Dallas-bred bluesman Smokin’ Joe Kubek, together with his longtime collaborator Bnois King, is content to let the songs simmer throughout the duo’s latest long-player, Fat Man’s Shine Parlor.
The blues idiom, generally speaking, isn’t always the place for show-stopping histrionics — consistency and command of mood often trump fretboard fireworks. For most of Parlor, the focus remains Kubek and King’s innate chemistry, honed over decades of playing together.
King’s vivid vocals mesh beautifully with Kubek’s soulful guitar licks, giving tunes like River of Whiskey the sort of last-call ache the best blues artists feel in their marrow. The follow-up to 2013’s Road Dog’s Life also finds Kubek and King back on Blind Pig Records, the pair’s label home in the early ’00s.
Kubek and King will open up for Junior Brown on Friday at Dallas’ Granada Theater.
Daniel Markham & Tony Ferraro, ‘Smoke Paint’
There’s no possible way to describe the Denton super-duo of Daniel Markham and Tony Ferraro’s sound better than the way they do: a “black fuzz sex creep glam collaboration.” Separately, each singer-songwriter is a force of nature, but the fusion of their off-kilter perspectives — each specializes in a brand of art-damaged rock unique among DFW musicians — proves transfixing.
Rather than explode out of the speakers, Smoke Paint takes a cue from its title and smolders. Produced by Markham and Ferraro, with an assist from RTB2’s Grady Don Sandlin, these 10 originals swing from the stomping bliss of opener Chastity Belt to the titillating carnality of Cups and Rubbers. It’s filthy, fuzzed-out fun, and one of the best North Texas albums of this still-young year. Markham and Ferraro will celebrate the release of Smoke Paint with a Feb. 17 show at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton.
Jesse Rya, ‘Live Pt. 1’
Dallas-based (and North Carolina-born) singer-songwriter Jesse Rya was plucked from obscurity last spring, when footage of him busking in front of an Irving Kroger led to an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, alongside Juicy J, Trey Songz and Aloe Blacc. Rya released Vice, a single recorded in Arlington, last summer, and has followed that up with Live Pt. 1, an acoustic, six-track EP serving as a powerful showcase for his expressive, vulnerable voice.
Favoring a blend of hip-hop, folk and pop-rock, Rya embraces spiky metaphors (opener Head on Collision neatly evokes messy romance) and radio-friendly melodies (Hush Hush would fit nicely in heavy rotation). As introductions go, Live Pt. 1 is a strong one.
Preston Jones, 817-390-7713