Roots music is exactly that – roots. It is music that taps into the groundwater from which we all drink. It is essential stuff, and no matter how high we think we are up the cultural tree, we need those roots and this week is flush with opportunities to reconnect with yours.
Mary Gauthier has a backstory worthy of a singer-songwriter: runaway, rehab, jail, studied philosophy, more drugs, and curiously, restaurateur (her first album Dixie Kitchen was named after the Cajun restaurant she opened in Boston. At 35, Gauthier funneled her life experiences into song and the second album Drag Queens and Limousines propelled her into the limelight, including an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. Like some of her admirers Lucinda Williams and Bob Dylan, Gauthier weaves the hard and soft sides of life together in her spectral, often skeletal songs. The pristine sound of the Manship Theatre is built for singers like this.
Torchbearer of the Austin singer-songwriter tradition Jimmy LaFave will be appearing at the Red Dragon at their new location (2401 Florida) along with one of my favorite new Baton Rouge bands, Flatbed Honeymoon on Saturday. Philly’s Hoots and Hellmouth infuse their rich harmonies and roots rock with sly, steamy funk on Friday at Chelsea’s. Clinton Fearon is a practitioner of the reggae variety of root music, and will be appearing at Chelsea’s on Saturday.
The two-man rock dynamo comprising the King Khan & BBQ Show have their roots in the Nuggets end of the 1960s, crafting one of the most celebrated, off-kilter live shows of the indie circuit. It’s wild enough to justify getting your booty shakin’ on a Monday night at the Spanish Moon. Electric Six throw a little Detroit-grade electric boogie into the mix there on Friday night. So whether you need the gentle push of an acoustic guitar or a complete full-band workover, your connection with your inner roots will get straightened out this week.
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Chanticleer at the Manship Theatre
Mike Foster Project at Chelsea’s
Friday, Nov. 14
Mary Gauthier at the Manship Theatre
North Gate Fest (featuring John Madere Trio, Bench Bar Boogie Band and Barisal Guns) on Chimes Street
Electric Six and Local H at Spanish Moon
Hoots and Hellmouth at Chelsea’s
Eric Church and Jonathon Singleton at The Varsity
Michael Juan Nunez & American Electric at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux's
Gary Bello & Friends at Teddy's Juke Joint
Saturday, Nov. 15
Jimmy Lafave and Flatbed Honeymoon at the Red Dragon
UnWed Sailor and Baak Gwai at Spanish Moon
Clinton Fearon at Chelsea’s
Nick Bourgeois & Mike Tramonte at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux's
Sunday, Nov. 16
Josh Garrett & the Bottomline at Teddy's Juke Joint
Monday, Nov. 17
King Khan & BBQ at Spanish Moon