This week’s music picks: Cats! (Cashmere, that is), plus Shady Grove season kickoff

Monday: Blue Monday with Gary Nicholson at Antone’s. If you’ve heard “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” the beautiful song about Merle Haggard that closes Willie Nelson’s upcoming album, here’s a chance to check out the guy who wrote it. Nicholson — whose “Listen to Willie” is also one of the best songs written about Nelson — has been one of Nashville’s top songwriters for decades, but he’s a native Texan and plays often in Austin. He’s billed here under his alter ego, Whitey Johnson, and no guarantee he’ll play that song, because he’s written so many hits for a wide variety of artists. But perhaps he’d oblige a request. He’ll be joining the Antone’s Blue Monday band, which on this night will feature guitarist Derek O’Brien, Chris Maresh, Tommy Taylor, Kaz Kazanoff and Al Gomez. $8-$10. 6:30 p.m. 305 E. Fifth St. — P.B.

Wednesday: Grounded in Music 10-year anniversary benefit at Gibson Showroom. A local nonprofit tied to the Boys and Girls Club of Austin that helps connect youths with musical opportunities, this organization is marking its first decade with a fundraiser that includes live music from local favorites Suzanna Choffel and the Peterson Brothers. Kathy Valentine, longtime member of the Go-Go’s and currently with Austin rockers the Bluebonnets, is the host of the event, which also includes a silent auction. The $45 admission includes bites and beverages. 6:30 p.m. 3601 S. Congress Ave., suite G400. — P.B.

Thursday: Cashmere Cat at Empire.We’re still waiting on a drop date for “Wild Love,” the debut full-length from the Norwegian DJ and super producer that’s slated to come out this year. The album includes collaborations with the Weeknd, Selena Gomez, 2Chainz, Tory Lanez and Ariana Grande and is likely to cement his reputation as a keeper of one of modern pop’s most potent bottles of secret sauce. According to early reports from this tour, his DJ sets showcase his offbeat take on modern music, liberally blending snippets of hip-hop, R&B and EDM into an appealing dance mix. $20 (advance). Doors at 8 p.m. 606 E. Seventh St. — D.S.S.

Thursday: Unplugged at the Grove kickoff with Charlie Mars at Shady Grove.Though he still lives in Mississippi, you could be mistaken for thinking singer-songwriter Mars is a local, given his frequent visits. He also often records here, as with his new disc “Beach TownWaves,” which features the Austin rhythm section of drummer JJ Johnson and bassist George Reiff (plus Dixie Chicks fiddler Martie Maguire on one tune). He kicks off KGSR’s weekly warm-weather series on Shady Grove’s spacious outdoor porch. Others already booked for the series include Ian Moore (May 4), Bob Schneider (June 8), Jackie Venson (July 13), Rhett Miller (Aug. 17) and Jimmy LaFave (Sept. 14). Free. 8 p.m. 1624 Barton Springs — P.B.

Shannon McNally opens for the Rides at the Paramount on Wednesday. Contributed/Sebastian Smith



  • Heartthrob with Chris Cubas at Barracuda
  • Mallett Brothers, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club
  • Leche, Wood Chickens, Popper Burns at Mohawk indoor
  • Nominee, Sundressed, Dozer, Locket, Later Days at Sidewinder




  • Loudon Wainwright III at One World Theatre
  • String Cheese Incident at Stubb’s (first of three nights)
  • Will Hoge, Dalton Domino at 3Ten
  • Will Johnson & Greg Vanderpool at Waterloo Records
  • Alfin Sencalar, Jazz Ambassadors at Elephant Room
  • Sarah Gayle Meech at Continental Club
  • Steve Moakler, Drew Baldridge, Smithfield at Antone’s
  • Helium Taxi at Cactus Cafe
  • Mike Nicolai at Hole in the Wall

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