Thursday music picks: Chris Smither, Brad Paisley
Chris Smither at Cactus Cafe. The classic late bloomer, Smither started making waves in folk-blues circles with his 1970 debut album but issued just two more albums over the ensuing two decades. He suddenly came to life with 1991’s “Another Way to Find You” and has made more than a dozen records since then. The latest, “Still on the Levee,” is an impressive two-disc retrospective with new recordings of standout songs stretching back to his early-’70s days, when Bonnie Raitt helped put Smither on the map by covering his song “Love Me Like a Man.” That song is included on this set, and Raitt revisits it with a live version on “Link of Chain,” a Smither tribute album due next month that also includes the likes of Dave Alvin, Josh Ritter and Loudon Wainwright III. $20. 8:30 p.m. 2247 Guadalupe St. cactuscafe.org. — P.B.
Also: The last installment of the Austin360 Amphitheater’s 2014 Country Megaticket series features headliner Brad Paisley plus Randy Houser, Charlie Worsham and Leah Turner; single-show tickets are also available, for those who didn’t buy the Megaticket. … Pimpin’ Pen and K. Paul’s project V.I.P. has been on a slow burn rise through the ranks of Texas rap for over a year. They play a Flamingo Cantina show with Dieslo and International Scoot. … It’s a busy night for record-release shows: The Young celebrate their new Matador disc “Chrome Cactus” at Hotel Vegas, Shelley King features her new album “Building a Fire” at Strange Brew, guitarist Danny B. Harvey plays tunes from his new 69 Cats record “Transylvania Tapes” at the Continental Club, and the David Ruffins tout their new EP “Thundergun” at Empire. … Blues on the Green is over, but KGSR’s Unplugged at the Grove series still has a few more weeks to go at Shady Grove, including this week’s show with Ray Wylie Hubbard. … The Roost gets rockin’ with livewire blues-rock guitarist and singer Carolyn Wonderland. … The new Highball at 1120 S. Lamar Blvd. presents its free “Texas Thursday” show with Dale Watson from 8 to 11 p.m. … T-Bird & the Breaks begin a month of Thursdays at C-Boy’s Heart & Soul, with Sideshow Tragedy opening this week.