With July 4th coming up this Friday, this will be that most patriotic of weeks where we can sit back and bask in the glory of our homeland: Texas. (Well, America too.) And can mean only one thing: lots of and lots of country music. From singer-songwriters to outlaws and Willie Nelson's picnic, there will be plenty to celebrate around Dallas over the next seven days.
It's a sneaky idea for an essentially solo artist to perform music under a moniker that functions as a band name when they could easily rely on their own given name. It allows them to switch up styles or bandmates and steer the music into assorted directions without appearing too culpable. For several years now, Brooklyn's Damon McMahon has offered up psychedelia that's taken on different forms over the course of three albums as Amen Dunes. McMahon's latest album, Love, released on the dependably excellent label Sacred Bones (which boasts the Men and Psychic Ills, among others), still has the hazy psychedelic leanings he's honed, but in a more acoustic, accessible manner than ever before. Some tunes from the new album even recall the great atmospheric tunes of Mazzy Star, thanks to more traditionally leaning song structure. But hey, it's not McMahon switching things up, after all; it's Amen Dunes. Take it up with "them."Kelly DearmoreDavid Allan Coe 9pm, Wednesday, July 2 at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Building, gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $20-40
Considered a pioneer of "outlaw country," by many, Coe first burst onto the country scene in the early 70s, and quickly built a fan following for his unpredictable shows and rock-influenced blues. After releasing his debut, Penitentiary Blues, in 1968, the singer-songwriter went on to enjoy much success among country-western fans, despite his inability to advance into the mainstream. After a slew of difficulties in the late 80s, Coe has since revived his career, and is definitely ready to continue doing what he does best.Michelle Ofiwe
Streets of Laredo | Girlfriend (Official) from Streets of Laredo on Vimeo Streets of Laredo With The Hunts, 8 p.m., Thursday, July 3 at Three Links, 2704 Elm Street, threelinksdeepellum.com, $10 This seven-piece Brooklyn-based band takes inspiration from '70s folk music and the folkier side of modern-day artists like Alex Ebert and Arcade Fire. Originally a quartet that started in New Zealand, Dave Gibson and company came Stateside a couple years ago to pursue their musical ambitions in earnest. Recently they opened for Cults and Kaiser Chiefs and played at Bonaroo. Hailed by tastemakers for catchy single "Girlfriend," a twisty psychedelic folk tune, Streets of Laredo are known for their charming stage presence and tendency to make use of whatever instruments they can find. With standup drummers, horn players, guitars on both corners of stage and even homemade instruments, you can expect to jam out to soulful folk tracks when the band swing through town right before the end of their current North American tour. Carmina TiscarenoYoung Widows With White Reaper and Nervous Curtains, 8pm, Thursday, July 3 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $10
Born from the now-defunct Breather Resist, KY's Young Widows have since developed a sound that lies far from their early mathcore days. Their mix of hardcore and indie rock seems like something truly their own, developed over a collection of studio albums and EPs with other noteable hardcore acts.MOWillie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic 11 am, Friday, July 4 at The Historic Fort Worth Stockyards, 500 NE 23rd St, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117 or http://www.billybobstexas.com/tickets, $40-250
July 4th means one thing to music fans in North Texas: it's time to go to Fort Worth for Willie Nelson's star-and-stripes picnic. The 81-year-old returns to the Fort Worth Stockyards for his annual Independence day celebration with his trusty guitar Trigger in hands and some help fromnsupporting acts Ryan Bingham, Charley Pride, David Allen Coe, Dierks Bently, Ray Willie Hubbard, Jamey Johnson and many more. It's a festival that manages to blend the best of outlaw, red dirt and alt-country, much like the original version of the event did way back in 1973 outside of Dripping Springs. This is a bucket list event for every Texan, native and transplant alike.Jaime-Paul FalconLittle Tybee With The Groovebumps and Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, 9pm, Saturday, July 5 at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., 940-320-2000 or danssilverleaf.com, $10
Based in Atlanta, this folk-rock five-piece came into local attention after the dissolution of their previous act, The Brock Stock Quartet. Their first effort, Building a Bomb, was released shortly after, propelling the act into a string of high-profile performances, including collaborations with South by Southwest, Paper Magazine, CMJ, and Fringe Festival. Their latest release, 2013's For Distant Viewing, furthered cemented the band's surprisingly smooth tender, sound - as well as their place on the ever-growing folk scene.MOWye Oak With Pattern is Movement, 8pm, Saturday, July 5 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $18-21
For 8 years now Wye Oak has been the older indiedude's favorite band as Jenn Wasner's propensity for shredding on a guitar awakened thoughts of envy and awe. Along with band mate Andy Stack, Wasner has become a critical darling, frequently touted by Rolling Stone and The AV Club as not only one of the best bands putting out albums but one of the best live bands touring today. The praise hit critical mass when the duo released Civilian in 2011. An album filled with raging guitar parts and anthemic choruses, it was a hit with fans, both new and old alike. Don't expect the guitar shredding of Civilian when this visit Dallas, however, as the band's latest effort Shriek does away with the guitars in favor of Wasner using a bass to harmonize with Stack's synths and drums. It's an unexpected but fascinating change from a band who doesn't seem to want to stay locked into one sound for their whole career.JPFJustin Moore 9pm, Saturday, July 5 at Lone Star Park, 1000 Lone Star Pkwy, lonestarpark.com or 972-263-7223, $5-20
Moore is an American Country singer, who has released three album since his debut in 2007: 2009's Justin Moore, 2011's Outlaw Like Me, and 2013 Off the Beaten Path.MOSteve Earle 8 p.m., Saturday, July 5 at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117 or billybobstexas.com, $15-35
While the current-day music industry in general likes to compartmentalize artists and keep popular acts where they're most profitable, certain venerable vets are still able to follow their own muse, whether it leads them to new sounds or even new geographical locales. Over the past seven years, Steve Earle has been able to do whatever the hell he wants while continually receiving praise from his many followers. In 2007, he seemingly abandoned his signature style of country-rock to become a solo folkie after his move to New York City's Greenwich Village. He then went on to record a fine album of primarily acoustic Townes Van Zandt covers, simply titled Townes. But right when we were left to assume his full-band stomping ways were behind him, Earle and a revamped backing band have cranked out two stellar records, including last year's The Low Highway, which is full of the literate, thoughtful rockbased country music that he's been so great at all along.KD
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While fans are left to wait patiently for Paul McCartney's postponed Dallas appearance (and hoped for return to good health), we can make do with the opportunity to witness a performance by the only other surviving member of that one '60s band from Liverpool. Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band embellish plenty more than just the satiation for live Beatles renditions by an actual former Beatle. As with every previous iteration of the band, this lineup, now in its 25th year, each member does more than simply contribute their own distinct musicianship to the songs they play. With notables such as Santana's Gregg Rolie and the charismatic Todd Rundgren amongst the current All-Starr Band ranks, Starr's supporting cast are bona fide stars in their own right. But that's always been his greatest attribute: the most relatable of the Beatles, Starr prefers to get by with a little help from his friends. And they've always been more than happy to oblige.Aaron Ortega