Shakey Graves, Terry Allen, Ruthie Foster and more live music in Austin
Here are our top picks among live music options in the Austin area for Feb. 17-23. Check venue websites for COVID-19 protocols and any possible pandemic-related postponements or cancellations.
Blind Cafe Experience at American Legion Charles Johnson House. Billed as a “positive social impact discussion, dinner and music experience” held in full darkness, this traveling event features Rosh & the Blind Cafe Orchestra, whose leader founded the project. Joining them is Austinite Richie Flores, plus Dango Rose of the band Elephant Revival. $85. Events are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. theblindcafe.com.
Terry Allen at Paramount Theatre. Following up an hourlong episode of “Austin City Limits” that was taped in December and aired in January, Santa Fe sculptor-songwriter Allen returns to Austin for his annual Paramount show. The latest version of his ever-evolving Panhandle Mystery Band is something special with guitarists Charlie Sexton and Lloyd Maines, singer Shannon McNally, string players Richard Bowden and Warren Hood, a rhythm section of bassist Glenn Fukunaga and drummer Davis McLarty, and Allen’s sons Bukka on accordion and Bale on percussion. $20-$45; tickets for the originally scheduled Jan. 15 date will be honored. 8 p.m. austintheatre.org.
SIMS Foundation benefit with Shakey Graves, Torre Blake, Mama Duke at Far Out Lounge. Since 1995, the SIMS Foundation has helped Austin musicians get mental health treatment, serving an important need to supplement the medical-focused Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. Billed as “a benefit concert to support emotional wellness in our music community," this outdoor event will feature headliner Shakey Graves (a late replacement for previously announced Sir Woman) plus up-and-coming acts Torre Blake and Mama Duke. $20-$25 ($150 VIP tables with six seats also are available). 7:30 p.m. thefaroutaustin.com.
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; tickets for the originally scheduled Nov. 20 show will be honored. 6 p.m. doors. hautespotvenue.com.
“Imagine Muny” with Asleep at the Wheel, Eric Church, Lukas Nelson and more at ACL Live. For about a decade now, the Muny Conservancy has been working to preserve Lions Municipal, the historic West Austin golf course that has operated for nearly a century. The city’s lease on the land from the University of Texas expired in 2019, putting the course’s future in doubt; the Muny Conservancy wants it not to be redeveloped for other purposes. Asleep at the Wheel leader Ray Benson has been an avid golfer for decades, so it’s not surprising to see him heading this bill, which also will feature appearances by Church, Nelson and other special guests. 9 p.m. $55 and up; a 10-seat premium sponsor table also is available. themunyconservancy.com.
Kathy & the Kilowatts record release, Lavelle White at Antone’s. “Fully Charged,” the latest from longtime Austin blues singer Kathy Murray and her band, gets center stage on this night at Austin’s home of the blues, but there’s two reasons to celebrate. Following the Kilowatts on the bill is 92-year-old Lavelle White, who’s returning to her usual Sunday slot at the club after a series of falls required several months of rehabilitation. $10-$20. 7 p.m. antonesnightclub.com.
Gladys Knight at Paramount Theatre. At 77, Knight has checked off almost every major musical milestone: She’s won seven Grammys, had two No. 1 pop hits (“Midnight Train to Georgia” and “That’s What Friends Are For”) and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 1996 with her backing singers, the Pips). She’s also been on “Dancing With the Stars” and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Catch the Atlanta legend while she’s still touring, sans Pips. $35-$250. 8 p.m. austintheatre.org.
Pat Metheny’s Side Eye at One World Theatre. Not many artists have more Grammys than jazz guitarist Metheny, who’s won 20 in an astounding 10 different categories. He says his latest project, Side Eye, is designed to spotlight “a rotating cast of new and upcoming musicians who have particularly caught my interest along the way.” For this show, he’ll be joined by Houston native James Francies on piano and New Orleans mainstay Joe Dyson on drums. He’ll do shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., with another two shows on the following night, Feb. 24. $75-$148. oneworldtheatre.org.