Live music is back in Austin. These are the shows we wouldn't miss this week.
After more than a year of pandemic shutdowns, live music has largely returned to the Austin area in recent weeks. Here's a handful of recommended shows around town for June 17-23, from big-name acts in larger venues to sleeper picks in smaller spots.
Thursday: Los Sundowns, Nuevo, Suzanna Choffel at C-Boy’s. A rare upside of bands not playing gigs during the pandemic was that some intriguing studio collaborations arose. Thursday nights in June at C-Boy’s put a spotlight on two such projects that complement each other perfectly. Nuevo, which kicks things off at 10 p.m., describes its music as “Tejano soul” and features Austinite David Jimenez and Nashville’s Dante Schwebel fronting a group that also includes Greyhounds aces Anthony Ferrell and Andrew Trube. Following at 11:30 p.m. are the Los Sundowns, a Latin-psych-rock outfit featuring Grupo Fantasma/Brownout/Money Chicha mainstay Beto Martinez and drummer/DJ Daniel Villarreal of Chicago band Dos Santos. $7. Arrive early for a no-cover show with local singer-songwriter Suzanna Choffel at 6 p.m. 2008 S. Congress Ave. cboys.com — P.B.
Thursday-Friday: Shakey Graves, Sir Woman at Stubb’s outdoor. Alejandro Rose-Garcia released his debut album “Roll the Bones” in 2011, and for a decade the compelling collection of introspective musings laced with sparse but evocative folk arrangements existed only as a pay-what-you-wish download on Bandcamp. “I love that record to death,” Rose-Garcia said in November. He calls the album “a big labor of love” written over a period of five years while he was trying to discover what the Shakey Graves project would be. A 10th anniversary vinyl edition of the album dropped in April, and these dates kick off a two-month cross-country support tour. Sir Woman, the soulful solo project from Wild Child’s Kelsey Wilson, opens. $32.50 (Friday is technically sold out.) 7 p.m. doors, 801 Red River St., stubbsaustin.com — D.S.S.
Friday-Saturday: Antone’s 46th Anniversary kickoff with Jackie Venson. The month-long celebration at Austin’s Home of the Blues is a vibrant cross-genre affair. Superstar Gary Clark Jr. and Houston rap heavy Lil Keke are among the artists who will play later in the month, but electric blues standout Venson is the perfect artist to kick things off. Venson cemented her hometown hero status last year lifting spirits around the world with her regular livestream performances and pressing the powers-that-be to make the music landscape in her home city more equitable. NOLA outfit Cha Wa opens Friday, Venson’s dad, Andrew Venson, opens Saturday. $20-$25. 8 p.m. 305 E. Fifth St. antonesnightclub.com — D.S.S.
Saturday: Album-release shows. Remember these? They mostly happened virtually during the pandemic, but now performers are returning to venues to celebrate their new recordings. Chose from three on this night: rockers Sam Pace & the Gilded Grit with Aaron Stephens and Nichole Wagner at Central Machine Works (4-11 p.m.); adventurous steel guitarist Anthony Locke at Sam’s Town Point (7-9 p.m.); and Hill Country singer-songwriter Leslie Beia with Hilary York and Lonesome Heroes at Far Out Lounge (6-10 p.m.). Contact venues for cover charges. — P.B.
Sunday: Blue October at Haute Spot. After introducing itself to the community with drive-in concerts during the pandemic, this new Cedar Park venue is charging ahead full-speed this spring and summer. Haute Spot features live music on most nights, providing north-end residents with a long-overdue option to see quality music without driving into town. Following weekend shows with troubadour Jack Ingram and rockers Bright Light Social Hour, Haute Spot mellows out with a special acoustic set from platinum-selling outfit Blue October. Matthew Ostrander opens. $35-$79.50. 6:30 p.m. 1501 East New Hope Drive, Cedar Park. hautespotvenue.com — P.B.
Tuesday: Jeremy Nail, Ray Benson, David Grissom at Saxon Pub. A South Austin fixture since 1990, the Saxon specializes in presenting several separately ticketed shows most nights. This one kicks off with guitar great Grissom, who’s back in the saddle with his 6 p.m. weekly no-cover happy-hour. The 8 p.m. prime-time set features Austin icon Ray Benson, whose western swing band Asleep at the Wheel is celebrating its 50th year ($15-$25). Closing out the night at 10 p.m. is singer-songwriter Jeremy Nail, an alum of our Austin360 Artist of the Month series ($10). 1320 S. Lamar Blvd. thesaxonpub.com — P.B.
Tuesday: Deer Fellow at Meanwhile Brewing. One of several new outdoor-oriented venues that popped up during the pandemic, Meanwhile has quickly become a popular hang not just for its adventurous house-made beers but for its free early-evening shows four nights a week. This one features Deer Fellow, an enchanting duo whose recent EP “Words Unsaid” is one of the best releases we’ve heard from an Austin act so far this year. 7-9 p.m. 3901 Promontory Point Drive. meanwhilebeer.com — P.B.
Wednesday: Henri Herbert at East Austin Piano Shop. A boogie-blues piano master from France who’d just started to become omnipresent around town before the pandemic hit, Herbert has charged back into full gear this spring. You can catch him at C-Boy’s, Sagebrush, Guero’s and Geraldine’s this month, but this particular show is special, as he’ll pay tribute to piano legend Memphis Slim at an instrument store that became a livestream hot spot for the local outfit Monks Jazz during the past year. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. BYO-alcohol-and-food event are $20 at henriherbertaustin.eventbrite.com; it’ll also be livestreamed for free on Herbert’s YouTube channel. 501 Pedernales Street #2E. eastaustinpianoshop.com — P.B.
Wednesday: Tje Austin & Miggy Milla at Geraldine’s. If you’re a fan of smooth and sexy R&B and simmering acoustic soul, this is your ticket. Best known for his confessional love songs, Austin released “I Can’t Breathe,” a painstaking reflection on the death of George Floyd, one of most powerful songs to emerge from last summer’s civil rights movement. Milla’s latest “Gone” is a delightful serving of summery soul pop that will lift even the loneliest heart. No cover (reservations recommended). 8:30 p.m., 605 Davis St. geraldinesaustin.com — D.S.S.