After cancellation, organizers say SOS Fest is unlikely to return next year

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On October 6, roughly a month before the knights were set to storm the castle, booker Graham Williams was forced to cancel the medieval-themed Sound on Sound Fest because an investor pulled out. A few weeks later, Williams has managed to mitigate the financial loss for his company, Margin Walker, by booking an estimated 80 to 90 percent of the artists scheduled to perform into club shows around Austin, including 15 events that will happen over the weekend of Nov 10-12, when the festival was supposed to take place at Sherwood Forest Faire. But he says the whimsical event that rose from the ashes of Fun Fun Fun Fest last year, to pair indie rock, hip-hop and retro punk sounds with fair maidens and merry men, is likely dead.

TINA PHAN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN. 11/4/16. The Dragon’s Lair Stage at SOS Fest. Sound On Sound Fest is having its inaugural event at Sherwood Forest in McDade, Texas, November 4-6, 2016.

RELATED: SOS Fest to host club shows with Grizzly Bear, the Shins, Ministry, more

“I don’t know. It was such a new brand, such a new name, still in, like, the growing phase, teaching people what it was,” he says. He doesn’t want to speak for everyone involved and, with a busy weekend of shows on the horizon, next year seems very far away, but “it feels a little hard to see that happening again.”

“It’s such a bummer that this thing was so close to becoming this pretty epic event annually and we just got basically screwed and left holding the bag,” he says.

Williams says SOS Fest ticket sales were on track and the investor, who he declined to name, just got “cold feet” about the festival market in general. A devastating mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas at the beginning of October didn’t help.  “A tragedy of that magnitude made this week even harder for potential plan b investors,” he said on Oct. 7, the day after the cancellation was announced.  

Graham Williams poses with a dragon head, on the grounds of Sound On Sound festival in Mcdade, Texas. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

RELATED: SOS Fest cancels after an investor pulls out

For well over a decade, Williams has been the music scene’s premier torch-bearer for a new school version of “Austin Weird.” First with Fun Fun Fun, then SOS Fest, he’s demonstrated an uncanny knack for combining well-curated music with brilliant moments of absurdity to create memorable experiences. (Mini bike hot dog jousting! Punk wedding officiated by Henry Rollins! Taco cannon!)  But the festival landscape has evolved in ways that make it much more challenging for an independent promoter to stand up an event without outside financial backing.

“Back in the day, festivals were different,” he says. “Bands got paid, production got paid, everyone got paid that weekend, when the bar sales were in, when the sponsors had handed off the check, when all the ticket money came in to the bank account.”

These days, after well-publicized flops like the Caribbean island disaster, Fyre Festival and Pemberton Music Festival in Seattle, which declared bankruptcy two months before it was scheduled to take place, everyone from artist management to the production companies who provide festival essentials like fencing, lighting and sound, demands more money up front.

“I feel like we’re, kind of, one of many smaller events that are independent, that don’t have a massive company behind them who can put a couple million dollars into an operational account,” Williams says. “So that’s why you need, kind of, investors for festivals…That’s why a lot of the festivals have now been bought by Live Nation — so they can fund it and pay themselves back at the end of the festival.”

TINA PHAN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN. 11/5/16. Armed with ketchup, Derek Van Wagner (left) and Joe Layton participate in the jousting arena while on mini motor bikes during Sound On Sound Fest at Sherwood Forest in McDade, Texas, on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Van Wagner is the bassist of Austin band Magna Carda and performed during the festival. Layton is the tour manager of Magna Carda.

RELATED: Ten years of triple fun: An oral history of Fun Fun Fun Fest 

Williams feels the mainstream festival market has become oversaturated. “I’ve been saying for years that the bubble is going to burst,” he says.

He believes, the “mega fests” like Coachella and Bonnaroo will survive because they have enough backing, but many fests on the second tier will struggle. Williams didn’t mention Austin City Limits Festival by name, but it’s worth noting that Friday and Sunday single-day passes for both weekends and 3-day passes for the weekend two were still available in the days leading up to the massive event at Zilker Park this year.

“When people used to go to a festival that has 80,000 people at it, and it was the only festival for 500 miles, half the audience were tourists… out of towners,” he says. “Now there’s a version, it may not be as good, but there’s a version of that festival within 100 miles of every other city.”

Williams believes some of these events, “that all have the same lineup in a slightly different version,” will eventually phase out.

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.

