Monday’s music picks: Dale Watson, Blue Monday

Dale Watson performs at a concert in the Continental Club on Monday, June 1, 2015. Dale Watson's next studio album, Call Me Insane, will be released on June 9. 6/1/15 Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Dale Watson plays the Continental Club. 2015 photo by Shelby Tauber/American-Statesman

Dianne Scott’s Birthday with Dale Watson at Continental Club. Memo to the lovelorn, the listless and the generally confused, the “Honky Tonk Doctor” is in the house every Sunday and Monday to answer your questions for a quarter a pop. After 23 years handing out free advice as part of her job watching the back door of the Continental Club, Dianne Scott received a Charlie Brown-style advice booth sign from a friend and now it’s an official side gig. Watson responded by immortalizing Scott, “The Honky Tonk Doctor,” in song. Scott is turning 65 and Watson will surely do his part to celebrate this true Austin treasure. $7. — D.S.S.

Blue Monday at Antone’s. The legendary nightclub’s long-running residency is back, setting up shop at 6:30 p.m. at the club’s new downtown location. Guitarist Derek O’Brien is at the helm once again, joined by Emily Gimble, Greg Izor, Johnny Bradley and Corey Keller. Stay late for a 10 p.m. show with Speedy Sparks & the Koolerators. $5. 305 E. Fifth St. — P.B.

Also: Hotel Van Zandt bar Geraldine’s begins a series of early-week residencies with the duo Beth & James, who’ll play every Monday in February. … Also a fixture on Monday nights is Radio Coffee & Beer’s popular Bluegrass Jam. … Singer-songwriter Graham Weber is at Stay Gold. … Metal rules at Sidewinder with East Coast band Full of Hell.

Sunday’s music picks: Harvest Thieves, David Broza

Harvest Thieves at Waterloo Records. Wrapping up an eventful January, our first-ever Austin360 Artist of the Month will spotlight songs from its debut album “Revival” at this in-store performance before their touring schedule heats up with several out-of-state shows in February and March. Mixing country songcraft with the raw energy of rock ’n’ roll, the five-piece band is one of the city’s most promising upstarts. Free. 5 p.m. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. — P.B.

Also: Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza will perform at the State Theater after a screening of his documentary film “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem” that features American, Israeli and Palestinian musicians joining forces with a message of unity and hope. … Kelly Willis & Radio Ranch conclude their spate of reunion gigs at Strange Brew. … Other top local options include Jason Roberts at 4 p.m. at Little Longhorn Saloon, Timberos del Norte at One-2-One Bar and the Resentments at Saxon Pub.

Saturday’s music picks: Bobby Rush Revue, Grace Potter

Bobby Rush visits Antone's.
Bobby Rush visits Antone’s.

Bobby Rush Revue at Antone’s. In its first month since coming back from a two-year absence in Austin, the historic venue Antone’s has done its best to revive the spirit of founder Clifford Antone’s love for the blues above all else. Perhaps no booking reflects that better than this appearance by Bobby Rush, who stands with the likes of Buddy Guy as one of the last living legacies of classic mid-20th-century Chicago blues. Raised in the South in the 1930s and ’40s, Rush wound up in the Windy City working alongside the likes of Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed. A new four-disc box set, “Chicken Heads” A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush,” attests to his life’s work, and reports from recent live performances suggest that at 82, he’s still a dynamic live performer and bandleader. $20. 10 p.m. Local favorite Miss Lavelle White gets things started at the club with a 6:30 p.m. set ($5). 305 E. Fifth St. — P.B.

