As the clock approaches midnight on Sunday, the New Year is set to bring freezing temperatures that may last for a couple of days. While there’s plenty to do if you’re willing to brave the cold for New Year’s Eve, here’s a good option for those who might opt to stay in: The fourth annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame show.
Taped Oct. 25 at ACL Live, this year’s gala event honored new inductees Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and the Neville Brothers, with special guests including Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Brandi Carlile, Raul Malo, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John and host Chris Isaak. An hourlong program of highlights from that night will air at 10 p.m. on local PBS affiliate KLRU, and again at 11 p.m.
Not a physical place but simply an honorary designation, ACL’s Hall of Fame first honored Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan in 2014. Every year since, they’ve added a few more musicians who’ve played a significant role in helping the 43-year-old show become the longest-running music television program ever.
In January, episodes taped in the summer and fall of 2017 will begin airing as the 43rd season of “Austin City Limits” continues. The schedule through mid-February is as follows; click on the name of each band to see our review of that show.
Live music and Austin’s Trail of Lights are a natural combo, but Thursday, December 14, marks a new effort to cast the spotlight on several local organizations that work to make the lives of Austin musicians better.
Cap City Music Night runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Zilker Park. General admission is free, with representatives on hand from Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the SIMS Foundation, Black Fret, All ATX and Swan Songs to provide information about what they do and to accept donations. Attendees also are encouraged to bring a can of food for the Central Texas Food Bank.
Performances are at 7 p.m. with the Interrobang Brass Band, 7:45 p.m with the Ephraim Owens Trio and 9 p.m. with Mother Falcon. KGSR’s Andy Langer will be on hand as well for a storytime session. Early 6 p.m. entry to the trail and other amenities are available for those with ZIP Fast Passes, which can be purchased via the event’s website.
It’s beginning to look a lot like the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. The 42nd annual holiday shopping and live music extravaganza takes over Palmer Events Center on December 14 and doesn’t pack out until Christmas Eve, offering 11 days of opportunities to catch some of Austin’s best performers in a uniquely seasonal setting.
Every day features three acts performing two sets each, beginning at noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets, $8 for a single day or $60 for a season pass that covers the duration of the event, are on sale now via the Bazaar’s ticket website. Single-day tickets also will be available at the door each day.
This year’s lineup includes quite a few longtime favorites of the Bazaar faithful, including Asleep at the Wheel, Ruthie Foster, Marcia Ball, Shinyribs, Gina Chavez and Ray Wylie Hubbard. A handful of new acts have been worked in for 2017 as well: Nakia, Lou Ann Barton, Beat Root Revival, Charley Crockett and the Watters all are making their first Bazaar appearance. Four acts are back in the lineup after not playing last year: Red Volkaert, Wendy Colonna, MilkDrive and Mayeux & Broussard.
The only non-local in the mix is Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Fullbright, whose performances have become one of the Bazaar’s top draws over the past few years. And there’s a special show on Monday, December 18: Eliza Gilkyson will serve as host for Jimmy LaFave Tribute Night, honoring the Austin troubadour and longtime Bazaar participant who died of cancer earlier this year.
We might not dream of a “White Christmas” in Austin, but we certainly know how to rock a holiday jam. Enjoy your favorite carols and spread cheer at seasonal soirees and festive benefits.
Nov. 23: Dale Watson & his Lone Stars annual Thanksgiving Party. Just say no to post-feast food coma. Honky tonker Watson helps you dance your stuffing off in the long-standing holiday concert season kickoff party. $10. 9 p.m. doors. 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com
Nov. 25: Bob Schneider and the Moonlight Orchestra at ACL Live. Schneider indulges in big band romance to ring in the holiday season. A horn section, jazz drums and the Tosca Strings fill out a set of Schneider’s holiday favorites mixed with a few originals. Special guests Lex Land, Erika Wennerstrom and Mobley will also perform. $29.50-$63.25. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com
Nov. 25: ‘Big Don’s Big Christmas’ CD release party at Rattle Inn.The artist formerly known as MC Overlord, has spent the last several years thrilling young audiences with hip-hop takes on classic kids’ tunes. His new release features a mix of holiday classics and a few originals. The afternoon show includes a performance from Big Don and an acoustic set from Isaac J Routh. Cookies and milk will be served. noon. 610 Nueces St. rattleinnaustin.com
Nov. 30- Dec. 3: Saturnalia in Austin. Traditionally, the ancient festival celebrating the Roman god Saturn is timed to coincide with the Winter Solstice, but the carnival arrives in Austin early this year. Your art jazz ritual leaders, Golden Dawn Arkestra, invite you to “prepare your masks and dust off your most elegant gowns,” for four nights of intoxicating revelry, fuzzed out riffs and experimental groove-making. The party starts at the Electric Church on Nov. 30, then moves to Hotel Vegas on Dec. 1 before landing at Sahara Lounge and the Webberville Road Baptist Church in East Austin. It includes performances from the Allah-las, Octopus Project, American Sharks, Ringo Deathstarr and many more as well as light artists and food trucks on site. $40 wristband ($35 before Nov. 17) includes all shows. See the event’s Facebook page for more details.
