Calvin Owens Orchestra, Barbara Lynn, Evelyn Rubio, Pete Mayes, Rue Davis, Tweed Smith
Houston Press – August 2, 2007
Even a full generation, maybe more, removed from Houston’s heyday as a top-tier blues town, loads of people still consider it the place to be, and they might be right. One reason is that every kind of music that’s put H-town on the map since, from ZZ Top’s backdoor love affair to the Geto Boys’ grime and DJ Screw’s slog, has been no further than two steps from the blues. Another is the efforts of people like local linchpin Calvin Owens, who tends the Bayou City’s blues legacy through his nonprofit Sawdust Alley Preservation Foundation, and keeps dance floors full and bartenders busy with his 18-piece Orchestra. Several of the trumpeter’s friends who guest on his new CD, Houston Is the Place to Be, also join him on the bandstand for Saturday’s release party: Beaumont’s Barbara Lynn, whose “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” is now a bilingual Gulf Coast standard thanks to Mexico City-born saxophonist/singer Evelyn Rubio, plus vocalists Pete Mayes, Rue Davis and Tweed Smith.