Local singer-songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia, a.k.a Shakey Graves has been having a very good year. He’s been on tour for the last several months, selling out shows across the country, including a December 27 date at the Scoot Inn. His October release “And the War Came” has been well received by critics and the single “Dearly Departed,” a duet with singer Esme Patterson has been burning up the airwaves. It’s currently a top ten trending song on AAA format radio stations (including Austin’s KGSR 93.3FM and KUTX 98.9 FM.)
The video is a humorous take on the aftermath of a difficult break-up.
Austin blues rock guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year. Vaughan and his band Double Trouble will be honored in the performer category alongside Lou Reed, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bill Withers at the ceremony in Cleveland on April 18, 2015.
Former Beatle Ringo Starr will receive an award for Musical Excellence and the “5” Royales will receive an Early Influence award, rounding out the 2015 Hall of Fame Class.
Artists become eligible for the hall of fame 25 years after their first recording was released. Vaughan and Double Trouble released the album “Texas Flood” in 1983. Though Vaughan was born in Dallas, it was in Austin that his career took off. His distinctive guitar playing, a blazing mixture of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, became a defining sound for our city, adopted by countless artists who followed him.
“Stevie getting in would be a fitting tribute to a ground-breaking artist,” Texas Music Office director Casey Monahan told the Statesman when the nomination was announced in October. Vaughan won five W.C. Handy Awards and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000. He was also one of the first inductees to the new Austin City Limits Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Vaughan died in a helicopter crash in 1990 at age 35. A statue of him on the shores of Ladybird Lake, installed in 1994, has become one of Austin’s most popular tourist destinations.
“What’s not to like about this?” Chris Layton, the drummer in Vaughan’s trio Double Trouble told the Statesman in October. “When you’re playing in Lubbock in 1979 and there were 40 people there, it wasn’t, ‘Maybe we’ll get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.’ It was, ‘Maybe we’ll get back to Austin without a flat tire.'”
This is year 30 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is based in Cleveland. Texas-born or Texas-based members include Buddy Holly (and the Crickets, separately), Janis Joplin, Roy Orbison, Lead Belly, Don Henley (with the Eagles) and Vaughan idol Freddie King,
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar opening day at Palmer Events Center. Nearly 40 years old now, this tradition born at the late, great Armadillo World Headquarters has had an itinerant existence, wandering for a while through downtown locations such as Austin Music Hall and the Convention Center before landing in the Long Center complex across the street from its original spot. The Americana-focused music lineups are as big a draw as the gift booths: Opening day features sets by Dale Watson (8 p.m.), the Carper Family (3:30 p.m.) and Mayeux & Broussard (noon). $7. 900 Barton Springs Road. armadillobazaar.com. — P.B.
Also: Rock-pop hitmakers Train play a sold-out show at ACL Live with Mat Nathanson opening. … Singer-songwriter Charlie Mars continues a month of Tuesdays at the Saxon Pub. … Tex-Mex greats Los Texmaniacs play a free 7 p.m. show at the Bullock Texas State History Museum as part of the Texas Art & Culture Series.
If the insane crowds swarming Azalea’s ACL Fest performance inhibited your ability to get “Fancy,” you’re in luck. The Australian rapper will be back in town on May 24 for an appearance at the Frank Erwin Center. Coming off a crazy year that saw the aforementioned ubiquitous single “Fancy” certified quadruple platinum and awarded Song of the Year on iTunes and most-streamed track on Spotify, Azalea is embarking on a two-month North American arena tour, “The Great Escape” which wraps up in Austin. But be forewarned, with tween idol Nick Jonas in the opening slot, the screaming teen demographic at the show will certainly be ear-splitting.
Tickets go on sale Friday at 9 a.m. and will be available available at all Texas Box Office outlets including select H-E-B stores, by phone at (512) 477-6060 or 1-800-982-BEVO (2386) or online at TexasBoxOffice.com.
Nearly every Monday at the Continental Club. Let us never be so spoiled in the Live Music Capital of the World to not appreciate that Monday residencies at the Continental constitute world-class acts that would qualify as weekend-headliner talent most everywhere else. Downstairs, erstwhile Tail Gators/LeRoi Brothers guitar slinger Don Leady fronts the Cruzers at the 6:30 p.m. happy hour gig, followed by Ameripolitan ringleader Dale Watson at 10 p.m. Upstairs, the Church on Monday crew brings the best of local jazz at 8:30, with psych-Latin ensemble Money Chicha new to the 10:30 p.m. slot. $7 Watson, otherwise no cover. 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com.
