C-Boy’s Heart & Soul, Austin
Every Thursday in May
Paul Oscher is all about black and white. He wears black trousers, shirts, hats, and shades—all of which highlight his white beard and skin. Oscher, 67, got his start in Muddy Waters’ band back in the sixties, when he was the only caucasian dude on stage. He plays old-school blues without sounding retro, nor like he’s copying anyone. After all these years, Oscher sounds like he’s doing something entirely new.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Gary Clark Jr.
Frank Erwin Center, Austin
Tuesday, May 2
Tom Petty may not be a Texan, but opener Gary Clark Jr. wears the Lone Star State on his sleeve. And as Petty’s fortieth anniversary tour concludes its string of Texas dates in early May, you’ll have the chance sing along to “American Girl” and “I Won’t Back Down” and catch Clark’s blistering blues jams in the sort of arena setting appropriate for his rock star trajectory.
Fair Park, Dallas
Friday, May 5
Circuit of the Americas, Austin
The two-day, two-city touring JMBLYA Festival looks to make the jump from “little fest that could” to can’t-miss event with its 2017 lineup. They managed to snag Chance the Rapper—maybe the hottest name in music right now, fresh off his Grammy win for Best New Artist—as their headliner, with an undercard that includes Gucci Mane, Steve Aoki, the red-hot Atlanta trio Migos, and more.
Asleep at the Wheel
Cactus Theatre, Lubbock.
Friday, May 5
They say you can’t reinvent the wheel, and Asleep at the Wheel has never tried. They’ve stuck to the same brand of Bob Wills-inspired Western swing for the past forty-three years, and fans of couldn’t be more grateful. That doesn’t mean frontman Ray Benson isn’t innovating, though. He and his revolving cast of bandmates have kept the traditional sound alive but have also expanded the genre by adding new instruments and a dash of rock’n’roll. On May 5, the Wheel rolls into Hub City to deliver yet another night of twin fiddles and blistering guitar solos courtesy of Benson.
At The Drive-In
El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso
Saturday, May 6
El Paso’s indie-rock heroes kick off their summer tour in their hometown. It’s the band’s first tour behind an album of new material since 2000’s Relationship of Command, and the El Paso date comes a day after the release of the band’s long-awaited comeback, in•ter a•li•a. Expect to hear cuts like the fiery new “Driven By Contagions” or the riotous slow burn “Hostage Stamps” alongside plenty of tracks from the band’s nineties run that made them superstars.
Bud Light Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival
Saturday, May 6
Smoked meats and live music, two things Texans hold dear to their hearts, share the stage at the fourth annual Bud Light Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival. Red dirt favorites such as Wade Bowen, Cody Johnson, Flatland Calvary, and others will flood the brick streets of downtown Tyler as twenty of the state’s most celebrated barbecue joints feed music lovers. Texas Monthly 2013 Top 50 BBQ’s honorees Kreuz Market, Louie Mueller Barbecue, Pecan Lodge, and Opie’s will all be there.
The Turnpike Troubadours
John T. Floore’s Country Store, Helotes
Saturday, May 13
The Turnpike Troubadours return to the John T. Floore’s Country Store outdoor stage to headline their sixth annual Dia Del Gallo, a nod to bass player R.C. “Rooster” Edwards, who started the band with singer-songwriter Evan Felkner in 2007. Although the Troubadours have a busy summer planned with shows up and down the coasts, their annual Floore’s appearance always seems to be special. Show up for raw, intense, rocking red dirt at its best. John Fullbright and San Benito’s Charley Crockett open the show.
The Black Angels
White Oak Music Hall, Houston
May 18 (plus additional Texas dates)
The colorful artwork and brutalist album title for the Black Angels’ Death Song—the band’s first album since 2013’s Indigo Meadow—capture the aesthetic that the band’s known for: never quite as hard-edged as the name suggests, but also too focused to fall into the sort of self-indulgence that psychedelic rock is often known for. On this stretch of Texas dates, expect to get a full dose of both the band’s expansive sounds and its newfound penchant for paranoia. (Granada Theater, Dallas: May 19; Stubb’s BBQ, Austin: May 20)
Jerry Jeff Walker
Gruene Hall, Gruene
Saturday, May 20
Jerry Jeff Walker celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday this year. Heck, his greatest hits record, The Best of Jerry Jeff Walker, dropped 37 years ago. But when he takes the stage at Gruene Hall, you can bet your cowboy boots and bathing suits that Texans bridging multiple generations will crowd Texas’s oldest dancehall for a show not too much different from Walker’s 1989 classic, Live at Gruene Hall. The gypsy song-man may be gettin’ by a little slower, but “Mr. Bojangles,” “Hill Country Rain,” and “The Man With the Big Hat” will sound as good as ever. See you there, Buckaroos.
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Pints in the Park, Waco
Saturday, May 20
Great songwriter (“Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” “Snake Farm”), great singer, great performer, great tweeter. After Don Rickles died last month, Hubbard posted: “Walking by Don Rickles at a restaurant in LA he looked up at me and said ‘see you in the Bible, Moses.’ Still breaks me up.”