It may be the heat, or the fact that kids are about to start back to school, but the local live music scene is slower in August — before the fall concert season picks up. That’s not to say there isn’t anything good to see in Houston this week. These are CultureMap’s best and biggest shows of the week.
CultureMap show of the week: Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Dwight Yoakum
Fans of the grittier side of country, Americana, roots, and folk music will find a lot to love with a bill that sees three powerhouses bless the lawn at White Oak Music Hall. Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Dwight Yoakum joined forces for the LSD Tour (see what they did there?) this summer, bringing three distinct voices together for a dream line-up. Grammy Award-winning Lucinda Williams is widely hailed as one of the best country-folk singer-songwriters in the game. Steve Earle is a roots rock rabble-rouser, known for his political activism as much as his songwriting chops. And last but not least, neo-traditional country crooner Dwight Yoakum makes country music of a bygone era before pop encroached into Nashville. This is a great opportunity to see three musicians who are critically adored within their respective genres, doing what they do best.
The LSD Tour featuring Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Dwight Yoakum stops at the White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Tuesday, August 7. King Leg opens. Tickets start at $58.50 plus a $19.80 service charge. Gates open at 5 pm.
Locals Gio Chamba light up the Continental
While bigger names stay away from the heat that is southeast Texas in August, it’s a perfect time to check out local talent. Gio Chamba, along with bandmate Coffee Guzman, has been making noise on the local scene for a few years now with an intriguing melange of Texas and international sounds, prescribing to the genre Digital Cumbia, which first got its start in South America, a mix of traditional cumbia, electronic indebted dance, and hip-hop beats. Gio Chamba infuses this with a healthy dose of Santana guitars, adding the requisite Tex-Mex temperature to the proceedings. The duo’s latest is last year’s album, Tejas, and they just released single, “Cobra Dinero” in June.
Houston’s own Gio Chamba performs at the Continental Club, located at 3700 S. Main St., on Thursday, August 9. San Francisco act Bang Data open. Show starts at 10 pm.
Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town co-headline in The Woodlands
Five-time RodeoHouston performer and Texas native Miranda Lambert (2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) teams up two-time RodeoHouston band Little Big Town (2016, 2018) for a huge country show in The Woodlands for those itching to bust out the cowboy boots and tight jeans. Lambert is still touring her 2016 album, The Weight of These Wings, while Little Big Town is still promoting 2017’s The Breaker, but recently released the country version of "Get Lucky" (but not as good), the disco-inflected "Summer Fever," in June. Both groups boast enough No. 1 songs and albums to fill a barn, which points to a well-attended event.
Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town co-headline the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Friday, August 10. The Steel Woods and Tenille Townes open. Tickets start at $25 for lawn seating, $64.75 for reserved seating, plus service charges. Gates open at 6 pm.
Jeff Lynne's ELO
Anyone who saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 will be instantly familiar with Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” which kicked off the movie with a memorable action scene. Following the dissolution of the band, original member, guitarist/songwriter, Jeff Lynne, carried on under the moniker, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, and why shouldn’t he have, since ELO was massive in the 1970s — heavily influenced by The Beatles and prog-rock that won the band huge rock radio play for hits such as “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Livin’ Thing,” and “Turn to Stone.” Lynne is also famous for his turn in the ’80s supergroup The Travelin’ Wilburys, alongside his heroes, George Harrison and Roy Orbison (in addition to Bob Dylan and Tom Petty). If Lynne’s career in ELO is any indication, the stage production will be off the charts and there just might be a UFO sighting, imagery the band became famous for in their heyday.
Jeff Lynne’s ELO plays the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Friday, August 10. Alt-country heroes Dawes open. Tickets start at $49 plus service charges. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends: ATX’s Walker Lukens
Talented Austin singer-songwriter Walker Lukens is back in Houston this weekend with a headlining slot at the Continental Club. He made a couple of appearances last year at the start of his touring cycle for his great album Tell It to the Judge, a multi-genre mash-up that recalls Beck’s ability to take varying sounds and mix it into melodic magic, with a touch of Prince's showmanship. This featured appearance at one of the best intimate concert venues in the city will be well worth heading out for the late start.
Walker Lukens plays the Continental Club, located at 3700 S. Main St., on Saturday, August 11. Tickets are $12 in advance, plus a $3 service fee. Show starts at 10 pm.