The new year brings a fresh slate of free shows at Waterloo Records, recently named one of the 10 best record stores in America by Rolling Stone. We already knew it was, of course; its regular in-stores are just one of the reasons Waterloo has won Best Music Store honors every year the Austin Music Awards has existed, dating back to the early 1980s.
Just added to the in-store docket for this week is a 4:30 p.m. performance on Thursday, January 10, by Michael Martin Murphey. He'll be playing songs from "Austinology: Alleys of Austin," a new record that revisits songs of his own and his peers from his landmark early-1970s years living here. Guests on the record include Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Amy Grant, Kelly Willis and Jerry Jeff Walker.
READ MORE: Our interview with Michael Martin Murphey about 'Austinology'
Murphey is in town to accept a Songwriters Hall of Fame award during the Austin Songwriters Group Symposium at the Holiday Inn Midtown. The 8 p.m. Thursday event is free and open to the public; others receiving awards this year are Joe Gracey, Champ Hood, Danny Roy Young, Bobby Earl Smith, Denny Freeman, Rosie Flores, Robert Josef Cross and Tim O'Connor. The Lost Austin Band will perform.
As previously noted, Waterloo will host a signing-only event with the band Calpurnia at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, the morning after the band's performance at Scoot Inn. Purchase of the Canadian band's EP "Scout" is required for a wristband granting admission to the signing. The band won't be signing memorabilia from the Netflix series "Stranger Things," which stars band leader Finn Wolfhard.
Lots more is on deck at Waterloo in January. Chicago indie band Joan of Arc will be there Jan. 18 before their show at Empire that night, with singer Parker Gispert of Georgia band the Whigs appearing on Jan. 25 before playing the Mohawk. And three local acts have free in-stores scheduled: Hunt Sales (Jan. 24), A. Sinclair (Jan. 28) and Rebecca Loebe (Jan. 29). All those events are at 5 p.m.
Finally, there's a big one to kick off next month: Popular local indie-psychedelic group Bright Light Social Hour celebrates the release of "Jude Vol. 1" on Austin label Modern Outsider with a 5 p.m. in-store on Feb. 1.