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What's Opera Duck?

Tue, September 19 / 730 PM

Online tickets sales end at 5 PM on the day of the show!

Be here to launch the University of Houston Moores Opera Center's new season at the famed Mucky Duck with our popular cabaret evening of favorite arias and musical theatre songs, wryly hosted by director Buck Ross.


The 2017-18 opera season will feature "The Love for Three Oranges," "L'amico Fritz," "The School for Scandal" and "The Italian Girl in Algiers."


The University of Houston's Moores School of Music (MSM) is one of the premier comprehensive music schools in the nation. Its remarkable faculty - of internationally recognized performers, composers and scholars - outstanding student body, modern facilities and broad range of programs make MSM the natural choice for nearly 600 students annually. The school's commitment to academic excellence and the highest performance standards has ensured its role as a vital resource in the educational and cultural life of Houston and beyond.


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Game Night - Irish Session

Wed, September 20 / 730 PM

Open for games at 5pm after private function.

Irish Session cranks up at 7:30

No cover charge.


Board games are hot right now — whether it’s the new Euro-style games like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, 7 Wonders or Power Grid, or you’re kickin’ it old school with traditional games like the Trumpesque, land-grabbing Monopoly. For a great midweek diversion, head on over to the Mucky Duck for a pint and a little tabletop competition; they’ve been at it for almost 25 years. We checked in with Stevie Hazlewood, day manager for McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, and she says the club stocks a nice selection of titles for the Wednesday night Game Night and Irish Session. 


“It runs the gamut from Connect Four, to Scrabble, Yahtzee, Risk, three different versions of Monopoly, Scattergories, Cards Against Humanity,” says Hazlewood. Play one of those games or bring your own, and scarf down pub snacks like fish and chips, Welsh rarebit and the club’s famous shepherd’s pie. 


Best of all, there’s no cover. 7:30 p.m. 


- Susie Tommaney - Houston Press

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Tom Russell

Thu, September 21 / 7 PM930 PM

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"These songs on The Tom Russell Anthology 2: Gunpowder Sunsets leaves me in anticipation of whatever might be coming next from the best songwriter of my generation." Mike Regenstreiff, Montreal Gazette, Sing Out (June 2016)


"Tom Russell is Johnny Cash, Jim Harrison and Charles Bukowski rolled into one. I feel a great affinity with Tom Russell's songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America."Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Poet)


"Tom Russell is an original, a brilliant songwriter with a restless curiosity and an almost violent imagination. “Blood and Candle Smoke” is vintage Russell, and the Graham Greene connection is a ‘beaut." Annie Proulx (The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain)


"Tom Russell is the last great American voice." Ken Bruen (The Dramatist, The Cross)


"How great is Tom Russell? Isn't he the best? I'd like to quit my job and travel with him...if the money can be worked out..." David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman


The greatest living folk-country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell...John Swenson, Rolling Stone


Tom Russell is the best songwriter of the generation following Bob Dylan...The Montreal Gazette


"The Rose of Roscrae" - Recent 2015/2016 Reviews: 


The #1 Album of the Year, The Irish Post, Joe Giltrap, Dec 19. 2015.


Los Angeles Times Top Ten Albums, Dec. 2015 : Masterful songwriter Russell enlists the help of friends and peers such as Maura O'Connell and others over a staggering 52 tracks in an extraordinary piece of Americana with an expansive narrative and scope. Randy Lewis


UNCUT Magazine "Album of the Month" - June 2015: It is an epic tale, a blend of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Berthold Brecht, Cormac McCarthy and Louis L'Amour, thick with references to U.S. history, music and myth...the scope is majestic, the ambition outrageous and the music magnificent. A unique accomplishment. Peter Watts


A bravely original epic. The Guardian, UK. 4/5 stars, April 10, 2015


A game changer - it could just be the single most important Americana release of all time.Folk Radio, UK


A bold two-disc country-folk-rock opera about a young 19th-century Irish immigrant drawn to a new life as a cowboy in the west after a failed love affair. It's a sprawling beast of an album and a remarkable piece of creativity. ???? Best Country Music Albums of 2015: The Telegraph UK

"These songs on The Tom Russell Anthology 2: Gunpowder Sunsets leaves me in anticipation of whatever might be coming next from the best songwriter of my generation." Mike Regenstreiff, Montreal Gazette, Sing Out (June 2016)


"Tom Russell is Johnny Cash, Jim Harrison and Charles Bukowski rolled into one. I feel a great affinity with Tom Russell's songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America."Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Poet)


"Tom Russell is an original, a brilliant songwriter with a restless curiosity and an almost violent imagination. “Blood and Candle Smoke” is vintage Russell, and the Graham Greene connection is a ‘beaut." Annie Proulx (The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain)


"Tom Russell is the last great American voice." Ken Bruen (The Dramatist, The Cross)


"How great is Tom Russell? Isn't he the best? I'd like to quit my job and travel with him...if the money can be worked out..." David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman


The greatest living folk-country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell...John Swenson, Rolling Stone


Tom Russell is the best songwriter of the generation following Bob Dylan...The Montreal Gazette


"The Rose of Roscrae" - Recent 2015/2016 Reviews: 


The #1 Album of the Year, The Irish Post, Joe Giltrap, Dec 19. 2015.