Also: Bob Schneider’s 8:30 p.m. Lonelyland show anchors the Saxon Pub’s weekly Monday lineup, with Bruce Hughes playing before and the Leavers after. … The best Monday gig on the north end of town is W.C. Clark’s no-cover happy hour at the Roost. … The Mohawk’s indoor stage features local acts Brother Wolf & the Carnivores, Supernomadic andMichael Monroe.
Hip Hop Holiday Party & Toy Drive at the Mohawk. Local hip-hop artists rock the mic to make Christmas merrier for underprivileged Austin kids. Rappers Keith Corona, Subkulture Patriots’ D.O.S., Beautiful Music and the Underground are on the bill, and DJ Richard Henry & the Brodie Boys will be spinning holiday jams between sets. Admission is free with a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Or cover is $5-$7. Doors at 9 p.m. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com.
Also: Blues guitar great Chris Duarte plays the roost with Carson Alexander opening. … Jazz pianist David Benoit brings his “Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown” to One World Theatre for shows at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. … Michigan roots-rockersFrontier Ruckus play the indoor stage at Stubb’s with Justin Kinkel-Schuster opening. … Top local singer-songwriterSam Baker continues a month of 6 p.m. shows at Strange Brew. … Matt the Electrician plays the “Soul of a Musician” series at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.
Spider House Ballroom has added 1960s rock pioneer Ronnie Spector to the lineup of “Oztin: A Technicolor New Year,” its Dec. 31 extravaganza featuring art installations and live music.
Spector, one of the defining stars of rock ‘n’ roll’s early days as the lead singer of girl-group hitmakers the Ronettes, is now 71 but has remained a revered and influential presence, working with the likes of Joey Ramone, Keith Richards and Patti Smith on late-career revival records.
Her autobiography “Be My Baby” detailed her tumultuous relationship with producer Phil Spector, to whom she was married for several years shortly after the Ronettes’ mid-1960s heyday. In 2007, the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The “Oztin” show also includes music from Shannon & the Clams, Christian Bland & the Revelators, the Cosmonauts and the Pesos. Tickets run $45-$65; details are at spiderhouseaustin.com.
Kelly & Bruce’s Holiday Shindig at the Paramount Theatre. There’s no better annual holiday music tradition in Austin than this concert presented by Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, respectively the town’s finest country singer and songwriter not named Willie. They bring two ringers in Joe Ely and Shawn Colvin, who’ll join the couple for a few songs along the way. New this year: The whole thing will be taped for TV broadcast next holiday season. $37-$62. 8 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. — P.B.
Also: It’s probably the busiest night of the season for holiday-themed shows. Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs present “Honky Tonk Holidaze,” a Christmas musical benefiting Front Steps; Mexican singer Victoria Sanabria highlights the sixth annual Puerto Rican Christmas Fiesta at Emo’s; and Spiderhouse Ballroom features a White Winter Ball with Digital Wild, Zettajoule, Stephen Neeper & Wild Hearts and Magia Negra. … Ironwood Hall presents DJ sets by Hot Chip andMuseum of Love plus Learning Secrets. … A.J. Vallejo’s Perfect Nation performs the music of Prince up north at the Roost. … The Continental Club features a quality roots-country double bill with Rosie Flores and the Derailers. … Flores also stops by Cactus Cafe at 4 p.m. for one of three free-admission shows being filmed the Longhorn Network, along with Silas Lowe at 2 p.m. and the Bottom Dollar String Band at 8:30 p.m.
Ed Miller at Cactus Cafe. Changes at KUTX continued a few months ago with the surprising release of Scotsman Ed Miller, whose “Folkways” and “Across the Water” programs were fixtures for decades. He has a new home on Sun Radio for the latter, airing Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. and now called “Across the Pond” but still drawing heavily on folk music from Scotland, Ireland and England. Miller’s greatest value to Austin audiences, though, is as a performer, bringing to life such tunes as the traditional “Broom of the Cowdenknowes” and his own “At Home with the Exiles.” Jil Chambless & Don Penzien join him for this show. $12-$15. 8:30 p.m. 2247 Guadalupe St. cactuscafe.org.