Dec. 2: Nine Mile Records and Touring holiday party. Austin’s premiere boutique booking agency hosts a holiday bash featuring Nashville bluesman Patrick Sweaney and Australian singer-songwriter Juanita Stein alongside an excellent selection of top-notch locals from their roster including Carson McHone, A. Sinclair and Belcurve at the Mohawk. $10-$15. 8 p.m. doors. 912 Red River St. . Nashville bluesman $10-$15. 8 p.m. doors. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com
Dec. 2:Holiday Sing-along and Downtown Stroll. Gather at the south steps of the Capitol building for caroling led by KUTX DJs Elizabeth McQueen and John Aielli at 6 p.m. Marvel at the Capitol tree lighting at 7, then stroll down Congress Avenue and take in local sounds on two stages with tunes from Gina Chavez, Riders Against the Storm, Charlie Faye and the Fayettes and more. More info.
Dec. 3: Ginger Leigh’s Love at Stateside at the Paramount. Leigh is joined by vocal dynamos Shelly King, Patrice Pike and Wendy Colonna, and the four women take turns singing lead on a selection of holiday classics and original songs. The afternoon show benefits the Superhero Kids Organization which supports families with children at the Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center. $27-$52. 3 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org
Dec. 6: 101X Indie X-mas with Cold War Kids, Mobley at Emo’s. We’re not sure how many bells will jingle at the alt-rock radio station’s holiday bash, but good cheer will spread. The show, featuring the California indie rockers alongside local standout Mobley, benefits Habitat for Humanity. $32.50. 7 p.m. doors. 2015 E Riverside Dr. emosaustin.com
Dec. 8: Roast and Toast the Holidays at One 2 One. Austin blues rock lifers Guy Forsyth and Carolyn Wonderland play “fireside songs for the soul. $25-$30. 9 p.m. 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. one2onebar.com
Dec. 13: Mix 94.7’s Merry Mix Show with Kelly Clarkson at ACL Live.In 2013, Texas powerhouse singer Kelly Clarkson released an excellent contemporary Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red,” and this holiday season her Austin fans will have a chance to hear the songs live, courtesy of radio station, Mix 94.7. Tickets are not cheap, but ACL Live is an intimate venue for Clarkson, who has played the Frank Erwin Center. Clarkson will be joined on the bill by Rachel Platten and Secondhand Serenade.$65-$105. 7:30 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com
Dec. 14-24: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at Palmer Events Center. Wrap up your holiday shopping to the sound of seasonal tunes from Austin artists at this artisan gifting extravaganza. Performers include Dale Watson, Ruthie Foster, Jackie Venson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shinyribs and many more. At least three bands perform each day. $8, kids 12 & under free. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 900 Barton Springs Road. armadillobazaar.com
Dec. 15: Christmas with Tje Austin at Geraldine’s. Free. 9 p.m. 605 Davis St. Earlier this year, Austin released the EP “I Belong to You,” a rich and varied release that easily slides from earnest songcraft to groovy disco to brassy blasts of classic soul. He wrote the record while completing a grueling three-year course of chemotherapy and it aches with heart. Austin says Christmas is his favorite holiday, so expect plenty of soulful takes on holiday faves. Free. 9 p.m. geraldinesaustin.com
Dec. 16: Bruce and Kelly at the Paramount. “The fans return every year for the warm and friendly spirit that Robison and Willis bring to the stage,” Team 360’s Peter Blackstock writes. “They strike perfect husband-wife harmonies when they team up on favorites both seasonal (‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’) and perennial (Dave Alvin’s ‘Border Radio’). And each shines brightly when they’re in the spotlight on their own: Willis’ voice drifted like pure falling snow atop the strings-and-piano backing of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter,’ and Robison spread smiles throughout the theater with his poignant signature tune ‘My Brother and Me.’ Special guest TBA. $30-$53. 8 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org
Dec. 22: Tex Mex Holiday Fiesta at ACL Live. Tejano giants, Los Texmaniacs and Flaco Jimenez reunite with their amigos, Peter Rowan, Rick Trevino, Augie Meyers, Johnny Nicholas, Rosie Flores and a very special surprise guest for an evening of holiday festive fun. 8 p.m. $35-$50. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com
Dec. 25: Dale Watson’s annual Christmas Party and Dance. Over-stuffed on a holiday again? Break out the boots and two-step that Christmas dinner away. $10. 10 p.m. 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com