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The latest Information on McGonigel's Mucky Duck Supper Club in Houston, Texas!

Artist Spotlight: The Best of Bobby Whitlock and CoCo Carmel

 Bobby Whitlock and CoCo Carmel
The Mucky Duck's status as a live music venue hardly needs to be burnished. After all, we've been the Houston place for exciting new acts to play for 27 years now. And often, we'll get a performing artist that isn't just an up-and-comer, but somebody that has made a serious impact on the music world. Such is the case with Bobby Whitlock and CoCo Carmel.

Classic Rock

Chances are you've heard Bobby Whitlock's songs for years. But you've always associated them with Derek and the Dominos, which in turn means you've always associated them with Eric Clapton. As it turns out, Whitlock's name is attached to a large number of songs from Derek and the Dominos albums. 

The classic "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad" came about from a conversation that Whitlock and Clapton had while the two of them were in Clapton's house and Clapton was pining over future "Layla" inspiration Patti Harrison.

Melody and Harmony

After Whitlock left Derek and the Dominos, he seemed to disappear from the music scene after putting out a few solo albums. He came out of his self-imposed exile (he's never considered himself to have "retired") just before the millennium and has been putting out albums fairly regularly ever since. 

His first tour with his wife and musical partner CoCo Carmel came about in 2015, a small set of dates that mixed Derek and the Dominos classics with Whitlock and Carmel pieces, as well as "Behind The Music"-type stories about playing with rock legends like Clapton, George Harrison and Duane Allman.

A Couple of Guitars

For all the virtuosity and driving sound of his work with bands like Derek and the Dominos and Delaney & Bonnie, Whitlock and Carmel tend to go the other way with their current pieces, just a couple guitars and maybe some saxophone here and there. Rather than rocking the house and blowing minds, whether it's Whitlock's own take on some of his early classics or a new song written in collaboration with his wife, the focus is now on creating a sense of connection and intimacy. No giant stacks of amps. No wild pyrotechnics – simply guitars and the voices of experience, touching the hearts of the audience. 

Even for all the great live music in Houston, having Bobby Whitlock and CoCo Carmel at the Mucky Duck is a big deal, and we're looking forward to anchoring their "Sparkly Shoes" tour on July 1. If you haven't done so already, get your tickets now!

Celebrate the Start of Summer in Houston with these Great Events

We all know Houston is a great place to live and the longer days and warmer weather of June make it one of our favorite months in the calendar. With so much history and heritage to celebrate in H-Town, from Irish pubs to parades and parties, there is no shortage of fun activities for you to enjoy with family and friends. If you are looking for some terrific ways to get to know Houston just a little bit better, check out these great Houston events.

Free Press Summer Fest

Everybody loves something for free and there’s no need to buy tickets for this gratis outdoor concert on June 3 in Eleanor Tinsley Park. The show offers a wonderful opportunity to hear some of your favorite local musicians and discover new bands and genres to fall in love with.

13th Annual Empty Bowls Houston

What happens when you get a group of artists, musicians, craftsmen, students and teachers with enormous hearts together on June 3? They create something truly special! 

You can do your part to lend a hand as these local heroes work to raise funds in support of the Houston Foodbank. Through their efforts, they have provided 2.2 million meals and they won't stop until everyone in Houston has enough food to fill their bellies.

Pride Houston Festival & Parade

Pride Week takes over the city from June 18-25, and there will be plenty of events downtown for you to participate in. Each year, more than 300,000 people attend this spectacular week-long event and there are ample opportunities for you to meet artists, street performers, musicians and others as you enjoy plenty of food, drink and fabulous company.

A Destined Conflict: The US-Mexican War at The San Jacinto Museum of History

This engaging exhibit is worth taking a peek at to discover the events that led up to the Mexican-American war and the impact it continues to have on our state and ever-evolving nation.

Live Music and Great Food and Drinks at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck

When you’re attending these fun events and enjoying the exciting sights and sounds that make Houston one of the liveliest and most eclectic cities in the country, you’re bound to work up quite a thirst and a healthy appetite.

