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Live music in Austin: Drive-by Truckers, Benny the Butcher, Ruthie Foster and more

Drive-By Truckers play the Scoot Inn on Thursday and Friday.

The Rolling Stones won't be the only band rocking Austin this week. Here are our picks for the other top shows in town Nov. 18-2. 


Drive-by Truckers, Buffalo Nichols at Scoot Inn. One of the great American rock bands of the 21st century, the Truckers began in the 1990s but took off like a rocket with 2001’s epic “Southern Rock Opera” and then added a young Jason Isbell to their mix for several years. Primary songwriter Patterson Hood hasn’t flinched from sociopolitical topics on recent records such as “The Unraveling” and “The New OK,” both issued last year. Local opener Buffalo Nichols has been making waves beyond Austin lately with a bluesy debut album that came out last month on renowned indie label Fat Possum. $25. (Tickets from the rescheduled Aug. 8-9 dates will be honored on the corresponding dates.) 6 p.m. doors. — P.B.


Benny the Butcher at Empire Garage. Westside legend Snoop Dogg tapped the Black Soprano Family rapper to drop a scene-setting lead verse on his latest “Murder Music,” a grimy tale of gangsta life and rap dominance that includes features from Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes. Benny’s from Buffalo, not NYC, but his 2020 full-length “Burden of Proof” is a soulful and lyrical collection of street-life bangers that will resonate with fans of old-school East Coast heavies like Ghostface, Mobb Deep and Nas. $35. 8 p.m.  — D.S.S.  

Cory Wong brings his band the Wongnotes to the Mohawk on Saturday.


Cory Wong & the Wongnotes at Mohawk. The live version of his popular YouTube variety show finds ace electric guitarist Cory Wong backed by an 11-piece big band with a six-piece horn section. Wong was recently nominated for a Grammy alongside "Tonight Show" bandleader Jon Batiste for the new age album “Meditations,” but quiet contemplation is not on the menu for this show, which should be an exuberant, funky throwdown. $25. 7 p.m. doors. — D.S.S.

Ruthie Foster, Hadden Sayers at Haute Spot. “I grew up with a lot of gospel in the house, and blues, and soul, and a little bit of country because it’s Texas,” Foster told the audience when she taped the “Austin City Limits” TV show last year. Austin’s strongest pull as a live music capital has always been in how artists are informed by a wide range of genres, and the music of this powerhouse vocalist is one of the best examples we have. Houston guitarist Sayers, who was on guitar with Foster at that “ACL” taping but has released many albums of his own as well, opens the show at this comfortable Cedar Park outdoor venue that’s been a welcome arrival for those who live on the north end of town. $24.50-$55. 6 p.m. doors. — P.B.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival at Electric Church. “Coming back from the dead is an ordeal,” reads a Facebook post about the event from the Electric Church. The organizers of the East Austin creative performance space describe this all-day, eight-band blowout as a “celebration of life” that will “restore your faith in existence.” Leading you back into the land of the living is the lo-fi garage rock duo (wait for it …) Being Dead. Other artists on the bill include Greenbeard, Geranium Drive, Gumma and Queen Serene. In addition to music, the event will include vendors and food pop-ups. $15-$25. 4 p.m. — D.S.S.

Ruthie Foster plays the Haute Spot on Saturday.


East Austin Studio Tour weekend two at Central Machine Works. This annual event, which began earlier this month and concludes this Saturday and Sunday, is primarily for visual artists. But Central Machine Works, a new brewpub on Cesar Chavez Street near U.S. 183, is adding some musical action to the mix with free shows both days. Saturday features a Spaceflight Records showcase with Primo the Alien, Think No Think, Croy & the Boys, Slomo Drags, and Wil Cope & the Dope. Sunday’s bill turns toward Americana fare with Sour Bridges, Harvest Thieves and Robynn Shayne. Artwork from the Swec Family and the Mangus Collective will be featured. 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday. — P.B.


Montopolis at Meanwhile Brewing. Composer Justin Sherburn's adventurous, mostly instrumental ensemble specializes in pairing musical scores to film projects. The group's 2019 album "The Legend of Big Bend" is one of their best in that realm. They'll play its songs accompanied by footage of the picturesque West Texas national park at this free outdoor show. 7 p.m. — P.B.


Slaid Cleaves annual Thanksgiving Eve show at Saxon Pub. On a dozen releases since moving here from Maine three decades ago, Cleaves has established himself as one of Austin’s top singer-songwriters. His blues-folk-country melodies largely revolve around carefully written and consistently compelling character sketches. The pandemic nixed last year’s Thanksgiving Eve show, but he resumes this holiday tradition at one of the city’s premier listening rooms. Per the artist’s request, proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test are required, as are masks, to be worn upon entry. $30-$40. 8 p.m. — P.B.