Tonight, Tonight: Los Lobos at The Granada and Needtobreathe at House of Blues

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A bit of a slow hump day evening, but at least one legendary band is playing our region tonight.

Los Lobos and Kurt Bodean & The Jab Zone Cowboys at the Granada Theater
Back in the '70s, in the days of the Cold War, there was existed a project centered around the idea of sending one band into the USSR that would best represent American music. Ironically, it was a bunch of mostly Canadians who went by the faceless moniker The Band who were eventually chosen. If that same plan were hatched today, Los Lobos would make for a fine choice. For over 30 years now, this resilient quintet has combined blues, rock, R&B, Tex-Mex, country and folk music into a consistently challenging and genre-bending sound that still comes across as fresh. Sure, the heyday of Los Lobos was definitely the late '80s and early '90s, but one listen to the recently issued Tin Can Trust should convince almost anyone that this band still matters plenty. Docked a couple of points for covering a Grateful Dead song, the new effort features the same kind of slightly experimental roots music that was always Los Lobos' strong suit. With enough great material for a week of shows, the main problem tonight will be cherry-picking songs for a single performance.

Needtobreathe and The Daylights at The House of Blues
South Carolina's Needtobreathe walks that delicate line between Christian and secular music. But, like the best spiritually-minded rockers, Bear Rinehart (along with brother Bo) doesn't let his faith get in the way of a good tune. Needtobreathe's 2009 effort, The Outsiders, featured epic, anthemic, stadium-ready rock that found the band being compared to the likes of U2 and Coldplay. Rinehart's vocals have a gritty, southern soul appeal and the band applies a gospel touch that never comes across as preachy or cornpone. Needtobreathe is already a star on the Christian music circuit, but this quartet has the talent and the gumption to be appreciated by the many sinners of this world as well. Joining them on this tour are Dallas ex-pats The Daylights, who Daniel Hopkins caught up with in this past week's Observer and who, if nothing else, are notable for the fact that Sarah Jaffe is related to some of its members.

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