Houston Concert Watch 1/17: Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams and More

Legendary songwriter Elvis Costello will perform on Wednesday at the House of Blues.  Shows from Al Di Meola, the Rebirth Brass Band, Lucinda Williams and the Bacon Brothers are also on tap this week.
Legendary songwriter Elvis Costello will perform on Wednesday at the House of Blues. Shows from Al Di Meola, the Rebirth Brass Band, Lucinda Williams and the Bacon Brothers are also on tap this week. Photo by Marco Annunziata. Creative Commons.
When most of us move, we lighten the load by either boxing up a bunch of stuff and taking it to Goodwill or maybe holding a garage sale. Not Elton John. The megastar (who just joined the EGOT club by winning an Emmy to go with his Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards) has announced that, following the sale of his home in Atlanta, its contents will be auctioned off by Christie’s in New York under the banner "The Collection of Sir Elton John:  Goodbye Peachtree Road."

In typical Eltonian fashion, this thing is big. The auctions (four live and four online) will take place over three weeks in February, with many of the sale’s items on view at Christie’s gallery. As for the clothing and jewelry, let’s just say that a lot of familiar names keep popping up in the listings: Versace, Cartier, Mackie, Gucci and Vuitton. Artwork? How about Warhol, Mapplethorpe, Schnabel, Hirst, Haring and Arbus?

You can see all of the items included in the auction on Christie’s website and decide just how badly you want a pair of Prada sunglasses that once perched on Elton’s nose. Failing that, there is always the hardbound auction catalog, which is probably one hell of a coffee table book.

Ticket Alert

In the midst of the current cold snap, it might seem stupid (at the very least incongruous) to discuss summer concerts, but here we go!
Plenty of tickets are available for the Def Leppard / Journey / Steve Miller show at Minute Maid Park on
Wednesday, August 14, though less so in the cheap (relatively speaking) seats. High rollers and those with high limits on their credit cards may opt for seats right down front.  Those range from around $500 to a tad over $1,000. If that is the route you take, shop around a bit on the ticket map for the best deal, as pricing is kind of squirrely.

Just as the roadies finish loading out after Def Leppard’s gig, Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show (how country can you get?) rolls into Minute Maid for a performance on Saturday, August 24. Stapleton will be featuring a number of different opening acts on the tour, and Houston gets Miranda Lambert and Grace Potter. Other dates have George Strait and the Tedeschi Trucks Band opening, which would have been nice, but you can’t have everything. As is the case with the Leppard / Journey / Miller extravaganza, pickings are slim in the upper decks, but the ticket selection is still ample in most parts of the stadium.

Concerts This Week
Elvis Costello is justly regarded as among the finest of contemporary songwriters. He’s also one hell of a performer, and if reports from his current tour are accurate, Houston will be in for a treat tonight when Costello plays at the House of Blues. His backing band, the Imposters, will be augmented by Austin guitarist, Arc Angel and former Bob Dylan sideman Charlie Sexton, which ups the musical ante considerably. ‘Cause Knowledge is Power: Costello’s highest-charting American single, “Veronica,” was cowritten with Paul McCartney.
It is a busy week at the Heights Theater, starting with guitar whiz Al Di Meola on Thursday. Fans of Di Meola’s early albums (Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy) will be pleased to know that he is not only performing a number of songs from those discs, he has also pulled the Les Paul used on those recordings out of the mothballs in order to accurately recreate that unique fusiony vibe.
Also at the Heights this week is the Rebirth Brass Band on Saturday. These guys are the real Crescent City deal, starting out as buskers in the Vieux Carré and working their way up to appearances with the Grateful Dead, James Brown and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Songstress Lucinda Williams takes the stage on Sunday with her catalog of brilliant tunes.
In between acting (Kevin) and composing for film (Michael), the Bacon Brothers have been making rootsy music together for almost 30 years. They have a new album on the way and have just released the single “The Ballad of the Brothers (The Willie Door),” a Faustian tale set in Gruene Hall. Check them out on Sunday at the Dosey Doe.
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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