We are in a stage of grieving. Our Cowboys fought hard, but ultimately came up short in the Divisional round of the playoffs. It was a fascinating (stressful) season with plenty of ups and downs and we're proud of a team that's made it as far as they have. Better luck next year. In the interim, check out some shows. This week Ben Howard is at the House of Blues, DJ Paul Johnson at the Crown & Harp, Gladys Knight not too far away in Oklahoma and Beach Fossils head up a strong bill that includes local Leon Bridges at Trees for the Have a Heart benefit. Here are your picks:
Arlington's Idol Job makes what they refer to as "sexy reggae." What that means exactly, we're not 100% sure. What we are sure of is that this is a great opportunity to relax and grab some food and a drink while listening to free reggae. Medicate yourself as needed. Don't worry, we're not here to judge.H. Drew BlackburnDustin Welch With Robert Cline Jr., 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 13, at Poor David's Pub, 1313 South Lamar St., 214-565-1295, $13
Dustin Welch was born on a Winter Solstice, in an old plantation house in Tennessee, out of the womb of a Native American princess. It sounds like some heavy folklore, but is apparently true, so it has always been Dustin Welch's destiny in some shape or form to make Americana music or be some sort of Southern superhero.HDBBob Livingston 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 14, at Vagabond, 3619 Greenville Ave, 214-824-2263, Free
Bob Livingston originally hails from Lubbock and eventually ended up in Austin. Is it because Lubbock smells weird? Maybe. But, surely it was to become a part of Texas' growing outlaw country scene in the 1970s. He's done work with legends of the genre like Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Martin Murphy. That's where Livingston's illustrious career began and it's even taken him to India as the music ambassador for the US State Department. Check out the legendary honky tonk player Bob Livingston at Vagabond to get the feeling of a true Texas outlaw right in your bones.HDBBen Howard With Willy Mason, 8 p.m. Thursday, January 15, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $25-$45
Ben Howard is an English acoustic singer/songwriter with a folk sound inspired by the Joni Mitchell and Richie Havens records he heard as a child, as well as American blues artists like Robert Johnson and Skip James. Howard was originally headed towards a career in journalism with a focus on surfing, working on a journalism degree and writing for a surf magazine. But he dropped out of school just six months shy of graduating and gave up on journalism once his music started getting such an enthusiastic response. Howard has a unique voice that recalls Tracy Chapman and his guitar style is also distinctive because he often taps the body of the guitar with his knuckles in between strumming to add a percussive effect. After a few EPs, he released his debut album in 2011 and is now touring on his second album, I Forget Where We Were, released in October. Live performances have been the foundation of Howard's music ever since he first started playing to crowds on beaches, so expect a strong performance.Jeremy HallockPaul Johnson With Resident DJ Boxx, 9 p.m. Friday, January 16, at Crown & Harp, 1919 Greenville Ave., 214-828-1914 or thecrownandharp.com, $10/$15 at the door
Deep Inside is celebrating the one-year anniversary of it's monthly house music ritual at Crown & Harp this coming Friday with Chicago house legend Paul Johnson. Johnson has been a fixture at the center of the Chicago scene since the mid-'80s, releasing club hits on a string of equally legendary labels such as Cajual, Defected, Dance Mania, Peacefrog, Relief and Moody and selling millions of copies worldwide. As a DJ Johnson is known for soulful, harder-edged jacking house sets -- a characteristic also found in his enormous back catalogue. That catalogue also happens to make him one of the most prolific DJs in the history of Chicago house, possibly in house music as a whole. He managed to pull this off despite being confined to a wheelchair since the late '80s. It's a true rare treat to hear an artist of Johnson's magnitude in a such a small venue.Wanz DoverRebelution With Katchafire, 8:30 p.m., Friday, January 16, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 214-421-2021 or southsideballroomdallas.com, $36
Rebelution has been around for almost a decade, but it doesn't seem that long ago that they were breaking out with their 2007 debut album Courage to Grow. The Southern California act captured the ears (and more importantly, the hearts and minds) of audiences by playing world reggae music with socially mindful lyrics. As the band's name suggests, they are out to make a difference through pointed commentary in the form of their music. Since then, the group has released three more albums, most recently the 2014 Count Me In. Commercially, Rebelution's albums have regularly been at the top of the Billboard charts. Count Me In debuted at No. 14 on the Hot 200, demonstrating that the band is more than just a fringe genre act, but one with mainstream appeal too. They have played the world's biggest festivals and on January 16 they will be coming to Dallas' Southside Ballroom to put on a trademark Rebelution performance: heartfelt and eclectic.James KhubiarGladys Knight 8 p.m., Saturday, January 17, at WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 1-800-622-6317 or winstarworldcasino.com, $35-$65
In the beginning of her career, Gladys Knight was one of the driving forces behind the success of R&B and soul in the United States. Fast forward over 50 years and she's still one of the most talented vocalists and performers alive. There is no disputing that the 70-year old Knight doesn't have the same moves that she once did, but the pipes have only gotten richer with age. Knight's stage show focuses more on gospel music than disco these days, but that will suit the crowd at the Winstar just fine. As long as you don't go in expecting Knight to drop a new hip-hop track or otherwise reinvent her own wheel, you'll surely enjoy listening to the Empress of Soul's rich, timeless voice on classic tracks like "Midnight Train From Georgia" and "I Don't Want To Know."Amy McCarthyHave A Heart Benefit With Beach Fossils, The Appleseed Cast, Leon Bridges, Son of Stan and more, 1:30 p.m., Saturday, January 17, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $25-$30
IT'S MINI-FEST SEASON! You know, the season where we get random mini-fests from promoter's who are trying to test if they have the ability to do real fests later in the year when the SXSW spillover hits, and every band on the planet is trying to grab a Dallas date on their way into and out of Austin. Who wins? You do, Mister or Missus Music Fan. You get to catch lots of music and give money to a good cause at the same time, as this particular mini-fest is intended to be a benefit show. Plus look at the list of bands; those are good bands, you need to see those bands. Indian Jewelry is one of the best bands in Texas, if not the country, and seeing them play "Lesser Snake" live is almost life changing. So go to Trees, give them your money, watch music, and try to forget about the mid-January freeze for a few hours.Jaime-Paul FalconArtopia 2015 With Ishi, French 75, George Quartz, DJ Sober, 8:00 p.m., Saturday, January 17, at Centennial Hall at Fair Park, 1001 Washington St., $35-$80
The no-name publication that you would never be caught dead reading, the Dallas Observer, puts on this event called Artopia annually. This year is the fifth year the crux of the event is to shed an eye on the visual arts in the city of Dallas and procuring dead presidents for winners of our Mastermind Awards. However, there's gonna be some music as well, form Ishi, French 75, George Quartz, and DJ Sober. This line up is better than most shows that are just for music. Keep your eye on it.HDBSalim Nourallah 10 p.m. Sunday, January 18, at Sundown at Granada Theater, 3520 Greenville Ave., 214-823-8305 or granadatheater.com, Free
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Salim Nourallah has been in the North Texas music scene for two-and-a-half decades. In 1988, he and his brother Faris moved to Denton from El Paso. While in Denton, they formed a band called Moon Festival that performed in the area in the 1990s and released an eponymous album with called, aptly enough, The Nourallah Brothers. Since then, Salim went solo as a singer-songwriter, even having the distinct honor of having a song on HBO drama The Wire. Sheeeeiiiiittt. That's awesome.HDB
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