Downtown Life: Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Underground and Carson Kitchen
It’s not often the chance comes along to catch a living legacy of Texas blues, but to the pleasure of their fans the Fabulous Thunderbirds continue to bring their take on the sound, shepherded by guitarists such as Freddie King and Lightnin’ Hopkins, more than four decades after forming. They were instrumental in honing a scene that begat Willie Nelson, Doug Sahm and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Without his having a Thunderbird, guitarist Jimmy Vaughn, for an older brother, the world may never have heard of the fiery guitar playing of Stevie Ray Vaughn.
The Thunderbirds now feature David Moeller on guitar alongside founding member and swamp-blues harmonica master Kim Wilson, who sang on the band’s mid-’80s hits such as “Tuff Enough,” “Wrap It Up” and “Powerful Stuff,” while the band's early catalog includes albums now considered to be blues classics. Medical procedures Wilson underwent in October weren’t enough to keep the Thunderbirds off the road for long, and they were back playing concerts after the New Year. Their 2016 album Strong Like That features a cover of the Temptations’ “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” which was part of their set list at shows last year. –Matt Kelemen
Golden Nugget, 8 p.m. Feb. 22, starting at $39 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster
The Mob Museum is truly one of the most fascinating museums in the country, covering the rise and the fall of the mob and law enforcement’s role in taking down the criminal organization. But this is so much more than information; it’s experiential as well. In the basement of the museum, you’ll find The Underground, which houses a speakeasy, private VIP room and distillery. Get your drink on by slipping the guy at the door the secret password—which is posted daily on the museum’s Instagram page @MobMuseumUnderground.
Once inside, take a step back in time to the culture of Prohibition. Guests can marvel at and learn about one of the country’s most notorious chapters in history by checking out the many artifacts on display from the 1920s and 1930s.
At the bar, imbibe in Prohibition-era cocktails—on the menu, each cocktail has a brief explanation of its origins or backstory. There are nonalcoholic cocktails, coffee cocktails, beer and wine. Guests can take a piece of the experience home with them by purchasing a bottle of moonshine or vodka, made in-house at The Underground’s distillery. and there are daily tours, beginning at noon for $12 per person.
The Underground also has happy hour with 20 percent off select cocktails, draft beer and wine by the glass, from 5-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday. From 7-11 p.m. Saturdays, enjoy Jazz Nights—live performances of jazz, blues and classics. This week catch the Kai Brant Jazz Duo on Feb. 23. And, through Feb. 24, in honor of National Drink Wine Day on Feb. 18, enjoy 25 percent off all wines by the glass. –Kiko Miyasato
300 Stewart Ave., 9 a.m.-midnight, 21+. 702.229.2734
Carson Kitchen is unprepossessing from the outside, but inside it runs to a hipster chic, and the menu follows that vibe, and many items change seasonally. Share brussels sprout Caesars salad with black kale to start, then try flatbread with earthy wild mushrooms and go on to the pork tenderloin with pretzels and sage-infused maple. Glazed doughnut bread pudding puts a twist on the classic dessert. –Nina King
124 S. Sixth St., #100, 702.473.9523