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Austin music this week: Holiday shows from Robert Earl Keen, Tje Austin, more

Peter Blackstock,Deborah Sengupta Stith
Robert Earl Keen will bring his annual Christmas show to ACL Live on Friday and Saturday. [BRONTE WITTPENN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Here’s what’s happening in the Live Music Capital of the World this week.


Friday: A Very Scary Xmas: The Unholiest Holiday Party in Austin at Texas Mist. Oh hey there, Ebenezer, this shindig ditches the merriness you detest for a melee of monstrous thrills designed to spark a tremor of fear in your cold, dark heart. Worm Suicide and the Devil Club lead a roster of seven punk and metal bands who will play while live zombie actors roam the club’s haunted backyard. The event also will feature holiday horror movies, a fire pit and more. $8-$10 (21 and older). 7 p.m. 1115 Old Bastrop Highway. — D.S.S.

Friday-Saturday: Countdown to Christmas with Robert Earl Keen and Shinyribs at ACL Live. For fans of Texas roots/country/Americana music, it’s hard to fathom a better holiday bill than this one (especially since Willie Nelson is skipping his usual New Year’s Eve shows this year). Fresh off hosting the “Austin City Limits” Hall of Fame gala at this same venue last month, Keen and his ace band will trot out his crowd-favorite singalong “Merry Christmas From the Family” and more seasonal fare, to follow what’s bound to be a high-energy opening set of yuletide feel-good, swampy soul from Shinyribs. $29-$49. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. — P.B.

Saturday: A Motown Christmas with Tje Austin at Geraldine’s. The silky-R&B singer, who once thrilled national audiences with an appearance on “The Voice,” hosts a sprawling holiday extravaganza with a live band and multiple special guests. Austin begins obsessing over which carols to cover months before the family-friendly bash, and he carefully curates a setlist that mixes soulful versions of the classics with poppy faves and more. No cover (capacity permitting). 9 p.m. 605 Davis St. — D.S.S.

Sunday: A Merry-Achi Christmas at ACL Live. Fifth-generation mariachi musician Jóse Hernàndez formed his acclaimed ensemble, Mariachi Sol de México, in 1981. Over the years, the group has played high-profile performances in concert halls around the world, logged collaborations with the Beach Boys and Willie Nelson and serenaded four U.S. presidents. For the past several years, they’ve forged a new holiday tradition, infusing favorite Christmas tunes with mariachi music’s signature passion and drama. — D.S.S.

Monday: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Robert Ellis, Carolyn Wonderland, Jackie Venson at Palmer Events Center. The next-to-last day of the bazaar’s run is one of its best. New to the festivities this year is Ellis (7 p.m.), whose “Texas Piano Man” album was one of 2019’s best. Soulful singer and blazing blues guitarist Wonderland (3 p.m.) has spent much of the past two years in legendary bluesman John Mayall’s band. Venson (noon) was voted Austin360 Artist of the Year for 2018 and released her second full-length record, “Joy,” earlier this year. $10 (free for ages 12 and under). 900 Barton Springs Road. — P.B.

Tuesday: Carson McHone’s seventh annual Christmas Eve Songwriter Special at White Horse. For local singer-songwriter McHone, this is a family-focused holiday evening, as her parents are co-owners of the White Horse. But the dozens of musicians and fans who gather here every year are an Austin music community family unto themselves. Participants play a couple of songs each, from 8 p.m. into the wee hours of Christmas morning. Donations to the SIMS Foundation and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians will be accepted, as will potluck contributions for the traditional pool-table spread. 500 Comal St. — P.B.

Tuesday: Will Taylor’s Christmas Eve Austin Music Tour. A longtime Austin presence with his Strings Attached project, violinist Taylor has combined a potluck-dinner concert with a club-crawl crasher for this unusual event. It starts at Nicholas Dawson Neighborhood Park, 604 W. Gibson St., with a performance by Taylor, Leeann Atherton and Stephen Zirkel (if the weather’s bad, they’ll move to a nearby residence). Then Taylor leads an evening on the town that’ll include stops at the Saxon Pub for sets by David Grissom and Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey, plus a stop at Cosmic Coffee & Beer to hear Marshall Hood. $25-$30. 5 p.m. — P.B.



