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Showing tonight

Suzanna Choffel

Thu, April 26 / 7 PM

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Suzanna Choffel’s voice is the kind that lingers. It’s at once resonant and warm—powerful even as it pleads. Her pipes have served her well in her career—her sophomore album, 2012’s Steady Eye Shaky Bow, won Best Album at the Independent Music Awards—and on her forthcoming release, Hello Goodbye, it shines as she spans genres, letting her voice and her songwriting tell a story that veers from mournful to celebratory over the album’s eleven tracks.

“Go Forth,” which premieres exclusively below, is a steady beat of classic alt-rock, with vocal melodies soaring above rhythmic guitars, pulsing drums, and ringing piano chords in a style that might not sound out of place on an album from Sarah McLachlan or Aimee Mann.

Hello Goodbye doesn’t stick to one genre, though. Some songs have light reggae undertones, and others lean heavily on Choffel’s bluesy influences, or serve up stompy bubblegum pop—but “Go Forth” is a personal track that required a deft, serious touch.

“When I sat down to write this song, it was one of those rare times when the melody and words of the chorus just kind of came to me immediately,” Choffel says. “It just flowed effortlessly. I had been thinking a lot lately how indecision so often paralyzes you, and how you can’t let the fear of making the wrong choice stop you from making a choice. Strangely enough, I found out a few days later I was pregnant. My daughter has been so calm and fearless since day one, sometimes I think it was she who really wrote the song.”

Showing tonight

Lucas Jack

Thu, April 26 / 930 PM

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You can’t help but admire the tenacity of Lucas Jack, the old school, soulful piano man.

One day, something clicked in his head, and he decided to abandon a successful law practice — preferring instead to set up his piano on dusty Texas stages. From his perch in these smoky bars and ballrooms, Lucas Jack powers through ballads, while people enjoy the atmosphere he creates. He’s not just playing a piano anymore. Lucas Jack is painting a room with the stories of his life.

More than anything else, Lucas Jack is a reflection of the man he is: A dad with two kids, and a wife he beams about. He leads a band that swaggers around stage like sailors, grinning and jamming. Make it Beautiful is filled to a surfeit with stories of fatherhood, loss, coping, and his struggle to navigate a music industry that doesn’t seem to “get” what he’s doing.

His second full length EP is like walking into an unfamiliar bar, and seeing some guy just wailing away in the corner, with a piano, for about a dozen people. It’s not a popular bar, but the music is fantastic, so you decide to order a beer. Four songs later, you’re into another beer, talking to the person next to you. The bouncy piano chords fill the room, and you get an idea for who Lucas Jack is. You ask the bartender who the piano player is.

“Oh, that’s Lucas. He hauls that old upright piano in here every time he plays. I heard he was like a lawyer or something? I don’t know. He just came in here and offered to play piano one day, so I gave him a shot. Now he’s in here every week. People just like his stuff.” You can feel the narrative of his gumption through his music, and that’s hard to find. People say they want something “authentic” — which is the most overused word in any press release. Lucas Jack is authentically himself, a guy who probably should have been on stages in the 1970s, jamming with a bygone era of piano pop artists, yet he relents into our era. 

Nothing on Make it Beautiful is a compromise, or a song that’s written for the sake of writing a song. He’s telling stories about his kids. He’s talking about moving. His marriage. A life filled with joy. It’s a happy album, but sometimes there are moments of self-doubt. It’s a story of a life well-lived.

Showing tonight

James McMurtry

Fri, April 27 / 7 PM930 PM

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“James writes like he's lived a lifetime.” —John Mellencamp

“The most vital lyricist in America today.” —Bob Harris, BBC 2 RADIO

“James McMurtry is a true Americana poet – actually he is a poet regardless of genre” —Michael Nesmith

“McMurtry might be the best topical writer performing right now and (Just Us Kids) finds him at his finest.” —Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers

"America's fiercest songwriter" - CNN

“James McMurtry writes songs filled with characters so real that you're sure they're going to climb out of the speakers and look you in the eyes.” —VOICE OF AMERICA

Showing tonight

Charlie Mars

Sat, April 28 / 7 PM

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The Money, the final volume in Charlie Mars’ Texas trilogy opens with a scene of cinematic vividness. “Looking out a rainy window/In a hotel in Caroline/Drinking free coffee, smoking that smoke/From an apple by the exit sign.” 

He called the song “Hell Yeah,” a Rebel yell from this Oxford, Mississippi, resident not of celebration but of recognition. Maybe you, too, have found yourself far from home and feeling very alone, seeking relief in the substances at hand, exhaling out the open window as a practical measure. 

In those four lines, jotted down in a Hampton Inn in Greenwood, South Carolina, moments later, we find Mars (or a protagonist who closely resembles him) resuming his zigzagging trek through the darkness in search of the light. It’s a theme as old as The Odyssey, laid out in crisp contemporary verse over a lowdown, hickory-smoked backbeat, in the tradition of fellow Southern minimalists Tony Joe White and J.J. Cale.

On April 28th, McGonigel's Mucky Duck music venue in Houston presents the unique crooning offerings of Charlie Mars. This Mississippi native singer, songwriter, and accomplished guitarist plays tunes that will make audiences feel right at home. The skilled and well-rounded talents of this genre-crossing musician have held fans enthrall since the 1990's. With riveting songs that show personal moments in his life, Charlie keeps audiences captivated by sharing pieces of himself unabashedly.

