This week’s big show is the return of Jon Dee Graham to the Sunday Roadhouse series this Sunday, Feb. 12, 5 p.m. at The Side Door Lounge. Graham’s music is tough and tender, ferocious and luminous. His songs reflect the day to day struggles of life in all its rawness and richness, with a thread of indomitable hope running through it all.
In Austin, a town noted for its extraordinary musicians, Graham is the only artist who has been inducted three times into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. He’s been honored as part of seminal Austin punk band The Skunks, and with iconic band The True Believers, alongside another Austin icon, Alejandro Escovedo. In 2000, Graham was inducted for his accomplished career as a solo singer-songwriter and bandleader.
Graham has been busy in Austin recording a new CD, Garage Sale, growing out of his work creating stand-alone tracks to share with the subscribers to his JonDeeCo Co-op.
PureMusic.com wrote of a recent South by Southwest “the most arresting and memorable set I witnessed...was Jon Dee Graham...His songs give him, and you, nowhere to hide...what I saw that day was riveting in its realness, in its humanity.”
In a 2010 SXSW interview for spinner.com, Graham said, “Describing music with words simply can’t be done, but I’ll play along. My sound is grown-up music which talks about stuff not everyone wants to talk about. It ranges from small, scary songs to overblown, bombastic rock; tender, tough, careful, careless, sentimental, brutal and thoughtless and carefully considered set to beautiful and ugly guitars.
Touring with Graham is Mike June, whose blues-inflected Americana-rock is at the heart of his excellent new disc Exile on Wilson Street. See sundayroadhouse.com.
If you like the kind of music I like, be at the Zoo Bar Monday, Feb. 13, 7-10 p.m., when the all-star Zoo Bar house band will likely be joined by a couple of special guests.
The OEAAs are presented Sunday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m. at the Hilton. See oea-awards.com.
Thursday 5:30 p.m. shows at The 21st Saloon spotlight Brad Cordle & Friends Feb. 9 and Texas singer-songwriter Randy McAllister Feb. 16.
Lil’ Slim Blues Band made it to the semi-finals in the 28th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, joining 44 bands selected from the original 200 acts. See blues.org for details. The competition was won by The Wired! Band from the Washington Blues Society.