Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Spring festivals in Austin: Urban Music Fest, HonkTX! and a 3-day tribute to Marcia Ball

Peter Blackstock
HonkTX! returns for a weekend of free shows in Austin parks. [TAMIR KALIFA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN FILE]

Here's what's going on this week in the Live Music Capital of the World.


Friday: Son Volt at Waterloo Records. Band leader Jay Farrar is from the Midwest, but in recent years his lineup has included an Austin rhythm section, with bassist Andrew Duplantis and drummer Mark Patterson. Perhaps that’s one reason why the acclaimed alt-country band is celebrating the release of its new record, “Union,” at Austin’s landmark record store. They’ll be back in June for a full show at Scoot Inn, but get a sneak preview for free at one of the best-sounding music rooms in town. 5 p.m. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. — P.B.

Friday-Saturday: Urban Music Festival at Auditorium Shores. There’s no doubt that every lady in the crowd will work it when Friday headliner Blackstreet performs their smash hit, “No Diggity,” on Friday night. The '90s R&B powerhouse — performing with two original members, but not Teddy Riley — leads a bill that also includes Sylveena Johnson and Kyle Turner with Michael Ward. On Saturday, the old school funk outfit Ohio Players, led by a few original members, will perform alongside new-school R&B artists Calvin Richardson and Stokley. $40 Friday, $50 Saturday. Gates at 3 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday. 900 W. Riverside Drive. — D.S.S.

Friday-Sunday: Marcia’s 70th Birthday Ball at Antone’s. This is a big one for Ball, who’s been in Austin for 50 of those 70 years and is coming off a momentous 2018, in which she released a great new album, “Shine Bright,” and served as the official Texas State Musician. Friends from her native Louisiana and from Austin will help her celebrate. Friday’s 8 p.m. bill includes Terrence Simien & the Zydeco Experience, plus Ball playing with guitarist Sonny Landreth. Saturday at 8 p.m., Ball joins locals Tracy Nelson, Lou Ann Barton, Shelley King, Emily Gimble, Sarah Brown, Red Young and others. Sunday’s “Pianorama Brunch” begins at 11:30 a.m. and features Ball with Young, Floyd Domino, Nick Connolly, Johnny Nicholas and more. Tickets are being sold only for all three days, at $200 each, with proceeds benefiting the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) and Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers (HOME). 305 E. Fifth St. — P.B.

Friday-Sunday: HonkTX! Street Band Festival. More than two dozen crews of marching merry-makers decked out in D.I.Y. finery will descend on Austin for the ninth annual edition of the free community event. This year, bands hailing from as far away as Brazil, El Salvador and the Pacific Northwest will join local rhythm and brass heavyweights like Minor Mishap and Dead Music Capital for the family-friendly festival. The festivities kick off with a six-stage bash in the Mueller neighborhood on Friday. On Saturday, the fest hosts seven stages around Adams Park and Spiderhouse Cafe. On Sunday, the grand finale includes a parade through East Austin and an all-band revue in Pan Am Park. All events are free. Check for detailed schedule information and stage locations. — D.S.S.

Wednesday: Bob Mould at Mohawk outdoor. Husker Du, the Twin Cities trio that launched Mould into the spotlight in the 1980s, still looms large as part of his legacy, but he’s now released more than a dozen solo albums. The latest, “Sunshine Rock,” came out in February on Merge Records and shows he’s still a full-on rock 'n' roll force, thanks in part to the powerful rhythm section of drummer Jon Wurster and bassist Jason Narducy. Austin indie singer-songwriter Will Johnson opens. $23. 8 p.m. 912 Red River St. — P.B.

Thursday: Max Frost at Scoot Inn. The “White Lies” singer’s debut full-length, “Gold Rush,” dropped in February, finally delivering on the promise of the Austin pop standout, who signed to Atlantic Records in 2013. Executive produced by Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and the Tantrums, the album is a catchy collection of radio-ready (and festival-ready) pop jams loaded with sing-along hooks and laced with hip-hop rhythms and strains of gospel. Frost postponed this tour to pick up a spot opening for Twenty One Pilots on their fall arena tour, so he’s had plenty of time to sharpen his set on some of the nation’s biggest stages. Upsahl opens. $17. 6 p.m. doors. 1308 E. 4th St. — D.S.S.



