The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: John Digweed, Tanya Tucker and More

Country darling Tanya Tucker stops through Oklahoma this week.
Country darling Tanya Tucker stops through Oklahoma this week.
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It's that quiet time of the season, before the festivals come calling, when it may take some convincing to get out and see some great shows. And depending on what piques your interest, this week's offering up some really great opportunities to do so. There's no shortage of country music with Tanya Tucker and Sammy Kershaw, among others. And on the opposite end, one of EDM's most famed artists, John Digweed, makes a stop at It'll Do.

Paul Slavens and Friends
10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 N. Industrial St., Denton, or danssilverleaf.com, Free

Paul Slavens is a local legend. He was the frontman of the late '80s and early '90s outfit, Ten Hands. He’s a renowned radio host at KXT 91.7 FM as well. He also does this kooky little thing at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton every Monday. He takes song title suggestions from people and makes up a song right there. It’s like a freestyle. Whatever you do, don’t be the dick who tries to make him rhyme orange. H. Drew Blackburn

Blue, the Misfit
10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at RBC, 2617 Commerce St. or rbcdeepellum.com, Free

Loner child Brandon Blue, who once barricaded himself from the outside world with anime, Linkin Park and System of a Down, has grown into a pre-eminent talent in Dallas' rap scene and his confidence onstage has played a large part in making it happen. When performing, Blue, the Misfit has the ability to make strangers adamant believers. He has the magnetism and charisma of a cult leader. H. Drew Blackburn

The Devil Makes Three
9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., granadatheater.com, $24

The Devil Makes Three hail from Santa Cruz, California, but they sound like they are from the Deep South. With primarily acoustic guitars, a banjo and a stand-up bass, the trio sings a lot about drinking and death. There's a spiritual element to their songs, whether it's singing to the devil or God, so it makes sense there's a gospel vibe to their traditional folk and country sound. There's also a Tom Waits vibe to what they do, and it was fitting they covered "Come On Up to the House" on their 2016 record, Redemption & Ruin. With support acts the Lost Dog Street Band and DiTrani Brothers, this will not necessarily be a loud show, but it will be a tribute to how great music can sound when reduced to the basics. Eric Grubbs

Dru Hill
with Avant and Jagged Edge, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., liveatthemusichall.com, $59.40

Twenty years after their debuts Dru Hill and Jagged Edge, two of the most iconic R&B groups of the '90s boast the staying power to perform for large audiences across the country thanks to the fickle nature of the record industry. These days record labels aren’t willing to invest in three, four or even five collective artists for one group so active acts such as Dru Hill and Jagged Edge are the last of an extinct breed, the all-male R&B group. So they may not dominate radio waves anymore but they still churn out new music and performances for their loyal fanbases who yearn for the silky ballads and party anthems the groups have delivered for decades now. How many did it better than the platinum-haired Sisqo-led Dru Hill and crooning Jagged Edge? Solo R&B artist Avant rounds out this upcoming affair of grown and sexy R&B. Mikel Galicia

Sammy Kershaw
10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, billybobstexas.com, $14-$20

Country music fans rejoice: Sammy Kershaw is here to remind everyone how important this often-sterotyped scene in Dallas actually is. He's seen it all since the early '90s and has placed his hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs several times. Check him out tonight at Billy Bob's. Diamond Victoria

James McMurtry
With Michael Prysock, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., thekessler.org, $22

James McMurtry continues to come up with interesting slice-of-life vignettes like "You'd a' Thought (Leonard Cohen Must Die)" that take a scalpel and slash around in the innards of relationships more Jerry Springer than Oprah. On swampy rockers like "Turtle Bayou," McMurtry connects once again with the violent underbelly of life out in the rural margins, where law enforcement is thin and outlaws are just the lay of the land. "Just Us Kids" connects with another longtime McMurtry theme, small-town boredom and ennui. Bring earplugs, because McMurtry is one of the loudest acts around. William Michael Smith

John Digweed
10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, It'll Do, 4322 Elm St., facebook.com/itlldoclub, $20-$25

Deep Ellum's It'll Do continues its recent solid run of guest DJs this Saturday night with an appearance by John Digweed. The Englishman, perhaps best known as the mastermind behind Bedrock Records — their hit single "For What You Dream Of" was featured prominently in the film Trainspotting — has been at the DJ game since the early '90s and has grown into one of the most respected names in the house music community. He's also well-known for his longevity, mapping out playlists that can stretch for hours, thrilling audiences, but at the same time testing their endurance as the action rolls deep into the night. In that regard, it's best to plan ahead for what could be a long night out on the dance floor, but don't hesitate on attending. As a staple on the European and South American festival circuit, it's not often that Digweed visits these parts. Jeff Strowe

Tanya Tucker
8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, Choctaw Casino, 3735 Choctaw Road, Durant, Oklahoma, choctawcasinos.com, $30-$50

Few artists make it out the other side of child stardom. Experiencing the pressures of fame at such a young age has a way of unraveling even the best of talents. Having burst onto the country music scene in 1972 with top-ten single “Delta Dawn,” Tanya Tucker found fame and fortune at just 16 years of age. As with many before and since, Tucker’s early rise soon gave birth to those demons we typically associate with celebrity struggle: toxic relationships, youthful recklessness, chemical dependance. But unlike most, she persevered and is now at 58 a wiser, more emotive artist because of it. Glowing with spiritual aching and bittersweet empathy, Tucker’s pop-inflected tunes marry her larger than life legacy to intimate song writing. Loneliness and the toll of addiction are themes felt more than referenced in Tucker’s music, but the weight of such heavy past experiences has gifted her music an inspirational and painterly beauty. To catch a Tanya Tucker performance is to witness a classic section of country music’s varied history, and to see determination and artistic endurance personified. Jonathan Patrick

Cory Morrow
9 p.m. Saturday, Jan, 14, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933, $16-$29

Morrow has some strong merits, if not monster talent. The boy can sing pretty durn well, albeit without the distinctive touch that brands a great roots music voice. He crafts melodically pleasing numbers that producer Lloyd Maines dresses up in their Sunday-go-to-meeting best. But given how he and his college buddy Pat Green wave the Texas music banner with such yahoo-ish fervor, what continues to amaze is how both sound and write so much like the stuff they say they're rebelling against. And conversely, if they're so adamantly Texan, how come there's no Lefty Frizzell or T-Bone Walker or Sir Doug or Lightnin' Hopkins here, much less the lyrical gifts of Townes Van Zandt? (A name the young bucks love to invoke.) If you're gonna talk the Texas music talk (or in their case, all but holler it), then you better walk as tall as needed, or at least strive to. Rob Patterson

7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122,  $10

It's not always possible to see your favorite bands perform live. Whether they've disbanded or simply quit touring, it's almost the norm to just hear them through the crappy speakers of a MacBook or iPhone. But that's why tribute bands are so important. They offer up the opportunity to, at least for a little while, relive, or, experience for the first time, some of the greatest musicians the world's known. Substance, a New Order tribute band, plays this role all too well. And tonight they'll be cranking out some of the Manchester-bred band's top tunes like "Blue Monday" and "Bizarre Love Triangle," but we'll count on them playing some of the B-sides, too. Diamond Victoria

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