Also: Grace Potter’s solo act, abandons the twang that characterized her band the Nocturnals, for a glossier, rock-oriented sound. She plays ACL Live. … New York pop stylist Vanessa Carlton brings the tour for her new album “Liberman” to the Parish. … Performances by Austin art rockers the Black and White Years are few and far between these days. Catch them at Lamberts. … Kelly Willis & Radio Ranch play the second of three local reunion shows at the Continental Club. … Catch this year’s official Texas State Musician when Joe Ely plays two shows at Strange Brew. … Another top Austin country-roots songwriter, James McMurtry, plays El Mercado Backstage with his son Curtis McMurtry opening. …“Walking Woody’s Road” at One World Theatre features Jimmy LaFave, Eliza Gilkyson and Lance Canales bringing the songs of Woody Guthrie to life. … Touring Americana duo the Grahams stop in at Cactus Cafe. … Mississippi bluesman Jarekus Singleton is at the Scoot Inn. … Selena cover outfit Bidi Bidi Banda brings Tejano sparkle and sass to Stay Gold. … Local rockers A Giant Dog preview songs from their upcoming Merge Records debut at ABGB. … Guero’s Oak Garden features hot blues-based bands in the afternoon and early evening with Eve & the Exiles at 2:30 p.m. and the Peterson Brothers at 6:30 p.m. … One-man-band Lincoln Durham plays indoors at Stubb’s with Leopold & His Fiction. … Bryce Clifford & Brother Superior and Daniel Eyes & the Vibes celebrate the release of new EPs at the Blackheart and Cheer Up Charlie’s, respectively. … Other top local options include James Hand at Radio Coffee & Beer, Croy & the Boys at Hotel Vegas with Jake Penrod and Plantation, and Belle Sounds at the Townsend with Tahoma.

Austin360 On The Record: Cross Record, Brother Superior, Daniel Eyes

Cross Record, "Wabi-Sabi"
Cross Record, “Wabi-Sabi”


Cross Record, “Wabi-Sabi” (Ba Da Bing). Engaging and hypnotic atmospheric music from the Dripping Springs duo of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski. After a release show Feb. 6 at the Mohawk, Cross Record heads out on a European tour opening for fellow Austin act Shearwater. Here’s the song “Steady Waves”:

Brother Superior, “Whatever Coach” EP. Five rock-pop tunes, including a cover of fellow local band A. Sinclair’s “How Many Ways,” that spotlight the engaging voice of frontman Bryce Clifford. Release show Jan. 30 at Blackheart. Here’s the leadoff track, “Lovin’ You (Is Killing Me)”:

Daniel Eyes & the Vibes, “Sweet Dreaming” EP. The quartet’s sound on this four-song set brings to mind ’80s mainstream rock radio as they mine moody, minor-key melodies and dark lyrical themes. Release show Jan. 30 at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Here’s the title track:


FEB. 5: Terri Hendrix, “Love You Strong,” playing Feb. 10 at Guero’s.

FEB. 5: P.T. Banks, “Moonlight Is Sunlight,” release show Feb. 6 at Stubb’s.

FEB. 5, Brother Nothing, “All in My Mind,” release show Feb. 25 at One-2-One Bar.

FEB. 9: Magna Carda, “Cirqlation,” release show Feb. 5 at the Belmont.

FEB. 9: Matthew Logan Vasquez, “Solicitor Returns,” solo album by Delta Spirit frontman.

FEB. 9: Wealthy West, “Long Play,” release show Feb. 12 at Tellers.

FEB. 13: Slowly Grace, self-titled, release show Feb. 13 at Clive Bar.

FEB. 14: Jenifer Jackson, “Cloud Ten,” release show Feb. 14 at Strange Brew.

FEB. 19: Carrie Rodriguez + the Sacred Hearts, “Lola” (Luz/Thirty Tigers), release show Feb. 13 at Texas Union Theater and in-store Feb. 19 at Waterloo Records.

FEB. 26: Willie Nelson, “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” (Legacy), playing March 12 at Rodeo Austin.

FEB. 26: Bill Carter, “Innocent Victims & Evil Companions” (Forty Below), playing Jan. 12 at Saxon Pub.

FEB. 26: 8 Ball Aitken, self-titled, U.S. debut of recently transplanted Australian country-blues performer.

