This week’s music picks: Arcade Fire’s arena show, Radney Foster’s book and music tour

Tuesday: Zola Jesus at North Door. “Okovi,” the latest from Nicole Hummel, the 28-year-old industrial electropop artist known as Zola Jesus, reverberates with an ache of unease. She wrote it while trying to pull herself out of a deep depression, and it unfolds as a breathless tumble through an ominous soundscape, alternately agonizing and cathartically beautiful. John Weise opens. $15. 8 p.m. doors. 502 Brushy St. ndvenue.com. — D.S.S.

Wednesday: Arcade Fire at Erwin Center. The sprawling art-rock outfit from Montreal has a new album, “Everything Now,” the long-anticipated follow-up to 2013’s “Reflektor,” that dropped in July. The band is known for supplementing their stage shows with strong visual elements. On the “Reflektor” tour, giant bobble head figures representing then-president Obama and then-governor Rick Perry roamed the stage, making it likely that we’ll see some sort of reference to the current administration. Last time, the band asked attendees to wear costumes or formal wear and fans complied, giving the show a celebratory feeling of misfit prom. After blowback over a “dress code” requesting “hip and trendy” club wear for their release party in Brooklyn this summer, the band has said you can “wear whatever you want to any show.” Wolf Parade opens. $26-$75. 7:30 p.m. 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.com. — D.S.S.

Thursday: Radney Foster at Stateside at the Paramount. A native of Del Rio, Foster migrated to Nashville and first rose to prominence in the 1980s with the duo Foster & Lloyd before issuing a string of acclaimed solo records. Along the way he became an oft-covered songwriter as well, with the Dixie Chicks among those who took his tunes to greater heights. This show celebrates the release of a dual album and book project, “For You to See the Stars.” $22-$32. 8 p.m. 719 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. (Foster also will be at BookPeople at 7 p.m. Wednesday for a speaking and signing event; 603 N. Lamar Blvd., bookpeople.com.) — P.B.

Thursday: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at the Mohawk. Kuti, the youngest son of the legendary afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti, began performing in his father’s ensemble, Egypt 80, as a child. When his father died, Seun was only 14, but he took the helm. Twenty years later, he still leads the ensemble that includes many of his father’s collaborators. He has evolved his father’s vision of political activism and vibrant reimagination of African music for the modern era. Hard Proof opens. $20. Doors at 7 p.m. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com — D.S.S.

Gov’t Mule plays Thursday at ACL Live. Contributed/Anna Webber

ALSO PLAYING

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Nine great moments at Erwin Center’s Harvey benefit, and one that got away

Jai Malano, left, joins Martie Maguire, Charlie Sexton and Ryan Bingham during the “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” fundraiser at the Erwin Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Charles Reagan Hackleman/C3 Presents

With Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor at the top end of deep lineup for Friday’s “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” show at the Erwin Center, highlights were guaranteed to be plentiful. The headliners delivered, but some of the most memorable moments also came from the undercard. Here’s a look at our favorite things — plus one we’d have loved to see that didn’t transpire:

1. James Taylor with Bonnie Raitt on “You Can Close Your Eyes.” The tune from Taylor’s 1971 album “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon” wasn’t one of Taylor’s biggest charting hits, but it’s one of his most beautiful ballads. Taylor and Raitt toured together this summer, which may have helped them get this duet version into splendid form. No single song from any artist sounded better all night.

2. Ruthie Foster and Martie Maguire joining Raitt on “Angel From Montgomery.” John Prine wrote it, but it’s long been Raitt’s show-stopping moment. The harmonies from local gospel great Foster and Dixie Chicks fiddler Maguire turned the moment into something special, with a vocal blend we might never hear on the song again.

3. Jai Malano singing with Ryan Bingham. No one played a better three-song set after the TV-broadcast portion of the show than Grammy-winning troubadour Bingham, and part of what made it special was the backing crew. In addition to Maguire on fiddle and musical director Charlie Sexton on guitar, Bingham brought out local rising star Malano, who took full advantage of her jump from club gigs to the city’s largest venue to shine brightly as a featured vocalist on two songs. She returned to sing with James Taylor on a cover of Eric Von Schmidt’s “Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm.”

