Houston Concert Watch 2/22: John Mellencamp, Carolyn Wonderland and More

Houston favorite Carolyn Wonderland returns to her old stomping grounds for a show at the Continental Club on Saturday.  Concerts from Steel Pulse, John Mellencamp, Maggie Rogers, and Parker McCollum are also on tap this week.
Houston favorite Carolyn Wonderland returns to her old stomping grounds for a show at the Continental Club on Saturday. Concerts from Steel Pulse, John Mellencamp, Maggie Rogers, and Parker McCollum are also on tap this week. Photo by Joe Mabel. Creative Commons.
To paraphrase the poet Robert Frost, “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in pigs.” That’s right, reports in Canada are alerting our neighbors to the north of forthcoming porcine peril. A type of “super pig” — a cross between a wild boar and a domestic pig weighing in at over 600 pounds — has been getting into some serious mischief, destroying crops, damaging ecosystems, contaminating watersheds, transmitting diseases and even killing other wild animals.

Officials describe the super pigs as “incredibly intelligent,” “highly elusive” and “accomplished predators.” It seems that these curly-tailed menaces to society now have their sights set on the United States and are crossing over our northern border. Texas has experienced a feral hog problem for years, so it looks like some sort of coordinated effort is in play, akin to the famed “pincer movement” employed in military campaigns over the centuries. Consider this your warning oink. In the meantime, here are some concerts that might take your mind off the upcoming pigocalypse.
Get your reggae on Wednesday night, when British band Steel Pulse plays the House of Blues. After discovering the music of Bob Marley, the members of the band took on the mission of spreading reggae culture throughout the world. Along the way, Steel Pulse has been a part of the Rock Against Racism movement since its inception in 1978. While the House of Blues is technically a non-smoking venue, no one will be surprised to catch a whiff of something in the breeze at this show.
That Maggie Rogers is some kind of overachiever. She began playing harp (the fancy kind, not the Mississippi saxophone) when she was 7, soon adding piano, guitar and banjo to her bag of tricks. She studied at both the Berklee College of Music and New York University’s Clive Davis School of Recorded Music. She snagged a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2020, sat in with Dead and Company and last year received a master’s degree from the Harvard Divinity School. Rogers will perform Saturday evening at the 713 Music Hall as part of her Feral Joy tour in support of her latest album, Surrender.
Lots of people change their names when they begin working in the entertainment industry. But few artists have gone through as many name changes as John Mellencamp. In the '70s, he launched his recording career under the management of Tony Defries, who insisted that Mellencamp adopt the moniker Johnny Cougar. Hey, Defries also managed David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, so it kind of made sense at the time.

Mellencamp then graduated to the more mature John Cougar, followed by John Cougar Mellencamp, finally ending up back at John Mellencamp. Despite all of those goofy-ass marketing maneuvers, Mellencamp has sold over 60 million records worldwide and is well-respected as a performer and songwriter. He is also an accomplished painter. Check out his artistry on Saturday at the Smart Financial Centre.
Carolyn Wonderland has come a long way since her days playing at the Last Concert when she was a teenager. She counts Bob Dylan among her fans and has toured as lead guitarist with British blues legend John Mayall, stepping into big shoes previously filled by Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. This Saturday, Wonderland is back home in Houston for a wingding at the Continental Club.
Rodeo Roundup: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicks off its season of concerts on Tuesday with Conroe native Parker McCollum at NRG Stadium. The rodeo shows will continue through March 19, with a lineup that includes Bun B, Zac Brown, Machine Gun Kelly and Chris Stapleton. More on all that in next week’s Concert Watch.
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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