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Merry music, holiday hangs: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, Robert Earl Keen, more live music

Blues sensation Jackie Venson plays the first night of the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar's outdoor event.

Here are our top picks among live music options in the Austin area for Dec. 16-22. (Check individual event websites for COVID-19 safety information, including possible cancellations; one show that was initially included here, A Giant Dog at Cheer Up Charlies on Friday, has been canceled.) 

Thursday

Tejano Christmas Toy Drive at 3Ten. J.R. Gomez y Los Conjunto Bandits are the hosts of this fourth-annual event collecting collect new and unwrapped toys plus monetary donations for the Travis County Sheriff's Brown Santa program, which helps provide for families and senior citizens in need during the holidays. Also performing are Mario Ortiz, La Dezz, Stevie D, Shelly Lares and others. $15-$20, or free with a new and unused toy. 7:30 p.m. acl-live.com. — P.B.

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Friday-Sunday 

Armadillo Bazaar Outdoors at Palmer Events Center. The holiday music and shopping event with 45 years of history in Austin moves outside this year to create "a safe, family friendly fine-art scene." Over 100 artists will be onsite. With its run compressed to three days, the musical portion of the events will feature two acts each day who will play two sets each. On Friday, Latin Grammy-nominated pop artist Gina Chavez and blues sensation Jackie Venson perform. On Saturday, Grammy-nominated blues and Americana artist Ruthie Foster and soul dynamos Tomar and the FCs provide your shopping serenade. And on Sunday, powerhouse singers Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King and country soul kingpins Shinyribs close the event out. $10. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. armadillobazaar.com. — D.S.S.

Mariachi Sol de México de Jose Hernandez brings " AMerry-Achi Christmas" to ACL Live on Friday.

Friday

Pachanga presents "A Merry-Achi Christmas" with Mariachi Sol de México de Jóse Hernàndez at ACL Live. In his storied career, Hernàndez, a fifth-generation mariachi artist, has collaborated with everyone from Tejano sensation Selena to the Beach Boys. Trumpet in hand, he commands a tight-knit ensemble of a dozen players as they deliver the drama and romance of mariachi music to audiences around the world. $29-$49. 6:30 p.m. acl-live.com. — D.S.S.

Kevn Kinney & Aaron Lee Tasjan at Antone’s. Kinney’s Southern-rock band Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ has been a rite of passage for many up-and-coming musicians across the decades. Nashville guitarist and singer-songwriter Tasjan spent time in the group before his solo career took off with a handful of albums for prominent indie label New West, including this year’s “Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!” (with apologies to Marcia Brady). They’ll reconvene for this acoustic duo show; expect to hear some DNC favorites, as well as cuts from their respective solo records. $24. 9 p.m. antonesnightclub.com — P.B.

Robert Earl Keen brings his annual holiday show back to ACL Live on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday-Sunday 

Robert Earl Keen’s "The Road to Christmas" at ACL Live. The Bandera-based troubadour has been doing these holiday shows for a while, though they used to be called “Merry Christmas From the Fam-O-Lee” in reference to Keen’s humorous yuletide tune of that name. Despite the name change, no doubt that song will still figure prominently in the set. Opening the show both nights is Georgia singer-songwriter Brent Cobb. $39-$75. 8 p.m. acl-live.com. — P.B.

More:ACL Fest has revealed the dates for 2022

Saturday 

Ben Brown & Jefferson Brown vinyl releases at Sam's Town Point. East Coast brothers Ben and Jeff Brown relocated to Austin and played in bands both together and separately. Jeff, perhaps best-known as bassist with Shinyribs, died earlier this year; Ben booked this gig partly in his memory, and as a way to celebrate the dual vinyl releases of Jeff's 2020 EP "The French King Was Decapitated" and Ben's 2021 album "Sayonara Sorrow." $10. 9 p.m. samstownpointatx.com. — P.B.

The Aces at Scoot Inn. “It’s kind of a sisterhood. It’s something that’s so strongly a part of our lives and who we are as people," Cristal Ramirez of this Utah pop-rock outfit says. The band's been playing together since elementary school; when they play earworms like "Stuck" live, you can tell. $20-$70. scootinnaustin.com. — E.W.

The Aces perform Scoot Inn this week.

Monday

TubaChristmas at the Texas Capitol. Have a lowdown holiday hoedown as tubists, euphoniumists and baritone-horn players converge on the Capitol for boisterous bass clef renditions of your favorite festive tunes. How hard does this party honk? The event generally draws about 200 low-horn enthusiasts to participate in your midday serenade. Noon. facebook.com/tubachristmasaustin. — D.S.S.