Essential Sounds: Waco Live Music (3/30–4/3/23)

Randy Rogers | Backyard Bar Stage & Grill | 8:30 pm, Thursday, March 30

Randy Rogers has been a staple of Texas country music for almost 25 years, with hit songs of his own like “One More Sad Song” as well as writing others such as “Somebody Take Me Home” for Kenny Chesney. Less ironic than Robert Earl Keen but equally heartfelt, he plays an acoustic show at the Backyard on Thursday night.

Tickets are $25 and are available online.

Jonna Mae | Camp Fimfo | 7 pm, Friday, March 31

Jonna Mae has been a ubiquitous presence in the Central Texas music scene since moving here from Colorado in 2015. Known almost as well for her encouragement of other musicians as her own playing, you can catch her most Thursday nights hosting a songwriters’ open mic at Texas Music Cafe. This Friday, however, she is the star of the show at Squirrely’s Tavern at Camp Fimfo, and with her adept mandolin skills, her bluegrass-tinged country music is a real treat.

No cover.

Calibre 50 with Banda Carnaval & Cuarto de Milla | Smiley’s Night Club | 8 pm, Friday, March 31

Hailing from Mazatlán, Mexico, Calibre 50 has been working nonstop since their first single, “El Infiernito,” came out in 2010. Eighteen albums later, Calibre 50 is one of the most well-known proponents of the norteño-banda style, but their edgy songs range from rancheras to corridos to cumbias and more. The tickets might seem a little pricey, but it’ll be a night chock full of Tejano music extraordinaire as Banda Carnaval and Cuarto de Milla round out the bill.

Tickets are $60 and are available online.

Zak Webb Band | Texas Music Cafe | 7 pm, Saturday, April 1

Continuing its mission to bring the best music to downtown Waco you didn’t know you needed to hear, Texas Music Cafe hosts the Zak Webb Band on Saturday night. And even though “soulful” and “falsetto” aren’t two words you often hear together, that’s exactly what you’ll get from lead singer Webb. With influences ranging from Stevie Wonder to Chuck Berry and Paul Simon to Justin Timberlake, Webb’s unique brand of upbeat Americana will have your toes tapping and fingers snapping.

Tickets are $20 and are available online.

The Unlikely Candidates with Jane Leo | Common Grounds | 8 pm, Saturday, April 1

Le Tour de Beer lands at Common Grounds on Saturday night, and while headliner The Unlikely Candidates play a dependable brand of indie rock, opening act Jane Leo should be squarely on your radar. Comprised of Daniel Leopold and Jane Ellen Bryant, the Austin-based duo released its self-titled debut in February. Combine She & Him’s vocal harmonies with the off-kilter pop-rock sensibilities of The Dandy Warhols, and you might well end up with Jane Leo’s self-assured yet laid-back vibe as demonstrated in their cover of “Something Stupid.”

Tickets are $16 and are available online.

More Live Music

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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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