Essential Sounds & Best Bets (3/15–3/19/23)

Waco Live Music

Pirscription | Backyard Bar Stage & Grill | 8:30 pm, Wednesday, March 15

Nappy Roots may be the headliner at the Backyard on Wednesday night, but for our money, the act you really need to see is Waco’s own Pirscription, who’s opening the show. The Backyard has always been good at using local bands and musicians ahead of touring acts, but when you see Pirscription, you’re seeing a full-blown music impresario in the making. Born in Clifton and raised in West, he’s not just a rapper but also a promoter, record producer, guerilla marketing expert, and all-around nice guy. While this may be his Backyard debut, catch him there while you can before he moves on up the musical food chain.

Tickets are $25 and are available online.

Melinda Adams & JC Pringle| Uncle Worm’s Smoke House | 6:30 pm, Friday, March 17

Compared to even a few years ago, Waco has more live music venues than ever, and on Friday night Uncle Worm’s Smoke House on China Spring Road gets added to the mix when Melinda Adams and JC Pringle christen the upstairs bar. Adams is a stalwart of the Waco music scene—splitting her time as a solo act and a self-described “chick on bass” for other bands. While she did a series of music videos a couple of years ago at Undercroft Social Club, including the one above, covering songs by Linda Ronstadt, BB King, and others, she’s also a talented songwriter as evidenced by her latest song, “Scars.”

Tables are limited, so call (254) 732-1108 to reserve yours.

John Epperson & The Revelators| Karem Shrine | 1 pm, Sunday, March 19

If you’re of a certain age, nothing was better on a Friday night in high school than cruising the drag through downtown with your buddies and blasting a Pat Travers Band 8-track on the car stereo before heading out to the country to stand around a bonfire to drink warm, cheap beer lifted from somebody’s dad. Sure, some may shudder at the thought, but plenty of others know exactly what kind of heaven this was. Take a trip down memory lane on Sunday afternoon when John Epperson & The Revelators play the Bugs, Blues, and Bikes festival at Karem Shrine north of Lake Waco off Highway 6. Crunchy guitar chords, dextrous bass lines, and thundering drums combine to make some of the best blues boogie rock around.

$5 admission.

Cedryl Ballou & The Zydeco Trendsetters| Backyard Bar Stage & Grill | 5 pm, Sunday, March 19

If you missed Cedryl Ballou & The Zydeco Trendsetters’ free show at the Backyard last month on Fat Tuesday… well, shame on you! Happily, you have a chance at redemption—something we could all use a little more of—when they return to the Backyard on Sunday for yet another free show to celebrate Ballou’s birthday. He’s part of the sprawling Ballou musical clan—his grandfather Classie Ballou played guitar on the first zydeco radio hit in 1954—and to see him and his family members, who will inevitably sit in with his band, is to see authentic Texas and Louisiana music royalty.

Free admission.

Vision Video with Then Comes Silence| Truelove Bar | 8 pm, Sunday, March 19

One of the benefits of living in Waco during Austin’s SXSW each year is the opportunity to see bands gigging their way to and from the music festival. Thanks to that, on Sunday night it’s another blast from the past when The Cure-esque Vision Video and Then Comes Silence play Truelove Bar on Franklin Avenue. For those wanting some keyboard-heavy goth rock with breathy vocals and jangly guitars, this is the chance to get your fix… and wear your emotions on your sleeve.

$10 cover at the door.

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Mark Roy Long's various incarnations have included college English instructor, book publisher, freelance writer, editorial content manager, and professional lawn mower. He is a devotee of craft beer, disc golf, and live music. A long-time Waco resident, he was tired of asking, “What’s going on around town?” and decided to answer that for himself... and anyone else who wanted to know.

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