Los Angeles Times Top Ten Albums, Dec. 2015 : Masterful songwriter Russell enlists the help of friends and peers such as Maura O'Connell and others over a staggering 52 tracks in an extraordinary piece of Americana with an expansive narrative and scope. Randy Lewis


UNCUT Magazine "Album of the Month" - June 2015: It is an epic tale, a blend of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Berthold Brecht, Cormac McCarthy and Louis L'Amour, thick with references to U.S. history, music and myth...the scope is majestic, the ambition outrageous and the music magnificent. A unique accomplishment. Peter Watts


A bravely original epic. The Guardian, UK. 4/5 stars, April 10, 2015


A game changer - it could just be the single most important Americana release of all time.Folk Radio, UK


A bold two-disc country-folk-rock opera about a young 19th-century Irish immigrant drawn to a new life as a cowboy in the west after a failed love affair. It's a sprawling beast of an album and a remarkable piece of creativity. ???? Best Country Music Albums of 2015: The Telegraph UK

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White Ghost Shivers

Fri, September 22 / 7 PM

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Peeling the faces off the unsuspecting since 1999, we revel in string-band music from the 20s and 30s, mixing early jazz, hokum, vaudeville, ragtime, western swing and hillbilly, yet unleashing the gutterous underbelly of a pseudo-rock world gone wrong. YEE HAW! & Robert Johnson.  

Imagine a smorgasbord of Cab Calloway, circus sideshow, KISS, cabaret, Hee Haw and Robert Johnson served up at Andy Kaufman's bat-mitzvah. A joyous mixture of the absurd and sublime, the five-piece ensemble gracefully blends a musical amalgam of Hokum Blues, Hillbilly Swing, Country and Hot Jazz.

Winners of over 10 Austin Music awards, the band's forte has always been the ability to morph and suit itself to virtually any occasion, from the rowdiest of juke joints, to a 5 year old's birthday party, whilst leaving everyone with a big smile!
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South Austin Moonlighters

Fri, September 22 / 930 PM

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“A southside collective of songwriters modeled loosely on the template established by Saxon supergroup the Resentments a decade ago, the S.A.Moonlighters take a big step with “Burn & Shine,” their first studio album. 


Former members of Mother Truckers, Stonehoney and Monte Montgomery’s touring band collaborate on an eclectic mix of rock, soul, funk, blues, country and more; whereas the previous live disc was highlighted by covers, they’re now bringing their own material to the fore. Highly Recommended.” 

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Dan Penn

Sat, September 23 / 7 PM

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Dan Penn helped shape the development of southern soul music with his legendary songwriting, musicianship and production.

A native of Vernon, Alabama, Penn moved to the Florence/Muscle Shoals area while still a teenager and assumed the role of lead vocalist in a local group calling itself the Mark V Combo. When asked what kind of music they played, Penn replies, “R&B, man. There was no such thing as rock. That was somethin’ you picked up and throwed.” He laughs. “Or threw.” It was around this time that he penned his first chart record, Conway Twitty's “Is a Bluebird Blue”. During the early ’60s, Penn began working with Rick Hall at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, first as a songwriter, and then as an artist under the names Lonnie Ray, Danny Lee, and finally Dan Penn.


Penn’s early co-writing collaborations with Spooner Oldham while at Fame included “I’m Your Puppet,” which became a hit in 1965 for James & Bobby Purify, and “Out of Left Field,” and “It Tears Me Up” performed so memorably by Percy Sledge. He also co-wrote hits for Joe Simon, Jimmy Hughes and Wilson Pickett.


Dan became an exclusive writer for Fame Publishing Co. for about three years. “It was sort of an in-house thing, where artists were comin’ and goin’, askin’ for songs, and there was sort of a built-in opportunity to try to be a commercial songwriter.


According to Penn, the reason people hear touches of country in his brand of R&B is “because I’m an old hillbilly myself. Took me about 30 years to find out I was still a hillbilly. But compared to R&B, country is much easier. You ain’t got to struggle. Anybody can sing, ‘Because you’re mine, I walk the line.’ Go try to write ‘Out of Left Field’; go find all those chords and what all that means. So a hillbilly I am, but in the ’60s I really loved R&B music, and there was a lot of it to love. I loved Jimmy Reed, Bobby Bland, Ray Charles, Little Milton, James Brown… I always respected the black singers because they were always there — we were trying to get there. Knowing that the black singers wanted my songs inspired me.”