PHOTO GALLERY: “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” concert at Erwin Center

4. Paul Simon & Edie Brickell dueting on “Waltz Across Texas” and “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.” The first song came early and struck the sweet, graceful note that no doubt played well on the TV broadcast. The latter came later and offered a welcome touch of tongue-in-cheek levity from the couple who have raised three children together.

5. Ha*Ash. If many in the Erwin Center audience were not previously familiar with this sister duo from Mexico City, they are now. Hanna and Ashley Mosa sang two songs in Spanish and one in English, expressing their gratefulness to help Texas hurricane victims even as they’d “lived the earthquake” in their hometown earlier this week. On Twitter, our short clip from their set garnered 10 times as many likes and retweets as anything else we posted. Given the noted lack of Latin acts in this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup, it sure seems like Ha*Ash should’ve been a no-brainer to include.

6. James Taylor doing “Sweet Baby James” with Asleep at the Wheel. That signature tune is going to be a crowd-pleaser whenever and however Taylor plays it, but it baby James was especially sweet with Ray Benson and his band backing him up, particularly Eddie Rivers’ pedal steel accents.

7. Bonnie Raitt talking about playing with Jimmie Vaughan and visiting the White Horse. Eager to launch into the R&B classic “The Pleasure’s All Mine” with the Austin blues-rock guitar great, Raitt nodded Vaughan’s direction and exclaimed, “I’m so ready to play guitar with you I can barely STAND IT!” A little later, she waxed rhapsodic about an east side honky-tonk on Thursday: “I went down to the White Horse last night and saw a bunch of people form different generations dancing together. Man, I gotta move here!”

8. Bonnie joining Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats for “Delta Lady.” The Colorado band hopped out of the box blazing with their 2015 breakthrough hit “S.O.B.,” luring Ryan Bingham out to dance a wicked jig up front with Rateliff. But it was Raitt’s cameo on the late Leon Russell’s “Delta Lady” that marked the musical peak of their high-energy set.

9. Willie Nelson’s ad-hoc backing band on his show-closing set. All night long, music director Charlie Sexton had ushered in a variety of creative backing-band permutations to fit each performer’s needs. Nelson’s iteration was all kinds of cool: Asleep at the Wheel, with whom he’s recorded albums before, made sense as the foundation, but bassist Kevin Smith and harmonica ace Mickey Raphael from Willie’s own band were welcome ringers, and then there was Sexton in the mix too. The only thing better was when the entire cast joined in for the “I’ll Fly Away”/”Will the Circle Be Unbroken” grand finale.

….and one that got away:

1. No Willie Nelson/Paul Simon duet. Given that they’ve done this before on special occasions — YouTube turns up resplendent renditions of them playing Simon’s “American Tune” and “Homeward Bound” together — it was a shame not to hear the two towering living-legends on the bill team up. There must have been a reason, but we would’ve loved to hear them play a song together. Heck, maybe they should do a whole record together.

The concert benefited Rebuild Texas, a Hurricane Harvey relief fund. Contributions can be made at RebuildTX.org.

 

Harvey can’t mess with Willie and all his friends at Texas-sized relief concert

Willie Nelson at “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” fundraiser at the Erwin Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Charles Reagan Hackleman/C3 Presents

At the start and end, Friday’s “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” concert for hurricane relief at the Erwin Center was much like all great Willie Nelson shows. It began, as Willie always does, with “Whiskey River,” before closing with an “I’ll Fly Away”/”Will the Circle Be Unbroken” finale. In between, though, Austin got to see a concert the likes of which has never been thrown here.

READ MORE: Nine great moments at Harvey benefit, and one that got away

There was Willie singing “Funny How Times Slips Away” with Leon Bridges, and “Texas Flood” with Bonnie Raitt and Jimmie Vaughan. Then Bonnie sang with James Taylor. Then Taylor fronted Asleep at the Wheel. Then Asleep at the Wheel backed Paul Simon and Edie Brickell singing “Waltz Across Texas.” Then the Dixie Chicks’ Martie Maguire and gospel sensation Ruthie Foster joined Raitt for “Angel From Montgomery.” And on and on and on. It was that kind of night, for more than four hours.

