Three local artists dropped albums either recorded at Sugar Hill Studios or with Sugar Hill connections in the past month: Johnny Falstaff's Honky Tonkin' Daddy, John Evans' Lucky 13 and Kanude's Kanude. Produced by John Evans and engineered by Sugar Hill vet Steve Christensen, Honky Tonkin' Daddy is the pick of this litter.
It’s a rough-and-ready beer-joint collection that resonates with Piney Woods hillbilly twang and East Houston dive attitude. Because he picks like his job depends on it, Falstaff doesn’t rely on hired guitar assassins; instead he distinguishes himself lyrically with stone-cold-sawdust-floor lines and a country-crooner voice that leaves no doubt he’s been there.
“Turn down the lights, turn on the wine” and “it’s half past the party, it’s closing time again” are just two hooks that give Honky Tonkin’ Daddy a legitimacy few trying to tonk can even approximate. And Falstaff’s exhilarating south Texas interpretation of the Beatles’ “Rain” is a prime musical example of what makes Houston Houston and Johnny Falstaff Johnny Falstaff. No fancy microbrews in this joint. - William Michael Smith
4 p.m. today at Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth, 713-526-9272. Free.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.