Make that 4 shows in 3 nights: Jason Isbell sits in with Booze Weasels at Continental Club

Jason Isbell, center, sits in with Austin’s Booze Weasels at the Continental Club on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. Booze Weasels band members are, from left, David Grissom (guitar), Jimmy Pettit (bass), Davis McLarty (drums) and David Holt (guitar). Contributed/Mike Fickel/Winged Monkey Media

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Isbell wrapped up a three-night stand with his band the 400 Unit at Bass Concert Hall on Sunday, but between the big shows, he squeezed in another gig. After the Saturday performance, Isbell headed down to the Continental Club and wound up joining ace Austin bar band the Booze Weasels for all of their second set.

READ MORE: Our interview with Jason Isbell

The Booze Weasels formed about 30 years ago when its four members — guitarists David Grissom and David Holt, bassist Jimmy Pettit and drummer Davis McLarty — were all part of Joe Ely’s backing band. None of them really knew Isbell, though McLarty says that Grissom and Isbell had met a few years ago when both were part of an Austin City Limits Hall of Fame show at ACL Live.

“What really happened is that Isbell called (Continental Club owner Steve) Wertheimer to see who was playing at (the club) on Saturday, and Steve contacted us to see if Jason could sit in,” McLarty explained by email on Monday morning. “He showed up, was super nice, and simply wanted to sit in.  He played the entire 90-minute second set.”

Isbell’s manager, Traci Thomas, said that for Isbell’s part, “Jason loves nothing more than just sitting in playing guitar, so playing with those guys made his day.”

RELATED: Jason Isbell speaks out about his guiding values and principles

Intrepid Austin photographer and music fan Mike Fickel was on hand to capture it. That’s his shot above, as are these galleries he posted to Facebook:

Another fan on hand Saturday night, Patrick Morehead, captured a few minutes on video, including a rendition of the R&B classic “I Hear You Knocking”:

Catch rising country stars Midland at the Domain for free next week

Midland will play a free show at the Domain on May 1. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

It’s an urban-country show for the tech shopping set. Head to the Samsung Galaxy Pop-Up Studio at the Domain in North Austin on Tuesday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. and catch a free concert by Midland, the up-and-coming Austin country band that was nominated for two Grammys this year.

READ MORE: Meet Midland, a country trio with one of the year’s best EPs

It’s part of a promotions event for Samsung’s latest mobile phones, part of a two-week national Samsung Galaxy Studio tour. The press release announcing the event notes no RSVP details, so it appears to be first-come, first-served. There’s also no specification of capacity.

Midland last played Austin in February, part of an Erwin Center triple bill with Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves. We talked with band members Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy when they played the Austin City Limits Music Festival last fall:

 

Foo Fighters move Austin set time up so they can rock longer

The Foo Fighters have made no secret about their affection for our fine city. Not only do they swing through regularly, they’ve headlined our eponymous festival, Austin City Limits and taped episodes of the show it was named after multiple times.

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters performs during the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park Friday, October 9, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

They also taped an episode of their 2014 documentary mini-series “Sonic Highways” in Austin.

Now, they’ve decided they didn’t schedule enough time to rock for us before their bedtime, so they’ve moved the start time for their concert on Wednesday, April 18 at Austin360 Amphitheater up by a half hour.

Here’s the message that went out to ticket-holders:

The Foo Fighters want to give you more of a show!

Door times and show times have been updated for the Austin performance next Wednesday, April 18th at Austin360 Amphitheater to do just that.

Doors will now open at 5:30pm and theshow will begin at 7:00pm with The Struts taking the stage before The Foo Fighters.

10 music festivals coming to Austin this spring

The weather is warm. The wildflowers are out. Let the festing begin!