It’s still up in the air whether his own company will attempt to stage some sort of a festival in Austin or outside the city limits next year. Williams says there have been conversations, but nothing concrete. “Finding the right brand and right concept is what’s important for me … if the event works, if we can make it work, if the idea is cool and the location works, I’m always happy to get involved.”

But right now, he feels good about the crunch turnaround, booking over 50 SOS Fest artists into club shows to salvage some of the fest’s spirit. A week out, tickets are moving well. He suspects about half of the shows will sell out and the other half will come close.

Going forward, he’s primarily thinking about ways to build Margin Walker’s core business, the roughly 700-750 live shows his company routes through Texas each year.

“We have some ideas going around, we’re talking to some folks, but my biggest focus right now is just doing what we do,” he says.  

Tom Petty Day in Austin: Sun Radio marathon, plus two tribute bands in the clubs

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Friday was officially Tom Petty Day in the City of Austin, as declared by formal proclamation from the mayor’s office in acknowledgment of what would have been the 67th birthday of the legendary rocker who died Oct. 1. Austin had seen its share of Tom Petty tributes over the last couple of weeks, especially at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, but Friday brought a fresh wave of salutes to his music.

Local station Sun Radio led the way, airing 24 hours of Petty’s music, from well-known classics to obscure outtakes and live tracks plus quite a few Petty covers by a wide variety of artists. The capper was a 7 p.m. broadcast of Petty’s 2006 ACL Fest headlining set, in its entirety.

Around the time that broadcast was winding down, live tribute shows in two Austin clubs were gearing up. At One-2-One Bar, the Damn Torpedoes, an Austin band that has been playing Petty’s songs for years, held forth with special guest Patricia Vonne. We headed over to Hole in the Wall, where Petty Thieves, who formed around a year ago, were holding forth with a half-dozen guest singers sitting in. Check out the video above for a dozen highlights from two-plus hours of Petty classics.

Petty Thieves — l-r, Mike Nicolai, Randy Franklin, Travis Garaffa, Hunter Darby, guest singer Kevin McCarthy, Steve McCarthy — at Hole in the Wall on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

As fate would have it, we began our Tom Petty Day on the phone with Chris Hillman, the Byrds co-founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer whose new album “Bidin’ My Time” was the last record Petty ever produced. Hillman will perform Nov. 10 at the Texas Union Theater with his longtime cohorts Herb Pedersen and John Jorgenson. We’ll have more of that interview in the American-Statesman soon, but here’s a brief excerpt:

“Tom was a good producer, and a good man. I’ve known him sort of since 1978, but I really got to know him in the first couple months of this year” (while making the record). “It was hard to look at Tom Petty as a rock star. He was so humble; I never saw that in him. And I have very little tolerance for that rock star thing. They did this article in Mojo magazine, and they interviewed Tom, and he said, about me, ‘You know, Chris, he’s just a consummate musician, I don’t think he ever liked show business; he didn’t really want to be around it.’ And I looked at that, and I said, he’s absolutely right. That’s right, I just never cared much about that. And I don’t think he did either. He was totally into the music.”

Fastball’s Miles Zuniga, who closed out Friday’s Hole in the Wall show just past midnight with Petty’s heartfelt ballad “The Best of Everything,” echoed those sentiments as he noted how personal Petty’s death seems to have been. As hard as fans may have taken last year’s deaths of Prince and David Bowie, it was different with Petty precisely because he always seemed so approachable and un-godlike.

“You couldn’t be Prince. You couldnt’ be Bowie,” Zuniga summed up. “But you could be Petty.”

 

 

SOS Fest to host club shows with Grizzly Bear, the Shins, Ministry, more

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Earlier this month, Sound on Sound Fest, which was gearing up for a second showing at Sherwood Forest Faire, was abruptly canceled when an investor pulled out.

When festival organizers announced the decision to cancel the festival, they promised to book as many SOS Fest artists as possible into clubs. On Monday, they released the grid for shows that will take place over the weekend of Nov. 10-12, when the festival was scheduled to take place.

Notable shows include Grizzly Bear at ACL Live, Cannibal Corpse at Mohawk and Washed Out at Emo’s on Friday, Nov. 10; The Story So Far and Yelle at the Mohawk, Japandroids at Emo’s, Noname at the Scoot Inn on Saturday; and Snow the Product at Empire and the Shins at Emo’s on Sunday.

Tickets will go on sale for fans who bought passes to SOS Fest Monday morning at 8 a.m. A general public onsale will begin on Wednesday at 8 a.m.

