Austin360 On The Record: Western Youth, Jaimee Harris, Will Courtney, more

Western Youth. Contributed/Letitia Smith


Western Youth, self-titled. With the recent addition of well-traveled Austin troubadour Graham Weber to their lineup, the roots-rock band formed in 2012 by singer-guitarists Taylor Williams and Matt Gregg plus drummer Brian Bowe has reached another level. Weber, Williams and Gregg all contribute songs here, resulting in an 11-track collection with no weak links. The Weber/Williams co-write “Hangin’ On,” released this summer as a video, is a full-on rocker with a desperate tone to match desperate times. Williams’ “The King Is Gone” has a slower tempo but is no less immediately appealing with its anthemic “Hallelujah” chorus chant. Opener “Dying on the Vine” lyrically explores dark territory but musically bursts forth with beautiful melodicism and the band’s whirlwind three-guitar attack. Gregg, Williams and Weber all contributed to writing “Valerie,” a jangly folk-rocker with majestic three-part harmony. “Lost the War,” a lovelorn ballad near the end of the disc, brings down the tempo and volume, focusing on the duet vocals of Williams and guest Jaimee Harris. Austin’s long been rich with Americana talent, and Western Youth rises near the top of the heap with this impressive set. Release show Sept. 21 at Spider House Ballroom. Here’s the video for “Hangin’ On”:

Jaimee Harris, “Red Rescue.” We wrote at length about Harris for our Austin360 Artist of the Month series in June, when this album initially was set for release before a slight delay. It’s out now on the heels of Harris’s trip last week to Nashville for Americana Fest, where she drew attention from NPR and shared a stage with Rodney Crowell and John Hiatt. Produced by Craig Ross, “Red Rescue” is strong from start to finish, a long-due solo debut from an artist who’s been writing songs since performing in a duo with her father as a teen. The first single “Depressive State” is the immediate standout, a folk-rock tune that bypasses typical verse-chorus structure and features radiant vocal harmonies. “Catch It Now” is a heartfelt solo acoustic gem that could be the theme song of Harris’s life and career up to this point. The title track is almost cinematic, grounded by the thumping rhythms of drummer Jon Greene and bassist Bonnie Whitmore before Brian Patterson’s guitar atmospherics and backing vocals by Ross and the late Jimmy LaFave broaden the scope. “Fake” starts as a quiet confessional — “I’m a fake, you’re starting to notice” — and gradually builds to an emotional breaking point. “Forever,” spiked with pedal steel and guitar runs from Mike Hardwick, captures the high reaches of Harris’s spectacular voice. The scorching “Damn Right” is a full-force rocker that pushes the boundaries of her repertoire, though it feels out-of-place as the opening track. But by the end of the album, when Harris drifts away gently on the piano-based reverie “Where Are You Now,” there’s no doubting “Red Rescue” heralds the arrival of a major new Austin singer-songwriter. Playing Sept. 20 at One-2-One Bar. Here’s an acoustic version of the title track recorded at our Statesman studios in July:

Will Courtney, “Crazy Love” (Super Secret). First coming to attention with the family band Brothers & Sisters a dozen years ago, Courtney is now on his third release under his own name. He seamlessly blends country, folk, rock and indie influences on this set of nine originals plus a cover of Danny Whitten’s “Look at All the Things.” Recorded at his home studio with his Wild Bunch band (guitarist Dan Wilcox, bassist Dave Morgan and drummer Travis Garaffa), “Crazy Love” is a no-nonsense Americana affairs that puts the songs front-and-center, whether the instrumentation is primarily electric (“Too High Now,” the title cut) or acoustic (“Drunk on Your Songs Again,” “When Will I Find My Love”). The next-to-last number, the slightly carnivalesque “Finally,” is a co-write with Courtney’s mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cynthia Clawson. Playing Sept. 25 at Hole in the Wall. Here’s the opening track, “Too High Now”:

Jonathon Zemek, “Hillcrest.” Prominent local musicians including Malford Milligan and Guy Forsyth teamed up with former Soul Track Mind leader Zemek in creating this unusual multimedia project that pairs music with a comic book. Written and produced by Zemek and Matt Smith, with comic book art done by Chris Rogers, it’s coming-of-age story that follows the adventures of a young boy whose father is killed at war. Appearing Sept. 21 at Wizard World Austin comic book convention at Austin Convention Center. Here’s a video of Zemek explaining more about the project, along with clips of both the artwork and the music:

Jane Ellen Bryant, “Let Me Be Lost” EP. The five songs here range from dreamy atmospherics (the opener “Take Me As I Am” ) to electronic outbursts (“Attention”) to sparkly soul (“Too Smooth”) to piano balladry (“If I Loved You,” the clear standout here) to melodramatic pop (“Let Me Be Lost”). Bryant, a terrific singer who’s toured with rising Austin pop star Max Frost and contributed vocals to several local acts’ records, seems to still be seeking her identity as a songwriter. Over the years I’ve been most impressed with her as an interpreter of other artists (Stephen Bruton’s “Make That Call” plus Daniel Johnston’s “Peek A Boo” as well as Stephen Stills’ “Helplessly Hoping”), and would love to hear her do a record along those lines at some point. Playing Sept. 22 at Mohawk indoor. Here’s the video for “Attention”:


“Blaze” Original Cast Recording soundtrack (Cinewax/Light in the Attic). Not your typical soundtrack album, this collection of a dozen songs draws primarily from performances as they appear right in the film itself. Musician/actor Ben Dickey, in the title role of ill-fated Austin songwriter Blaze Foley, is the focus here, performing Foley standouts such as “Clay Pigeons,” “Picture Cards” and “Cold Cold World.” There’s also two duets with actress Alia Shawkat (who plays Foley’s wife Sybil Rosen) and a couple of appearances by Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra (Foley’s sister in the film), including the closing-track rendition of Lucinda Williams’ song “Drunken Angel,” written for Foley. The show-stealer, though, is Charlie Sexton in character as Townes Van Zandt, completely inhabiting the spirit of the Texas legend as he sings Van Zandt’s “Marie.” Here’s that track:


  • SEPT. 25: Charlie Belle, “Like I Love This” EP, playing Oct. 13 at Whip In.
  • SEPT. 28: Jerry David DeCicca, “Burning Daylight” (Super Secret).
  • SEPT. 28: Bright Light Social Hour, “Missing Something” EP, playin Sept. 23 and Sept. 30 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.
  • SEPT. 28: Nobody’s Girl, “Waterline” EP, release show Sept. 29 at Saxon Pub.
  • SEPT. 28: Autumn Fakes, “A Sequence of Cheers for Cause and Effect,” release show Sept. 29 at Knomad Bar.
  • OCT. 5: Molly Burch, “First Flower” (Captured Tracks), playing Oct. 6 at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
  • OCT. 5: Max Frost, “Gold Rush” (Atlantic), playing Nov. 10 at Scoot Inn.
  • OCT. 5: Michael Martin Murphey, “Austinology: Alleys of Austin,” playing Dec. 21 at Paramount Theatre.
  • OCT. 12: Lindsay Beaver, “Tough As Love” (Alligator).
  • OCT. 12: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, “Rocket” (Verve Forecast).
  • OCT. 15: Kevin Welch, “Dust Devil.”
  • OCT. 19: Kendall Beard, “Here Comes Trouble,” playing Nov. 10 at Lamberts.
  • OCT. 25: Lesly Reynaga, release show Oct. 25 at One-2-One Bar.
  • OCT. 26: Carson McHone, “Carousel.”
  • OCT. 26: Jamie Lin Wilson, “Jumping Over Rocks,” playing Oct. 20 at Sam’s Town Point.
  • OCT. 26: Isaac Jacob Band, self-titled (Union 28).
  • NOV. 7: Kate Howard, release show Nov. 7 at One-2-One Bar.
  • NOV. 9: Sydney Wright, “Seiche.”

Weekend music picks: Free family-friendly concert series from KUTX is back

Austin will also host shows from jazz great Fred Hersch, post-hardcore outfit the Jesus Lizard and Texas country-folk legends the Flatlanders this weekend.


Friday: Fred Hersch Trio at UT McCullough Theatre. A 10-time Grammy nominee, pianist Hersch is one of the most accomplished living jazz musicians, one we’re fortunate to still have with us. A decade ago, Hersch, who’s lived with AIDS for 30 years, nearly died from a serious bout with pneumonia; he eventually recovered and composed the theatrical piece “My Coma Dreams” about the experience. His 2017 book “Good Things Happen Slowly” got major props from the Washington Post, which named it one of the top five memoirs of last year. This is Hersch’s first-ever major performance in Austin, and it might not happen again, given that he’s 62 and still lives with the effects of his illness. But his music continues to be extraordinary, and for local jazz fans, this show is something special. $10-$40. 8 p.m. 2375 Robert Dedman Drive. — P.B.

Mobley. Jay Janner/American-Statesman

Friday: KUTX Rock the Park at Mueller Amphitheater. The public radio station’s free concert series returns for a run of fall shows. The event, curated in part by KUTX’s Sunday kids show Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, pairs a kid-friendly act with an artist music lovers of all ages can appreciate. The kickoff features expressive artist Mobley, who delivers powerful messages in deceptively hooky pop songs alongside the Groundwork Music Orchestra. In addition to music there’s face painting and coloring for the kids as well as food trucks on site. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. 4550 Mueller Blvd. — D.S.S.

Saturday: Jesus Lizard at ACL Live. After eight years on hiatus, the influential post-hardcore outfit that formed in Austin over 30 years ago played a string of reunion shows in late 2017, including a riotous set that critics lauded as one of the best shows at Houston’s Day for Night Festival. This year’s tour corresponds with the 20th anniversary of the band’s final album, “Blue,” and the eight tour dates are the only live appearances the band has planned. Suckling opens. $32-$39. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. — D.S.S.

Saturday: Flatlanders, Dan Penn at Paramount Theatre. Last fall’s Paramount pairing of these two American music legends apparently went so well that they rebooked it for an encore. Penn, a songwriter responsible for some of the best Southern soul music of the 20th century, will open the show for Austin’s transcendental country-folk trio featuring Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. Either of these acts on their own would make for a memorable night. Together, it’s something worth becoming an annual tradition. $25-$55. 8 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. — P.B.

Sunday: “Three Women and the Truth” with Eliza Gilkyson, Mary Gauthier and Gretchen Peters at One World Theatre. Each accomplished singer-songwriters probably capable of headlining this room on their own, these three women are known for writing songs that dig far deeper than typical radio fare, even if all have had songs recorded by major artists. Gilkyson’s our local hero of the trio, a two-time Grammy nominee whose new album “Secularia” has drawn raves since its release two months ago. Gauthier’s 2017 album “Rifles & Rosary Beads,” a fascinating project in which she worked with veterans from Austinite Darden Smith’s “Songwriting With:Soldiers” organization, was a finalist for the Americana Music Association’s album of the year. Peters has released a dozen albums across two decades, including this year’s “Dancing With the Beast.” $20-$93. 7 p.m. 7701 Bee Caves Road. — P.B.



