Live music in Austin: Seismic Dance Event, Ray Wylie Hubbard birthday bash and more
Here are our top picks among live music options in the Austin area for Nov. 11-17.
Cindy Walker tribute at ABGB. Shows at this popular pizza joint and brewpub usually are free, but the $50 admission price ($100 VIP) for this special event is for a good cause: the SIMS Foundation, which provides mental health services for local musicians and industry professionals. Walker, one of the 20th century’s greatest songwriters, wrote dozens of songs for Western swing legend Bob Wills, as well as tunes recorded by the likes of Bing Crosby, Ernest Tubb and Ray Charles, who had a massive hit with her ballad “You Don’t Know Me.” Guitarist Sophia Johnson and bassist Georgia Parker ringlead a “Women of Western Swing” outfit (along with Katy Rose Cox, Rose Sinclair and Karen Biller) backing more than a dozen guest performers, including Brennen Leigh, Jake Penrod, Roger Wallace and Asleep at the Wheel’s Katie Shore. 7 p.m. theabgb.com. — P.B.
Poi Dog Pondering at 3Ten. The former Austin band, now based in Chicago, has made a habit of returning regularly in recent years, but this is their first show here in awhile because of the pandemic. One of the things that makes these songs special is that former members from the Austin days who still live here usually join in. $27-$30. 8 p.m. 3tenaustin.com. — P.B.
Seismic Dance Event at the Concourse Project. The fourth edition of the boutique techno and house music festival is also its biggest celebration to date. Bringing together top talent from around the globe, this year’s lineup includes South African mixmaster Black Coffee, U.K. artists Damian Lazarus and Bonobo, Russian DJ Nina Kraviz, Glasgow house duo Illyus & Barrientos and a live performance from Dutch techno artist Reinier Zonneveld. Other artists on the bill include Night Bass founder AC Slater, pioneering second wave Detroit techno artist Carl Craig and Brazilian techno artist ANNA. The event takes place at the Concourse Project, a three-stage, seven-acre complex in Southeast Austin. In addition to music, the event will include art installations and food trucks. Three-day tickets start at $249; single-day tickets are $119 on Friday and $129 on Saturday and Sunday. seismicdanceevent.com. — D.S.S.
Soul Man Sam at Skylark Lounge. Local music venues have taken various approaches to the pandemic — some staying open all along, many reopening last summer, a few holding out until the fall. East Austin blues haven the Skylark Lounge has been in the “more careful” camp, but it returns to action this weekend. Local mainstay Soul Man Sam will play each of the club’s first three nights back (9 p.m. Friday, 10 p.m. Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday). Friday’s bill also includes Oscar Ornelas at 6 p.m.; Saturday’s lineup features T.T. Brown & the Soul Expressions at 8 p.m. and Paul Klemperer at 6 p.m. Cover charge varies. facebook.com/theskylarklounge. — P.B.
Grupo Fantasma, Cilantro Boombox at Central Machine Works. The fifth edition of the Red, White & Blues 512 House Our Heroes event features the hip-switching grooves of Austin’s Latin-funk powerhouse Grupo Fantasma and pan-Latino/reggae/Afrobeat fusion from Cilantro Boombox. The event aims to increase awareness for Austin veterans' issues and to raise money for the nonprofit organizations that provide services to help them land on their feet when they return from service. Free general admission; $75 VIP. redwhiteandblues512.com. — D.S.S.
Ray Wylie Hubbard 75th birthday at Paramount Theatre. The "Snake Farm" songwriter's annual birthday bash returns to the Paramount with a bang this year. Following his long-overdue debut on “Austin City Limits” in 2020, Hubbard welcomes good friend Hayes Carll for a first-set song-swap, followed by a full-band rockin’ performance in the second set. $25-$45. 8 p.m. austintheatre.org. — P.B.
Longhorn City Limits with the Suffers, Jade Bird at LBJ Library Lawn. We’re down to just two more shows in this popular free concert series tied to University of Texas football games. Houston band the Suffers features soulful singer Kam Franklin plus a horn section and percussion. English transplant Jade Bird relocated to Austin last year and recently made her debut on the "Austin City Limits" TV show with songs from her new album "Different Kinds of Light." Jade Bird will play at 3:30 p.m. followed by the Suffers at 5 p.m. texassports.com. — P.B.
Tommy Emmanuel at Paramount Theatre. Let people talk about Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page as guitar gods, but if you’ve ever seen Australian acoustic master Emmanuel play, you know there’s no comparison. His eclectic style ranges from pop and rock to country and jazz, all driven by lightning-quick fretwork that has to be witnessed to be believed. He’s been making records since the 1970s, the most recent being 2019’s “Heart Songs” with John Knowles. $29.50-$59.50. 8 p.m. austintheatre.org. — P.B.
James McMurtry, Jon Dee Graham at Continental Club. The pandemic turned everything topsy-turvy for the Continental’s residencies, most notably the long-running Wednesday night show that featured McMurtry, Graham and William Harries Graham (Jon Dee’s son) for years. After a series of delays and changes, it appears the dust is settling with McMurtry moving to 10 p.m. Tuesday, the night he used to play acoustic shows upstairs in the Continental Gallery. Shooks, featuring frontman Marlon Sexton, follows at midnight. The Grahams are back in the saddle on Wednesdays — Jon Dee at 10:30 p.m., William Harries at 9:30 p.m. — with rotating midnight closers. In November, it’s theatrical indie band Calliope Musicals, whose new single “Dr Pepper” features a video based on the board game “Operation.” $8 each night. continentalclub.com. — P.B.