“Margin Walker is still working on rescheduling all artists from the festival and some of those will not happen until later in the year or even until 2018,” fest organizers said via press release Sunday night.

Here’s the full list of rescheduled shows:

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10

ACL Live (310 Willie Nelson Blvd Austin, TX 78701): Grizzly Bear ($45 ADV / $55 mezzanine seats)

Mohawk (910 Red River, Austin, TX 78701, Doors 8:00 p.m.): Cannibal Corpse,  Power Trip, Blanck Mass ($25)

Empire (606 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701, Doors 5:30 pm.): Citizen, Hotelier, Sorority Noise, Alex Napping, Great Grandpa, Oso Oso ($23.50)

Emo’s (2015 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741, Doors 7:30 p.m.): Washed Out, Austra ($35)

Cheer Up Charlies (900 Red River, Austin, 78701, Doors 9:00 p.m.): Lindstrom, Juan Maclean, Cap’n Tits ($25)

The New Movement (616 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701): Naughty Bits, Sure Thing

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11

Mohawk (Matinee Show Doors at 3:30pm): The Story So Far, Turnstile, Drug Church ($25)

Mohawk (Late Show | Doors at 9:30): Yelle, Capyac ($20)

Emo’s (Doors 7:30 p.m.): Japandroids, Cloud Nothings ($32.50)

Cheer Up Charlies (Doors 7:00 p.m.): The Frights, Hockey Dad, Vundabar ($13)

Scoot Inn (1308 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78702, Doors 7:00 p.m.): Noname, Arima Ederra ($25)

The New Movement: Sandbox, The Neighborhood: 7 Year Anniversary, Part 2

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12:

Mohawk (Doors 6:00 p.m.): Boris, Endon, USA/MEXICO ($20)

Empire (Doors 8:00 p.m.): Snow Tha Product, Castro Escobar, AJ Hernz, Kydd Jones & Tank Washington ($20)

Emo’s (Doors 7:00 p.m.): The Shins, Baio ($59.50)

Cheer Up Charlies (Doors 7:00 p.m.): Ariel Pink, Girlpool, Mild High Club ($25)

Vulcan Gas Company (418 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701, Doors 8:00 p.m.): Hot Clip (DJ set), Tim Sweeney, Lovefingers, Flying Turns ($25)

In addition to the shows above, Ministry will be performing on Sunday, November 12 at the Aztec Theatre (104 N St Mary’s St) in San Antonio, Texas. Tickets are on sale now at livenation.com. Additional shows will be announced at a later date.

Chance The Rapper’s Saturday sermon; why there’s room for God in hip-hop

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There’s a lot to like about Chance The Rapper.

Chance the Rapper performs during the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

In the class of charismatic young MCs with at least one eye on the tradition of hip-hop’s first generation storytellers he’s an easy valedictorian, and is about to lap everyone else.

Say what you want about the current state of Kanye West’s psyche and mental health, but if the last gift he gives the world is imparting his fellow Chicago lyricist with the confidence and presence to own every square inch of any stage he’s standing on, then his disappearance down the Kardashian/Jenner wormhole will not have been in vain.

From the moment Chance took the Honda stage with his vice grip-tight backing band on Saturday he was in firm command, easily alternating between moments of almost folky storytelling (“Same Drugs”) and the nuanced rhythmic wordplay of “Summer Friends” and “Mixtape.”

And a look around at the many thousands of fans in front of him showed something truly special: a mostly young melting pot of fans having no reservations about celebrating the positivity and message of the God-soaked songs that were being laid on them by a performer blessed with the zeal and command of a veteran Sunday preacher.

It’s hard to say how many of the assembled would mark themselves as believers beyond bouncing and singing along to the messages being delivered by the young Grammy winner. And maybe that’s not the point.

While Chance The Rapper’s enthusiastic spirituality is certainly a foundation of the better world message that predominates his songs, he’s ultimately presenting himself as an on ramp for listeners to look inward and reflect and grow the best parts of themselves to the rest of the world.

So while God is there, it’s the young and gifted MC who is leading the walk he’s taking with his listeners.

This is an odd dynamic in otherwise secular music, and to see an unapologetically spiritual performer flourishing and thriving in terms of audience buy-in can seem… if not jarring then at least eye opening.

To those for whom hip-hop is more often a confrontational and occasionally overtly political venture – present company included – Chance’s many religious invocations in the course of sterling pop songs can become stumbling blocks for the uninitiated listener. This is not a bad thing, but it’s a far different flavor from what is the norm on a music festival headliner stage.

 

Set list:

Mixtape

Blessings

Angels

Juke Jam

Waves

Ultralight Beam

Sunday Candy

I’m The One

All We Got

No Problem

Summer Friends

Finish Line/Drown

Same Drugs

Blessings (Reprise)

Country star Keith Urban will speak at SXSW 2018

Country star Keith Urban will be a featured speaker at South by Southwest in March 2018, the conference and festival revealed Saturday as part of a large announcement covering more than a dozen names across many programming tracks.

READ MORE: Roy Spence, Steve Ballmer, Ira Glass and Ana Marie Cox among SXSW featured additions

Keith Urban performs onstage during the 2016 iHeartCountry Festival at the Erwin Center on April 30, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

Urban will speak as part of “Music Culture and Stories,” one of 24 tracks under the umbrella of SXSW’s Interactive, Film, Music and Convergence groupings. No word yet on whether Urban will also perform, but it seems at least a possibility, given that Urban played at SXSW 2014 as part of an iTunes event at ACL Live. Urban’s last Austin appearance was in 2016 as part of the iHeartCountry Festival at the Erwin Center.

A New Zealand native, Urban became a star in Australia before he began topping the U.S. country charts just after the turn of the century. He’s a four-time Grammy winner with a string of seven records that have reached either No. 1 or No. 2 on Billboard’s country albums chart, including last year’s platinum-selling “Ripcord.”

READ MORE: “Mother!” director Darren Aronofsky added at SXSW Film keynote

SXSW Conference programming is organized into 24 Tracks divided between Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence, presented in a variety of session formats. Once again, SXSW is offering expanded access to events for all registrants. Attendees will receive primary access to programming associated with their badge type but now also enjoy secondary entry to most other SXSW events.

Applications for music artists to perform at SXSW 2018, which runs from March 9-18, are being accepted until Oct. 20.

 

 

Tom Petty last played Austin in May at the Erwin Center

Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on September 17, 1999. Rebecca McEntee/American-Statesman

[This article has been updated.]

Tom Petty’s last show in Austin was exactly five months ago, at the Erwin Center on May 2. The legendary rocker, 66, died Monday night, longtime Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers manager Tony Dimitriades has confirmed, after premature reports of his death surfaced earlier in the day.

“On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty,” Dimitriades said in a statement. “He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”

At the Erwin Center, “Petty and his longtime band the Heartbreakers held what at times felt like a mass-worship rock ’n’ roll service to a full arena of fans who’ve clearly loved his music for decades,” we observed in our review of the show.

READ MORE: Tom Petty goes 40 years deep at Erwin Center

“Throughout, Petty was a gracious and appreciative host, thanking the crowd repeatedly and profusely during song breaks from start to finish, as the house lights frequently shined on the sea of smiling faces so he could see them all.”

Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on May 5, 2012. Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman

Austin guitarist Gary Clark Jr. opened the show for Petty, a one-off appearance on the 40th-anniversary tour of Petty and his longtime band, the Heartbreakers.

PHOTOS: Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on May 2, 2017

Petty’s concert history in Austin dates back to 1978, when he appeared with the Heartbreakers at the now-shuttered Austin Opera House. A total of 10 appearances at the Erwin Center followed, along with shows at Bass Concert Hall, the Paramount Theatre and the 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The ACL Fest show was remembered largely for a rainstorm that erupted midway through the band’s headlining set. Petty and the Heartbreakers waited it out, then retook the stage and played on for the large throng of fans who’d stuck around through the rain.

Tom Petty at the Erwin Center on September 17, 1999. Rebecca McEntee/American-Statesman

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.

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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

Austin goes overseas: three outreach efforts featuring local musicians

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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

 

 

Little Big Town tour with Kacey Musgraves, Midland coming to Austin

Country music superstars Little Big Town are set to hit the road next year and a February 9 show at the Frank Erwin Center is the second stop on “The Breakers” tour. Kacey Musgraves and Midland will be along for the ride.

Little Big Town

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. and will be available at TexasBoxOffice.com or by phone at (512) 477-6060 or 1-800-982-BEVO (2386).

Weekend music picks: Fall festival season kicks off with Pecan Street

Friday: Flatlanders, Dan Penn at Paramount Theatre. Last year’s rare appearance at the Paramount’s sister venue Stateside by Southern songwriting legend Penn, on his 75th birthday, was one of 2016’s best live shows. Now here’s a bar-raising encore: He’ll open for Austin country-folk greats the Flatlanders, featuring Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. $25-$55. 8 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. — P.B.

