Bill Frisell & the Big Sur Quintet at Texas Union Ballroom. Any visit from Seattle jazz guitar master Bill Frisell is welcome, but this show sounds particularly promising. Titled “This Land: Woody Guthrie’s Better World,” it’s an exploration of the 20th century folk music icon through the lens of Frisell’s always-imaginative instrumental visions, as further fleshed out by violinist Jenny Scheinman, violist Eyvind Kang, cellist Hank Roberts and drummer Rudy Royston. $45. 8 p.m. 2247 Guadalupe St. cactuscafe.org.
Joe Pug at Waterloo Records. Slipping out just before the mayhem of South by Southwest, this Austin singer-songwriter’s new disc “Windfall” is a rare treasure that shouldn’t escape notice. Brandon Flowers of rock band the Killers recently cited the album’s concluding track, “If Still It Can’t Be Found,” as “the best thing I’ve heard in a while”; we’d take that a step further and call it Austin’s song of the year, so far. Free. 5 p.m. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. waterloorecords.com.
Also: Heartland rocker John Mellencamp is the marquee name at Bass Concert Hall, but don’t miss the opening set by Carlene Carter, whose forbears constituted the first family of country music. … Los Angeles singer-songwriter Brian Whelan is striking out on his own after a stretch in Dwight Yoakam’s band; fellow roots travelerMike Stinson joins him at Strange Brew. … Hard-rocking Richmond, Va., band Brief Lives visits Holy Mountain with Bearded Ox and Stumbledrunk. … Hedwig tribute band Sideways Grimace returns to the Highball with Super Creeps and Obscured By Echoes. … A few years back Bobby Jealousy seemed like Austin’s next breakout. The band returns with a new lineup at Hotel Vegas.