Also: Christmas comes alive with the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s “Christmas Rocks Extravaganza” at ACL Live. … Eclectic trad-music multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter David Bromberg plays One World Theatre. … Blues-rock guitarist Doyle Bramhall II returns to town for an Emo’s show with Houston’s the Tontons opening. … Hawaiian downtempo artistBluetech is at the Parish. … The Mohawk hosts a two-stage shindig headlined by local shoegaze standouts Ringo Deathstarr. … Drive-By Truckers guitarist Mike Cooley begins a two-night solo stand at Hole in the Wall. … Dallas roots-rockers the O’s teams up with country outfit Mike & the Moonpies at the Continental Club. … Local band the Deer play a record-release show at Spiderhouse Ballroom with Nightblooms and Jesse Woods. … Long-running comic rock outfit Uranium Savages, “the band too dumb to die” in their own words, celebrates its 40th anniversary at ABGB. … And a late add to the holiday madness is “That Metal Christmas,” a takeover of the old Emo’s location at Sixth and Red River streets with host Eddie Trunk of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” and performances by Force of Rage, Broken Teeth, Dharma Kings, Armiger and Reptilian.
“Tonight’s about three homies from South Austin saying, ‘We got this. Let’s do a show,” rapper Phranchyze said from the stage midway through his set opening for Gary Clark Jr at a free pop up show at the Scoot Inn Wednesday night. It was around 8 p.m. and the lanky former battle rapper commanded the attention of the packed house.
Phranchyze and Clark have a personal history that stretches back to junior high. Zeale, who kicked off the show at 7 p.m. has been sharing stages with Phranchyze for well over a decade when the two used to tag team sets all over town. “We’ve all known each other forever. We’ve played together. We’ve all lived in houses together,” Zeale said before the show.
Both of the rappers were in fine form at the Scoot Inn. Zeale put in a high energy set that covered much of the material from his new record “Frnz & Fngz” an ambitious release that mixes rap, rock and punk. Likewise, Phranchyze, who’s in the process of hammering out a new record at Arlyn Studios had an arresting stage presence. But the real highlights of the rappers” sets were the freestyle sections. Zeale might just be the most talented freestyle rapper in Austin and when the two longtime partners in rhyme joined forces to trade verses while their bands traded grooves the result was electric. The crowd went wild cheering them along.
But as the stage was set for the main event, the energy ratcheted up a notch and by the time hometown hero Clark took the stage the crowd went wild. Gary Clark Jr is a consummate professional. He’s always a gracious and fully committed performer, but playing to a deliriously happy audience of hometown fans he seemed particularly loose and open. His performance was a gift, close to 90 minutes of pure magic on a perfectly beautiful night.
Understated as always he didn’t spend a lot of time on banter, humbly acknowledging the shouts that bubbled up from the crowd between songs — ‘We love you!’ ‘We’re so proud of you!’ — without much adieu.
Instead he spoke through his guitar, stretching songs with expansive solos that wound through unfathomable twists and turns. He churned out heart wrenching, deep bucket blues that seeped into the foundation of the historic East Austin club, bleeding integrity and heart into a corner of the city currently swept up in a struggle to save its own soul.
Highlights included an unforgettable, epic ten minute rendition of “When My Train Comes In” complete with a three minute guitar solo blistered with distortion, wailing with agony and so powerful and consuming it wracked his lean body as it moved through him. Then, moments later he segued into a version of “Please Come Home” with velvety tones so plaintive and beautiful some in the audience were moved to tears.
It was a rare night in Austin where the audience collectively understood what we were experiencing was incredibly special. No one talked. The crowd pressed forward listening intently. They moved as the music moved them. By the time he took the set out with a climatic version of “Bright Lights” the mood in the club was downright rapturous. As he left the stage a raucous cheer erupted followed by a chant of “Gary,Gary!” But it was 10:05 p.m. and curfew was already blown.
As it became clear that the show was over some of the crowd dissipated, but many more lingered, beaming broadly, chattering and sharing favorite moments. It’s easy to be cynical about Austin these days but then you sudden stumble into a revelatory experience at an outdoor club on a mild and clear October night. With his astonishing talent and open heart Gary Clark Jr., one of our city’s most famous sons, reminded us that Live Music Capital of the World is more than just a slogan and we are blessed to be here.