A number of their classics were written for particular singers. “’Sweet Inspiration’ was written for the group the Sweet Inspirations, ‘Cry Like a Baby was written for Alex Chilton, ‘Out of Left Field’ was written for Percy Sledge,” says Penn. “I either was involved in the production or I was real close to the production teams, so when you’re in the middle of a clique, you got the power to either do it right, do it wrong or get out of the way and let somebody else do it.” One gets the impression that Penn was not the kind to get out of the way. “But you have an opportunity to score, and sometimes we scored. By that I mean comin’ up with a song that was good enough to get on the session. And then, if it came out and was a hit, the score was really complete at that point. So first you had to get on the session, and then the big question was, did it come out? And then the next question was, is it the single? At least back then.


“Some of these songs weren’t written that way. ‘Do Right Woman’ wasn’t written for Aretha, nor ‘Dark End of the Street’ for James Carr. Me and Chips Moman just wrote those songs and we didn’t have anybody in mind. We worked great together while we were together—we’re so lucky to have those two songs.


In 1966, Penn relocated to Memphis and began producing at Chips Moman’s American Recording Studio. While at American, Penn and Moman co-wrote “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,” which Franklin turned into a soul classic, along with “Dark End of the Street,” stunningly recorded by James Carr, while Dan and Spooner came up with “Cry Like a Baby” for the Box Tops and later “A Woman Left Lonely,” written at Dan’s Beautiful Sounds Studio in Memphis, and chosen by Janis Joplin for her classic album Pearl.


Penn and wife Linda relocated to Nashville in the ’70s—where he recently co-wrote and produced Bobby Purify’s comeback album, Better to Have It, in his basement studio. The session included one of Penn’s co-writers, Malaco keyboardist Carson Whitsett. The well-received album was released on Proper American in the summer of 2005.

Dan Penn Talks About Some of His Hits


I’m Your Puppet”: “We’d done our usual, which was go get a barbecue plate or a burger. Then we came to the studio, and I had just bought a little 12-string guitar that sounded pretty good, so I just started playin’ [voices the guitar line from the song], and Spooner just slid in with [he makes the familiar keyboard sound]. Next thing you know, we’re into this song. I started writin’ stuff down, we cut a little demo on it and me and Rick came up to Nashville and put some strings on it. Actually, it was a record that came out on me, I believe on MGM, but it was called ‘The Puppet’—wasn’t no ‘Your.’ My little record didn’t do anything, and it went to the demo file. So when producer Don Schroeder brought the Purify brothers in, they went to the demo file and they picked that one out. When they started singin’ it, they sang ‘I’m your puppet’—they couldn’t remember, I guess. And I didn’t like it anyway; I thought it was too fast, kind of a rip-off of Sam & Dave, I thought. At least that’s what I was thinkin’ then. Later on, when it came out and became a hit, I loved it. It was easy to get on board later.”


Out of Left Field”: “People say it’s a baseball metaphor, but I always think it’s a farm metaphor, like an old tractor bringin’ some hay in. The chords Spooner came up with and the places we went are kinda strange. I just love it ’cause it’s a heck of a way to say ‘She walked in out of nowhere.’”

“Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”: In January 1967, Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler brought Aretha Franklin to Fame to record “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You.” Penn recalled the scene. “When she walked in she was like a young queen. Most of the guys in the studio pretended not to be paying too much attention to her, but they were looking at her from the corner of their eyes. She appeared so calm, but I knew she was scared to death. She just sat down at the piano, calmly took a deep breath, lifted her hand up and then just hit the unknown chord! The instant she did that all the guys stopped eating or talking or whatever and just headed for their guitars and drums to play. You just knew history was going to be made that day.”


The Dark End of the Street”: “We tracked at Hi, and a few weeks later we bought James Carr to American and did his vocal overdubs and I did some background vocals. We thought James was fantastic; he had made some good records before, and we knew we had made a good record. Did we realize it was going to become hailed as a masterpiece? Not really, but I liked the song and the record a lot. What did I think of Aretha’s version? It was ok, but nobody did it as good as James Carr, not even me.

“You Left the Water Running”: “Otis Redding did a demo for me on “You Left the Water Running”. “I got to be around him the day he cut Arthur Conley on ‘Sweet Soul Music’ at Fame. Otis was the most effective record producer I have ever seen.”

