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Best of Austin Music, September 2016: HAAM Day, All ATX, Tameca Jones and more

AN AUSTINTATIOUS MONTH

If this weekend’s arrival of the Austin City Limits Music Festival primarily spotlights touring bands, the rest of September offered plenty of opportunities for locals to shine. On Oct. 13, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians’ 11th annual HAAM Benefit Day featured performances by hundreds of musicians at both likely and unlikely venues all over town. This week, HAAM executive director Reenie Collins confirmed that the event exceeded an ambitious $500,000 goal. Meanwhile, HAAM joins the Sims Foundation, the Austin Music Foundation and Black Fret as this year’s direct beneficiaries of All ATX, a musicians’ advocacy group that sold out an ACL Live concert featuring many of the musicians on their new local compilation CD “Low Down Violet Crown.” City government got in on the action as well: Mayor Steve Adler announced a new mini-bond program aimed at purchasing live music venues for preservation, a few days after taking part in a community panel discussion about the challenges facing musicians.

BEST LIVE SHOWS

Sept. 19: Chris Gage 21st anniversary at Donn’s Depot. There’s no cooler piano-bar gig in town than this every-Monday hang with Gage, who’s toured with the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker and Jimmie Dale Gilmore over the years. Both of them showed up for this party full of special guests on a night that felt like a wholesale reminder of all that is good about old-school Austin music. — P.B.

Also: Cyndi Lauper at ACL Live, Sept. 10; Goo Goo Dolls at Statesman Skyline Theater, Sept. 11; Old 97’s at 3Ten, Sept. 20-21; Kanye West at Erwin Center, Sept. 21.

BEST NEW RECORDS

Katie Shore, “Fall Away.” This month brought a major bumper crop of local records, with notable releases from Willie Nelson, East Cameron Folkcore, Adam Torres and many others. But we’ve found ourselves most charmed by this little-train-that-could of a debut record from Asleep at the Wheel’s multitalented violinist. — P.B.

Tele Novella, “House of Souls.” This was an extremely tough call, in a month that included excellent EP releases from both our September Artist of the Month, Tameca Jones, and (spoiler alert) our October Artist of the Month, Keeper. But this is a fully rounded release that draws on Austin’s vaunted tradition of psychedelia to produce a perfect platter breezy of end of summer pop. — D.S.S.

BEST NEW SONGS

“Soul Force,” Third Root ft. Riders Against the Storm, Da’Shade Moonbeam, Vocab and Bavu Blakes.  If there was any doubt that 2016 was the year that ATX hip-hop artists would stand up, refuse to remain in the shadows and take their rightful place as the vital and necessary voice of the bleeding streets, let’s go ahead and put it to rest. Austin/San Antonio crew Third Root assembled a dream team of top Central Texas emcees for this explosive “posse cut,”an exhilarating three-minute lyrical blitz that soars with an irrepressible spirit of uprise. — D.S.S.

Gary Clark Jr., “Take Me Down.” This song on to the “Deepwater Horizon” film soundtrack might be a harbinger of where Austin’s hottest musician will turn next. We’re intrigued by its soulful-folk, acoustic-guitar-and-harmonica-based arrangement, spiked with slide runs and floating on Clark’s smooth-as-silk vocal delivery. — P.B.

BEST NATIONAL LOOK

Jackie Venson on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. We’ve known for a minute that the electric blues upstart could easily be the next hot axe-slinger out of Austin. The rest of the country was let in on the secret this month when the 26-year-old guitarist sat with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on the Late Show. Oh yeah, and her debut appearance included a spot backing hot young hip-hop, R&B artist Anderson.Paak and rapper Mac Miller. — D.S.S.

AUSTIN360 ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Our choice for September was Tameca Jones, whose debut EP “Naked” captures the singer’s soulful style and captivating presence.

Read more: With searing soul, explosive heart, Tameca Jones gets ‘Naked’

Tameca Jones

Tameca Jones, our Austin360 Artist of the Month for September.


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