Another frigid Thursday evening and another quality collection of musical options for the discerning music fan...
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Amos Lee and Vusi Mahlasela at the House of Blues
Influenced by such super-smooth singer-songwriters as Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder, Philadelphia's Amos Lee makes music best suited for a date. Although thoughtful, Lee's music is certainly not demanding; rather, it provides the best background for chatting up your latest squeeze and hoping the bar tab doesn't get too inflated. To be fair, though, Lee's most recent effort, Mission Bell, features guest appearances from Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Sam Beard and the guys from Calexico. I guess you can really tell about someone by the company they keep.
Chris Watson at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton
Local blues-rock singer-songwriter Chris Watson plays the kind of music that just sounds like Texas. Influenced by such legendary guitarists as B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Watson's a skillful player who doesn't simply rely on technique. His songs are soulful and a bit countrified. Sometimes Watson's persona leans dangerously close to that of Garth Brooks, but we can forgive a local at least one error in judgment, can't we?
The Lonesome Heroes, Dim Locator and Daniel Cioper at The Kessler Theater
Hailing out of Austin, The Lonesome Heroes are an intriguing duo that has been compared to everyone from Patsy Cline to Yo La Tengo. Rich Russell and Landry McMeans have been together since 2005 and have earned an excellent reputation in the highly competitive Austin scene -- and there are certainly easier places to ply psychedelic-tinged country-rock. Another act out of Austin, Daniel Cioper, and Denton's Dim Locator add some multicultural variety to what should be an appealing night of music.
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Murder FM, Cage 9, Beta Wolf and Rockett Queen at Trees
Local metal band Murder FM just released a new single, the powerful "Machine Gun Kisses." Mixing the standard metal influences with a nice industrial bent, "Kisses" is a well-produced and skillfully executed piece of aggression. If everything else on the band's hopefully forthcoming full-length stacks up to this track, 2011 could prove the year for Murder FM. Adding to tonight's noisy quadruple-bill are two California acts, Cage 9 and Beta Wolf, and Tyler's own Rockett Queen.