Leon Bridges to join Willie Nelson at Beto O’Rourke rally at Auditorium Shores

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The rally for U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, set for Sept. 29 at Auditorium Shores, was already destined to be a Texas-sized spectacle with local legend Willie Nelson headlining. On Wednesday afternoon, the show got even bigger as Leon Bridges, who recently sold out two nights at ACL Live, announced plans to join the bill.

RELATED: Leon Bridges plays a steamy set at ACL Live 

The soul sensation from Fort Worth posted a photo of himself in a Beto for Senate T-shirt on his official Facebook page. Expressing appropriate reverence for Nelson, Bridges said he was joining the rally in support “of my friend and Texas Senate candidate, Beto O’Rourke.”

“Elections are coming up — so make sure you exercise your right to vote. Texas Forever,” he added.

Leon Bridges and special guest Masego perform at ACL-Live at The Moody Theater on September 1, 2018 in Austin, Texas

Nelson and Bridges will share the bill with Joe Ely, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones, and Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson.

Admission to the concert and rally is free but requires an RSVP via O’Rourke’s website.

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. texasperformingarts.org. — 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. kutx.org — 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. acl-live.com — 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. austintheatre.org. — 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. oneworldtheatre.org. — 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

ACL Fest adds food court; bans bags with multiple pockets

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If you’re going to Austin City Limits Festival this year, it should be easier to get your grub on. The festival has expanded the food trailer offerings near the Barton Springs stage on the north side of the park to create a second food court. New trailers in that area include Burro Grilled Cheese, Tino’s Greek Cafe and Good Pop.

TINA PHAN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN. 10/3/14. Festival attendees line up at over 20 food vendors at Austin Eats food court during ACL Fest 2014.

The festival has also updated their bag policy to ban bags with more than one pocket. Here’s the official description of acceptable bags:

Bags will be restricted to small purses, totes and drawstring bags only. Bag size may not exceed 14” x 11” x 5” (35cm x 28cm x 12cm), or 30 linear inches (75cm) in total, and must have no more than one singular pocket or opening. Backpacks and bags with multiple pockets are prohibited.

And here’s a diagram:

The festival has also improved their wine bar and added a viewing deck option at the American Express stage for fest-goers who opt for a VIP ticket.

RELATED: The ACL Fest schedule is out. These are the toughest conflicts

ACL Fest takes place Oct. 5-7 and 12-14 at Zilker Park. Three-day passes, Friday passes and Saturday passes for weekend one are sold out. Three-day passes and single-day tickets to all days of weekend two are still available. More info. 



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


Aloe Blacc, Jackie Venson to play next free Longhorn City Limits concert

Longhorn City Limits, the new series that puts a free concert before each University of Texas home football game, will indulge in a little West Coast hip-hop/soul on Saturday. In his first Austin performance since 2014, L.A. singer and rapper Aloe Blacc is down to headline the third installment of the concert series.

Aloe Blacc performs during SXSW 2014 at Stubbs at the Def Jam showcase Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN)

The first two shows featured Jimmie Vaughan and Reckless Kelly, making Blacc the first headliner without a strong Texas tie.

“The response from our fans to Longhorn City Limits has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte in a press release about the event. “As we continue to grow this new gameday tradition, I challenged the staff to create a mix of local and national artists, as well as offer a variety of musical styles throughout the season.”

Blacc will be joined on the bill by local blues sensation Jackie Venson. Venson was our first Austin360 Artist of Month of 2018, after being named Breakout Artist of the Year in the inaugural Austin360 Awards in 2017.

Longhorn City Limits concerts take place on the LBJ Lawn outside the Northeast corner of the DKR Texas Memorial Stadium. The concerts are free and open to the public.

Jackie Venson is scheduled to kick off the show at noon on Sept. 22. Blacc is down to perform at 1:30 p.m.

A Flock of Seagulls headlines ’80s rock-themed ‘I Want My All ATX’ benefit

British synth-pop band, A Flock of Seagulls, has been tapped to headline a concert benefiting the local music nonprofit, All ATX on Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Four Seasons hotel.

A Flock of Seagulls. Courtesy of Paradise Artists

Mobley, Kalu & the Electric Joint, Alesia Lani and recent Austin360 Artist of the Month, Night Glitter will also perform.

Presented by local NPR affiliate KUTX 98.9 FM, the event is an afternoon show that will take place on the downtown hotel’s lawn. The concert’s theme is “I Want My All ATX,” a nod to the golden age of MTV. It doubles as a release party for this year’s All ATX compilation CD, which features local artists exploring the songs of that era. Sales from the compilation benefit local music non-profits the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the SIMS Foundation, Black Fret and the Austin Music Foundation.

It will also be the grand opening of a new restaurant, lounge and deck at the Four Seasons.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19, at KUTX.org. Prices range from $20 for general admission on the lawn, to $100 for the Restaurant Terrace, to $200 for the Lounge Deck. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show starts at 2 p.m.

