We’re in the throes of many consecutive days with temperatures above 100 degrees, but live music pays no mind to the summer heat in Austin. From downtown and SoCo nightclubs to a campus cafe to an iconic record store to a classic beer garden, we found good music everywhere on a Friday night in the heart of July. Check out the video above to accompany this recap.
5 p.m.: Dan Stuart at Waterloo Records. The expatriate rocker, who’s lived in Mexico for the last eight years, kicked off a weeklong “tour of Austin” to celebrate “The Unfortunate Demise of Marlowe Billings,” an album accompanied by a book of the same name. Remembering Waterloo’s smaller store when he lived nearby in 1990, Stuart mused, “Things change. Not all of it is bad!”
Focusing on songs from the new record such as “Here Comes My Boy” and “The Day William Holden Died,” Stuart also threw fans of his 1980s band Green on Red a bone at the end with a sweet solo acoustic version of “Time Ain’t Nothing.” There’s seven more chances to catch him around town in the next six days, starting Saturday night at Opal Divine’s Austin Grill.
6:45 p.m.: Rosie Flores Revue at C-Boy’s. The South Congress outpost of the Continental Club empire is big on weekly residencies, and a new addition is this Friday happy-hour show featuring longtime local guitarist and singer Flores with a terrific five-piece backing crew.
A master of many American roots styles ranging from country to blues to jazz and beyond, Flores is a natural bandleader. A solid crowd for an early-evening show soaked in the welcome air-conditioning as sunlight streaked through the windows at the front of the club, which had another fine show on tap after dark with the Texas Gentlemen.
7:15 p.m.: Christy Hays and Bruce Robison at Threadgill’s. We don’t often stay for more than one act in these evening musical smorgasbords, but the bill for KUTX’s “Back to the Garden” series inspired a longer stay. The beer garden wasn’t as sweltering as you might think on a day like this, thanks to plentiful shade.
Hays, who’s split her time between here and Montana the past couple of years, played many of the songs on her acclaimed new record “River Swimmer.” She also wrote a song on the latest record from Robison, who delighted the crowd with favorites such as “Desperately” (a country chart-topper for George Strait co-written with Monte Warden) and the only-in-Austin anthem “What Would Willie Do?”
9:15 p.m.: Kevin Galloway at Cactus Cafe. For a decade, native Texan Galloway fronted the roots-rock band Uncle Lucius, a solid draw across the state with several albums to their credit. He’s moving to a new phase with “The Change,” his first solo record, due out in early August.
The Cactus show served as a full showcase for the new material, as Galloway played “The Change” from start to finish. It’s a fine record that benefits from a strong supporting cast, many of whom accompanied him at this show, including his former Uncle Lucius bandmate John Grossman on keyboards, ace pedal steel player Kim Deschamps, and guitarist Doug Strahan (whose own band, the Good Neighbors, opened the show.)
10:45 p.m.: Los Texmaniacs with Flaco Jimenez at Antone’s. We’re well into the monthlong 43rd-anniversary celebration for Austin’s home of the blues now. One of the coolest things about Antone’s is that while its focus is blues, the club reaches well beyond those bounds too. This night was a prime example, with some of the best border-crossing Tex-Mex sounds to be found anywhere.
Max Baca’s renowned Texmaniacs crew anchored the evening, with Grammy-winning accordion great Jimenez coming out to join them shortly after we arrived. They ran through familiar tunes such as the Don Gibson country classic “Oh Lonesome Me” and the Mavericks’ rousing “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.” We departed before the scheduled appearance of Jimenez’s Texas Tornados bandmate Augie Meyers, but there’s no doubt the party went on well past midnight. And it continues Saturday with a bang-up show featuring C.J. Chenier plus Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.