Grant Gilbert 9pm
Charlie Robison: 10:30pm
A sixth-generation Texan, Charlie Robison hails from tiny Bandera, Texas.
On first impression, Charlie Robison’s new album suggests a reassuring element of business-as-usual for the bad boy of Bandera. Hell, the title alone just about spells it out: High Life, he calls this one, which had to have been a Vegas favorite coming after such previous Robison albums as Life of the Party (1995), Step Right Up (2001), Good Times (2004) and Beautiful Day (2009). Although not all of the man’s songs are necessarily celebratory in nature, he’s always served them up with a carpe diem shot of devil-may-care vim and vigor. And it’s not just the title here that sounds par for his course: In classic, freewheeling Robison fashion, the songs veer wildly all over the Lone Star music map, from rockin’ roadhouse swagger and jaunty Tex-Mex to epic border ballads and gut-wrenching closing-time confessionals.
All of the above makes High Life the epitome of a classic Charlie Robison record, satisfaction guaranteed. But it’s also unlike any other album he’s ever made, marking the first occasion on which the unrepentantly outspoken Texas songwriter has devoted an entire record to songs he loves but didn’t write. Coming off of the emotional roller coaster of Beautiful Day, the optimistically titled but bittersweet song cycle addressing the end of his marriage to fellow artist Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks (and Courtyard Hounds),
Robison figured he was due for a little redemptive release.
He and his brother, noted musician Bruce Robison, discovered their interest in music early on, and by the age of 15, Charlie and his brother began playing gigs around Bandera.
Later, he made his way to the Austin scene, where he was a part of such bands as Chapparal, Two Hoots and a Holler, and The Millionaire Playboys.
In 1995, he released his debut album, Bandera, followed in 1998 by Life of the Party, his first disc on Sony’s Lucky Dog label. In 2000, Charlie became part of history when the Unleashed Live Record was recorded at Gruene Hall for Sony’s “Lucky Dog” label.
The album is a combined effort with Bruce and good friend Jack Ingram, and culminated with the successful Lucky Dog tour of the US. A second studio effort, Step Right Up, was issued in 2001 followed by his album, Good Times, in 2004. Charlie’s self-produced album, Beautiful Day, was released in 2009 followed by his 2013 release, High Life.