Robert Ellis plays the Duck on March 1.
Houston’s concert scene brings plenty of action, but we want to make sure you know about the under-the-radar shows as well as the monster acts. PaperCity’s Matthew Ramirez cuts through the noise to find the best things to do around town. Without further ado, this week’s top concert picks.
THE BEST OF BENNY GOODMAN, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26–SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 @ JONES HALL
Dubbed “the king of swing,” the Houston Symphony conducts a tribute to the sounds of the Big Band era and Benny Goodman. From the Symphony summary: “Led by clarinetist Dave Bennett, The Dave Bennett Sextet offers “powerfully fresh and vibrant” interpretations of Goodman’s classics, including “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Let’s Dance” and “These Foolish Things.”
ERIC BENET + MUSIQ SOULCHILD, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 @ ARENA THEATRE
If you are a fan of The Weeknd, Miguel, Frank Ocean, Bryson Tiller, and, of course, D’Angelo, then you partially owe some of this fandom to these two right here. While in 2016 this may be hard to swallow — there’s little of these classically smooth “neo soul” sounds in a lot of the artists I’ve just name-checked — these guys kept the tradition alive when R&B was going through a fallow period about a decade ago. (This could be up for debate, but, even given the notion that many current R&B fans would find these guys cheesy/regressive, there’s no doubt their immense popularity kept the commercial trend alive.)
Take your boo and relive the time of Maxwell, Uncut, and sensitive songwriters who didn’t have to get “weird” to get acceptance.
ROBERT ELLIS, TUESDAY, MARCH 1 @ McGONIGEL’S MUCKY DUCK
Ellis is a new Houston legend, after relentlessly playing the city for years, including sustained residencies at the old Mango’s and then Fitzgerald’s. Ellis’ 2014 record, The Lights from the Chemical Plant, earned national praise from NPR, Paste, and Rolling Stone. He hits the cozy confines of the Duck to play some old favorites but also to work out new material. Catch him now before a new record undoubtedly takes him away from home for months on the road.