Written by Jim Bille

Remember when you could go down on Washington Ave in the Houston Heights on any weekend and see an incredible blues act from Texas or elsewhere? Well a great venue just a few blocks up the road offered up one of those types of shows last Friday night that was on par with anything that was featured back then.

The Heights Theater, one of the absolute best and most intimate venues in town, brought in some of the finest that Texas blues still has to offer when Anson Funderbugh, Mike Morgan and Shawn Pittman brought their Texas Blues Guitar Summit show to Houston.

Mike Morgan, Anson Funderburgh and Shawn Pittman are some of the finest purveyors of Texas style blues and they are performing live shows throughout Texas and beyond.  Fresh off of their European tour the trio landed in Houston to a crowd of fans who were ready to welcome the blues triumvirate back to Texas. Although the venue was not a complete sell out there was enough enthusiasm from the crowd to keep these guys chugging through some terrific tunes, both classic and original, to make everyone in attendance want more by the end of the show.

The show was peppered with tunes from some of the trio’s individual releases plus Morgan’s most recent CD that features the three guitarists’ on many of the songs.

The opening number was a deep cut instrumental from one of Anson’s earlier releases with the Rockets called “Mean Streak” which featured some classic Funderburgh guitar work.

The second number paid homage to the great Lazy Lester when the band performed a killer version of Lester’s standard “Sugar Coated Love”.

Numbers from Mike Morgan and the Crawls new CD release, The Lights Went Out In Dallas included “Aiight”,  a title that Morgan said confused their European audiences until he explained the word as Texas slang for alright, and a no doubt Chuck Berry influenced rockin’ tune called “Ding Dong Daddy”.

Shawn Pittman has picked up Delbert McClinton’s torch with his Texas blue–eyed soul rhythm and blues vocals along with killer guitar work to boot. His renditions of the classic “Come On” and J.B. Lenoir’s “Mama Talk to Your Daughter” were stunning. “Talk to your Daughter” featured some tremendous guitar interplay between all three musicians as they one upped each other throughout the tune with some exquisite guitar offerings.

As an extra bonus during the last song, Anson genouriously handed his guitar off to Houston’s own Jonn Del Toro Richardson who ignited the final set with his own touch of guitar flare.

Texas Blues Guitar Summit is a pretty lofty and ambitious moniker to hang on a show considering how many great blues guitarists have come from, and are still plying their trade in the Lone Star state and beyond. That being said, this trio has all the chops and roadwork to warrant the title.

Mike Morgan had one request of the fans towards the end of show that whenever Anson, Shawn or his own band, The Crawlers, comes to town to please come out and support their shows and live music in general. I agree wholeheartedly with that appeal and hope to see you the next time one or all of these guys comes back to Houston.