Dallasites love Willie Nelson and the Texas legend loves us right back. As proof, he's included Dallas as one of the initial six stops of his just-announced Outlaw Music Festival. In other concert news, an influential goth act celebrates 40 years together at the House of Blues, two guitar gunslingers meet up in Deep Ellum, the Irving Music Factory adds a date with an indie favorite, and two buzz worthy Americana acts stop through Dallas for club shows.
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- Local hero and national treasure Willie Nelson has put together a summer touring ensemble called The Outlaw Music Festival Tour. The Americana-centric tour boasts heavy star power and an impressive dedication to showcasing regional food and craft beer selections for fans' enjoyment, as well. Nelson, Bob Dylan, Jason Isbell, My Morning Jacket, Margo Price, Hayes Carll, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Sheryl Crow, the Avett Brothers and Willie's son's band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, are all signed up for various dates. The Dallas date, taking place July 2 at Starplex Pavilion, will feature Nelson, Crow, Carll, Price, the Avett Brothers and Lukas Nelson. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, April 21, at blackbirdpresents.com.
- The hugely influential British gothic band the Damned are celebrating their 40th anniversary by going on an extensive world tour. On May 18, they'll stop in at Dallas' House of Blues. At recent shows they've been exploring all aspects of their vast, gritty and macabre catalog. Tickets for this sure-to-be-packed show are $15 and up at officialdamned.com/tour.
- The old Sons of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum will be dusted off for this show featuring two of indie-rock's greatest guitar gurus, Steve Gunn and Lee Renaldo. Technical master Gunn has released several acclaimed solo albums. His most recent, Eyes on the Lines, is an expansive and well-crafted ode to the open road. Renaldo, the longtime guitarist of Sonic Youth, has also been pursuing a career as a solo artist and with another ensemble, the Dust. Tickets for the June 20 show are $17 at prekindle.com.
- Initially conceived as a country band with jazz tendencies, Lake Street Dive have evolved their sound into a panoply of genres. Snippets of soul, R&B, Top 40 pop and vaudeville-era brass all make their way into the band's song craft. The past two years have found the Nonesuch Records recording artists playing on Prairie Home Companion, at Radio City Music Hall, and even the White House. Their latest album, the Dave Cobb-produced Side Pony, tosses aside some of the twang and instead sends them down yet another musical avenue, that of '60s-influenced rock, psychedelia, and R&B. Tickets for the Aug. 16 show at the Granada Theater ($46-$49) go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, April 14, at granadatheater.com.
- The area's newest venue, the multi-purpose Irving Music Factory, continues to announce big shows. The latest is a Nov. 14 appearance by English indie-rockers Alt-J. Their show last year at South Side Ballroom was packed and rambunctious, complete with trippy stage lights and dance breakouts. It's likely this show will take place in one of the Factory's two indoor spaces, rather than its outdoor amphitheater, which bodes well for the band's aesthetic. Presale tickets are available from 10 a.m. April 16 through April 20. Tickets for the general public ($49.50-$59.50) go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, April 21, at thepavilionimf.com.
- Elizabeth Cook — outlaw country singer and host of Apron String, one of SiriusXM's most popular shows — brings her tour to the Kessler Theater on June 11. She's out on the road behind her emotionally raw and sometimes bleak new album, Exodus of Venus, and excels when performing in front of an audience. Her banter is jokey one moment and deeply personal the next, and her songwriting is just as versatile and complex. Find out why she's a Grand Ole Opry favorite and a former regular on David Letterman. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, April 14, at prekindle.com.