Kali Uchis at ACL in 2019, paving the way for in-person performances in 2020Photo by David "Odiwams"Wright
It has been nearly two months since I attended a concert. Post Malone's performance at the Toyota Center in March was my last, and I've lost track of how many I've missed during this pandemic. So while we continue mourning the closures of some of our favorite live music venues - many of which have been fundraising to support their staffs - I've put together another list of the best performances you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
And again, If you're a musician based in or around Houston who would like to be included in this weekly roundup, please get in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter.
Midland 12 p.m. CST - May 6
Midland's debut album On The Rocks earned the Texas-based country rockers two Grammy nominations, and their sophomore effort Let It Roll debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums. Some critics have likened the band's sound to that of a polished Dwight Yoakam, which is unlikely to upset a trio whose name is an ode to one of the Kentucky native's songs. The disheveled urban cowboys made their Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo debut earlier this year before concerns over COVID-19 shut the event down. Fans can catch them tonight on YouTube, where they will premier their newest music video for "Every Song's A Drinkin' Song," which sounds like a pretty good anthem for coronavirus blues.
Norah Jones 3 p.m CST - May 7
Norah Jones became a household name in 2002 with the release of Come Away With Me. The former Texan's debut studio album earned her five Grammy Awards and went on to be certified Diamand by the RIAA. In the 18 years since CAWM launched her into the mainstream, Jones has released another six records, and her latest - Pick Me Up Off The Floor - will be released later this week. In anticipation of this release and in lieu of a supporting tour, the University of North Texas graduate has scheduled a performance from her home that fans can tune into on Thursday night.
Wade Bowen 8 p.m. CST - May 8
A frequent collaborator of Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen’s solo work is both fantastic and underappreciated. The Waco native brought his gravelly vocals to Cactus Music for an intimate performance less than a year ago, but given everything that has happened in the last few months that show feels like it happened forever ago. Fortunately for fans, Bowen isn't one to let a pandemic slow him down. Earlier this month, he released a new single, "Rhinestoned," which features longtime collaborator Rogers. In the face of the ongoing stay-at-home orders and the public's understandable reticence to return to "normal," he has invited fans to virtually join him in his garage for some live tunes every Friday night.
Ben Folds 6 p.m. CST - May 9
Ben Folds is classically trained and irreverently witty, capable of lifting his fans' hearts through comedy on one song, then bringing them to tears on the next. In 2014 and 2017, the California native performed alongside the Houston Symphony Orchestra with the express goal of introducing younger fans to classical music. His songs are both cheeky and endearing, at tunes boasting glib lyricism alongside and underlying affinity for humanity. Instead of rockin' the suburbs, Folds - like the rest of us - is rockin' his own home these days, and he will be live-streaming a performance on Saturday. Just don't ask him to play "Free Bird."
Grace Potter 8 p.m. CST - May 11
Most fans knew that Grace Potter & The Nocturnals weren't going to continue making music after Potter and drummer Matt Burr finalized their divorce in 2017. But that wouldn't be the last we heard from the Vermont native, whose powerful voice has drawn favorable comparisons to the likes of Tina Turner and Janis Joplin. Free of the input of any band mates or labels, the singer-songwriter began working on some of the most intimate songs she has ever written, 11 of which were eventually compiled together for her second solo outing, Daylight. Following her first release in four years, Potter released two singles - "We'll Be Alright" and "As The World Falls Down" - during quarantine, and she is scheduled to live-stream a performance from home on Monday.
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business.
Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.