Songs for the Soulful

Charlie Mars' signature folk sound has solidified his role in the world of country and rock and roll. Some of his albums like Broken Arrow, to one of his newest additions Beach Town, showcase his natural songwriting ability and skills as a vocalist. His Beach Town song describes the tranquility of a beach town in winter. Artistry in his thoughtful reflection and original perspective, Charlie Mars and his casual persona reaches out and lulls you into a kind of peaceful trance. Audiences love his candid storytelling in musical melodies.

A Country Cousin

A southern twang and a penchant for sharing the deep roots his family has planted in Mississippi, Mars connects with other country singers who love where they come from. His sense of belonging to the land that his family has called home for centuries resonates in interviews and in his musical style. No matter how far he travels, Charlie's country connections continue to draw him back. Folk music lovers and country music fanatics alike can't get enough of his drawling notes, quirky choices and revealing lyrics. Singing gigs from Laurel, Mississippi to the country music capital of the world Nashville, Tennessee, Charlie Mars has had success at paring a little country flavor with a modern indie vibe.

More than Money

Songs like "Dream Kitchen" by Charlie Mars inspired by cheap hotels and unexpected travel hiccups keep audiences laughing and listening. His lyrics also reveal his thoughts on how to him "money isn't everything." Comfort isn't the end all to happiness and he expresses that sentiment often. The joy in music and the ability to create "good things" mean more to him than fame and fortune. He plays for the love of music and keeps music fans of all genres coming back for more of his down-home country style.

See Charlie Mars live at McGonigel's Mucky Duck

Here at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, our talented artists bring appreciative audiences to our concerts in Houston, Texas. Do you want to be a part of a one-of-a-kind musical experience? With memorable artists like Charlie Mars on our stage, you won't be disappointed! For ticket info and a list of our upcoming concerts, click here.

Showing tonight

Bob Livingston

Sat, April 28 / 930 PM

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Singer-songwriter BOB LIVINGSTON has never been a traditional Texas country musician living the honky-tonk life even though he's spent more than his share of time on the roadhouse circuit with some of the most colorful and rambunctious musicians in Texas. As a member of Austin’s legendary Lost Gonzo Band, Livingston toured and recorded with such musical visionaries as Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Martin Murphey, Ray Wylie Hubbard and many more. Livingston played an integral role in helping to create the music that first earned Austin the designation of “Live Music Capital of the World” and helps explain why he was recently inducted in to “Texas Music Legends Hall of Fame” in 2016.  


Livingston has seen a lot of the world since growing up in musically fertile West Texas. Hailing originally from San Antonio, he moved to Lubbock as a boy where his interests turned more 'Cosmic' than 'Cowboy' and prompted him to delve into the music and mysteries of many cultures. Traveling since the 80’s as a Music Ambassador for the US State Department, Livingston has taken Texas music as far afield as India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Africa, Vietnam and the Middle East demonstrating again and again the unique power that music has to build bridges between peoples of the world. As Livingston says, 'When all else fails, music prevails'. These tours earned him the honor of being appointed, “Ambassador of Goodwill,” by the State of Texas and “Austin’s International Music Ambassador,” by the City of Austin.


This world-traveled view was reflected in Livingston's 2004 CD, Mahatma Gandhi & Sitting Bull, a romp through juxtapositions of east and west.  His last CD, Gypsy Alibi, defines a new musical direction. Released in 2011 on New Wilderness Records, 'Gypsy Alibi' won "Album of the Year" at the Texas Music Awards 2011.


These days, Livingston is a busy man. While playing over 180 shows a year, he is also managing to write a memoire for Texas Tech Press, play with a multi-cultural band from Texas and India called Cowboys & Indians and is in the final mix on a new album on Howlin’ Dog Records called, Up The Flatland Stairs to be released this Spring 2017. 


In a live performance with Bob Livingston, one finds a veteran singer-songwriter and a master storyteller who captures his audience from the first notes played. It's an irresistible invitation to travel down the cosmic musical highways and rutted back country roads where his rambles have taken him over the years. “What country? That’s the question.”

Showing tonight

Open Mic

Mon, April 30 / 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. --

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. 

Showing tonight

Libby Koch & Mary Bragg

Tue, May 1 / 730 PM

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Americana singer-songwriter Libby Koch (pronounced like the soft drink) has been described as a “country meets soulful” (Free Press Houston), “feisty Texas songbird” (Country Music People) who “sings her story with a little twang, some slide guitar, and a lot of heart” (Texas Monthly). 

Libby’s latest album, Just Move On (Berkalin Records), was produced by Grammy-winning 

producer Bil VornDick (Alison Krauss, Marty Robbins) in Nashville and landed on the Grammy ballot in three categories (country solo performance, country song, and country album). The UK’s Maverick Magazine said “if there was a genre for ‘retro-modern country’ then Just Move On is the poster child.”


"Sublime distilling of southern grit; subtly refining the folk-country singer-songwriter template." -NPR Music. 2017 MerleFest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest winner Mary Bragg spent 10 years living in New York City after a small town upbringing in south Georgia. 

With candor and subtlety, Bragg’s songs probe the common journey to discover our truest selves outside of our families and communities in which we are raised. Now based in Nashville, songs from her 2017 release Lucky Strike have been lauded by Craig Havighurst (WMOT Roots Radio) as “infectious, smart, and resonant." Her new side project with Becky Warren, The Reckless Electric, was recently dubbed by Rolling Stone as "a force to be reckoned with."