FEB. 26: Black Balsam, “See You Later See You There” (Punctum), release show Feb. 28 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

FEB. 26: Kathryn Legendre, “Don’t Give a Damn” EP, release show Feb. 26 at White Horse.

MARCH 2: “Dreamer: A Tribute to Kent Finlay” (Eight 30), with tracks by James McMurtry, Randy Rogers & Sunny Sweeney, Slaid Cleaves, William Clark Green and more.

MARCH 11: Penny & Sparrow, “Let a Lover Drown You” (Single Lock/Thirty Tigers), playing April 16 at the Parish.

MARCH 25: White Denim, “Stiff” (Downtown), produced by Ethan Johns, playing SXSW (dates TBA).

MARCH 25: Bayonne, “Primitives” (Mom+Pop), re-branded wider release of Roger Sellers album issued last fall.

APRIL 1: Explosions in the Sky, “The Wilderness” (Temporary Residence).

APRIL 8: Hayes Carll, “Lovers and Leavers” (Hwy 87/Thirty Tigers).

APRIL 15: Calliope Musicals, “Time Owes You Nothing.”

APRIL: Michael Fracasso, “Here Come the Savages.”

APRIL: Charlie Faye & the Fayettes, title TBA.

EARLY 2016: A Giant Dog, title TBA (Merge).

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at


Friday’s music picks: Kool & the Gang, Stay Gold anniversary

Kool & the Gang are at ACL Live.
Kool & the Gang are at ACL Live.

Kool & the Gang at ACL Live. When they played the Urban Music Festival two years ago, bassist Robert “Kool” Bell was one of three original members of the Gang who performed. The two vocalists were hired guns who looked like their combined ages might total the 50 years the group’s been cranking out jams. It didn’t matter. Kool & the Gang’s strength is being a relentless, go-for-broke, groove-making machine. They pulled out the big guns of funk, “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging,” slow jams like “Cherish” and timeless party hits like “Ladies Night” to make it a “Celebration” for the ages. Nightowls open. $39.50-$59.50. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. — D.S.S.

Also: Celebrate Stay Gold’s first anniversary with Icing (a Cake cover band, naturally). … Rising Houston rapper Le$ brings his “Steak X Shrimp” tour to Scoot Inn. … New Orleans brass powerhouse New Breed Brass Band fuses a traditional Second Line sound with hip-hop and funk at Antone’s. … Los Angeles roots-rock band the Americans return for a second gig this month before their big moment in the upcoming PBS music program “American Epic,” playing at Lamberts with Elijah Ford. … Violet Crown Records celebrates the release of its first compilation album with a show at Spider House Ballroom featuring the Hickoids and Javier Escovedo. … Top local options include Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King at One-2-One Bar, Lil Cap’n Travis and Dickie Lee Erwin at ABGB, Dale Watson at C-Boy’s and Jess Klein at Strange Brew.

PSA: Watch out for SXSW pay-to-play scams

Sixth Street is crowded with people at SXSW on Friday March 20, 2015.  Jay Janner/American-Statesman
Sixth Street is crowded with people at SXSW on Friday March 20, 2015. Jay Janner/American-Statesman

It’s that time of year again, when promoters put out calls for artists to kick in cash to play their “SXSW” showcase.

This one popped up today:

The promoter clarified:

But that didn’t change the fact that this was the signup sheet.


We asked SXSW representatives about the event and they said they will investigate. They also directed us to this page on SXSW Pay-to-Play scams.

“SXSW never charges our artists to perform at an official showcase; we operate on a strict invitation-only policy. We do not condone these solicitations in any way, and are actively doing everything we can to protect artists from becoming victims of these “pay-to-play” scams.

“Please be wary of anyone who may approach you with an offer which charges you money to perform or audition. If you are approached now through the event, even if it appears to come from a legitimate SXSW representative, please don’t allow yourself to become a victim. SXSW’s application process is closed and SXSW will not ask you to pay-to-play at the festival.”