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April 19-22: Old Settler’s Music Festival in Tilmon. Headliners this year include J.D. McPherson, Calexico, Greensky Bluegrass and I’m With Her (featuring Sarah Jarosz, Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan), but the big news is the new location, in rural Caldwell County southeast of Lockhart. There’s a lot more space than the festival had at its former Driftwood site, but it’s farther from Austin and the turnaround time was short. Attendance at an open house in February indicated festival faithful are eager to see how the new grounds work out. $35-$550. 1616 FM 3158, Dale. oldsettlersmusicfest.org. — Peter Blackstock

RELATED: An early look at the new Old Settler’s Fest site

Austin Reggae Fest 2014. Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman

April 20-22: Austin Reggae Fest at Auditorium Shores. Austin’s annual spring fling, which turns 25 this year, has adopted the slogan “What unity in the community sounds like,” which is appropriate. The fest draws one of the most diverse crowds we see in Austin each year; they show up for the feel-good grooves and the irie vibes. This year’s lineup features New Kingston and Kabaka Pyramind on Friday, Collie Buddz, Natalie Rize and Black Uhuru on Saturday, and the Wailers and Sister Nancy on Sunday. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank, and a portion of each ticket sold goes to the local nonprofit. $15 Friday and Sunday, $20 Saturday. $45 for a three-day pass. Gates at 3 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday and Sunday. 900 West Riverside Drive. austinreggaefest.com. — D.S.S.

PHOTOS: Austin Reggae Fest 2017

April 26-29: Levitation in the Red River Cultural District. After taking a year off in 2017, the Black Angels-affiliated event once known as Austin Psych Fest returns for four days of a la carte club shows in the Red River Cultural District. You might not get a full weekend of lounging in the sun listening to trippy sounds, but the lineup is well curated with plenty of interesting bills to choose from each night. Highlights include Panda Bear, Geologist and more at the Mohawk, Electric Wizard at Stubb’s, and Ariel Pink at Empire on April 27; Ministry at Emo’s, Slowdive and Survive at Stubb’s, and Dan Deacon at Empire on April 28; and the Black Angels and Brian Jonestown Massacre at Stubb’s, and Waxahatchee and Hurray for the Riff Raff at the Mohawk on April 28. Times and prices vary. See levitation-austin.com for details. — D.S.S.

RELATED: Levitation returns as a series of Red River club shows

Rapper Cardi B and her fiance, Offset’s crew Migos will play Jmblya this year. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for blu)

May 5: Jmblya at Circuit of the Americas. Once again, local hip-hop promotion powerhouse Scoremore has produced a stellar lineup for their annual turn up. Emotional rapper/singer J. Cole leads a bill that includes a powerhouse second tier featuring Cardi B. and Migos. Kevin Gates, Playboi Carti, Bun B and Trae tha Truth will also be in the house. Festival organizers say they have taken steps to deal with heat and dehydration, the biggest problems from last year’s festival. They promise expanded water filling stations, more bars and food vendors, and shade structures in the field. $89. 2 p.m. gates. 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd. jmblya.com. — D.S.S.

RELATED: Scoremore’s Jmblya taps into youth movement

May 5: Punk in Drublic in the Austin American-Statesman parking lot. The craft beer and music festival brings NOFX, Bad Religion, Interrupters, Mad Caddies, Bad Cop Bad Cop, Last Gang and more to Austin. There will also be over 100 craft beers available for tasting. $49.50. 1 p.m. (VIP entry at noon) 305 S. Congress Ave. punkindrublic.com — D.S.S.

Keith Urban performs at Stubb’s during the 2018 SXSW Music festival. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

May 5: iHeartCountry Festival at Erwin Center. This is the fifth year that the radio conglomerate has invited some of the most-played acts on its country stations to Austin for short sets that add up to a four-hours-plus bash at the city’s largest indoor music venue. On the bill this time: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi and Brett Young. $20-$400. 7 p.m. 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.com. — P.B.