  • Dwight Yoakam, Two Tons of Steel, Dalton Domino at Nutty Brown Amphitheatre
  • Shinyribs, Justin Stewart at Paramount Theatre
  • Kidz Bop at H-E-B Center
  • Parker McCollum, Jonathan Terrell at Stubb’s outdoor
  • Benefit for Lauren Bruno at Musx HQ
  • Propagandhi, Riverboat Gamblers at Mohawk outdoor
  • Western Youth album release, Mike Schoenfeld at Spider House Ballroom
  • Frights, Hunny, Hot Flash Heat Wave at Barracuda
  • DJ Mel at Scoot Inn (early show)
  • Droeloe at Vulcan Gas Company
  • Lost Bayou Ramblers, Rayo Brothers, Blues Specialists at Continental Club
  • Flow Tribe, Shaggadelic at Antone’s
  • Swells, Canvas People, Smiile at 3Ten
  • Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s
  • Lesly Reynaga, Latin at Heart, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub
  • A-Town Getdown at ABGB
  • Michael Hearne & Shake Russell at Threadgill’s North
  • Maoli, Free’Dem Sesh, Lakandon at Flamingo Cantina
  • Slow Caves, Residual Kid, Pollen Rx at Hotel Vegas
  • Silo Road, Roger Wallace, Missy Beth & the Morning Afters at White Horse
  • Will Taylor & Strings Attached at Townsend
  • Wagoneers at Broken Spoke


  • Longhorn City Limits with Aloe Blacc, Jackie Venson at LBJ Library Lawn
  • Troye Sivan, Kim Petras, Leland at ACL Live
  • Intocable at H-E-B Center
  • Future Islands, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat at Stubb’s outdoor
  • Bullet for My Valentine at Emo’s
  • Laraaji, Arji, Dallas Acid at Zach Theatre
  • Andrew W.K. at Mohawk outdoor
  • Meg Myers, Adam Jones at Antone’s
  • Darden Smith at Stateside at the Paramount
  • Jackopierce at 3Ten
  • Malia Moore benefit with Rey Arteaga, Two Hoots & a Holler, Erin Jaimes & Jimmie Dreams, Twilight Trio at Threadgill’s South
  • Monte Montgomery, Johnny Nicholas & Hell Bent, Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel, George Ensle at Saxon Pub
  • Lindsay Beaver & the 24th Street Wailers, Carolyn Wonderland, Bill Kirchen at Continental Club
  • 888, Frankie Cosmos at Barracuda
  • Lucy Spraggan at Mohawk indoor
  • Bluebonnets at Southpark Meadows Shopping Center
  • Hector Ward & the Big Time, Honey Made, Funkapotamus, Van Wilks at One-2-One Bar
  • Oliver Rajamani Gypsy Fire at Cactus Cafe
  • Connie Kirk & Jazz Quintet, Wheelwrights, Sanco Loop at Townsend
  • Ephraim Owens Quintet at Elephant Room
  • Tomar & the FCs at ABGB


  • Pecan Street Festival with Nakia & the Blues Grifters, Night Glitter, Magna Carda, Johnny Goudie, Belcurve, more on East Sixth Street
  • B-Boy City XXIV Pro Breaking Tour at North Door


  • Fall Out Boy, Machine Gun Kelly at Erwin Center
  • Yo La Tengo at Mohawk outdoor
  • Palm School Choir reunion at ABGB
  • Pacific Dub, Ries Brothers at Stubb’s indoor
  • Ruins, Lavelle White at Antone’s
  • Carry Illinois, Co-Founder, Belcurve, Otis Wilkins at Hotel Vegas
  • Soul of a Musician series with Jonathan Terrell at Threadgill’s North
  • Greg Izor & the Box Kickers, Palm School Choir Reunion at ABGB
  • Hilary York, Imperial Starlighters, Mike Stinson at C-Boy’s

Blues legend Buddy Guy revels in the moment at ‘Austin City Limits’ taping

Legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy tapes “Austin City Limits” at ACL Live on Monday, September 17, 2018. Scott Moore for American-Statesman

“Whatever you see tonight, I didn’t rehearse it,” Buddy Guy told the crowd toward the end of Monday’s “Austin City Limits” taping at ACL Live. That wasn’t just a line. Usually, artists who play the iconic TV show make sure their performance is fine-tuned with an afternoon run-through that carefully adheres to the set list. But Buddy didn’t even HAVE a set list.

Once he takes the stage, you can see why. At 82, the legendary blues guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has been doing this for long enough to know better than anyone what works best for him, and that’s mostly living in the moment. Sure, he’s got habits he’ll work into most every show — rubbing the guitar against his backside to make a squeal/scrape sound with the strings, or wandering out into the crowd to play close-up for some lucky fans. But mostly he’s just following his instincts, and feeding off the energy of the audience.

PHOTOS: Buddy Guy taping “Austin City Limits”

There was plenty of energy in the crowd on this night, as Guy heartily acknowledged early on. “We don’t get this kind of response everywhere we go — that’s why I like coming here,” he said as he wound down a 20-minute version of the Willie Dixon classic “Hoochie Coochie Man.” He teased the audience on occasion for not answering his call-and-response vocal cues loudly enough, but it always had the desired effect: By the time he got to the end of the roof-raising title track to his Grammy-winning 1994 album “Slippin’ In,” he had everyone in the room shouting along to its chorus.

Guy worked in newer material alongside the old favorites, delighting the crowd with the lively “Cognac” — pronounced “coe-nee-ack” in his charmingly drawn-out drawl — from this year’s album “The Blues Is Alive and Well.” He gave credit to drummer Tom Hambridge, the song’s co-writer, noting that Hambridge has also produced his last several albums. Props also went out to guitarist Ric Hall, keyboardist Marty Sammon and bassist Orlando Wright, who were the perfect backing crew all night long. They held back to a near whisper when called for, thundered forth when the moment arrived, and stayed right in the groove throughout.

Buddy Guy tapes “Austin City Limits” with keyboardist Marty Sammon, drummer Tom Hambridge, bassist Orlando Wright and guitarist Ric Hall at ACL Live on September 17, 2018. Scott Moore for American-Statesman

Guy’s ties to Austin run deep. He has a long history with Antone’s nightlcub, he’s used Austin players such as Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton and David Grissom on his records, and he’s previously appeared on “Austin City Limits” four times, all at the old KLRU Studio 6A location — most recently for 2014’s inaugural Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where he jammed for the first time ever with Willie Nelson in helping to induct his late friend Stevie Ray Vaughan.

RELATED: More news and reviews from the “Austin City Limits” TV show

When Guy played ACL Live in 2015, he brought out Chicago transplant James Cotton, the legendary blues harmonica ace who moved to Austin in his final years, to join him onstage. Cotton died last year, but Guy also loves to share the spotlight with younger players, and so near the end of Monday’s show he brought out 19-year-old guitarist Quinn Sullivan (the opening act on that 2015 show) for a sweet but hot and soulful take on John Hiatt’s “Feels Like Rain.”

Sullivan stayed aboard for the rest of the ride, getting some spotlight solos and engaging in hot six-string duels with Guy as they roamed through licks that nodded to the influence of guitar greats such as B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. The finale was a bit abrupt — unrehearsed, naturally — as Guy set down his guitar while the band played on, wandered back out into the crowd to toss a few guitar picks to fortunate fans, and finally ambled off with a big smile and a wave, leaving his mates to finish it off with a closing jam.

Buddy Guy taping “Austin City Limits” at ACL Live on Monday, September 17, 2018. Scott Moore for American-Statesman


This week’s music picks: K.D. Lang, Dierks Bentley, more

Tuesday: K.D. Lang at Paramount Theatre. The Canadian singer-songwriter already was a breakout country artist when she released “Ingenue” in 1992, but that album blew the doors off of all stylistic preconceptions about Lang’s music. It became by far her biggest-selling album in the U.S., going double-platinum behind the singles “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine.” She’ll perform “Ingenue” in its entirety at this show, along with other favorites from her storied and stellar four-decade career as a recording artist. Mak Grgic opens. $50-$160. 8 p..m. 713 Congress Ave.

Wednesday: Asleep at the Wheel at Waterloo Records. Though they’ve stayed plenty busy the past decade with tributes and collaborations, “New Routes” is the first new “normal” Asleep at the Wheel album since 2007’s “Reinventing the Wheel.” Leader Ray Benson’s backing crew has changed a lot since then, and “New Routes” reflects those changes — primarily the addition of fiddler/singer Katie Shore, who steps out in a big way here. She sings lead on six of the album’s 11 tracks, wrote two of the best ones herself, and co-wrote another with Benson. Benson’s still steering the ship, and his lead vocals on three sublime covers — the late Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues,” Scottish pop star Paolo Nutini’s “Pencil Full of Lead” and the old Moon Mullican hit “Seven Nights to Rock” — reaffirm the Wheel’s role as ace interpreters of a seemingly endless range of material. Free. 5 p.m. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. —P.B.

Thursday: Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Lanco at Austin360 Amphitheater. The summer concert season at the amphitheater is almost done, but first, one last big bash for mainstream country fans. Bentley is touring behind his 10th album, “The Mountain,” released in June on Capitol Nashville. John and T.J. Osborne have released two albums as Brothers Osborne, including 2018’s “Port Saint Joe.” Opener Lanco, led by singer Brandon Lancaster, released its debut album “Hallelujah Nights” earlier this year. $31-$95.75. 7 p.m. 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.

First Aid Kit perform plays Tuesday at ACL Live. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman 2017



  • Saintseneca, Black Belt Eagle Scout at Barracuda
  • Nobody’s Girl, Saintseneca at Waterloo Records
  • Texas Tycoons residency anniversary at White Horse
  • Lonelyland, Hoodygoode at Saxon Pub
  • Dale Watson, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club
  • Church on Monday Band at Continental Gallery
  • Brad Stivers, Blue Monday with Greg Izor, James Bullard at Antone’s
  • Shelley King at Hilton Cannon & Belle
  • Texas KGB at One-2-One Bar
  • Open mic with Kacy Crowley at Cactus Cafe


  • Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience at Erwin Center
  • First Aid Kit, Julia Jacklin at ACL Live
  • Killing Joke, Pig at Mohawk outdoor
  • JC Brooks Band at 3Ten
  • Hayes Carll, David Grissom at Saxon Pub
  • Beat Root Revival, Paul Dunton Orchestra, Michael Fracasso at One-2-One Bar
  • Ephraim Owens, James McMurtry at Continental Gallery
  • Alice Spencer at Townsend
  • Betty Soo at Geraldine’s
  • Dreamers, Weathers, Morgxn at Stubb’s indoor
  • Will Courtney at Waterloo Records
  • Russell Haight Quartet, Sarah Sharp at Elephant Room


  • Gov’t Mule at ACL Live
  • Graham Nash at Paramount Theatre
  • Superorganism, Yuno at Emo’s
  • Asleep at the Wheel at Waterloo Records
  • Zhu, Tokimonsta at Stubb’s
  • Eleanor Friedberger, Pill at 3Ten
  • Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison at Long Center Rollins Studio Theatre
  • Texas Radio Live with Beat Root Revival, Paul Dunton Orchestra at Guero’s
  • James McMurtry, Jon Dee Graham, William Harries Graham at Continental Club
  • Walt Wilkins, Wagoneers at Saxon Pub
  • Will Courtney at Waterloo Records
  • Leti Garza Trio at One-2-One Bar
  • Marshall Hood & Friends at ABGB
  • Otis Wilkins at Geraldine’s


  • Angel Olsen, Hand Habits at Paramount Theatre
  • Todd Rundgren at 3Ten
  • Hovvdy, Crisman at Mohawk indoor
  • Werks, Moving Matter at Antone’s
  • Michael Grimm at One World Theatre
  • Watters, Jaimee Harris, Traveling Ones, Flyin’ A’s at One-2-One Bar
  • Beat Root Revival, Paul Dunton Orchestra at El Mercado Backstage
  • Lowin, Batty Jr., North by North, Cover Letter at Hotel Vegas
  • Harley Flanagan at Barracuda
  • Eric McFadden at Townsend
  • Lowin, Batty Jr. at Hotel Vegas
  • Bonnie Whitmore, Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few at Continental Gallery
  • Daisy O’Connor at Geraldine’s

Austin360 On The Record: Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Band of Heathens, more



Willie Nelson, “My Way” (Legacy). There may be no artist in popular music more prolific than Nelson has been over the past decade or so, with albums regularly coming twice a year if not more. Lately quite a few of them have been tributes, including the Grammy-winning Gershwins collection “Summertime” and a salute to his late friend Ray Price. “My Way” continues that thread as Willie tackles 11 tunes indelibly associated with Frank Sinatra. Recorded primarily in Los Angeles (with additional sessions in Austin, Nashville and Brooklyn), “My Way” teams Nelson’s recent right-hand-man producer Buddy Cannon with longtime Lyle Lovett pianist Matt Rollings, who also worked on “Summertime.” Together they create an exquisite, intimate instrumental canvas for Nelson’s vocals to color with his iconically distinctive flair. At 85, Willie still swings with joy and wonder on the buoyant “A Foggy Day” and the bouncing “Night and Day,” but he’s best on more contemplative numbers: The wisdom of his years inhabits the reflective blue tones of “It Was a Very Good Year” and the romantic bittersweetness of “I’ll Be Around.” Norah Jones joins him for a sweetly swinging duet on “What Is This Thing Called Love,” but mainly this is vintage Willie doing Sinatra in his own way, right down to the dramatic closing title track. Playing Sept. 29 at Auditorium Shores. Here’s the video for “Summer Wind”:

Asleep at the Wheel, “New Routes” (Bismeaux/ThirtyTigers). Though they’ve stayed plenty busy the past decade with another Bob Wills tribute album and collaborations with Willie Nelson and the Fort Worth Symphony, this is the first new “normal” Asleep at the Wheel album since 2007’s “Reinventing the Wheel.” Leader Ray Benson’s backing crew has changed a lot since then, and “New Routes” reflects those changes — primarily the addition of fiddler/singer Katie Shore, who steps out in a big way here. She sings lead on six of the album’s 11 tracks, wrote two of the best ones herself, and co-wrote another with Benson. This isn’t entirely surprising, given the high quality of Shore’s 2016 solo album (recorded before she joined the Wheel in 2014), but it does suggest a brave new way forward for the band. Benson’s still steering the ship, and his lead vocals on three sublime covers — the late Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues,” Scottish pop star Paolo Nutini’s “Pencil Full of Lead” and the old Moon Mullican hit “Seven Nights to Rock” — reaffirm the Wheel’s role as ace interpreters of a seemingly endless range of material. The album-closing “Willie Got There First” features the star-power cameo of Seth and Scott Avett, but that semi-novelty tribute number ultimately is just a postscript to a set that reaffirms the Wheel still has a wide-open horizon to explore. Release show Sept. 16 at Broken Spoke, in-store Sept. 19 at Waterloo Records. Here’s a recent live version of an abbreviated Wheel lineup performing the album’s opening track, “Jack I’m Mellow”:

Band of Heathens, “A Message From the People Revisited.” Released in 1972, Ray Charles’ “A Message From the People” was an ambitious concept album that noted 1960s civil rights triumphs while still acknowledging America had a long way to go. Austin’s Band of Heathens decided to re-record the album in sequence because of “its moving commentary on social justice, abuse-of-power, and its vision for a stronger, more-unified America,” per the press materials sent out with the record. It’s also a good fit for the group’s broad-ranging Americana talents, with songs that range from the soulful public-domain classics “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “America the Beautiful” to Dion’s folk classic “Abraham, Martin and John” and even John Denver’s rambling “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” The band plans to donate proceeds from the record to Rock the Vote, a nonprofit “dedicated to building the political power of young people through pop culture, music, art and technology,” per its website. Playing the album in full Nov. 25 at Antone’s. Here’s the track “Hey Mister”:

Cory Morrow, “Whiskey and Pride.” With more than a dozen releases in the past two decades and a solid fan base built upon relentless regional touring, Morrow has long been firmly established as one of the top artists on the Texas roadhouse circuit. “Whiskey and Pride,” produced by Lloyd Maines, continues with what has worked for him all those years, delivering rough-and-tumble country-rock leavened with a few sweeter ballads. Of the latter, “Always and Forever” stands out, long a live-show favorite but getting proper studio treatment for the first time with harmonies from Jamie Lin Wilson. Morrow also nods to two of his favorite songwriters with covers of Rodney Crowell’s “Come on Funny Feelin’” and Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Hill Country Rain.” Release shows Sept. 14-15 at Gruene Hall. Here’s the video for the title track:

Gina Chavez, “Lightbeam” EP. This five-song collection from Chavez, who won Album of the Year honors at the Austin Music Awards for her last full-length release in 2014, “sheds light on times she grappled with faith, sacrifice and society’s views on love,” observes the American-Statesman’s Nancy Flores in this week’s feature story on Chavez. “It’s an ode to the dozen years she and her partner have weathered life’s storms together.” Release show Sept. 15 at Antone’s. Here’s the video for the track “Heaven Knows”:

Johnny Goudie, “Leper Hands” EP. Increasingly known for his “How Did I Get Here” podcast interviews with local musicians, Goudie gets back to his own music with this four-song collection of pop and rock tunes. Producer Scrappy Jud Newcomb keeps the spotlight on Goudie’s high tenor, weaving in the tasteful support of drummer John Chipman and bassist Sean Crooks plus backing vocals from Jaimee Harris and Jane Ellen Bryant. Release show Sept. 13 at One-2-One Bar. Here’s the opening track, “Everyone’s Got Something,” an instantly appealing melodic number that recalls the best of Marshall Crenshaw’s catalog:

Ben Millburn, “Sunglass Moustache.” The full-length debut from this Louisiana transplant features 11 original songs in the vein of psychedelic indie-rock. Here’s the video for “Mr. Tuxedo”:


  • SEPT. 21: “Blaze” Original Cast Recording soundtrack (Cinewax/Light in the Attic).
  • SEPT. 21: Jaimee Harris, “Red Rescue,” playing Sept. 20 at One-2-One Bar.
  • SEPT. 21: Western Youth, self-titled, release show Sept. 21 at Spider House Ballroom.
  • SEPT. 21: Will Courtney, “Crazy Love” (Super Secret), in-store Sept. 18 at Waterloo Records.
  • SEPT. 21: Jonathon Zemek, “Hillcrest.”
  • SEPT. 21: Jane Ellen Bryant, “Let Me Be Lost” EP.
  • SEPT. 25: Charlie Belle, “Like I Love This” EP, playing Oct. 13 at Whip In.
  • SEPT. 28: Jerry David DeCicca, “Burning Daylight” (Super Secret).
  • SEPT. 28: Nobody’s Girl, “Waterline” EP, release show Sept. 29 at Saxon Pub.
  • OCT. 5: Molly Burch, “First Flower” (Captured Tracks), playing Oct. 6 at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
  • OCT. 5: Max Frost, “Gold Rush” (Atlantic).
  • OCT. 5: Michael Martin Murphey, “Austinology: Alleys of Austin.”
  • OCT. 12: Lindsay Beaver, “Tough As Love” (Alligator).
  • OCT. 12: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, “Rocket” (Verve Forecast).
  • OCT. 15: Kevin Welch, “Dust Devil.”
  • OCT. 25: Lesly Reynaga, release show Oct. 25 at One-2-One Bar.
  • OCT. 26: Carson McHone, “Carousel.”
  • OCT. 26: Jamie Lin Wilson, “Jumping Over Rocks,” playing Oct. 20 at Sam’s Town Point.
  • OCT. 26: Isaac Jacob Band, self-titled (Union 28).
  • NOV. 7: Kate Howard, release show Nov. 7 at One-2-One Bar.
  • NOV. 9: Sydney Wright, “Seiche.”

Willie for Beto: Nelson to headline rally for O’Rourke at Auditorium Shores

[cmg_anvato video=4483614 autoplay=”true”]

After bringing Beto O’Rourke onstage during his Fourth of July Picnic this summer, Willie Nelson is doubling down on his support of the U.S. Senate candidate, headlining a rally and concert set for Sept. 29 at Auditorium Shores.

Willie Nelson will headline a rally for Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke on at Auditorium Shores on September 29. Tamir Kalifa for American-Statesman 2016

Also on the bill are Leon Bridges, Joe Ely, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones, and Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson. (Update, Sept. 19: An initial report of Leon Bridges being on the bill was unconfirmed when the show was announced on Sept. 12, but Bridges confirmed on Sept. 19 that he will be on the bill.)

Admission is free but requires an RSVP via O’Rourke’s website.

A press release from Nelson’s publicist describes the event as “the first public concert Nelson has held for a political candidate.”

My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” Nelson said in the press release. “Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”

Nelson’s new album “My Way,” featuring standards associated with the repertoire of Frank Sinatra, comes out Friday on Legacy Recordings.

RELATED: More Willie Nelson news on Austin360

Will Beto jam with Willie again? That’s what happened during the encore of the July Fourth Picnic, when O’Rourke joined in on acoustic guitar for the finale of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

Micael Priest, illustrious artist from Armadillo World Headquarters era, dies

Renowned Austin poster artist Micael Priest died Wednesday at age 66. Mark Matson for American-Statesman 1997

Micael Priest, whose posters were part of the iconic artwork that defined Austin’s legendary music venue Armadillo World Headquarters in the 1970s, died in his apartment on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, a friend confirmed Wednesday afternoon. He was 66.

Priest had been struggling in recent years with complications from diabetes, according to a friend who posted Wednesday on Priest’s Facebook page.

Born Oct. 21, 1951, Priest arrived in Austin in 1969 and soon became well-known here for his drawings, especially those he did for shows at the Armadillo. Working alongside fellow artists such as Jim Franklin and Kerry Awn, Priest documented the parade of generation-defining musicians who played the ‘Dillo.

Among Priest’s works were the poster for Willie Nelson’s first Armadillo appearance in 1972, and the one for the venue’s final show on New Year’s Eve 1980 with Commander Cody and Asleep at the Wheel.

In 2014, American-Statesman columnist John Kelso (who died last year) visited with Priest and wrote the following piece about him.

By John Kelso

Austin artist Micael Priest lives in a high-rise overlooking Lady Bird Lake. Although the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center for old folks and the disabled isn’t exactly the Four Seasons.

“We do have 1970s-vintage motel heaters and air conditioners, but we also have the 1970s-vintage roaches,” said Micael, 62, who lives in a small, spectacularly cluttered room on the third floor.

Not that he’s complaining. For a man not doing all that great, he’s doing pretty well. He likes the neighbors.

“One good thing about living in that tower: Most of the people living there are from the generation that said ‘howdy’ and waved,” he said.

If you ever caught a show at Armadillo World Headquarters, you probably know Micael Priest. He’s one of the guys who created all those magical music posters for the legendary music hall. If not for the ’Dillo, who knows if this city would have become a live music mecca?

During the ’Dillo’s existence, from Aug. 7, 1970, to Dec. 31, 1980, Priest cranked out hundreds of concert posters. Among the faces he brought to life were Frank Zappa, the Pointer Sisters, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Steve Fromholz, Commander Cody, Mose Allison, Kinky Friedman, Doug Sahm, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Marshall Tucker, the Ramones and on and on.

Micael rubbed elbows with some of the big names in music. His favorite? Captain Beefheart, Micael said: “Because he managed to capture that very authentic sound of the old Delta Blues man. And he had a 4½-octave range, from his deepest voice to his highest voice, with no holes in it.”

Zappa, on the other hand, was a perfectionist and hard to deal with, Micael said. He was so opposed to drug use that he wouldn’t let his sax player take aspirin for a headache, “although he lived on a constant diet of cigarettes and coffee.”

