Friday music picks: Joe Ely, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Joe Ely at Strange Brew. It’s been a busy fall of looking both forward and back for Joe Ely, one of Austin’s most respected and accomplished musicians. The pioneering country-roots-rocker published his first novel, “Reverb: An Odyssey,” and issued the archival release “B4 84,” made on one of the first Apple computers way before digital recording became de rigeur. Last week he also unearthed from his vaults a 1987 duet with Linda Ronstadt on his longtime live-show staple “Where Is My Love,” releasing it for the first time as a single via iTunes. Catch him in an acoustic duo format with Jeff Plankenhorn both Friday and Saturday night at one of Austin’s best listening rooms. $20-$28. 7 p.m. 5326 Manchaca Road. strangebrewloungeside.com.
Also: Still basking in the afterglow of the holiday spirit? New age pioneer Chip Davis brings his Mannheim Steamroller Christmas tour to ACL Live. … Metroplex alt-rockers the Toadies, who’ve spent the year on a 20th-anniversary tour for their breakthrough album “Rubberneck,” play Emo’s on Friday (with Pleasant Grove and Blind Pets) and Saturday (with the Drakulas and Residual Kid). … Top Americana options include songwriter James McMurtry at the Roost, San Antonio country band Two Tons of Steel at the Broken Spoke and the Hot Texas Swing Band at the Highball.