Saturday's Concert Pick
Where's the band? Booker T. goes solo for Houston
Tom Petty & The Heartbreaker. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
Some artists' identities are so intertwined with the bands they front that to remove them from the group changes their whole musical make-up. It's as if, without the band, they take on a different persona.
Such is the case for Booker T. Jones. You know him better as the keyboard prodigy and leader of pioneering Memphis Soul band Booker T. & The M.G.'s.
(And I bet you didn't even know his last name was Jones until I just told ya.)
Normally I would feel cheated if Booker T. came to town without the M.G.'s, the ensemble that was once the house band for the iconic Stax Records in the '60s and gave the world one of the most well-known instrumental riffs of all time with the bluesy hit, "Green Onions."
To hear him play selections from last year's Grammy-winning album "Potato Hole" however, I will make muzzle my protest.
For Potato Hole, Booker T. temporarily traded in the M.G.'s to record with the groovy, cowpunks the Drive-By Truckers. Neil Young also dropped by the studio to offer some guitar accompaniment.
The result are a mix of scintillating originals and reworks of diverse works like Outkast's "Hey Ya" and Tom Waits "Get Behind the Mule" that prove artistry is not dead and albums can still be gorgeous and alluring without a vocalist to coach the listener along.
Of course, none of these all-stars will be at Wired Live with Booker T., but my guess is that he has a few other tricks up his talented sleeves that should make this live solo experience a night to remember.
7 p.m. tonight at Wired Live