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Handsome Family added to Jeff Tweedy’s June 21 show

Peter Blackstock

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 12, 2014

Here’s a fitting late addition to Jeff Tweedy’s June 21 sold-out show at Texas Union Ballroom: Opening the show is Albuquerque, N.M., band The Handsome Family, whose songs also will be featured on Monday at the Paramount Theatre when violinist Andrew Bird plays material from his new Handsome Family tribute album.

Read more about the connection between Bird and the Handsome Family’s Brett & Rennie Sparks in Friday’s Austin360 section of the American-Statesman. (There’s even a cameo appearance by Tweedy in the opening segment.)

Tweedy, Bird and the Sparkses all got to know each other in the mid-late 1990s amid a memorable era for Chicago roots-oriented music that was flourishing in such venues as Schubas, the Hideout, Lounge Ax and Empty Bottle.

“We were all in the same kind of Chicago scene, with Jon Langford and Sally Timms,” Bird recalls. “They [Brett and Rennie] had a loft on Milwaukee Avenue, and they had parties that would go on for hours. Throughout the night, there would be a change in the cast of characters, and things would get dark and strange.” The full story is available online here.