Grupo Fantasma, Tomar & the FCs at Mohawk outdoor

David Ball & That Carolina Sound at Stateside at the Paramount (sold out)

Taking Back Sunday, Frank Iero at Emo’s (sold out)

Yonder Mountain String Band, Dangermuffin at Scoot Inn

Ellis Paul at Cactus Cafe

Andrea Gibson, Lauren Zuniga at Parish

Hector Ward & the Big Time, Honey Made, Extreme Heat, Leeann Atherton at One-2-One Bar

Roxy Roca, Rosie Flores Revue at C-Boy’s

Leon Russell tribute at ABGB

Lost Counts, Emily Gimble at Continental Gallery

Sour Bridges, Rosie & the Ramblers, Missy Beth & the Morning Afters at White Horse


Revivalists, Rayland Baxter at Stubb’s outdoor (Saturday sold out)


Chelsea Cutler, Andrea Russo at Emo’s (sold out)

Mike Doughty, Wheatus at 3Ten

Slobberbone, Mulehead, Junior Brown & Tanya Rae at Continental Club

Bruce Robison “Wrapped” 20th anniversary at Cactus Cafe

William Harries Graham CD release at Cosmic

John Inmon, Johnny Nicholas, Raina Rose at Saxon Pub

Cloudchord with Soul Food Horns at Mohawk indoor

Badfish, Third Coast Roots at Scoot Inn

James Hand, Teri Joyce, Dave Insley at White Horse

Lindsay Beaver, Lavelle White at C-Boy’s

Queue Queue, Kay Odyssey at ABGB

Albert & Gage Band at Donn’s Depot


Hozier, Jade Bird at ACL Live (sold out)

Sunset Sessions with Tameca Jones, Dr. Joe at Eberly

Irish Invasion with Andrea Magee & Pat Byrne, Resentments, John Gaar at Saxon Pub

Graham Wilkinson, Kalu James, Sydney Wright at Cosmic

Mike Dillon Band with Brad Houser & Brandon Aly at One-2-One Bar

Music of Talking Heads for Kids at Mohawk outdoor

Soul of a Musician Series with Wood & Wire’s Tony Kamel & Dom Fisher at Threadgill’s

Hilary York, Sophia Johnson at C-Boy’s

Jeff Lofton Trio at Geraldine’s


Dale Watson, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club

Church on Monday Band at Continental Gallery

Brad Stivers, Blue Monday with Erin Jaimes at Antone’s

Dylan Bishop, Marty Muse at Sam’s Town Point

Lonelyland, Hoody & the Wolves at Saxon Pub

Jazz Jam with Adrian Ruiz at Elephant Room

Drew Davis at Geraldine’s


Bronze Radio Return, Wildermiss at Stubb’s indoor

Skyacre at Mohawk indoor

Alec Benjamin, Alexander 23 at Parish

Sue Foley Acoustic Trio at Saxon Pub

Suzanna Choffel at Geraldine’s

Donovan Keith, 8-½ Souvenirs at C-Boy’s

Kym Warner at Cosmic

Jon Blondell Quintet, Sarah Sharp at Elephant Room


Ella Vos, Clara Mae at Emo’s

Carrie Rodriguez Laboratorio with David Garza at Cactus Cafe

Prof, Mac Irv, Cashinova, Willie Wonka at Antone’s

Texas Radio Live with Cohen Project, Parker Chapin at Guero’s

Walt Wilkins, Wagoneers at Saxon Pub

Brannen & Red, Blue Moon Jazz Quartet with Rosie Flores at Continental Gallery

Matt Hubbard Trio, Cheatin’ Hearts at C-Boy’s

Marshall Hood & Friends at ABGB

John Mills Times Ten at Elephant Room

La Mona Loca, Seela at One-2-One Bar

JD Clark at Geraldine’s


Bouncing Souls, Bronx, Casualties at Mohawk outdoor

Rod Melancon, Patrice Pike, Love & Chaos at Saxon Pub

Ghost Light at Antone’s

Roy Blair’s Cat Heaven at Stubb’s indoor

Night Glitter at Geraldine’s

Jenny Reynolds with Scrappy Jud Newcomb at Townsend

Bonnie Whitmore, Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few at Continental Gallery

Barfield, Casper Rawls at Continental Club

Jimmie Dreams, Guitar Grady at Sam’s Town Point