Cry Like a Baby”: I produced “The Letter” And “Cry Like A Baby” on The Box Tops. They were both Big hits. “Everybody thinks I coaxed [Alex Chilton] into doing a lot of vocal tricks, but it’s not true—he just had it. The only thing I ever told that young man to do was sing ‘aeroplane’ instead of ‘airplane’ on ‘The Letter’—I was just tryin’ to make it flow better.

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Untitled

Sat, September 23 / 930 PM

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UNTITLED is the music of your past and your future played by these amazing young artists who come together to bridge the generations. They play the music you grew up listening to and the music you listen to now; be it jazz, blues, R&B or funk.  Hence the name UNTITLED.  


The band formed about a year ago, however, they have played together for years as members of the Bubba Thomas Summer Jazz Workshop where they honed their individual sounds and their professionalism.  The members are tutored and mentored by some of the best musicians in the business.  


I am truly excited to see traditional jazz still holds a place for the performing arts.  Watching this set of young musicians perform brings the elite styles of positive standards; professional presentation, and music etiquette.  It’s god to know students I’ve been involved with “really get” what I have offered. - Nick Allen, bassist, educator


UNTITLED- They are the ones to watch-the musicians of tomorrow.  I love to see young musicians so dedicated to improving their craft.  - Keesha Pratt-artist


Mathias Lattin and his band UNTITLED are young men that are ahead of the music curve for their age.  They fearlessly tackle any genre and make it their own.  I expect great things from this group with Mathias emerging as a highly competent guitarist, vocalist and bandleader. - Anthony Terry-musician

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Open Mic

Mon, September 25 / 630 PM

No cover charge.


You’ll hear plenty of folk, country and acoustic renditions by performers that spent their afternoon in classes at Rice or a long day at the office. Not only does the pub feature an impressive array of live music almost every night, but the Mucky Duck has been listed by Billboard Magazine as one of the 20 best acoustic venues in the country. Each performer gets three songs or 15 minutes on stage. -- houston.cbslocal.com


The Duck stage is open for you to present your original compositions or a favorite song made famous by someone else. 


Comedians, poets, jugglers and mimes also welcome. 


Don't be shy. Come on out ~ It's your turn to be a Mucky Duck Open Mic Star.


Each performer has 3 songs or 15 minutes for their performance. 


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Lilly Hiatt

Tue, September 26 / 730 PM

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Rolling Stone Country has premiered the Michael Carter-directed video for the album’s title track HERE, stating, “The daughter of John Hiatt, she keeps the family tradition alive, mixing Southern influences - Americana, folk and left-of-center country - with a raw approach that’s better suited to the garage than the saloon. The album’s title track is no exception...the song finds Hiatt making peace with her old demons, while guitars crash and pianos chime in the background.” They continued, “‘Trinity Lane’ is an empowerment anthem stocked with details from Hiatt’s everyday life, from the name of her street to the smell of her neighbor’s cooking.” Lilly Hiatt has also announced her initial tour dates in support of the album, kicking off August 24th in Lexington, KY (Please see all dates below). Trinity Lane will be available digitally, on compact disc, as well as LP and can be pre-ordered now via PledgeMusic.

After moving out of an ex’s house, Hiatt settled into a new apartment off of Trinity Lane in her East Nashville neighborhood and went on tour with friend John Moreland to the West Coast and back. The intensely personal, autobiographical album was written largely upon her return, in isolation, facing the issues she escaped while on the road. Every time she wanted a man, she picked up her guitar. Every time she wanted a drink, she picked up her guitar. 

Hiatt says, “Love will take you to the darkest places but also the most honest places if you let it. Learning how to love myself is something I’ve always been lousy with, and I spent some time on that. I thought about my sobriety, what that means to me, the struggles I’d had throughout the years, since I was a 27-year-old and hung up my toxic drinking habit. I thought about my mother, who took her own life when I was a baby, not far from my age at 30 years old, and I related to her more than ever. As you can see, there was plenty of time spent on my own. I didn’t talk to that many folks, albeit a few close friends, and leaned into my family. I stayed away from men, and danced alone in the evenings, looking out my window observing my humble and lively neighborhood. I found power in being by myself. 

I found peace in the people I was surrounded with - we didn’t really know one another, but we smiled when passed on the street. One time I almost rear-ended an older woman in her car backing out of my driveway and I said, ‘Oh man, I’m just not used to any cars coming around this bend. She replied, ‘This is our little hideout, baby,’ And it really was.” She continues, “After a while, I had all these songs to play, and wanted to share them. I wanted to get out of town to get some distance from everything, so after an ongoing conversation with Michael Trent, I took my band to Johns Island, SC and we holed up for a few weeks. I poured my heart out, and trusted them with it, and these guys gave it right back. I think we all understood what it’s like to question home, intention, demons, love...I think most people understand that.”