Bonnie Raitt with Martie Maguire, left, and Ruthie Foster at “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” fundraiser at the Erwin Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Charles Reagan Hackleman/C3 Presents

All of the musical magic that happened was for the benefit of Rebuild Texas, a hurricane relief effort created by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in collaboration with the OneStar Foundation. According to the RebuildTX.org website, the fund “will support community partners in four focus areas — health and housing; schools and child care; workforce and transportation; and capital for rebuilding small businesses.”

READ MORE: Dells launch $100 million Rebuild Texas campaign in response to Harvey

Celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, Luke Wilson, Vince Young, Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker, as well as officials such as Austin mayor Steve Adler and Houston police chief Art Acevedo, appeared between performers to beat the drum for the Rebuild Texas cause. Show host Andy Langer announced that even before a telethon-style hour of the concert aired on TV and YouTube at 9 p.m., the event already had raised $1.6 million for the fund.

Ha*Ash performs at “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” fundraiser at the Erwin Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Charles Reagan Hackleman/C3 Presents

The first hour or so was like a “greatest hits” lead-in. Many key moments happened between 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., specifically so they could be included on the video portion that was quickly edited and prepared for the broadcast. Those watching at home got to hear the Nelson collaborations, Taylor and Raitt singing “You Can Close Your Eyes” together, Lyle Lovett’s “Simple Song,” Simon’s “America” and more, including a surprisingly strong cameo from Ha*Ash, the Mexican pop duo of sisters Hanna and Ashley Mosa.

WATCH: Highlights from “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” concert

After a short break, most of the big-name performers played another three songs each, before Nelson returned for a seven-song mini-set to close things out just past 11:30 p.m. A standout addition to the post-television segment was Ryan Bingham, who shone brightly with a backing cast that included the Dixie Chicks’ Martie Maguire on fiddle and vocals plus local singer Jai Malano.

[cmg_anvato video=”4161545″]

Others in the second-half mix included Colorado’s high-energy soul-rockers Nathaniel Rateliff & Night Sweats, who drew both Bingham and Raitt out to jam with them; and Tejano legends Little Joe y La Familia, a very late add to the bill and a longtime personal favorite of Nelson. (As performers departed at the show’s end, the jumbotron showed Nelson and Little Joe Hernandez warmly embracing.)

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians perform at “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” fundraiser at the Erwin Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Charles Reagan Hackleman/C3 Presents

Brickell also returned for two songs with her longtime band New Bohemians, before rejoining Simon for joyously humorous cover of the 1970s Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn hit “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.” Brickell also did the honors for one of the evening’s most important acknowledgments: “Did anybody introduce Charlie Sexton?”

READ MORE: In appreciation of Charlie Sexton, Americana Awards winner and Austin MVP

The Austin guitarist, a two-decade veteran of Bob Dylan’s band, was the night’s musical director, leading a support crew that wove together variations of Asleep at the Wheel with ace local musicians such as drummer Ramy Antoun and keyboardist Michael Ramos. As host Langer noted near the end of the night, “you largely have Charlie Sexton to thank” for the star-studded lineup and collaborations that made “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” an unforgettable special event.

PHOTO GALLERY: “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” concert at Erwin Center

All-star finale at “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” fundraiser at the Erwin Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Charles Reagan Hackleman/C3 Presents

More tickets released for Hurricane Harvey benefit show; Plus how to watch without a ticket

[cmg_anvato video=”4171334″]

The Erwin Center is set to host a massive benefit concert featuring Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Leon Bridges, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett and more on Friday night. The first round of tickets swiftly sold out, but on Thursday, organizers quietly released a limited number of tickets. (At 10 a.m. on Friday, we were able to pull up a pair of $199 seats available for purchase.)

Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt embrace after performing together as part of Raitt’s induction into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in October. RODOLFO GONZALEZ/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Even if you’re not able to snag a ticket, the good news is you can watch an hour-long special (with no commercial interruptions) featuring highlights from the concert from the comfort of your own home. The special will air at 9 p.m. (C.S.T.) Friday on Austin station KVUE.  It will simultaneously stream on YouTube.com/TexasStrong, 93.3. KGSR and KVET-FM in Austin.

RELATED: Willie Nelson is no stranger to benefit concerts

If you want to get closer to the action, party rocker DJ Mel will be spinning tunes at the Terrace Preshow Tent located outdoors between B and C doors on the northwest plaza of the building. The tent opens at 3 p.m. and Mel will spin from 4 to 6 p.m. The tent show is free and open to the public and beverages will be available for purchase. Sodexo will be donating all net proceeds from food and beverages purchased at the Frank Erwin Center, including at the Terrace Preshow Tent to the Rebuild Texas Foundation.

If you’re going to the show, local radio personality Andy Langer, who was involved in putting the show together, used his Facebook feed to urge concert-goers to be in their seats by the 7 p.m. start time. “We’re taping two hours ahead and while it’s a 3+-hour show overall, you’ll miss some of the biggest stuff if you’re not there right on time,” he wrote.

Peter Blackstock will be covering the show for Austin360 tonight, and you can follow his reports on Twitter and Instagram as well as on the main Austin360 accounts.

Proceeds from the show will benefit Rebuild Texas Fund, created by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in collaboration with the OneStar Foundation. Google will match the first $500,000 of donations through a pledge challenge. Viewers can donate to the Rebuild Texas Fund in multiple ways:

  • TELEPHONE:  Call 1-833-2-HELPTX. Volunteers from Google’s Austin office and TEGNA employees will staff the phone banks at select station locations across the state and at TEGNA’s headquarters in Virginia.
  • TEXT: Text RebuildTX to 91999.
  • ONLINE:  Visit www.RebuildTX.org.
  • BY MAIL: Please make checks payable to the OneStar Foundation and mail to the following address, with “Rebuild Texas Fund” on the check: OneStar Foundation, 9011 Mountain Ridge Drive, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78759
  • OTHER:  Questions related to donating via wire transfer, donations of stock, or any other donation methods can be made to the OneStar Foundation at RebuildTX@onestarfoundation.org.

 

 

Does the Beyoncé, Jay-Z Harvey benefit make a Queen Bey cameo at ACL more likely?

At last week’s Hand in Hand benefit telethon for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the world’s most famous Houstonian, Beyoncé, made an impassioned plea for her hometown in a recorded video message.

We knew this wasn’t all she had in the works. Earlier in the month, the pop superstar promised to help ‘as many as we can’ in her hometown.

Now, her plans are beginning to take shape. Today, team Bey announced a special benefit concert featuring Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z. set to go down Oct. 17 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Other artists from Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label are also expected to perform. (There’s no word yet on ticket sales.)

Beyonce and Jay Z attend Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Of note to Austin City Limits-goers, the benefit performance will take place four days after Jay-Z hits the stage to headline the first night of weekend two of the city’s namesake festival. Jay-Z’s set is scheduled to take place immediately after Beyoncé’s sister Solange performs.

Since the bookings were announced, there’s been rampant speculation about whether or not Beyoncé would make an appearance at ACL Fest. Queen Bey has not played Austin since the early aughts, when Destiny’s Child played the Star of Texas Rodeo (then called Rodeo Austin). We at Team 360 have been conservative on the ‘Yoncé/ACL odds. She did, after all, just give birth to twins four months ago, and sure, Beyoncé is no ordinary human being, but she’s a rigorous perfectionist who wouldn’t hit a stage unless she felt 300% ready.

There’s also the matter of that Coachella headline set she canceled earlier this year.  There’s a good chance, she’s contractually obligated not to make a fest appearance until her makeup date in 2018.

But now we know she is actually in rehearsals for a charity performance with her husband. And sure, there’s no way the NYC show won’t sell out, but a quick cameo at ACL could be cast as a benefit promo which might blur the lines of any prior contracts.

In short, we still aren’t bullish on the odds of a Beyoncé pop-in at ACL Fest, but in the past couple hours our Bey-watch meter has moved from “not gonna happen” to “not out of the question.”

Austin360 On The Record: Jimmie Vaughan, Midland, Balmorhea and more

OUT THIS WEEK

Jimmie Vaughan Trio featuring Mike Flanigin, “Live at C-Boy’s” (Proper). In a funny twist, this group that plays live shows with B-3 organ master Flanigin’s name billed first does a switcheroo on the disc that documents their frequent exploits at the cool South Congress bar. It makes sense: While they try to fly under-the-radar with blues-guitar legend Vaughan playing rooms much smaller than the clubs he plays on tour, they’re more likely to move units in the record racks with Vaughan’s name out front. And although he’s not billed up-front, a major bonus here is the appearance of masterful drummer Barry “Frosty” Smith, in one of his last recordings before his death last month. When the band plays Sept. 22-23 at C-Boy’s, they’ll be in good hands with longtime Austin blues veteran George Rains behind the drums. — Peter Blackstock

Here’s some fan video of a 2015 gig at C-Boy’s:

Midland, “On the Rocks” (Big Machine). The “What is authentic country music these days, anyway?” argument has been around for decades, probably since the Bristol Sessions of 1927 found its first detractors. Throwing a wrench into this argument is Midland, a Dripping Springs trio signed by Big Machine that consists of a former soap opera actor/Calvin Klein underwear model (lead singer Mark Wystrach), an award-winning Bruno Mars music video director (bassist Cameron Duddy) and a guitarist from Oregon (Jess Carson). That (and their tale of forming a band in Jackson Hole) doesn’t scream what some folks might call “authentic” country, but Midland’s music speaks for itself. “On the Rocks,” the trio’s first full LP, consists of 13 tracks, five of which came from their debut EP. Each song so far has been a revivalist’s dream, with real and steel guitars, echoes of Dwight Yoakam, Eagles-esque three-part harmonies and good old fashioned drinking songs. Speaking of, lead single “Drinkin’ Problem” has already been certified Gold. At this point, the stuff sounds so good that those wishing country music would sound more like it did in the 70s and 80s might be willing to overlook the band’s prepackaged Big Machine narrative. And if Big Machine spotted the trend turning toward traditional and ran with it, it couldn’t sound better than this. Playing Oct. 15 at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. — Jake Harris

Here’s the video for latest single “Make A Little”:

READ MORE: Meet Midland, a Dripping Springs trio that released one of 2016’s best EPs

Balmorhea, “Clear Language” (Western Vinyl). From 2007 to 2012, these Austin instrumentalists were prolific, releasing five full-length albums. “Clear Language” marks their return to recording after a five-year absence. Last documented as a sextet on 2012’s “Stranger,” the official lineup is now pared down to just founders Rob Lowe and Michael Muller. The music reflects some scaling-back as well; minimalist atmospherics are more prominent than the lush string sections that were out front on some of the band’s previous work. Balmorhea’s identity remains intact, though: Lowe and Muller continue to focus on mesmerizing soundscapes, creating music that’s sometimes radiant, sometimes haunting, but always worth hearing. Release shows Sept. 21-22 at Stateside at the Paramount, in-store Sept. 24 at Waterloo Records. — P.B.

Here’s the title track:

Midnight Stroll, “Western Static.” Following up a 2014 debut released under the name Aaron Behrens & the Midnight Stroll, the former Ghostland Observatory singer has removed his name from top billing, which emphasizes the increasingly collaborative nature of his partnership with multi-instrumentalist Jonas Wilson. Behrens’ distinctive wail soars over often dense arrangements that blend cutting guitar pyrotechnics with electronica-influenced soundscapes. Playing Nov. 12 at Sound on Sound Fest. — P.B.

Here’s the track “Good People”:

Walker Lukens, “Tell It to the Judge” (Modern Outsider). Though it’s a full-length release, not much is new here: Eight of these 11 tracks appeared on Lukens’ EPs “Never Understood” and “Ain’t Got a Reason,” released in October 2016 and April 2017, respectively. Of the three new tracks, “Love & Attention” is the most intriguing, a slow, soulful ballad juxtaposed against almost industrial percussion accents. In-store Sept. 22 at Waterloo Records. — P.B.

Here’s the video for the new track “Don’t Wanna Be Lonely (Don’t Wanna Leave You Alone)”:

Wild Bill Ogden, “Fighting for the Title.” Known for fronting rootsy outfit Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, Ogden steps out with an ambitious solo effort that he calls a “short rock opera.” Produced with Kris Wade, it’s a shift of gears for Ogden, who digs into rock, funk and hip-hop styles on a wildly eclectic eight-song set of tunes based on the tale of a boxer’s comeback from being a “Beaten Man” to “Fighting for the Title.” Release show Sept. 22 at ABGB. — P.B.

Here’s the video for the title track, one of three videos in a trilogy series:

COMING SOON

  • SEPT. 29: Jackie Venson, “Transcends” EP, release show Nov. 5 at Antone’s.
  • OCT. 6: Bill Carter, self-titled, pre-release show Sept. 27 at Antone’s.
  • OCT. 6: Whitney Rose, “Rule 62” (Six Shooter).
  • OCT. 20: Willie, Lukas & Micah Nelson, “Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 2” (Legacy). Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real play Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 at ACL Fest, and Oct. 11 at Antone’s.
  • OCT. 20: Porter & the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes, “Don’t Go Baby, It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You” (Cornelius Chapel), release show Oct. 21 at Stay Gold.
  • OCT. 20: Tommy Howard, “Storybook” (Destiny), release show Oct. 22 at Elephant Room.
  • NOV. 1: Brian Pounds, “Southern Writer,” release show Nov. 16 at Cactus Cafe.
  • NOV. 17: Reveleros, self-titled, release show Nov. 17 at Good Shepherd on the Hill.

Shakey Graves to play free Hurricane Harvey benefit show in October

One of Austin’s top singer-songwriters, Alejandro Rose-Garcia, better known as Shakey Graves, has teamed with the folks at Live Oak Brewing and Tito’s Vodka to present a special benefit for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The show is set to go down on Monday, Oct. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Shakey Graves performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Saturday October 10, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

General admission tickets to the show are free, but the club is selling a limited number of VIP passes for $175. The VIP passes include front row access and food and beverages from the restaurant for the duration of the event. Proceeds from the VIP passes will go to Greater Houston Community Foundation relief efforts. All sales of Live Oak beer or any cocktail that contains Tito’s vodka will also be donated.

In addition the club will host a silent auction with prizes that include two guitars signed by Shakey Graves.

To purchase VIP tickets, visit http://torchly.io/harveybenefit. For more information, call 512-476-4755 or visit www.geraldinesaustin.com.

 

George Strait to tour hurricane damage in Rockport with Gov. Greg Abbott

George Strait will tour Hurricane Harvey damage in Rockport with Texas governor Greg Abbott on Thursday. Laura Skelding/American-Statesman 2014

Country music great George Strait, who headlined a major Hurricane Harvey relief benefit concert in San Antonio last week, will join Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday to tour hurricane damage in Rockport.

Corpus Christi newspaper the Caller-Times reported that Abbott and Strait “also are expected to meet with local officials to outline plans for recovery and funding.”

[cmg_anvato video=”4171334″]

Earlier this year, Strait was named the official 2017 Texas State Musician by the Texas Commission on the Arts. His last full concert in Austin was in January 2014 at the Erwin Center on his farewell tour. He made a surprise appearance in 2016 at Ray Benson’s 65th birthday party during South by Southwest.

RELATED: Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, more to play Harvey benefit at Erwin Center

 

Sound on Sound Fest hosts student ticket sale party

Hear ye, young lads and lassies, Sound on Sound Fest, the medieval-themed indie music bash set to go down Nov. 10-12 at Sherwood Forest Faire kicks off a student ticket sale on Thursday at 10 a.m.

TINA PHAN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN. 11/4/16. James Alex of Beach Slang performs on the Keep Stage during Sound On Sound Fest at Sherwood Forest in McDade, Texas, on November 4, 2016.

Student passes are available to anyone currently enrolled in school of any type and ticket-purchasers will have to present a valid photo ID that matches the buyer’s name for each pass purchased.

Fest organizers will also be hosting a student ticket sale party at Space 24 Twenty on Guadalupe St. from 6 to 9 p.m. At the party, fest-goers will be able to purchase tickets at the discounted price of $149 with no taxes and fees.

SOS Fest 2017 is headlined by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Iggy Pop, Pusha T, the Shins and Blood Orange.

RELATED: Day-by-day Sound on Sound lineups

In addition to the music, the festival will feature old world attractions including live jousting from the Knights of Mayhem.

Austin goes overseas: three outreach efforts featuring local musicians

[cmg_anvato video=”4176153″]

 

Spain, France, Germany and Australia: The month of September has found a handful of Austin artists looking well beyond national borders toward musical opportunities to represent the city’s music community in other countries.

Pueblos Blancos

First up was the Pueblos Blancos Music Festival, which featured a handful of Austin acts including Joe King Carrasco, Riders Against the Storm, Nakia and Leeann Atherton playing free shows in four southern Spain mountaintop villages from Sept. 7-10.

Joe King Carrasco y los Side FX on the opening night of the Pueblos Blancos Music Festival in Montejaque, Spain. Contributed/Pueblos Blancos Music Festival

The Austin connection comes from Phil Plata, a drummer known for his work with 1980s-’90s Austin pop band the WayOuts. A few years ago, he recorded with a Madrid guitarist who invited Plata to come play with him in Spain. Plata fell in love with the Pueblos Blancos region and suggested starting a festival there.

“I wrote up a proposal, my friends took it to the mayors of the villages, and much to my surprise the local governments liked the idea and wanted to move forward with it,” Plata said. “When I first envisioned it, I thought we would be playing in little clubs, but my amigos here were able to get the local villages to give us these amazingly beautiful stages that I still can’t believe.”

This year’s event followed its debut in 2016, with plans for another festival next year. “The goals of the festival are to introduce Texas bands to Spain and the European market, develop a fan base there and meet European music industry connections for future tours,” Plata says.

Project ATX6

This week, the latest class of Project ATX6 musicians is in Europe to play a couple of special events. Austin artists Corey Baum, Sisi Berry, Little Mazarn, Mobley, Acey Monaro and Taylor Wilkins will perform Wednesday at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany, before heading to France for a couple of events as part of the Austin Week celebration in Angers, one of Austin’s sister cities.

This year’s Project ATX6 musicians are, from left, Taylor Wilkins, Acey Monaro, Mobley, Little Mazarn, Sisi Berry and Corey Baum. Contributed/Letitia Smith

The European events are just the beginning of a busy fall for the four-year-old Project ATX6, which features a different half-dozen Austin musicians every year. In October they’ll travel to the Yumeiro Music Festival in Oita, Japan, followed by a November trip to Toronto for Indie Week. A season-concluding hometown concert is set for Nov. 29 at Stateside at the Paramount.

House of Songs

Tuesday evening at the House of Songs in South Austin, Austin acts Graham Wilkinson, Akina Adderley and Dawn & Hawkes gathered for a screening of “Albert E. Brumley: Songwriter of the Ozarks,” which documents last year’s project that brought songwriters from Australia to the House of Songs. Together, the two camps wrote new songs working with recently unearthed lyrics by Brumley, the 20th-century legend responsible for such classics as “I’ll Fly Away” and “Turn Your Radio On.”

READ MORE: House of Songs reaches toward new horizons

The musicians also played a short acoustic set (see video above) for the small gathering of attendees that included Austin mayor Steve Adler and his wife, Diane Land. The event was held in part to raise funds for the four musicians to attend a documentary screening at a festival in Adelaide, Austin’s Australian sister city, next month.

The city of Adelaide is covering the cost of three musicians. House of Songs is seeking donations to allow all four to attend. Local music patron group Black Fret is accepting donations to the cause via the Black Fret website (with instructions to earmark PayPal contributions with the special instructions “for Adelaide”).

A short film documents the collaboration between Austin and Australian songwriters on recently found lyrics of legendary Arkansas songwriter Albert E. Brumley. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman