Hoodoo hero Jon Dee Graham is at The Side Door Lounge Sunday, Dec. 9, 5 p.m., for Dean Dobmeier’s and Gary Grobeck’s Sunday Roadhouse series. Graham’s indomitable messages of hope, faith and fearlessness in the face of trouble are inspiring. His onstage sense of humor and honesty are by turns entertaining and uplifting. Graham is touring in support of his summer release, Garage Sale, a song series created during two-day a month sessions Graham was given by friends at Austin’s Top Hat studios. The CD opens with an anthemic song rooted in the tradition of Graham’s philosophy of fearlessness. “Unafraid” begins with a church organ and a drum thumping out a heartbeat. In terms both mythic and personal, Graham recounts why “…after all that has happened/I, I am unafraid.” It’s a promise to the listener as much as a personal fable. Visit jondeegraham.com to preview Garage Sale. Opening is Graham’s friend and fellow songwriter Mike June, who is touring in support of his excellent new disc Talkin’ Revolution Blues. See SundayRoadhouse.com for show details.
Jim & Scottie
Texas blues-rockers Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat plug in at The 21st Saloon Thursday, Dec. 6, 5:30 p.m. for a don’t-miss night of prime musicianship matched with a dance-floor filling party vibe. Suhler also plays The Zoo Dec. 7, 9 p.m. Keyboard man Scottie Miller has a “day job” playing with Ruthie Foster. Miller’s solo work is equally fine and his wonderful new disc, Rise Up, is brimming with sweeping, inspiring ballads and plenty of New Orleans funk. Check scottiemiller.com. Miller has a CD release party at The 21st Saloon next Thursday, Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m. Make time for this show, you’ll be glad you did.
Veteran blues-rock guitarist Coco Montoya plays Monday, Dec. 10, 6-9 p.m. at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar. Montoya plays a special show Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at The 21st Saloon.
Toy Drive on the Radio
I’ll be joining Lash LaRue and Rick Galusha to talk about the Pine Ridge Reservation on 89.7 FM The River Sunday, Dec. 9, 8 a.m.-noon. We’ll have in-studio musical guests and feature tracks from the Toy Drive benefit CDs. You can donate anytime online at ToyDriveForPineRidge.com or through Saturday at Liquid Courage Tattoo, 809 S. 75th St.
There’ll be a don’t-miss installment of the Zoo Bar House Band with special guests Monday, Dec. 10, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Dale Watson brings honky-tonk to the Zoo Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6-9 p.m.