Good Friday: B.B. King, Kate Voegele, Max Stalling, Robert Gomez, Bosque Brown, Slaid Cleaves, John Cowan Band, Mad Mexicans, Alpha Rev, The Campaign, Brandi Carlile

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Not exactly a ton of big names swinging through our area this weekend, but it's a decent mix of local and out of town talent who will ply their craft this last weekend in May.

First the shows we've already clued you to in print or via the blog: Tonight's one-man band meltdown with Bob Log III, Williem Maker and El Paso Hot Button at Dada; Paramore opening up for No Doubt and The Sounds Saturday night at Superpages.com Center; also on Saturday, it's the poster of the week show featuring The Atoms and The Drams at Dada.

Now, onto some other weekend musical options:

Alpha Rev, The Campaign
Friday, May 29, at House of Blues Pontiac Garage

Austin's Casey McPherson started Alpha Rev in 2005 after his first band, Endochine, broke up. Good thing too because Alpha Rev is a much better musical proposition. The Greatest Thing I've Ever Learned, the band's debut, came out in 2007 and showed McPherson to be an earnest guy with a semi-literate way with a mope-rock melody. Although Alpha Rev's sophomore effort was never released due to legal hassles, the band's third effort is set to come out this fall.

Brandi Carlile, Gregory Alan Isakov
Friday, May 29, at The Granada Theater

This show is already sold out, but I'm certain some enterprising types will be out front to sort out your entertainment needs. Hailing out of Washington (the state), Brandi Carlile is yet another one of those genre twisting, earthy female singers. Her songs have been described as rock, country, indie and folk. Normally, it's my opinion that such genre hopping results in a diluted product, but Carlile has the vocal chops to pull it off. Her 2007 release, The Story, was produced by T-Bone Burnett and put Carlile into the national spotlight. Isakov was born in South Africa and raised in Philly and his brand of folk has also garnered signficant acclaim.

RTB2, Cocky Americans, PVC Street Gang
Friday, May 29, at Hailey's

Great local triple bill that is probably better than any collection of national acts coming through this weekend. PVC Street gang's debut EP is scheduled to hit the streets any day now and this is a nice chance to catch them before the usual 1:00 am starting time.

Slaid Cleaves, John Cowan Band, Mando Saenz
Saturday, May 30, at The Granada Theater

Austin singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves went to the University of Texas and majored in English and Philosophy. That tells you about everything you need to know. Except that Cleaves' most recent effort, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away, may be his best ever and that his shows are often as potent as that whiskey/lime juice/honey concoction that your mom gave you when you had a sore throat. Former New Grass Revival front man John Cowan is also on this talent heavy bill and will surely thrill any guitar pickers who find their way into The Granada Saturday night.

Mad Mexicans, Peacemaker, Dirty Little Mouth, After Summer
Saturday, May 30, at The Curtain Club

Another fine collection of locals topped by the area's best Latino-esque rockers, Mad Mexicans. Peacemaker just finished recording a live album and should be in good spirits as well. This show should go well into Sunday morning, so catch a nap after mowing the lawn.

Robert Gomez, Bosque Brown, John Brown, Matthew Gray
Saturday, May 30, at Lola's

A better quartet of singer/songwriters, local or otherwise, would be difficult to find. Both Gomez and Gray specialized in ethereal pop that's somehow catchy and dreamy at the same time. And I wish I had a nickel for every blurb, blog post or print story that featured Bosque Brown this year. Considering my already iffy tax situation, maybe I don't.

B.B. King
Sunday, May 31, at House of Blues

Blues legend B.B. King seems to make his way to North Texas quite regularly, but at 83 years old, you never know how many more tours the guitarist extraordinaire has left in him. After nearly fifty albums bearing his name, the third greatest guitarist (according to Rollin Stone Magazine) in music history is always worth a trip to the West End.

Kate Voegele
Sunday May 31, at The Loft

This 22-year-old from Cleveland has the looks and talent to obtain a bit more than the obligatory 15 minutes of fame. Voegele is taking a break from acting in the television program One Tree Hill in order to promote her sophomore musical effort A Fine Mess.
Sure it's glossy and poppy and not just a wee bit generic, but Voegele's music fills a similar niche as that of Taylor Swift. Plus, she's just as hot.

Max Stalling, Phil Pritchett, Walt Wilkins, Kurt South
Sunday, May 31, at Longhorn Saloon

Another great quartet of area singer/songwriters, this time with a hardcore country vibe. Max Stalling is simply one of the best tunesmiths in Texas, be that in any genre. But the supporting cast on this healthy bill isn't too shabby either. Pritchett, Wilkins and South all know their way around a good, cry-in-your-beer two-stepper, so come ready to hoist a few cold ones.


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