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Live music on a holiday week includes Blue Christmas at Antone's and more

Austin musician Charley Crockett wraps up a milestone year with a concert on Wednesday at ACL Live.

Very few touring shows come through town during the holiday season — which isn't such a bad thing for Austin, as it puts the spotlight on our extensive community of talented and accomplished local musicians. Here are our top picks among live music options in the Austin area for Dec. 23-29.

Thursday

Midland at ACL Live: The Grammy-nominated country band based in Dripping Springs concludes a two-night “home for the holidays” run at Austin’s major downtown concert hall, wrapping up a fall return to touring behind their summer EP “The Last Resort.” Opening the show is accomplished songwriter Hailey Whitters, who’s toured with Maren Morris and Little Big Town, and Austin’s own Jonathan Terrell, whose 2020 release “Westward” was one of last year’s best local albums. $39. 8 p.m. acl-live.com.

Friday

Christmas Eve at Sagebrush: Launched last year by partners who’d had success with East Austin honky tonk the White Horse, this new South Austin venue has quickly become a regular stop for many local roots acts and their fans. On this night, they’re partly borrowing a page from the White Horse, where Carson McHone (daughter of part-owner Marshall McHone) hosted a Christmas Eve open mic for several years before her recent move to Canada. Sagebrush’s show is less wide-open but still features an extended bill of locals: Henri Herbert (5 p.m.), Dylan Blackthorn (6 p.m.), Grady Pinkerton (7 p.m.), Cass Brostad (8 p.m.), Stephanie Hunt (9 p.m.), Warm Sugar (10 p.m.) and Amanda Cevallos (11 p.m.). Admission is free. There’s a similar show on Christmas night, with Ben Ballinger, Cory Reinisch, Bear Ryan, Rick Broussard, Robert Allan Caldwell and Stephen Castillo. sagebrushtexas.com.

More:New venue Sagebrush reopens in South Austin with food truck out front

Santiago Jimenez Jr. headlines the Blue Christmas show at Antone's on Saturday.

Saturday

Santiago Jimenez Jr.’s Blue Christmas at Antone’s: The San Antonio-based Jimenez family is conjunto royalty, with brothers Flaco and Santiago Jr. having built upon the pioneering work of patriarch Santiago Sr. Flaco tends to get the most attention, but Santiago Jr. is a thrice-Grammy-nominated accordionist in his own right. He’ll help to make your Navidad plenty feliz as the headliner of this conjunto bill that also features Los Pinkys and Manolo Black. $12-$15. 8 p.m. antonesnightclub.com.

Sunday-Monday

Steel guitar shows at Sam’s Town Point. The far south end of Austin feels increasingly closer to town as the city grows, but Sam’s probably always will retain some of its tucked-away-secret vibe. One of the club’s noble causes in recent years has been to champion the art of pedal steel guitar, through Rose Sinclair’s caringly curated “Steel Monday” series. This week, it spills over to Sunday: Sinclair — who just released a six-song EP titled "Wave" — takes the Sam’s stage on Sunday with her Cocktail Steel outfit ($10, 6 p.m.), followed on Monday by the regular series gig featuring accomplished local steel ace Gary Newcomb ($10, 7 p.m.). samstownpointatx.com.

More:Steel Monday puts the spotlight on steel guitar at Sam's

Tuesday

Jungle Show at Antone’s: When Austin’s fabled “home of the blues” reopened downtown in 2016, it boasted 40 years of history, but its stewards kept an eye toward creating new traditions, as well. One that has blossomed is this annual gig between Christmas and New Year’s, with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons as ringleader of a crew that includes local blues aces Sue Foley, Mike Flanigin, Chris Layton and Jimmie Vaughan. It’s a two-night affair; Wednesday tickets are sold out, but at press time there were still $75 general admission tickets available for Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. show. antonesnightclub.com.

Whitney Rose plays an early set on Tuesday at the Continental Club.

James McMurtry, Calder Allen, Whitney Rose at Continental Club: Longtime Continental residency holder McMurtry plays his last show of 2021 at 10 p.m., but the whole night is a strong one at SoCo’s historic hot spot. Stick around till midnight for Calder Allen, the grandson of songwriting great Terry Allen, who made an attention-getting debut at ACL Fest in October. Admission for McMurtry and Allen is $10; arrive early for a separate-ticketed ($8) 7 p.m. show by Whitney Rose, a Canadian transplant who’s become one of Austin’s top country talents in recent years. And if you want to make an easy club-hopping night of it, bounce upstairs to the Continental Gallery for gigs by roots great Rosie Flores ($10, 8:30 p.m.) and jazz trumpeter Ephraim Owens ($5, 10:30 p.m.). continentalclub.com.

More:Austin troubadour James McMurtry returns with first new album in 6 years 

Wednesday

Charley Crockett at ACL Live: Few Austin musicians have been busier in recent years than Crockett, who’s put out 10 records since 2015. All that work paid off big time in 2021 when Crockett won emerging artist of the year at the Americana Awards in Nashville this fall, just after issuing a new album that spent several weeks atop the Americana radio charts. Over the summer, he also taped the “Austin City Limits” TV show at ACL Live; he returns to the venue for this hometown concert celebrating his banner year. Joshua Ray Walker opens. $36. 8 p.m. acl-live.com.