This week’s music picks: James McMurtry, John Mills and more

Tuesday-Wednesday: James McMurtry at Continental Club & Gallery. The acclaimed songwriter is perhaps Austin’s highest-profile musician with a regular residency gig, and he has two of them, whenever he’s in town: Tuesdays upstairs at the Continental Gallery playing acoustic, and Wednesdays downstairs at the Continental Club with a full electric band. We say “whenever he’s in town” because he’ll be a bit scarce for the next few weeks: major-league Americana star Jason Isbell is taking McMurtry out on the road as his opening act for much of January and February, so catch him while you can. You’re likely to hear “State of the Union,” his new political song that’s likely to be much more profound than anything to be heard at the speech of the same name later this month. Tuesday at Continental Gallery: $10, 8:30 p.m. (Ephraim Owens Experience follows at 10:30 p.m.), 1313 S. Congress Ave. Wednesday at Continental Club: $8, 9:30 p.m. (Jon Dee Graham and William Harries Graham open), 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com. — P.B.

READ MORE: Our 2015 interview with James McMurtry

Wednesday: John Mills Times Ten record release at Elephant Room. Of all the Austin jazz acts whose downtown home base is the Elephant Lounge, this one is probably the biggest. It’s called John Mills Times Ten because the longtime local saxophonist’s backing crew is 10 players strong. Everything about their new disc “Flying Blind” is big, from the fullness of the arrangements to the 75-minute run-time of its dozen tracks. Mills has a considerable resume, with impressive credits in jazz  (Steve Swallow, Carla Bley) R&B (Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt), country (Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett) and beyond. Compositionally, this is sophisticated stuff, but then again, most anyone who enjoys instrumental music that puts the horns up front will probably dig the ensemble’s lively and wide-open sound. In the liner notes, Mills writes: “We are reaching for music that is simultaneously physical, cerebral and soulful, and my big influences, who cross every stylistic boundary, have always proved that to be not just possible, but irresistible.” Free. 9:30 p.m. 315 Congress Ave. elephantroom.com. — P.B.

Todd Snider plays the Paramount Theatre on Wednesday. Larry Kolvoord/American-Statesman 2009

ALSO PLAYING

Monday

  • Dale Watson & His Lonestars, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club
  • Church on Monday Band at Continental Gallery
  • Brad Stivers, Blue Monday Band at Antone’s
  • Funeral Crashers, First Names, Silver Bars at Hotel Vegas
  • Hollow Trees, Hand Signals, Margaret Chavez at Beerland
  • Sam Bentley Band with Allen Kentfield at Sam’s Town Point
  • Michael Mordecai Jazz Jam at Elephant Room

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Todd Snider, Luther Dickinson, Rorey Carroll at Paramount Theatre
  • David Holt with Scott Nelson and Tommy Taylor, Bill Carter at Antone’s
  • Texas Radio Live with Doug Strahan & the Good Neighbors, Johnny Chops & the Razors at Guero’s
  • Michael Fracasso, Blue Moon Jazz Quartet with Rosie Flores at Continental Gallery
  • Union Specific, Carry Illinois, Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs at Hole in the Wall
  • Soaked, Teevee, Sour Notes, Goldbloom at Hotel Vegas
  • John Bush Band at One-2-One Bar
  • Warren Hood at ABGB
  • Redd Volkaert at Hilton Cannon & Belle

Thursday

  • Erik Hokkanen at Radio Coffee & Beer
  • Harvest Thieves, Belcurve, Western Youth, Pongo at Hotel Vegas
  • Betty Soo, Curtis McMurtry, Chris Fullerton at Townsend
  • Guy Forsyth, Jeremy Nail at One-2-One Bar
  • Eric Gales, Jake Andrews, Henry + the Invisibles at Antone’s
  • Dale Watson at Highball
  • Derailers at Broken Spoke
  • Aaron McDonnell at Geraldine’s
  • Jimmie Dreams, Koolerators at Sam’s Town Point
  • Brian Kremer Quintet at Stay Gold
  • Trouble in the Streets, Honey Made, Bourgeois Mystics at Stubb’s indoor
  • Cory Reinisch at Buzz Mill

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