Never fear, because the friendly staff at McGonigel's Mucky Duck is ready to help you slake your thirst and satisfy your hunger pangs while enjoying the very best in live music. Throughout June and every month, we have a calendar full of top-notch performers, and our food and drink menu will be filled with your favorite Irish pub fare and Texas treats for you to enjoy.


Celebrate National Fish and Chips Day at McGonigel's Mucky Duck

It's going to be a very busy start to June for us here at the Mucky Duck. The first day in June is already momentous, given that it's our anniversary. But the fun just keeps on coming with National Fish & Chips Day on Friday, June 2! 

Food for the People 

As much effort as some restaurants put into making fish & chips, it's sometimes hard to remember that it started out as street food for working class blokes in London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Much like hot dog carts of today, "chippers" peddled fish and chips wherever they could find a corner. Even today, there are still some people who will go to great lengths to get the real Victorian experience of getting hot fish and chips wrapped in newsprint.

Across Cultures

Despite a reputation for being a purely British dish, fish and chips has spread out across the English-speaking world, and local chippers have their own distinct take on things. While malt vinegar is a big thing in the United Kingdom, American servings are usually plated with tartar sauce and Canadian versions tend be served with mayonnaise.

Fun and Food

Possibly the most unusual group of chippers can be found in Ireland, where immigrants of Italian descent somehow got into the chipper business and never really stopped. Their version of National Fish & Chips Day falls on May 31, and they're justifiably proud of the tradition. And since that happens to be our Irish Session Game Night, you can enjoy some fish and chips and honestly claim to be celebrating with those hard-working chippers across the sea 

The Anniversary Show

While we don't have anything specifically planned for the American version of National Fish & Chips Day, our anniversary the day before will certainly be marked by festivities and two great shows. Jim Lauderdale will be gracing our stage at 7 p.m., playing tracks off his latest album, "This Changes Everything." At 9:30 p.m., The Stray Birds will be coming on and bringing their blend of folk rock and three-part harmony to the crowd as part of their Open Window tour.McGonigel's Mucky DuckThere's always something happening at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, and as we start our 27th year we'd like to share all of the music, fun and food with you that we can.


Mucky Duck Music Review: Dead Soldiers - The Great Emptiness

When a band like Dead Soldiers goes on tour, they're not playing big stages or stadiums. They're playing live music venues of a smaller scale, like coffee bars and Irish pubs, dingy roadhouses and maybe a nice little stage tucked away in some forgotten corner of a performing arts complex. Nobody here at the Mucky Duck is going to complain. We're just their sort of place, and they're just the sort of band we like to put up on stage.

Their latest album, The Great Emptiness, defies easy labels of genre and style, and that same ethos permeates all ten tracks from the high energy start to the final artfully dissonant notes. Taken as a whole, the album makes it almost painfully clear that there are no easy answers to be found in anything in life, whether it's politics, culture, or relationships. Why should defining the "sound" of the album be any easier?

Consider the track "Old Time Religion," a languorous piece that deals with the question of faith in the present day. It takes a degree of agility as a songwriter to link the Christian admonition of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" with the Islamic ritual of "casting out the devil" performed during the Hajj, and tie them together with a winking nod to Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35." 

In contrast, the rapid fire rhythm and stark message in "Prophets of Doom" lays out the unholy mess that the media and politicians have created in contemporary culture, where warnings of dire events are promised and prefaced with a commercial break, and how that constant drumbeat has damaged society at large.

Other tracks on the album focus, as so many good ones across genres do, on the subjects of love, romance, and relationships. "Still Climbing The Mountain" delivers the roots rock equivalent of a power ballad, touching on the situation of a relationship that requires more and more sacrifice from one person who knows that they'll never truly be able to bring their partner any sort of lasting happiness but keeps trying anyway despite what it costs them. The track immediately following, "A Love Song," takes a more playful note as it deftly reminds us that our love lives are not supposed to be easy or effortless, lest they lose all sense of value.

If you're still on the fence about picking up the CD, we'd suggest coming down to the Mucky Duck on May 25 and listen to Dead Soldiers perform live. Between the new stuff and tracks from their back catalog, we're pretty sure that you'll enjoy them enough to snag a copy of the album from the merch table.