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. austintheatre.org.

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. waterloorecords.com. —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. austin360amphitheater.com.

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

Khalid, Janelle Monae, Residente, Arctic Monkeys to tape ‘Austin City Limits’ episodes

As they have in past years, a handful of prominent artists playing Austin City Limits the festival will also make appearances on the fest’s namesake television show.

Khalid performs at Trinity Warehouse at SXSW on Thursday March 15, 2018. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Pop star Khalid, Puerto Rican rap sensation Residente, dance pop standout Janelle Monae and British rockers Arctic Monkeys will all do ‘ACL’ tapings during ACL Fest. Here’s the schedule:

Oct. 3: Khalid

Oct. 7: Residente

Oct. 8: Janelle Monae

Oct. 13: Arctic Monkeys

Tickets to the tapings are free and will be distributed via a public lottery in advance of the shows. The signup generally goes out a week before each show. Follow “Austin City Limits” on Facebook or Twitter to get notice of postings.

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.”

Austin hip-hop pioneer Donnell Robison, aka MC Overlord, has died

The Austin music scene is reeling following the death Wednesday night of Donnell Robinson, who was better known as MC Overlord, one of the city’s most prominent hip-hop artists. He was 49.

MC Overlord. 1997 Shelley Wood for American-Statesman

Robinson was the first rapper to be accepted into the fold of Austin’s downtown music scene and he remained a perennial presence in the Austin Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards rankings for best hip-hop artist for years, even during the period in which he put performing as Overlord on hold to focus on his children’s music project, Big Don.

Large in stature with a jovial disposition, friends and fellow rappers remember him as a big teddy bear of a man.

He never talked bad about anybody, never talked down to anybody. He was always friendly, would shake your hand and sign autographs…he was a people person,” Baxter Russell, who raps as MC Fatal, said on Thursday morning.  

Robinson moved to Austin from St. Louis in the early ‘90s to pursue a music career. He met one of his longtime producers, Ter’ell Shahid when the two men worked as bouncers at a Sixth Street club.

“He wanted to get in the clubs, but there was no hip-hop in clubs. They wouldn’t allow rappers to perform in clubs in Austin, so we found a way to get him in by putting a band behind him,” Shahid said on Thursday morning.  

He rapidly developed a loyal fan base in Austin’s mainstream music scene, but it wasn’t the typical hip-hop crowd.

“It was a predominantly white audience,” Shahid said.

His music was unique, a hybrid of hip-hop and the funky rock that was popular in Austin at the time. Shahid characterizes it as “alternative hip-hop.” It was good music, but also, non-threatening.

“He was a bridge,” Shahid said. He believes the widespread appeal of Overlord’s songs was in “the uniting factor.” He rapped about struggles and pushing through, but his music was loaded with love.

The love came across when he performed, both in his gregarious stage presence and his generosity with stage time.    

“He paved the way for people like me to be able to come onto the other side,” Russell said, noting that after Robinson started calling on him to freestyle on sets, he was booked into the South by Southwest Music Festival and began to land downtown gigs.  

“We was all rapping in the neighborhoods, on the corners and in the street clubs and stuff like that…he got us where black people could start performing in front of white crowds and break that barrier, going over to Sixth Street,” he said.  

“He shared the air with me,” rapper Bavu Blakes said Thursday. “He was very non competitive…he was the type of dude who was like, ‘Get it, get it. You’re incredible.’”

“We stood side by side and never had a beef and shared in each other success as if it was our own,” Terrany Johnson, who raps as Tee Double, wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

Though he recorded an MC Overlord album in 2017, Robinson’s focus in recent years was on his children’s music project, Big Don.

“His music has always brought young people out, even as Overlord,” Shahid said. As Big Don, Robinson was “trying to teach the kids, help them find moral compass,” he said.

In recent years, Robinson’s health had been up and down. Earlier this year, he returned home following the death of his mother and, while in St. Louis, he was hospitalized

“He ended up having a hernia that was strangling out his intestines and he had to do a bunch of surgeries,” Shahid said. Friends at home rallied with multiple benefits to help defray his medical expenses.

Shahid said a friend took Robinson to the doctor on Wednesday because he was feeling unwell and “his heart just stopped.”

Robinson will remembered as the godfather of Austin hip-hop. “He was a godfather in terms of showing that god-like love as a predecessor and just being welcoming and affirming to additional presence in a place where he had made his mark already,” Blakes said.

“He built his own lane,” local journalist and hip-hop promoter Matt Sonzala said Thursday morning. “He toured a bit … but he mostly was that Austin artist who really existed in Austin and thrived on his own.”

Robinson is survived by two sisters and a brother. 

PUBLIC VIEWING: 2 to 4:30 p.m., September 30 at King Tears Mortuary at 1300 East Twelfth St.