Micael Priest holds the historic poster he created for Willie Nelson’s first Armadillo World Headquarters show in 1972. John Kelso/American-Statesman

In his craft, Micael was both fast and good. Eddie Wilson, who founded the ’Dillo, recalls his favorite Priest poster, done in 1972 for a Willie Nelson show. It was Micael’s first work for the ’Dillo.

“I told him, ‘Micael, this is a very important poster. I want you to do an old cowboy standing in a bar, crying in his beer, and in the background I want a jukebox throbbing, “Hello Walls.”’ And the next day he walked in with that very poster,” Wilson said. “The jukebox was just pulsating, and ‘Hello Walls’ was coming out of it like a thought bubble. It was just perfect.”

“If I had known this was going to be my most important work, I could have retired in 1972 and gone with a line of work that paid money,” Micael quipped.

Micael obviously never got rich off his artwork. “The ’Dillo paid me $70 a gig,” he recalled. “Plus they let you get in free with a date, and you got staff prices on beer and food. That’s what we lived on.”

When I first met Micael in the 1980s, he was living in a modest rent house on Gibson Street in South Austin with a bunch of other hippies. Micael called the place the Lost Boys Ranch, or, better still, the Home for Unwed Fathers. Later, Micael lived in a friend’s garage for seven years. Then there was his rent house in Mexico, but that didn’t pan out.

“I never could get my truck across the border,” he said.

Micael moved into the Johnson tower two years ago with some fanfare. “My truck blew up when I pulled in here, and my glasses blew off and exploded,” he said. A piece from the truck takes up a large chunk of his living space.

“This is the cabinet where I used to carry my posters around in the truck so they wouldn’t get messed up,” Micael said.

Micael, who has Medicare, suffers from various ailments. His hearing is iffy. He says awhile back he fell on his face, busting up some dental work. “I’m just about out of teeth; Medicare doesn’t do eyes or teeth, so I have to pay for those,” he said. His knees are shot. That 10-pound beard can’t be good for his back. And, with no ride, he has to walk to his favorite Mexican restaurant on East Cesar Chavez with the help of a fancy walking stick, carved for him by a friend in Chicago.

Micael Priest’s poster for the final night of Armadillo World Headquarters. Contributed

Micael still has a lot of his posters, not that they’re helping his economic situation. He says he can’t sell the originals. “They’re a nonrenewable resource,” he explained. “And if I put a check in the bank they’ll stop my (Social Security) checks, unless they change the rules. And I can’t imagine those Republican (wachamacalls) changing the rules unless it’s in their favor.”

Fortunately for Micael, his rent is cheap, by Austin standards ($294 a month, he says), and Meals on Wheels shows up with food. Not that it’s like dining on the cote du boeuf at Qui.

“It’s a hair better than prison food, but it’s a whole bucketful worse than school cafeteria food, in which, you will remember, thanks to Mr. Reagan, ketchup is a vegetable,” Micael said.

But Micael still gets around town with the help of friends, although he isn’t happy with what growth and prosperity have done to the city.

“We may be stupid and lazy, but at least we know how to spell Austin, and it isn’t spelled Austonian,” he said. “I don’t know what’s across the highway from me, but it’s not Austin. It’s precisely the same thing I moved away from when I left Dallas and Houston.”

Artwork of the Raw Deal, a 1970s-80s downtown Austin restaurant, by Micael Priest. Contributed

Weekend music picks: Viva Mexico!, RakefetFest and more

From Tejano standouts and stars of the local world music scene, to Japanese punk and Canadian power pop, our music picks are all over the map this week.


Friends host RakefetFest to help Rakefet Laviolette

Friday: RakefetFest at the Parish. Friends and fellow musicians rally to help Rakefet Laviolette, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Laviolette and her husband, Joel Laviolette, run the Rattletree School of Marimba, and the event is designed to help provide a “financial cushion” so the family can devote the time they need to her treatment and recovery. A who’s who of Austin’s top world music artists including Atash, Seu Jacinto and Bamako Airlines will perform. $10. Doors at 8 p.m. 214 E. Sixth St. — D.S.S.

Friday: Sloan at 3Ten. Formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1991, power-pop band Sloan rode the ’90s alt-rock wave to semi-stardom and still has a devoted cult following that includes 3Ten booker Jack McFadden, who’s been more excited about this show than just about anything he’s booked since the club opened in 2016. This year’s “12” is (naturally) the 12th release from the band, but they don’t tour down this way often, so if you want to see them, now’s the time to go. $12-$25. 8:30 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. — P.B.

Saturday: Viva Mexico! celebration at the Mexican American Cultural Center. The MACC hosts a concert remembering squeezebox savant Anthony Ortiz Jr., who died last summer after a 10-month battle with cancer. He was 24. Some of Ortiz Jr.’s favorite Mexican songs will be performed by his family’s band Mariachi Corbetas at the center’s Black Box Theater. Other featured musicians include accordionists Juan Diaz and Ricky Cabrera as well as pop-rock artist Lesly Reynaga, who recently earned the center’s Emerging Artist Award. Free. 5 p.m. 600 River St. — Nancy Flores

RELATED: Rising accordionist Anthony Ortiz Jr. dies at 24

Sunday: Shonen Knife at 3Ten. The all-female Japanese pop punk outfit has been shredding guitars and expectations since the ’80s. Along the way, they hung out with Nirvana in the ’90s, created a Ramones tribute project called Osaka Ramones and released 20 albums. Don’t let the adorable coordinated dresses fool you; they show up ready to rock you hard. Ringo Deathstarr opens. $21.50-$25. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. — D.S.S.