Friday-Saturday: Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s. You could say it’s from the sublime to the ridiculous, the way that these guys are going from gigs at Madison Square Garden and the Los Angeles Forum last week (opening for Eric Clapton) to playing a 100-odd-capacity South Austin club this weekend. But this has been home base for the trio for a while now, so much so that they have a new album out on an overseas label that was recorded right here at C-Boy’s. $15. 10:30 p.m. 2008 Congress Ave. cboys.com. — P.B.

RELATED: ACL Festival announces late show lineup 

Saturday: Roger McGuinn at Paramount Theatre. Now 75, Byrds founder McGuinn is an elder statesman of rock’s golden age, and he’s especially important for mixing in folk and country influences and helping to lay some of the foundational stones for what became Americana. He’s played rooms large and small in Austin over the decades, but the century-old Paramount is fitting for such a historically important figure. $20-$40. 8 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. — P.B.

Saturday: Descendents at Stubb’s outdoor. The influential punk band released their first new music in 12 years, 2016’s “Hypercaffium Spazzinate,” more than 30 years after their debut album, “Milo Goes to College,” dropped in 1982. These days, the band members are scattered across the country, and they wrote the album remotely over a three-year period, taking their time to develop a tightly wound collection of hard-driving, lyrically incisive blasts of blistering noise. Riverboat Gamblers open. $30 advance. 7 p.m. doors. 801 Red River St. stubbsaustin.com. — D.S.S.

Jackie Venson performs on the Oak Stage as they make their way into the Vic Mathias Shores on New Years eve Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016. People had the chance to enjoy music, art, and special performances from Sky during the event.
RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Saturday-Sunday: Fall Pecan Street Festival on Sixth Street. The biannual art and music festival takes over Sixth Street for its 37th fall edition. The event features free music on several stages, and the lineup includes Louisiana act Royal Teeth and rising blues artist Jackie Venson, back from a couple summer stints supporting Gary Clark Jr. on tour. The Peligrosa DJ collective, who are celebrating 10 years fusing hip-hop funk and Latin sounds this fall, will make an appearance alongside local acts such as Moving Panoramas, Kay Odyssey and Kiko Villamizar. Free. Full schedule at pecanstreetfestival.org. — D.S.S.

ALSO PLAYING

Friday

  • Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas” hurricane relief benefit with Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Leon Bridges, Lyle Lovett, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Ryan Bingham, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Ha*Ash at Erwin Center (sold out; a portion airs 9-10 p.m. on KVUE-TV)
  • Daryl Hall & John Oates, St. Paul & the Broken Bones at HEB Center (a portion of proceeds will go to the Red Cross for hurricane relief)
  • TajMo (Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ Band) at ACL Live
  • Dark Star Orchestra at Stubb’s outdoor
  • Krewella at Emo’s
  • Lee Fields & the Expressions, Mama K & the Shades at Mohawk outdoor
  • Balmorhea, Caroline Says at Stateside at the Paramount
  • Walker Lukens at Waterloo Records
  • Overcoats, Yoke Lore at Antone’s
  • Sarah Jaffee, SaulPaul at Mueller Lake Park Amphitheater
  • Gary Nicholson, Lee Roy Parnell at Cactus Cafe
  • Milligan Vaughan Project, Blues Specialists at Continental Club
  • Bluebonnets at One-2-One Bar
  • Leroy Sanchez, Mario Jose at Parish
  • Rachel Reese, Grace Pettis at El Mercado Backstage
  • Mrs. Glass at Lamberts
  • Wild Bill Ogden album release at ABGB

Saturday

  • Tedeschi Trucks Band, Hard Working Americans at ACL Live (sold out)
  • Moon Taxi, Los Coast at Emo’s
  • Cigarettes After Sex at the Parish (sold out)
  • Electric Guest, Tomi at Mohawk outdoor
  • Matt Wertz, Dustin Ransom at Stateside at the Paramount
  • Caesar Brothers Funk Box with Big Chief Juan Pardo at Antone’s
  • Tameca Jones, Ray Prim, Redd Volkaert at Continental Club
  • Papa Mali & Carolyn Wonderland at One-2-One Bar
  • Mayeux & Broussard, Carson McHone at White Horse
  • Matt the Electrician, Southpaw Jones at Cactus Cafe
  • Moeller Brothers at ABGB

Sunday