. They go on sale this Friday, so get those mouse-clicking fingers ready.
Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore rose to prominence in two very different but equally influential bands. Alvin, along with his brother Phil, fronted the legendary LA punk / rockabilly outfit the Blasters during the ‘80s while Gilmore founded the country / folk Flatlanders with fellow Lubbockites (Lubbockians?) Joe Ely and Butch Hancock in the early ‘70s. Though the musicians have known each other for decades, they only began performing together a few years ago, recording the album From Downey to Lubbock in 2018. Backed by the Guilty Ones, Alvin and Gilmore will swap songs and tell stories, diving deep into American roots music on Thursday at the Heights Theater.
What better way to ramp up to Mardi Gras than catching a show by C.J. Chenier? The zydeco legend, along with his group the Red Hot Louisiana Band, will bring the party to the Continental Club on Saturday, with the Zydeco Dots opening. As C.J. says, “You can’t come to my show and stay unhappy. You’re going to break a smile before too long. This is happy music.”
Now based in Tulsa, former homeboy Brad Absher returns to Houston for a gig at the Big Easy on Saturday. A fine guitarist and singer, Absher evokes the city, the swamp, and the plains in his music, reflecting his peripatetic existence. The show will certainly feature material from Absher’s latest album, Tulsa Tea, recorded at Leon Russell’s iconic Paradis Studio, which has been patronized by the likes of Freddie King, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.
Gary Puckett and the Union Gap produced a string of gold records during the ‘60s, among them “Woman, Woman,” “Young Girl” and “Lady Willpower.” (Detect a theme here?) In 1968, they sold more records than any other act, including the Beatles. It was around that time that the band performed at the White House for a reception hosted by Richard Nixon honoring (then) Prince Charles of England. Puckett and the Gap will return to those thrilling days of yesteryear with a show on Saturday at the Dosey Doe Big Barn. It should be fun, but I doubt Charles will be in attendance, since it seems that he has his hands full these days.
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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