Christmas with the Mrs. at Parker Jazz Club


Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas at Paramount Theatre

Home for the Holidays with Marcia Ball, Carolyn Wonderland & Shelley King at Antone’s

Norman Brown’s Joyous Christmas with Bobby Caldwell and Marion Meadows at One World Theatre

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Swimming With Bears, Tomar & the FCs, Zach Person at Palmer Events Center

Celtic Christmas at St. Mary’s Cathedral

Junkyard, Broken Teeth, Midnight Killers at 3Ten

Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan, Rosie Flores Revue at C-Boy’s

Go Fever, Glass Grapes at Stay Gold

Wagoneers at Broken Spoke

Savage Poor, Eric Tessmer, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub

Peligrosa 12th anniversary with Chingo Bling, El Dusty at North Door

Brian Scartocci, Sue Foley, Blues Specialists at Continental Club

Giulia Millanta, Barbara Nesbitt, and Andrea Magee at Threadgill’s

A. Sinclair, Will Courtney, Mountain Time at Mohawk indoor

Goons, Kady Rain, Flavor Raid at Empire

Mean Jolene, Tyler Jordan & the Negative Space at ABGB

AJ & Alex Vallejo at One-2-One Bar

Mayeux & Broussard, Armadillo Road, Missy Beth & the Morning Afters at White Horse

Tottsie & the Flames, Bill Carter at Sam’s Town Point

Donovan Keith at Geraldine’s


Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Ruthie Foster, Melat at Palmer Events Center

Marti Brom, Lou Ann Barton, Kinky Friedman & Cleve Hattersley, Redd Volkaert at Continental Club

Diamond Smugglers Holiday Extravaganza at 3Ten

Harvest Thieves, Matthew McNeal at ABGB

James Hand, Golden Roses, Dave Insley at White Horse

W.C. Clark, Folk Uke at Saxon Pub

Sunsquabi, Cycles, Casual T at Empire Garage

Wrecks, Slomo Drags, Luna Luna at Empire Control Room

Bukka Allen at Townsend

Ephraim Owens Experience at Elephant Room

Wilson Marks Trio, Amy Sue Berlin, Amy Rosalyn at Radio

Los Texmaniacs at Sam’s Town Point

Flow Tribe, Selfless Lovers at Antone’s

Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Before Christmas, Halfways at Hotel Vegas

Holidaze Formal with Modern Medicine, Nightblooms, Con Man at Far Out Lounge

Money Chica, Nemegata, Lavelle White at C-Boy’s

Lost Counts, Beaver Nelson at Continental Gallery

Honey Made, Capitol at Stubb’s

Roland & the Roots Riddim, Buenos Diaz at Stay Gold

Churchwood at Carousel Lounge


Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Sir Woman, Brothers of the Castle with Del Castillo & Friends, Wood & Wire at Palmer Events Center

Noel McKay, Resentments, Sam Baker, Ulla at Saxon Pub

Women of Western Swing Xmas Bash at Sam’s Town Point

Mitch Watkins Trio at Elephant Room

Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour at Cosmic

Erin Jaimes, Lavelle White at Antone’s

Mike & the Burnalls, Hilary York at C-Boy’s

Haydn Vitera at One-2-One Bar

Andrew Heller’s Christmas Spectacular at Parker Jazz Club


Austin360 Residency of the Month: Chris Gage at Donn’s Depot

Dale Watson, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club

Church on Monday Band at Continental Gallery

Mystery Monday with Christine Albert, Bill Kirchen, Chip Dolan at El Mercado Backstage

Steel Monday with Rose Sinclair at Sam’s Town Point

Lonelyland, Hoody & the Wolves at Saxon Pub

Brad Stivers, Matthew Robinson & the Jelly Kings, James Bullard at Antone’s

Kevin Fox, James Moritz, Texas Tycoons at White Horse

Jonesin’, Andrea Magee’s Girl Jam at C-Boy’s

Oscar Ornelas at Stay Gold

Bluegrass Night at Radio


Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Bill Kirchen, Albert & Gage, Blazing Bows at Palmer Events Center

Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey at Saxon Pub

Theo Lawrence, Ida Red at Sam’s Town Point

Kenny Williams at Geraldine’s

Jon Blondell Quintet at Elephant Room


Flaco Jimenez, David Beck’s Tejano Weekend, Theo Lawrence at Antone’s

Dale Watson at Continental Club

Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour Chanukah Concert at Barrel O’ Fun

Alex Coke Quintet at Elephant Room

Jeff Lofton, Sarah Arenella at Geraldine’s

Trube Farrell & Snizz, Henri Herbert at C-Boy’s

Stars at Night at Hole in the Wall

Candler Wilkinson at Stay Gold


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

Casper Rawls with Earl Poole Ball, Lisa Pankratz & Brad Fordham at Continental Club

Soul Man Sam, Sauce Gonzalez & the Westside Sound at Antone’s

Theo Lawrence, Eve & Buck’s Lowdown Blues at C-Boy’s

Sahara Smith at Geraldine’s

Patrice Pike, Drakes at Saxon Pub

Derailers at Broken Spoke

Crescent Soul Revue, Guitar Grady at Sam’s Town Point

Ron Wilkins Quartet, Alexa Torres Quartet at Elephant Room

Mrs. Glass at Stay Gold