If you see any SXSW pay-to-play scams, you can report them to and the festival will look into them.

Blue Monday returns to Antone’s next week

January marked the return of Antone’s to Austin’s nightclub scene after a two-year absence. Now it’s time for the revival of the venue’s revered Blue Monday series, which makes its debut on Feb. 1 at the new 305 E. Fifth St. location.

Guitarist Derek O’Brien is in the driver’s seat again, leading an ace band that includes pianist Emily Gimble, harmonica player and singer Greg Izor, bassist Johnny Bradley and drummer Corey Keller. Shows will start at 6:30 p.m. each Monday. On Feb. 1, a late show follows with Speedy Sparks & the Koolerators.

This weekend brings one of the last living Chicago blues greats, Bobby Rush, for a 10 p.m. Saturday show, with local favorite Miss Lavelle White playing early at 6:30 p.m. Other weekend shows on the horizon include Ian Moore on Feb. 5, Jimmie Vaughan on Feb. 12, Little Freddie King Feb. 19-20, Bob Schneider on Feb. 26 and Carolyn Wonderland with Marcia Ball and Shelley King on Feb. 28.

Check out American-Statesman videographer Kelly West’s video feature on the club above, and also our photo gallery here from a Jan. 15 show in which Antone’s co-owner Gary Clark Jr. sat in with O’Brien and other Antone’s mainstays.

Derek O'Brien, foreground, jams with Antone's co-owner Gary Clark Jr. at the club's new location on Jan. 15. O'Brien revives the venue's "Blue Monday" residency next week. Photo by Kyser Lough for American-Statesman
Derek O’Brien, foreground, jams with Antone’s co-owner Gary Clark Jr. at the club’s new location on Jan. 15. O’Brien revives the venue’s “Blue Monday” residency next week. Photo by Kyser Lough for American-Statesman

Questions about city code remain after Austin’s first Music Venue Summit

Courtesy of the Austin Music and Entertainment Office
Courtesy of the Austin Music and Entertainment Office

Last year’s first-of-its-kind Austin Music Census, released in June, identified Austin’s music venues as a key building block to the scene as a whole, but the survey revealed they were struggling. Some of the pressures on venues, factors like rising cost of living, are broad issues affecting the whole city, with no easy answers. But one key concern, “productivity loss from regulatory inefficiency” — in other words, navigating an often- complex city bureaucracy to obtain and maintain upwards of 15 permits a music venue requires to operate — seems within the city’s scope to fix.

To address confusion and put venue owners in the same room with folks from different city departments, Austin’s Music and Entertainment Division hosted its first Venue Summit on Monday. Representatives from the music office, Austin police and fire departments and the Development Services Department attended. The session, held at the Mexican American Cultural Center, was packed. Music office representatives say 90 people attended.

» View the City of Austin PowerPoint presentation from the Austin Music Venue Summit

The meeting was fairly straightforward, with helpful tips related to safety and an update on the music office’s initiative to create an Entertainment License that could help streamline the permit process for venues. But a question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation revealed confusion about city code from business owners.

One area explored in the meeting was the difference between a Certificate of Occupancy issued by Development Services and the Official Occupant Load Card issued by the fire department. Both documents relate to club capacity, and a venue is required to have both to operate. If venue owners makes any changes to their venue’s layout, they are required to submit plans to the city to have the load card recalculated. An answer to a question provided by Captain Stacy Cox with the Austin Fire Department and Jan Adler with Development Services seemed to indicate the standard the city uses to calculate the load card for standing room only clubs had been amended in recent years, but it was unclear.

“From the meeting on Monday, I was unable to tell myself what the changes were or were not quite frankly,” Nikki Rowling, president of Titan Music Group, the company the city contracted to conduct the Music Census, said on Wednesday.

There was also confusion around what exactly constitutes a change to venue layout. Does shifting the position of a sound board or temporarily making the sound booth bigger for a show require evaluation from the fire department? Again, the answers were unclear.