May 5-6: Pecan Street Festival. Austin’s longest running street fair and artist’s market programs three stages of free music on historic Sixth Street. Highlights for the spring edition of the festival include Los Coast, Alesia Lani and Zeale on Saturday and Cilantro Boombox, Nght Hcklrs and Jane Ellen Bryant on Sunday. Free. Music starts at noon. pecanstreetfestival.org. — D.S.S.

Euphoria Fest 2017. Photo by Tess Cagle for American-Statesman

May 11-13: Finding Euphoria Festival at Carson Creek Ranch. After four years of expansion, the EDM and jam band festival at Carson Creek ranch has intentionally scaled back and restructured. Festival organizers say their aim is to evolve the concept from a three-day music festival into a “sustainable year-round community based around curiosity, creativity and, of course, great music.” They’ve created an ongoing event series and transformed the festival into a single-day music event with two days of camping. Camping has been capped at 2,000 this year with workshops and special programming on Friday and Sunday for those who choose to attend. The lineup has not been released yet for the main event on Saturday. $49, $79 with camping. 2 p.m. gates on Saturday. 9507 Sherman Road. euphoriafest.com. — D.S.S.

26-27: Lone Star Jam at Travis County Exposition Center. Taking over the Rodeo Austin grounds, this annual Texas-country weekend-long throwdown gathers many of the top draws on the regional roadhouse circuit. Saturday’s lineup features Gary Allan, Reckless Kelly, Stoney LaRue, Roger Creager, Flatland Cavalry, Charlie Robison, Dalton Domino, Kody West, Randall King and Drugstore Gypsies; on Sunday, it’s the Randy Rogers Band, Casey Donahew, Kevin Fowler, William Clark Green, Parker McCollum, Kyle Park, Mike & the Moonpies, Read Southall, Troy Cartwright and Grant Gilbert. $40 each day, or $70 for two-day pass. Noon to 11 p.m. 7311 Decker Lane. lonestarjam.com. — P.B.

June 9: Wepa Festival at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard. The cumbia roots festival launched last year by Colombian-American artist Kiko Villamizar last year expands to nine cities around the world with dates in Germany, Austria, Mexico and Colombia. The festival celebrates masters of the cumbia tradition and this year’s headliner is Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto who Villamizar describes as the orginators of Colombian cumbia. Villamizar and a host of other local and international artists will also perform. Ticket prices and more details to be announced. Check wepafestival.com for more information.

Weekend music picks: Free family fun at Mueller, Joe Ely, Los Pinkys, more

South by Southwest might be over, but the music in Austin doesn’t stop. Here are our picks for the weekend of March 23-25.

OUR TOP PICKS

Friday: Joe Ely, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub. Ely has popped up around town for special appearances in recent weeks, accepting a special songwriting honor at the Austin Music Awards and taking part in the South by Southwest Blaze Foley tribute. Here’s a chance to hear a full set from the Texas legend at one of the city’s best listening rooms. $35-$40. 9 p.m. Come early for the free happy-hour show from guitar great Freeman, whose weekly gig here is among Austin’s top-drawing residencies. 1320 S. Lamar Blvd. thesaxonpub.com. — P.B.

Friday: KUTX presents Rock the Park at Mueller Amphitheater. Austin public radio affiliate KUTX 98.9 FM and syndicated NPR kids music show “Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child” return to the lakeside amphitheater for another round of family friendly — and free — concerts. Each show pairs a kids act with a grown-up band. The first installment features madcap duo the Telephone Company followed by Black Pumas, the new psychedelic rock ‘n’ soul project from guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and singer Eric Burton. In addition to music, there will be face painting and food trucks. Music begins at 7 p.m. 4550 Mueller Blvd. kutx.org — D.S.S.

Friday: Microsessions with Matt the Electrician, Suzanna Choffel, Raina Rose, Little Mazarn at Imagine Art. This once-a-month-or-so series that Paul Schomer started a couple of years ago — he calls it “speed dating for live music” — features short sets by four acts in separate rooms, with the audience rotating from room to room for the hour. At the end of this one, all four acts will play a final set together, at guest host Matt the Electrician’s behest. Everyone on this bill is worth seeing on their own; combined, it should amount to a fine evening of local music. $15-$20. 8 p.m. 2830 Real St. facebook.com/microsessions. — P.B.

RELATED: Suzanna Choffel boldly finds her way

Friday: Gaby Moreno at Stubb’s (inside). With an enchanting voice, the Guatemalan singer-songwriter smoothly transitions between English and Spanish on songs that range from bluesy folk to soulful indie rock. She was a highlight at Pachanga Fest 2014, one of the Latino music festival’s final years. Her longtime collaborator David Garza shares the bill for this show. $12-$15. 10:30 p.m. 801 Red River St. stubbsaustin.com — D.S.S.

Saturday: Jerry Jeff Walker Birthday Bash at Paramount Theatre. Walker turned 76 last week and will have a new record out next month. The title, fittingly, is “It’s About Time,” as it’s been nine years since his last studio release. San Marcos’ Wittliff Collections recently opened an illuminating exhibit of artifacts from Walker’s half-century history as a classic American songwriter and transplanted Texas treasure. $40-$250. 8 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. — P.B.

READ MORE: Our interview with Jerry Jeff Walker

Los Pinkys celebrate 25 years of playing conjunto music on Saturday at Antone’s. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Saturday: Los Pinkys 25-year anniversary with Flaco Jimenez, Max Baca at Antone’s. When it comes to conjunto music, few groups in Texas do it better than Los Pinkys, who celebrate a quarter-century together with this show. Joining in the salute are Flaco Jimenez, the San Antonio legend of Tex-Mex accordion, and Max Baca, renowned for his work with Los Texmaniacs. $12-$14. 8 p.m. 305 E. Fifth St. antonesnightclub.com. — P.B.

ALSO PLAYING

Friday

Victor Wooten Trio at Paramount Theatre

Broken Social Scene, Belle Game at Stubb’s outdoor

Cigarettes After Sex at Emo’s

Weeks, Caroline Rose at Antone’s

Junior Brown, Lou Ann Barton at Continental Club

Jake Penrod, Little Mikey & the Soda Jerks at ABGB

Western Youth, Otis Wilkins at Cactus Cafe

Don Harvey & A Is Red, Jeremy Nail at Townsend

Duncan Fellows, Muff, Oysters, Vacuum Repair at Barracuda

Ephraim Owens & Friends, TripTrio with Lissa Hattersley at Elephant Room

Izzy Cox memorial HAAM benefit with That Damned Band, Bruce Salmon, Jenny Parrott at Nomad Bar

Saturday

Riff Raff at Empire

Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s

Mickey Avalon & Dirt Nasty, Ekoh at Mohawk outdoor

Stumble Brothers album release, Flying Balalaika Brothers, Shaws of Awe at Mohawk indoor

Guy Forsyth & the Hot Nut Riveters CD release at Cactus Cafe

Johnny Chops & the Razors record release, Ray Prim, George Ensle at Saxon Pub

Black Basements record release, Desilu at Barracuda

Jai Malano, Rochelle & the Sidewinders at Stubb’s indoor

Hector Ward & the Big Time at One-2-One Bar

Reverent Few, South Austin Moonlighters, William Topley at Continental Club

Pong, Queue Queue at ABGB

Sunday

Take Six at One World Theatre

Mark Goodwin celebration of life at Antone’s

Willie Pipkin birthday bash, Heybale, Marshall Hood at Continental Club

Soul of a Musician series with Carson McHone at Threadgill’s North

East Side Dandies, Charlie Christians at Parker Jazz Club

SXSW: Dashboard Confessional, Cut Copy, Ghostland Observatory added to lineup

SXSW: The festival is looking for Austinites willing to host international bands

South by Southwest season is almost upon us. The Interactive and Film conferences kick off on March 9 with the Music Festival starting in earnest the following week.

Robin Dusek with the band Agrupacion Cariño from Mexico. She says they threw an ‘instant party’ in her house. Contributed by Robin Dusek.

From the beginning, international music has been a huge part of SXSW. Festival organizers say they expect about 25 percent of the roughly 2000 artists scheduled to attend SXSW this year to travel to Austin from abroad.

RELATED: The rich experience of hosting an international band during SXSW

On Tuesday, festivals organizers put out a call looking for Austin families who are willing to host international artists. To host an international artist you just need a spare bed (air mattress and sleeper couches are acceptable, the floor is not) and an open heart. In exchange, the festival will provide music fest wristbands to your household.

“The SXSW International Housing Program is one of my favorite things about living in Austin, and that’s saying a lot because I love Austin,” Robin Dusek, who works at the University of Texas and has been hosting bands for eight years, told us last year. She’s taken in bands from all over Mexico, New Zealand and a slew from Scotland. A lifelong music fan, she loves the way the program puts her in the mix with the festival, but the best part is the musicians themselves.

“They come over as these strangers staying in your house and then you become friends because you’re just in this situation together,” she says. “That’s what the biggest benefit is, meeting these awesome people.”

Centrally located homes with easy access to public transportation are preferred. If you’re interested in hosting a band, you can learn more about the program here. 

 

 

 

 

 

Margo Price proves an all-purpose All-American at Emo’s show

Margo Price and lead guitarist Jamie Davis at Emo’s on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Scott Moore for American-Statesman

About the time Margo Price transitioned from acoustic guitar to drums to piano in the middle of her set at Emo’s on Tuesday night, it seemed pretty clear that part of the rising Nashville star’s mission on her current tour is pushing her identity outside the bounds often set for country singer-songwriters.

This is no surprise, really. When we spoke to Price two years ago, after her debut album “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” had turned everyone’s heads, she stated that goal almost precisely: “As an artist, I always hope to keep growing, and I don’t want to box myself in.”

PHOTOS: A-List gallery of Margo Price at Emo’s

At the time, she was talking about not wanting to be pigeonholed as a country singer, though she quickly qualified her remarks by adding, “I think I will always like country music in some form or another.” Both of those truths were self-evident at Emo’s in a 90-minute set that drew upon her rural Illinois roots but pushed far beyond them as well.

As a songwriter, Price is honest and fearless, and that’s the biggest reason why she’s done so well since launching her solo career. Last fall’s “All American Made” picked up where her debut left off: Price digs deep into flyover country on “Heart of America,” challenges inexcusable gender inequality on “Pay Gap,” and turns inward on “Weakness,” in which she confesses, “Sometimes my weakness is stronger than me.”

She played most of the new album’s songs on Tuesday, though somewhat surprisingly left out “Pay Gap” on the night of the State of the Union address. (She did perform it on Monday at a Waterloo Records in-store.) Also missing was “Learning to Lose,” perhaps understandable given that on the album it’s a duet with Willie Nelson, whose voice certainly would’ve been missed. She tipped a hat to Willie by weaving a few lines from “Whiskey River,” along with Merle Haggard’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” into her first album’s breakthrough single, “Hurtin’ (on the Bottle).”

It was the mid-set segue from “Cocaine Cowboys” to the new record’s title track where things really got interesting, though. Opening act Paul Cauthen’s band had left their drums onstage next to those of Price’s drummer Dillon Napier, and halfway through the sludgey, psych-twinged tune, it became clear why. Price sat down at the kit and pounded away alongside Napier, helping to steer the song toward a heavy jam-out finale.

And now for something completely different: Price then commandeered bandmate Micah Hulscher’s keyboards for a spirited solo rendition of “All American Made” that quieted the spacious and mostly full room.

As an interpreter, Price has impeccable taste that skews toward Texas outlaws, as evidenced by her rendition of Billy Joe Shaver’s “Black Rose” at ACL Fest 2016 and a Statesman video of her singing a Doug Sahm tune with Shawn Sahm atop Doug Sahm Hill. This time around, she and her band revved up a rousing rendition of Guy Clark’s “New Cut Road,” later adding a creatively reworked take on Bob Dylan’s “Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine.” In the encore, she tackled Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty’s comedic “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” with opener Cauthen belting it out and hamming it up alongside her.

Cauthen’s 50-minute opening set with his four-piece band was well-received and energetically performed, though the material was somewhat hit-and-miss. With a booming voice that commands the stage, the native of Tyler, Texas, is making strides as a solo act with his new album “My Gospel” after initially becoming known for his work with the band Sons of Fathers.

Set list:
1. Don’t Say It
2. Do Right By Me
3. Hurtin’ (on the Bottle), with I Think I’ll Just Stay Here & Drink and Whiskey River)
4. Since You Put Me Down
5. Heart of America
6. New Cut Road
7. This Town Gets Around
8. Cocaine Cowboys
9. All American Made
10. Nowhere Fast
11. Tennessee Song
12. Weakness
13. Loner
14. Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine
15. A Little Pain
16. Paper Cowboy
Encore:
17. Four Years of Chances
18. You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly
19. Good Luck (for Ben Eyestone)

[Note: This post was updated to add detail to the set list.]

Spending New Year’s Eve in? ACL Hall of Fame broadcast might be the ticket

Elvis Costello, Chris Isaak and Trombone Shorty helped the Neville Brothers celebrate their Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction at ACL Live in October. The program airs on KLRU on New Year’s Eve. Courtesy KLRU and Austin City Limits/Photos by Gary Miller

As the clock approaches midnight on Sunday, the New Year is set to bring freezing temperatures that may last for a couple of days. While there’s plenty to do if you’re willing to brave the cold for New Year’s Eve, here’s a good option for those who might opt to stay in: The fourth annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame show.

Taped Oct. 25 at ACL Live, this year’s gala event honored new inductees Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and the Neville Brothers, with special guests including Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Brandi Carlile, Raul Malo, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John and host Chris Isaak. An hourlong program of highlights from that night will air at 10 p.m. on local PBS affiliate KLRU, and again at 11 p.m.

READ MORE: Our Austin360 review of the ACL Hall of Fame show

Not a physical place but simply an honorary designation, ACL’s Hall of Fame first honored Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan in 2014. Every year since, they’ve added a few more musicians who’ve played a significant role in helping the 43-year-old show become the longest-running music television program ever.

In January, episodes taped in the summer and fall of 2017 will begin airing as the 43rd season of “Austin City Limits” continues. The schedule through mid-February is as follows; click on the name of each band to see our review of that show.

Check Austin Music Source’s ACL TV page for all of our “Austin City Limits” reviews and news.

RELATED: Virtually hang out with Ed Sheeran, Zac Brown Band in new ‘ACL’ series

 

Free local music at the Trail of Lights? Thursday’s the ticket

The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park. Cap City Music Night on Thursday, December 14, features free admission and live local bands. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Live music and Austin’s Trail of Lights are a natural combo, but Thursday, December 14, marks a new effort to cast the spotlight on several local organizations that work to make the lives of Austin musicians better.

Cap City Music Night runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Zilker Park. General admission is free, with representatives on hand from Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the SIMS Foundation, Black Fret, All ATX and Swan Songs to provide information about what they do and to accept donations. Attendees also are encouraged to bring a can of food for the Central Texas Food Bank.

Performances are at 7 p.m. with the Interrobang Brass Band, 7:45 p.m with the Ephraim Owens Trio and 9 p.m. with Mother Falcon. KGSR’s Andy Langer will be on hand as well for a storytime session. Early 6 p.m. entry to the trail and other amenities are available for those with ZIP Fast Passes, which can be purchased via the event’s website.