Lucius, Cornelia Murr at Paramount Theatre

St. Paul & the Broken Bones at Fair Market (also 5 p.m. at Waterloo Records)

Doja Cat, Lvl Up, Skirts, Caroline Says at Barracuda

Bob James at One World Theatre

Hyukoh, Inner Wave at Stubb’s indoor (sold out)

B3 Summit with Delvon LaMarr, Ike Stubblefield, Red Young, Sauce Gonzalez at Antone’s

Rakefet Laviolette benefit with Atash, Seu Jacinto, Bamako Airlines, Paula Maya at Parish

Jonathan Tyler, Will Courtney, Jesse Ebaugh at Continental Club

David Bowie tribute with Super Creeps, Kay Odyssey, DJ Mahealani at Empire

Damn the Torpedoes (Tom Petty tribute), Departure ATX at Threadgill’s South

Mayeux & Broussard, Garrett T. Capps, Kathryn Legendre, Lucas Hudgins at White Horse

Elias Haslanger Quintet, Sharon Bourbonnais at Elephant Room

Robert LaRoche & David Perales at Townsend

Los Nahuatlatos, Kiko Villamizar, Enrique Legarreta, Ex Romantika at Sahara Lounge

Lost Counts, Robert Kraft Trio at Continental Gallery

Ley Line at Cactus Cafe

Brown Sugar & the Brothers at Geraldine’s

Graveltooth, Mojo, Electrik Ants at One-2-One Bar


Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s


Borgore, GG Magree, Benda at Emo’s

Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Scoot Inn

Scott Miller, Matt McCormack at Cactus Cafe

Al Di Meola at One World Theatre

Carbon Leaf, Ben Ballinger at 3Ten

Ninas Arriba benefit with Gina Chavez (EP release), Carrie Rodriguez, Jane Ellen Bryant at Antone’s

Outyouth benefit with Bleached Roses, Belcurve, Why Bonnie, more at Barracuda

Benefit for Kelli Archer with Modern Don Juans, Rubilators, Drakes, LeRoi Brothers, Two Hoots & a Holler at Continental Club

SIMS Foundation benefit: George Strait tribute with Kristopher Wade, Jacob Jaeger at ABGB

Gravitas Recordings showcase with Psymbionic, Au5, more at Mohawk outdoor

Danny Malone, Pulkingham Layne at Townsend

Dawn & Hawkes, Guy Forsyth, Dickie Lee Erwin at Saxon Pub

Hank Williams birthday bash with Jake Penrod at White Horse

Otis the Destroyer, Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad at Hotel Vegas

Red Young Quintet at Elephant Room

Viva Mexico with Son de Rey at Sahara Lounge

Ullrich Ellison & Tribe at Threadgill’s South

Susan Gibson at Threadgill’s North

Larry Seaman at One-2-One Bar

Microsessions with Tom Meny, Jon Muq, Obsolete Machines, Texas Textbooks at Aveda Institute


Asleep at the Wheel record release at Broken Spoke

Owen, Fred Thomas at Mohawk indoor (sold out)

Kolars, Calliope Musicals, Pope Coke at Stubb’s indoor

Los Gumbo Blues Band, Lavelle White at Antone’s

Tuck & Patti at One World Theatre

Soul of a Musician series with Nakia at Threadgill’s North

Mitch Watkins Trio at Elephant Room

Resentments, John Gaar, Denim at Saxon Pub

Lo Jinx Supper Club, Purgatory Players at El Mercado Backstage

Dale Watson, Hilary York at C-Boy’s

Savage Poor at One-2-One Bar

Eve Monsees at Hilton Cannon & Belle

Yacht Rock Sunday with Mixer Rogers at Empire

Fragile Rock at Hotel Vegas

Sunday Shindig with Jason Robert Blum at Cosmic Coffee

Austin Blues Society honors Lavelle White, more at inaugural awards show

Lavelle White at Antone’s on June 25, 2017. White received a Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Austin Blues Society on Sept. 7, 2018. TAMIR KALIFA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Local musicians Lavelle White, Alan Haynes and the Soul Man Sam Band were honored over the weekend at the inaugural Austin Blues Society Blues Awards, held at C-Boy’s Heart & Soul on Friday night in conjunction with the Eastside Kings Festival opening party.

White received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Awards, while Haynes and the Soul Man Sam Band were named Best Blues Artist and Best Blues Band, respectively. The Eastside Kings served as the house band for the event, which included performances by each of the award winners.

The Austin Blues Society, formed in 2006, is a nonprofit “dedicated to creating higher awareness and greater appreciation for” blues music, according to its website. The group hosts a monthly blues jam at the Skylark Lounge on the last Thursday of each month and serves other functions locally such as helping to present “Blues in the Schools” programming.

RELATED: Lavelle White still sings the blues, and a whole lot more

The Trojans are coming, but so are Reckless Kelly and the Peterson Brothers at the next UT game

The Peterson Brothers played Reckless Kelly’s Celebrity Softball Jam at Dell Diamond in 2015. The two acts will team up again on Saturday, Sept. 15, for the Longhorn City Limits football pregame concert at the LBJ Library Lawn before Texas takes on USC. Jamie Harms/for Round Rock Leader

Prospects for Texas beating USC this Saturday seem iffy at best after the Longhorns’ narrow win over lowly Tulsa this past weekend. But across from the stadium on the LBJ Library Lawn, the new Longhorn City Limits series brought some welcome live local music to pregame festivities with sets from blues great Jimmie Vaughan and soul band the Nightowls.

RELATED: Video and recap from the first Longhorn City Limits event

Next up, UT formally announced this morning, are country-roots-rockers Reckless Kelly and blues jammers the Peterson Brothers Band, who’ll play before the Horns take on the Trojans at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. The Peterson Brothers will play from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., with Reckless Kelly following from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Admission is free; no ticket to the game is required.

It’s one of two high-profile sports-related appearances Reckless Kelly will be making this month. The band recently announced that its annual Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam at Dell Diamond, set for Sunday, Sept. 23, will be the last of a 10-year run for the popular charity event.

Longhorn City Limits shows will continue at all home games this season. The full schedule hasn’t been revealed; announcements of the next event will happen at that stadium during each game.