Cox and Adler said any specific questions could be addressed during their departments’ walk in hours. Those hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, somewhat inconvenient for venue owners whose work days frequently end after 2 a.m.

“Our venues describe the City’s permitting system as inefficient, cumbersome, and confusing,” Jennifer Houlihan, director of Austin Music People, a musician’s advocacy group said Wednesday. “61 percent of respondents (to the Austin Music Census) found it extremely or moderately difficult to communicate with the proper officials — or even know who to contact about what.”

Houlihan added she was grateful to the music office for facilitating the summit to open lines of communication. “We have a long way to go, but our chances of success will be  much greater with frequent conversations like these,” she said.

The Austin American-Statesman has reached out to the City of Austin fire and Building Services departments for comment.

Mary Huber contributed to this report.

Past coverage:

Thursday’s music picks: Harvest Thieves, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Harvest Thieves, Wheelwrights at Cactus Cafe. Alt-country band Harvest Thieves made a splash as our inaugural Austin360 Artist of the Month, celebrating the release of its new album “Rival” with early-January events including a live video in our American-Statesman studio. They close out the month with a bang, starting with this Cactus Cafe show that also features the Wheelwrights, led by Seth Grueneberg, a former bandmate of Harvest Thieves members Cory Reinisch and Dustin Meyer in the group Guns of Navarone. The following night, Harvest Thieves joins other acts at the Parish to help kick off local music patron organization Black Fret’s 2016 season. $8. 8:30 p.m. — P.B.

Dale Watson. Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for SiriusXM
Dale Watson opens for Lynyrd Skynyrd at Cedar Park Center. Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Also: Feeling as free as a bird at Cedar Park Center may prove a challenge, but you can catch Lynyrd Skynyrd there with openers Jason Boland & the Stragglers and Austin’s own Dale Watson. … Nashville-by-way-of-Texas songwriter Mando Saenz visits Strange Brew. … Recently transplanted Chicago bluesman Carl Weathersby is at Antone’s. … El Paso’s rootsy Dirty River Boys rock the indoor stage at Stubb’s with Strangetowne. … Highdive plays an album-release show indoors at the Mohawk. … Tuxedo, the electro-funk project from Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop producer Jake One, puts in a DJ set at Parish. … It’s an eclectic night of Austin music with foot-fetish funk from Foot Patrol and Russian folk fusion from the Flying Balalaika Brothers at Hotel Vegas. … Gritty blues-rock and soul trio Mrs. Glass play the Blackheart.

Austin360 Artist of the Month check-in: Harvest Thieves radio, in-store and more

Harvest Thieves at Hole In the Wall on December 3, 2015. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman.
Harvest Thieves at Hole In the Wall on December 3, 2015. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman.

It’s time for one last weekly check-in with our inaugural Austin360 Artist of the Month, Harvest Thieves. The five-piece alt-country band closes January with a blizzard of activity to promote their debut album “Rival.”

Wednesday evening, they’ll play live on the air at 8 p.m. in Studio 1A at KUTX, which coincidentally also selected Harvest Thieves as its January artist of the month. (They’re also featured on the station’s weekly “This Song” podcast with host Elizabeth McQueen, sharing the episode with Leon Bridges.) On Thursday, the group performs an 8:30 p.m. show at Cactus Cafe with guests the Wheelwrights.

Friday, local music patron organization Black Fret holds its members-only 2016 kickoff gala at the Parish, with music from Harvest Thieves as well as Sweet Spirit and Walker Lukens. Saturday, the band helps Bryce Clifford & Brother Superior celebrate their EP’s release at Rainey Street bar the Blackheart. And Sunday, you can pick up a copy of “Rival” at Waterloo Records when the group plays a 5 p.m. free in-store performance.

We’ll announce our February Austin360 Artist of the Month next week. For now, here’s one more look at our Austin360 studio video of Harvest Thieves’s song “The Least of These”: