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
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.]

Weekend music picks: Majid Jordan, Jose Gonzalez, Jay Farrar, Posies

Friday: Majid Jordan at Emo’s. Jordan Ullman and Majid Al Maskati’s dreamy R&B duo is one of the most promising of the many Drake-ish acts from the Toronto rap kingpin’s October’s Very Own label. The group is best known for co-producing and performing on Drizzy’s hit “Hold On, We’re Going On,” and the track’s anthemic vibe echoes through their own soulful pop releases, including last year’s very solid album “The Space Between.” Stwo opens. $29-$31. 8 p.m. doors. 2015 E. Riverside Drive. — D.S.S.

Saturday: Jose Gonzalez at Long Center. When Gonzalez, a Swedish singer-songwriter and classical guitarist of Argentinian descent, played the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2015, he won over the crowd with quietly beautiful sounds in the midst of outdoor-fest cacophony. The Long Center is a more natural venue for appreciating his art. Opening the show is Bedouine, the artistic moniker of Azniv Korkejian, who strikes a similar chord with the adventurous folk tunes on her acclaimed 2017 debut album. $29-$69. 8 p.m. 701 W. Riverside Drive. — P.B.

Saturday: Jay Farrar Duo at 3Ten. One of 2017’s best touring shows was a sold-out Scoot Inn performance by Son Volt, the band Farrar has fronted since leaving alt-country trailblazers Uncle Tupelo in the mid-1990s. Farrar returns with multi-instrumentalist Gary Hunt for a more acoustic affair that will cover material from the whole of his career, from Tupelo and Son Volt staples to songs from his solo records and the “New Multitudes” album of Woody Guthrie lyrics set to music. $22-$25. 8:30 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. — P.B.

Saturday: Lisa Morales record release at One-2-One Bar. Morales, our Austin360 Artist of the Month for February, brought in some of Austin’s best musicians to help make her second solo album, including Charlie Sexton, Adrian Quesada, David Garza and Michael Ramos, who produced. Unlike her 2012 solo debut “Beautiful Mistake,” which featured songs all in English, Morales returns here to the bilingual approach that has long served her family duo Sisters Morales well. We’ll have more on Morales in Friday’s American-Statesman and on In the meantime, catch her Austin360 Facebook Live session at noon Thursday; it will remain viewable after the live broadcast as well. $10. 7 p.m. 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. — P.B.

Sunday: Posies at Cactus Cafe. When they rose up as teen wonders in late-1980s Seattle, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow were like the grunge antidote. Although they could rock out with plenty of energy onstage, their music was deeply rooted in classic pop, and it stressed the natural beauty of their vocal harmonies. As such, this acoustic show provides a fine chance to hear their music in its purest element. Over the years, the two became key members of the reconstituted Big Star, and Stringfellow toured as an R.E.M. sideman for years. But they’ve always returned to the Posies on occasion, and a recent series of reissues by Omnivore Recordings had given new life to the great records they made in their younger days. $25. 8 p.m. 2247 Guadalupe St. — P.B.

Tex-Mex keyboard great Augie Meyers plays Cactus Cafe on Saturday. Kevin Virobik-Adams for American-Statesman 1998



  • Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s
  • Tomar & the FCs, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club


  • Borns, Charlotte Cardin, Mikky Ekko at Stubb’s outdoor (sold out)
  • Ruben Ramos, Sunny Ozuna at OK Corral
  • Poco at One World Theatre
  • Anti-Flag, Stray From the Path, Sharptooth, White Noise at Mohawk outdoor
  • Y&T at 3Ten
  • Gary Nicholson, Lee Roy Parnell, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub
  • Kris Delmhorst, Matt the Electrician at Cactus Cafe
  • Mystic Knights of the Sea, Lou Ann Barton, Lindsay Beaver & the 24th Street Wailers at Antone’s
  • RG Lowe, Caroline Says, Taft, Batty Jr. at Sahara Lounge
  • Will Taylor & Strings Attached perform Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” at Townsend
  • MAPS benefit with Megafauna, Clouds are Ghosts, Human Circuit, more at Barracuda
  • Softest Hard at Parish
  • Duncan Fellows at Stubb’s indoor
  • Christy Hays at ABGB
  • Tara Williamson at Geraldine’s
  • Jabo & the Old Dogs at Lamberts



Get Margo Price’s take on the gender pay gap, and more from Waterloo in-store

Margo Price with bandmates at Waterloo Records on Monday, January 29, 2018. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

Hundreds of Austinites turned out at Waterloo Records Monday afternoon for a late-added in-store by Margo Price, the Nashville singer who has been one of the most auspicious new voices to arise in country music in recent years.

Price is in town for a Tuesday night concert at Emo’s (7 p.m. doors, Paul Cauthen opens, $25). Last week, Waterloo announced she’d be arriving a day early for an in-store appearance. A sizable crowd had amassed by 5 p.m. Price hit the stage at 5:30 p.m., delivering a terrific acoustic set with three bandmates of about a half-dozen songs, most of them from her 2017 album “All American Made.”

Price is one of those “overnight sensations many years in the making” success stories fairly common in the music business. She seemed to come out of nowhere with her 2016 solo debut “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter,” which got her on “Saturday Night Live,” but in fact she’d been performing and recording for the better part of two decades. Her previous band, Buffalo Clover, played North Austin dive Carousel Lounge in 2008.

Since “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” came out, she’s been a frequent visitor to Austin. After playing the prestigious NPR showcase at Stubb’s during South by Southwest in 2016, followed by a taping of “Austin City Limits” and two weekends of ACL Fest performances in October of that year. After an interview with us in which she’d expressed a fondness for Austin legend Doug Sahm, our American-Statesman video crew hooked her up that week with Shawn Sahm, Doug’s son, and captured the duo singing Sahm’s “I Wanna Be Your Mama Again” atop Doug Sahm Hill in front of Palmer Events Center.

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She also played Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic in 2016, sparking a friendship with Nelson that continued when she played his Luck Reunion gathering during SXSW 2017. She returned to Willie’s Picnic this past July, and when “All American Made” came out in October, it included “Learning to Lose,” a duet with Nelson.

On Monday at Waterloo, she stressed songs from that album, detouring only for a new number she asked the crowd kindly not to record with their mobile phones “because I might mess it up.” She didn’t, but the audience appeared to politely heed her wishes. Closing with “Pay Gap,” a song from the new album that addresses inequal pay between men and women, Price noted that she doesn’t have anything against men in general — “I married one!” — but that she appreciates men “who treat women with respect.”

“All American Made” was released a few weeks past the deadline for 2017 Grammys consideration, but the record might well be nominated in a couple of categories next year. In the meantime, in fared very well in the just-announced 18th annual Nashville Scene Country Music Critics’ Poll, finishing second behind only Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s “The Nashville Sound.” “Pay Gap” was voted the No. 21 country single of 2017, and Price also landed near the top in the Female Vocalist, Live Act and Songwriter categories. Only Isbell and Stapleton placed above her for Artist of the Year.

Margo Price taping “Austin City Limits” on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. Courtesy of KLRU-TV/Austin City Limits. Photo by Scott Newton

[Note: This blog has been updated to reflect that the in-store was officially scheduled for 5:30 p.m. rather than 5 p.m.]

Like it loud? Primus and Mastodon coming to Austin in May

Touring in support of their latest album “The Desaturating Seven,” Les Claypool’s band of funk metal hooligans hit the Austin360 Amphitheater on Friday, May 11. Along for the ride are Mastodon, who picked up a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song “Sultan’s Curse” on Sunday.

Tickets to the show run $39.50-$69.50 and go on sale Friday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. More info.

This week’s music picks: Margo Price, Charles Lloyd, They Might Be Giants

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Tuesday: Margo Price at Emo’s. (Late addition: Price also has added a 5 p.m. Monday free in-store performance at Waterloo Records.) Perhaps the best thing about Nashville’s full-press counter to the mid-2010s regrettable bro-country wave is the gender balance: Alongside the rise of Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton has been impressive work from Margo Price, Kacey Musgraves and Nikki Lane. Price may well be the best of all: Her 2016 album “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” on Jack White’s Third Man Records was a heralded debut that got her on “Saturday Night Live,” and last year’s “All American Made” attracted Willie Nelson as a duet partner on the track “Learning to Lose.” Paul Cauthen, formerly of Austin band Sons of Fathers, opens. $22-$25. 7 p.m. doors. 2015 E. Riverside Drive.

Thursday: Charles Lloyd & the Marvels at One World Theatre. A legitimate living legend of jazz, saxophonist Lloyd was raised in Memphis and as a teenager sat in with the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Bobby “Blue” Bland. Studying music at USC in Los Angeles in the late 1950s, he found himself in jazz clubs by night playing alongside greats such as Ornette Coleman and Charlie Haden. In the 1960s he rose into prominence on his own, with influential major-label albums that led to recordings and tours with the Beach Boys and others in the 1970s. More recently he made a remarkable album with the Marvels, which features his longtime rhythm section of Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums) plus two major-league ringers: Bill Frisell on guitar and Greg Leisz on steel guitar. They’ll be with him for this tour stop, which might well be the Austin jazz show of the year. (Check out that album’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” above, with guest singer Lucinda Williams.) $25-$98. 7 p.m. 7701 Bee Caves Road.

Thursday: They Might Be Giants at Stubb’s outdoor. They Might Be Giants like fun. This is why they titled their new album “I Like Fun.” Do you like fun, too? Then perhaps you should go see They Might Be Giants. Their shows are fun. John Flansburgh sings and plays guitar; John Linnell sings and plays accordion, keys and sax. They might even be more fun than the band Fun. They’ve been that way since the 1980s, when everyone flipped out over that cool video they had for their song “Ana Ng.” Just because they’re old fogeys now doesn’t mean they aren’t still fun. $25-$27. 8 p.m. doors. 801 Red River St.

Touring artist Shawn Amos plays freedom songs of the civil rights movement and more on Monday at One-2-One Bar. Contributed/Beth Herzshaft



  • Apostles of Manchaca, Shawn Amos at One-2-One Bar
  • Jonathan Terrell & Josh T. Pearson, Steel Monday with Rose Sinclair at Sam’s Town Point
  • Johnny Bergin & Quique Gomez, Lonelyland, Brian Pounds at Saxon Pub
  • Propaganda, Joseph Solomon at Stubb’s indoor
  • Marlars, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club
  • Bill Carter at Hilton Cannon & Belle
  • Chris Gage at Donn’s Depot
  • Beth/James at Geraldine’s
  • Open mic with Kacy Crowley at Cactus Cafe




  • Walk the Moon, Company of Thieves at ACL Live
  • A Giant Dog, Fools record release, Xetas at Beerland
  • Jonathan Terrell at Desert Door Distillery
  • Thomas Csorba, Brody Price, Rooney Pitchford at Cactus Cafe
  • Ceschi Ramos, Factor Chandelier at Sidewinder
  • Soul Man Sam, Teddy & the Talltops at Antone’s
  • Bonnie Whitmore, Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few at Continental Gallery
  • Dale Watson & His Lonestars at Highball
  • Jimmie Dreams, Koolerators at Sam’s Town Point
  • Dave Scher, Patrice Pike, Love & Chaos at Saxon Pub
  • Star Parks, Meanswell, Red on Yellow, Rusty Dusty at Barracuda
  • Booher, Skyline, North by North, Teenage Cavegirl at Hotel Vegas
  • Speedy Sparks & the Koolerators, Michael Hale Trio at Lamberts
  • Jason Robert Blum & guests at Townsend

Inside the temple of ‘Booty Sweat’: Body Rock ATX turns 8

“Partying is the bastard child of ceremony,” Ghislaine Jean, aka Qi Dada from Riders Against the Storm told us five years ago.

“When people go to party, they drink and they do all these different things because they’re trying to have an out-of-body experience; they’re trying to lose themselves,” she said.

Contributed/Robert Hein

Back then, Body Rock ATX was only a few years old. The monthly hip-hop dance party hosted by Jean, her husband, Jonathan Mahone aka Chaka, and Eddie Campos aka DJ Chorizo Funk had Dionysian aspirations, but it hadn’t fully blossomed into the ecstatic monthly happening that turns 8 on Feb. 2.

A-LIST PHOTOS: Body Rock ATX Tribute to Prince

As the years progressed and Chaka and Qi honed their skills, they elevated the ceremonial vibe. It became a guiding vision that distinguishes the party from other events. “Most people go to some awesome dance parties in town to dance and have a good time,” she said in late January. “Body Rock is different. People come to get free. People come to be safe. They come to commune and share a hidden part of themselves they aren’t sure will be accepted elsewhere.”

The group celebrates their anniversary at Empire with a blowout bash featuring DJ NuMark from Jurassic 5. In honor of the occasion, here are eight things you should know about Body Rock ATX.

1. Everyone is welcome.

Jonathan Mahone: No other party is more diverse. We attract the hood, hipsters, hippies, and gypsies – elders in their 70s, and cats just out of college, figuring their lives out. Professionals and partiers. Everyone feels safe and included to the point where parents even bring their children (teens and under) so they can experience what a real party feels like. Not a club. A party! We’ve seen mamas with babies in their arms dancing on the dance floor, giving everything they have. That is inspiring.

Robert Hein/For American-Statesman

2. You might end up on stage.

Eddie Campos: We try to always create circles of dance on stage where people can be highlighted and showcased, expressing their movement for all to celebrate and support. We have impromptu double Dutch sessions with an imaginary jump rope, soul train lines and limbo.

3. And nobody will be mad if you can’t really dance.

Campos: You don’t have to be the best dancer … but you have to give it all you got and let go of your inhibitions. It’s very clear to the crowd when someone is, and it’s inspiring to everyone. We’ve had such a range of body types, races, genders, backgrounds and identities grace the stage and fuel the energy of the party … and they have all received a roaring response from the crowd

Robert Hein/For American-Statesman

4. It can get wild.

Ghislaine Jean: One party at Sahara lounge was themed Tribute to the Booty! There were three women sprawled over the pool table while a dude played all their booties like bongos. Why was it wonderful? It’s OK to want your ass smacked and it’s OK to want to smack an ass. Let’s just make sure everyone is having a good time. Let’s hold space to fulfill your passion safely.

5. It can also get deep.

Jean: A woman came up to me sobbing. She said, “I didn’t know how much I needed this right now. My child was shot at and I’ve been holding it. I needed to release it so bad. Thank you.”

Robert Hein/For American-Statesman

6. They frequently assign a theme to the party and some tribute nights have become perennial faves.

Mahone: Prince is wild! His energy brings out the raw sexuality inside everyone. Our Songs in the Key of Stankonia is also crunk as hell. Stevie brings the love, and Outkast brings that foot-stomping, Southern pump.

7. But you’re always likely to hear something new and fresh.

Campos: We don’t start the themed night until midnight, so the first two hours I like to explore different sounds and styles to warm up the crowd and get them hyped before we embark on the theme. Lately, I make it a point include some mixture of new dancehall, West Indian sounds and Afrobeats. The energy in these genres screams “booty ceremony,” but these genres are still definitely under the radar.

Robert Hein/For American-Statesman

8. If it’s your first time, show up ready to sweat, and if you’re feeling down, they’ve got you.

Mahone: We care about everyone who comes. Literally. It’s hard out here. We need to a space to shake all the (expletive) off. That is real. This is not an act, and you can feel that immediately. It’s a special healing energy that has a tangible effect on you as soon as you open up just a little bit.

Body Rock ATX 8th Anniversary Party: 10 p.m., Feb. 2 at Empire Control Room. $10 adv. More info.

Weekend music picks: Robyn Hitchcock, Fred Eaglesmith, Chris Thile’s ‘Live From Here’


Friday: Robyn Hitchcock at 3Ten. Exactly how this certifiable musical and lyrical genius escaped being a massive superstar still mystifies, as there are few creative minds on the planet who are his equal. Yes, he’s played the Erwin Center (opening for R.E.M. in 1989), but in the autumn of his years, he’s still a club act, and that’s the good fortune of those who go to see him. Last year’s self-titled album was the latest in a diverse and consistently intriguing catalog of a couple dozen records dating back to his late-1970s days leading England’s influential Soft Boys. He’ll play two sets for this rare seated 3Ten show. Emma Swift opens. $21-$26. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd.

Chris Thile’s ‘Live From Here’ is at Bass Concert Hall on Saturday. Contributed/Devin Pedde

Saturday: “Live From Here” with Chris Thile at Bass Concert Hall. It’s already been a long, strange trip for mandolin master Thile as host of the show formerly known as “A Prairie Home Companion,” and he’s barely been on the job a year. Last month’s name change of the storied NPR show followed allegations of sexual harassment against former host Garrison Keillor, but in some ways a new name for the show makes sense regardless, as Thile is creating his own identity with the program. This live-from-Austin broadcast will include music from the renowned South Carolina roots duo Shovels & Rope and hip New York avant-jazz outfit Snarky Puppy, as well as comedy from Pete Homes of the HBO show “Crashing.” Note the afternoon start-time of 4:45 p.m. $54.50-$79.50. 2350 Robert Dedman Drive.

Saturday: Mike & the Moonpies album release at Sam’s Town Point. Five albums into their run as one of Austin’s best country bands of the past decade, Mike Harmeier and his bandmates sound self-assured, revved-up and ready on “Steak Night at the Prairie Rose,” which features nine Harmeier originals plus a swingin’ take on fellow Austin songwriter Jonathan Terrell’s “The Last Time.” In keeping with the album’s title, they’re turning their record-release show into Steak Night at Sam’s Town Point: Buy a special $40 ticket that includes a catered steak dinner, or pay $20 general admission for music-only. Jason Eady plays in the middle slot, with Raised Right Men opening at 7 p.m. (arrive before 8:30 p.m. for steak dinner). 2115 Allred Drive.

Saturday: Fred Eaglesmith at Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse. A shorthand ballpark description of Eaglesmith might be that he’s the Canadian Robert Earl Keen, though with more than 20 albums to his name across four decades, he’s well earned the right to be taken on his own terms. The territory those two share as songwriters includes a sharp eye for narrative detail and character development. Those qualities are especially apparent on Eaglesmith’s latest release, 2017’s “Standard”; songs such as “Jenny Smith” and “Tom Turkey” tell vivid tales of backwoods hangers-on, while “Old Machine” echoes the sentiments of Guy Clark’s classic “Stuff That Works.” $15-$20. 10 p.m. 22308 Highway 71 West, Spicewood.



  • Wolf Parade, Charly Bliss at Mohawk outdoor
  • Matthew Logan Vasquez, Go Fever, Magic Rockers of Texas at Antone’s
  • Griffin House at Cactus Cafe
  • Lettermen at One World Theatre
  • Papa Mali & Friends, Eve & the Exiles at One-2-One Bar
  • Possessed By Paul James, Ghost Wolves at Beerland
  • Li’l Cap’n Travis, Dumptruck at Sam’s Town Point
  • Good Field at Waterloo Records
  • Don Harvey & A Is Red, Jeremy Nail at Townsend
  • Nakia’s Voices in the Round, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub
  • Elias Haslanger Quintet, Sharon Bourbonnais at Elephant Room
  • Bamako Airlines, Atash, Kupira Marimba at Sahara Lounge
  • Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash at Broken Spoke
  • A-Town Getdown at ABGB



Phish’s heady jams hit Austin in the heat of summer

The greatest jam band of their generation, Phish, hits the road this summer for a 10-city run of dates around the country.

Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN – Trey Anastasio of Phish

Trey Anastasio and crew skip Dallas and Houston to come ‘keep it weird’ with us this go round. The band will roll into Austin during the blistering dog days of  Texas summer, with a July 31 date at the open air Austin360 Amphitheater.

The band is currently offering fans an opportunity to request tickets for each date of the tour on Tickets to the Austin show run $45-$75. Ticket requests must be made before Feb. 5. All requests will be placed in a lottery and randomly awarded before the public on sale begins on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. More info. 

Johnny Gill to join En Vogue at 2018 Austin Urban Music Festival

The Austin Urban Music Festival is set to go down March 30-31 at Auditorium Shores. on Friday, March 30, the same day their new album “Electric Cafe” is scheduled to drop, the “Funky Divas” from En Vogue will headline. The current lineup for the group features  original members Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron-Braggs alongside Rhona Bennett.

En Vogue performs at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park on July 22, 2016. Photo by Robert Hein/For the American-Statesman

Also on the bill Friday are singer-songwriter Vivian Green and the Texas Jazz Explosion with Althea Rene, Kyle Turner and Michael Ward.

Then on Saturday, New Edition crooner Johnny Gill tops a bill that also includes Blackstreet’s Dave Hollister and old school funk group Zapp.

Tickets are currently on sale for $40.99 Friday, $45.99 Saturday and $77.99 on Sunday. Fees run roughly $4-$6 and VIP options are available.

Hi, how was it? Here’s what ‘Hi, How Are You?’ Day at the Mohawk was like.

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It all came together with just two or three weeks of planning, but Monday’s “Hi, How Are You?” Day show at the Mohawk turned out to be a grand success, as many Austin musicians and hundreds of Daniel Johnston fans turned out to help the legendary Texas songwriter celebrate his 57th birthday.

Daniel Johnston performs during “Hi, How Are You?” Day at the Mohawk on Monday, January 22, 2018. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

Presented by the new Hi, How Are You? Foundation, the event also benefited the mental health oriented SIMS Foundation and received support from the City of Austin’s Music & Entertainment Division. Mayor Steve Adler kicked things off with a proclamation and a short speech, saying that he is “no more proud to be a part of this community than I am when we take something like mental health and mental illness and we say that it is real.”

WATCH: Mayor Adler’s speech at “Hi, How Are You?” Day

A half-dozen local acts followed with short sets, most playing one or two original tunes and then one of Johnston’s songs. Of the latter, the highlights in chronological order: Josh T. Pearson and Jonathan Terrell’s medley of “True Love Will Find You in the End” and “Don’t Play Cards With Satan”; Will  Courtney singing “I Live My Broken Dreams”; Jane Ellen Bryant performing “Peek A Boo”; Cowboy Diplomacy playing “Some Things Last a Long Time”; longtime Johnston champions Kathy McCarty and Brian Beattie doubling up with “Hey Joe” and “Living Life”; and Moving Panoramas’ romp through “Speeding Motorcycle” with guest Laurie Gallardo.

Mayor Steve Adler, left, issues a “Hi, How Are You?” Day city proclamation at the Mohawk with Daniel Johnston, right, and event organizers Courtney Blanton and Tom Gimbel at the Mohawk on Monday, January 22, 2918. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

Johnston hadn’t been formally announced as a musical participant, but he was onstage at the start with event organizers Tom Gimbel and Courtney Blanton during Adler’s proclamation, and he returned at the end to close things out with “Casper the Friendly Ghost” and a couple other short fragments of songs. Many of the night’s performers joined him for a touching return to “True Love Will Find You in the End.”

RELATED: Hi, how are you? We’d like to tell you about “Hi, How Are You?” Day

“Thanks so much for the party tonight,” he said with a final wave to the crowd and a “God bless you.” Inside, a cake awaited, baked in the shape of Johnston’s trademark Jeremiah the Innocent frog. All in all, a pretty beautiful way to spend a Monday evening in Austin.

READ MORE: Music news and reviews on our Austin Music Source blog

Birthday cake for Daniel Johnston on “Hi, How Are You?” Day at the Mohawk, Monday, January 22, 2018. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman