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MilkDrive

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $15.00

While most bands point solidly to one member on fiddle, another on mandolin and so on, such limited designations only give half the story on MilkDrive. This Austin-based, acoustic power team features skilled multi-instrumentalists versed in a variety of musical styles.

Indeed, swapping instruments comes most naturally for the band’s three founding members, who grew up steeped in musical community – particularly the fiddle contest scene. Brian Beken, Dennis Ludiker and Noah Jeffries met as youngsters and co-contestants in the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest in Weiser, Idaho. Late-night jams resulted in musical kinship for the friends who eventually joined forces to start MilkDrive. Fourth member, bassist Jesse Dalton, joined recently, rounding out the low-end for the band’s sophisticated sound.

The band’s third studio album, Places You’ve Not Been, is available for purchase in March of this year. Recorded at Austin’s Bismeaux Studio (Asleep at the Wheel) and self-produced by the band, the project features predominantly original material that is indicative of the group’s extensive influences and talents. An audible treat for the senses, Places features refreshing arrangements decked with strong, tight harmonies.

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Austin Vida Presents: Leticia Rodriguez

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $12.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door

Leticia Rodriguez made history this year as the first American artist to be invited to perform at the XXI International Festival de Las Romerias de Mayo, Holguin, Cuba. A photo montage of the trip will accompany her performance at the Cactus Cafe.

Multidisciplinary artist and musician, Rodriguez performs Pan American music. Through soulful, exacting vocals and instrumentation, she celebrates and explores culture, family and inclusion. After the release of her first album, La Americana, Rodriguez was interviewed on National Public Radio, for her tribute to international star, Eva Garza, Rodriguez’ aunt. Rodriguez has been a featured performer on tastemaker radio station, KEXP, as well as nationally acclaimed radio program, Undercurrents. Her recording, Sagüita al Bate, ranked last year in the top ten national radio charts, and both her albums have earned Grammy recognition.

Most recently, Rodriguez was honored along with other Texas artists, for her contributions to Texas music at the Texas Music Museum, Austin, TX. There’s more that could be written, but Rodriguez prefers to have you come and hear for yourself.

Views & Brews -Katrina 10 Years On

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Coming up with our next Views and Brews at the Cactus Cafe this Tuesday at 6, It’s hurricane Katrina 10 years on. Join KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with NPR’s John Burnett, former Austin Mayor Will Wynn, Dr. Eric Tang and Dr. Shirley Thompson author of “Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans”, as we talk about the storm, before and after, and the harsh realities of inequality the deluge washed up. Views and Brews is free and open to the public, we hope to see you this Tuesday at 6 at the Cactus. Find more details at cactuscafe.org.

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Bobby Long

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $12.00 in advance & $15.00 at the door

British singer-songwriter Bobby Long emerged from London’s club scene with a reputation for creating memorable songs inhabited by hauntingly poetic lyrics. Since relocating to New York, he has released two CDs of powerful original material: the first—A Winter Tale (2011)—an homage to his acoustic roots, while the second— Wishbone (2013)—bears a grittier sound that showcases his sorrow-filled voice and his stellar guitar playing. Ode to Thinking, his third full album, marries his varied musical influences, resulting in a strong collection of compelling new songs. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it was supported by a highly successful PledgeMusic campaign and is set for release by Nashville-based Compass Records in August, 2015. Visit: www.bobbylong.info www.musicbobbylong.com www.facebook.com/musicbobbylong www.pledgemusic.com/bobbylong www.youtube.com/musicbobbylong

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Guy Forsyth & the Hot Nut Riveters & McMercy Family Band

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $10.00

Step right up folks! You’ve got one night only to catch the The Hot Nut Riveters and the McMercy Family Band on the finest stage in Austin!

The Hot Nut Riveters Believe it or not, it was over twenty years ago when Guy Forsyth, still wet behind the ears and entirely oblivious to just how crazy an idea it was, started a band who played all acoustic instruments and specialized in a strange and heady homebrew of genre and influences, and promptly began mining the deep, rich veins of American traditional and popular music forms. Call it traditional bluespop folk countrygrass. Wait, no. Call it traditional alt-bluespop folk country grass. Though his career has taken him down varied paths, including successful forays into the blues and, most recently, Americana, his love for that “old time” music and his drive to proselytize about it to whomever would listen has never been stronger.

“You can hear snatches of this music in songs on every album I’ve ever recorded. There is just something about it that is in my blood, and every now and then it just boils over and forces itself out – usually in just a song, or maybe two. This time, though, I noticed all the talent around me and it came bubbling out as this band, The Hot Nut Riveters – an all-star cast of the best players for their position that I could run down and capture and force to play.”

The McMercy Family Band Brothers and Sisters McMercy never really thought of themselves as a band. Just friends and family that make music together. Despite that, they’ve been bringing their unique take on roots gospel music, 60’s soul, and harmony singing to stages in Austin and beyond for the better part of a decade now. When roots music exploded in popularity not too long ago, they received a lot of comparisons to recent stars of the New West and Anti records variety. The difference? McMercy was here before, and McMercy will be here after.

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Lee Barber & the Broken Cup with Sahara Smith

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $12.00

Lee was born in New Orleans and raised within smelling distance of the Mississippi River. The Louisiana native’s music is rooted in subtle and fundamental ways. At the same time, it’s modern, intimate and personal, with lyrics that often rub up against the daily experience of strangeness and wonder that is modern life.

Backed by The Broken Cup, a genuine Austin article that includes Brian Beattie, Scrappy Jud Newcomb and Dony Wynn, Lee will perform songs from the new album, The Missing Pages, as well as 2009’s well-loved Thief and Rescue. Special guest, Sahara Smith will open the show and perform with the band.

“Lee Barber resonates like a Civil War ballad.” – The Austin Chronicle

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Jeff Lofton Electric Thang

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $20.00

Join award-winning, Austin-based jazz trumpeter Jeff Lofton to celebrate his birthday with his jazz-funk, rock fusion side project, the Jeff Lofton Electric Thang. Recently featured in Macy’s American Icon national ad campaign, Jeff is known for his 1950s Miles Davis Tribute and was voted Best Horn Player ‘13-’14 and Best Jazz Band ‘10-’11 in the Austin Music Awards. In 2011 The Jeff Lofton Electric Thang, recorded and released “Chasing the Voodoo Down – Live at the Cactus Cafe.

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Aaron Lee Tasjan

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door

A songwriter, guitarist and producer from Ohio, who at the age of 16 made his first trip to New York City, performed with Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), and was awarded the Outstanding Guitarist award at The Essentially Ellington Competition at Lincoln Center. Aaron declined a full scholarship to Berklee to return instead to New York City where he formed the band Semi-Precious Weapons. While there, he caught the eye of Drivin n Cryin frontman Kevn Kinney and was invited to tour with Kinney, both as an opening act and Kinney’s guitarist. Aaron later reunited with rock poet- and former manager- BP Fallon to write the song “I Believe In Elvis Presley,” subsequently produced by Jack White, and released on his Third Man Records label. Fallon and Tasjan continued their collaboration by joining with Sean Lennon and Irina Lazareanu in the art rock band Operation Juliet, and went on to form another project, BP Fallon & The Bandits, that featured Rock & Roll Hall Of Famers Clem Burke, Ian McLagan and Nigel Harrison. In 2011, Texas Country superstar Pat Green recorded Tasjan’s poetic, socially conscious, rambling tune, “Streets Of Galilee.” Green was so taken with the young songwriter that he invited Tasjan to record the song with him. The album, Songs We Wish We’d Written II, reached #15 on the Billboard Chart. Tasjan-penned tracks have also been featured on TV’s The Voice, The Best Day Ever and Archer, as well as in the film The Way, Way Back, starring Steve Carell.

After spending the last few years touring mainly as a lead guitarist with Brooklyn indie rockers Alberta Cross and late-period incarnations of the New York Dolls and Drivin n Cryin, Tasjan decided to step into the spotlight and focus on his career as a songwriter and solo artist. Since the beginning of 2014 he has released two highly- acclaimed EPs, Crooked River Burning and Telling Stories to the Wall. Crooked River Burning reached #1 on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart, and its lead track, “Don’t Walk Away,” was a “DJ Pick of the Day” at Nashville’s WRLT Lightning 100, and has since seen regular rotation at the station. A full-length album, In the Blazes will be released in October 2015. As Aaron sets his sights on world domination, be sure to grab your seat!

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The CBGBand

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door

The CBGband returns to the Cactus Cafe! The CBGband is a full band collaboration comprised of Austin singer/songwriters  Colin Gilmore, Bonnie Whitmore, and Graham Weber, along with drummer Matt Winegardner, Tamineh Gueramy on fiddle, and special guest Betty Soo.
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Water & Rust

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $10.00

“Steeped in four part harmonies coming from a heritage of gospel, soul, and rock and roll, Water & Rust is quickly becoming an Austin favorite. Their recent shows with Bob Schneider, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Todd Rundgren at ACL LIVE… show that this is a band to be watching. Their 6 song debut EP, produced by Dwight Baker from The Wind + The Wave, will be available late 2015. Don’t miss his powerful, intimate night with Water & Rust.” www.waterandrust.com

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Trace Bundy

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $18.00 in advance $22 at the door

The Acoustic Ninja Returns!!

Trace Bundy must be seen, not just heard. His music is poetry in motion, using harmonics, looping, multiple capos, and his unique banter and stage presence to deliver an unforgettable live concert experience. Listening to his intricate arrangements is one thing, but seeing the fan-dubbed “Acoustic Ninja” play live confounds even the most accomplished music lovers as to how one person can do all that with just two hands and ten fingers.

Trace has independently sold over 90,000 albums on his record label, Honest Ninja Music, and regularly sells-out shows with standing ovations at venues across the USA and around the world, in 23 countries and counting. Video clips circulate virally at astonishing speed, with over 29,000,000 YouTube views to date.

Trace was named “Most Promising New Talent” of 2008 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, as well as winning third place in the magazine’s “Best Fingerstyle Guitarist” category the same year. Last summer, he performed at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre in front of a crowd of over 7,000 people, as part of The World’s Largest Music Lesson. Over the past couple of years, Trace has shared the stage with Brandi Carlile, Olivia Newton-John, Neko Case, Judy Collins, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Phil Keaggy, David Wilcox, David Knopfler (Dire Straits), Bill Nershi (String Cheese), Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Chris Hillman (the Byrds), Stanley Jordan, and MOFRO, among others.

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Shawnee Kilgore

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $12.00

CD RELEASE SHOW!

Danny Schmidt has put Shawnee in his “very highest category of songwriter: Those whose next song I can’t wait for them to write.” She sings to you about all the things you know—love, life, laughter and loss—but does so with such fiercely personal and poetic truth that you can’t help finding, and understanding, your own world through hers. The palette of A Long and Precious Road, her fourth studio album, officially released on August 18th, is simple but lush – percussion and bass with accents of cello, violin, accordion, vibes, electric guitars and some of Austin’s finest singing harmonies, all with Shawnee’s skillful finger picking and break-your-heart-open lyrics kept front and center.

“One of the year’s finest albums,” wrote Tom Buckley, editor of Texas Music Magazine. “With a compelling voice at once uplifting and heartbreaking, delicate and wounded, and with melodies dexterous and irresistible, Kilgore has, in one bold move, established herself as an important presence in folk music. This is a gorgeously crafted work.”

A Long and Precious Road, produced and engineered by Andre Moran at Congress House Studio, was funded by a Kickstarter campaign that caught the attention of Hollywood director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron), who loved her music and her voice and backed the project. The two are now writing songs together for their own album to be released in early 2016. You can hear the project’s first single, Big Giant Me, on iTunes.

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Dana Falconberry and Some Say Leland

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $15.00 in advance & $18.00 at the door

The show is a release show for a collaboration between Dana Falconberry and Some Say Leland. We will be releasing a booklet published by Punctum Records which includes two original songs, one written by Dana and one written by Dan. Both bands play as a big superband on each song.

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Ali Holder

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $10.00 advance $12.00 at the door

Special Guest: Curtis McMurtry

CD RELEASE SHOW!

Ali Holder has had a busy year of touring, writing, and focusing on her recently recorded album, From My Veins Will Fall. Three separate tours had Ali on the road for the better part of the last twelve months, beginning with a pilgrimage to Salem, Massachusetts with stops throughout the Midwest and into the northeast, alongside Little Brave. A tour with fellow Austin singer-songwriter Christy Hays took Ali through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, and Montana. In February, she traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to listen, write, and collaborate at Folk Alliance International, taking advantage of her time on the road by playing shows in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas with collaborator Daniel Thomas Phipps.

Ali recorded her sophomore EP, From My Veins Will Fall, at Tweed Recording Studios in Oxford, MS in June 2015. Many of the songs from the album were written at the Madrono Ranch Artist Residency Program in South Texas during a two-week retreat to solitude. The album will be released September 19th at the Cactus Café in Austin with an in-store performance at Waterloo Records later that week, accompanied by other artists.

Through a variety of genres, collaborators, instruments and experiences there is one constant in Ali Holder’s music: her unforgettable voice. Rooted in country yet dabbling in everything from jazz to rhythm and blues, Holder’s poignant alto commands attention and holds fast through a full array of emotions in her expansive catalogue. She has been likened to Brandi Carlisle and Patti Griffin, and pays tribute to early musical influences Willie Nelson and Janis Joplin, and current influences Little Brave, Gillian Welch, and Lucinda Williams.

Ali first heard Texas songwriters at the Royal Theater in Archer City, TX in her teenage years and was inspired to write her own songs and start playing the guitar. In college in the Dallas area, she worked on her singing and songwriting, and moved to Austin in 2010 to take her music more seriously.

The past five years have been dedicated to nurturing her musical career, which gained traction in 2013 when she released her debut LP, In Preparation for Saturn’s Return. Soon after, “Drinking Double” was selected as one of Daytrotter’s top 100 songs. The following March, Ali was an official artist for SXSW. Throughout 2014, she held weekly residencies at venues throughout Austin, including the Blackheart and Buzz Mill. She toured in support of her first album release, attended Folk Alliance International, and set out her aforementioned east coast tour.

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Darden Smith

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $15.00

Darden Smith is an Austin-based singer-songwriter who redefines what it means to be a musician. With fourteen critically acclaimed albums in a career that spans almost three decades, Smith continues to write and tour across the US and Europe along with exploring new and innovative ways to use the craft of songwriting in education, entrepreneurship studies, and service.

Recording since 1986 from Austin, to New York and Nashville, from London to Los Angeles, his albums weave together rock, pop, country, folk and Americana influences with the musical roots of his home state of Texas. He has long transcended traditional singer-songwriter boundaries, and the evolving nature of his work since 2000 reflects his consistent creative excellence.

Smith founded The Be An Artist Program nearly a decade ago, and his seminars to encourage students to explore their own creativity and interests have reached more than 15,000 students across the United States and Western Europe. His SongwritingWith collaborations find him teaming with, among others, U.S. soldiers transitioning to civilian life after combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, homeless youth in New Jersey and HIV-affected villagers in Africa. Darden also adapts his programs for corporate retreats and conflict-resolution workshops.

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Nano Stern

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 7:30pm Show: 8pm General Admission: $22 in advance and $24 at the door

The 5th studio album of Chilean Folk Virtuoso, Nano Stern, “Mil 500 Vueltas”, released in July 2015, entered the iTunes Chile Album Chart at #1.

On July 31, he simultaneously releases the album in the US and dives into full-fledged U.S. touring from coast to coast

With “Mil 500 Vueltas”, Nano has decided to feature Uruguayan legend Jorge Drexler and international folk music icon and social activist Joan Baez (USA). The album also features guest vocalist performances by Marta Gomez (Colombia), Susana Baca (Peru) & Pedro Aznar (Argentina).

Nano Stern’s path as an artist follows richly crafted song lines laid by his family and his Chilean musical ancestry, and unites those with a sound utterly fresh and relevant. Nano has found something within that has positioned him as the voice of a generation. Chilean Nueva Canción legends like Inti-Illimani and Victor Jara- who suffered exile and even death during troubling times in Chile continue to inspire Nano’s breadth of sound and emotion.

When only fifteen, Nano joined popular Chilean underground band, Mattoral, and thus was initiated into the fresh, new sounds and socio-political pulse of the South American rock/punk scene. The thick rock- energy of Matorral, his classical and jazz training, and the powerful influence of traditional, Chilean revolutionary music make for something purely Nano.

What has emerged is a powerhouse artist, brilliantly layering indigenous, African, and European elements into a sound all his own, and humbly bringing audiences to tears, to their feet, and to reverie with a singular kind of emotion and soulfulness unlike any other South American artist performing today. “I’m generally working to create a language of my own,” he says. The world emphatically agrees.

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Kristin Hersh

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8:00pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $20.00 in advance and $22 at the door

After founding her influential art-punk band Throwing Muses in Providence, RI, at the age of 14, Kristin Hershhas spent over two decades confounding expectations and breaking rules – both hers and others. From life as the reluctant front person for the Muses, to the solo career she swore would never happen, through the founding of an ambitious and altruistic nonprofit, to her recent foray into a surprisingly successful new career as an author, Kristin, now a mother of four, like so many of us, didn’t see much of this coming. Throwing Muses first gained traction in the early ‘80s playing on bills with similarly singular artists like the Pixies, Mission of Burma and Dinosaur Jr. They signed with the highly regarded British indie label 4AD Records, the label’s first American signing, and eventually signed to Warner Bros. After six releases and glimpses of the gold ring, the band released their crowning achievement, Limbo, in 1996 and promptly disbanded for 7 years. In 2003, the band reformed, recorded and released the CD, Uses. In 2004, Kristin formed the power trio, 50FootWave. Since then, 50FootWave has released a series of frighteningly intense mini-albums, all available for download free of charge and licensed for sharing via Creative Commons. The most recent – the emotionally wrought “With Love From The Men’s Room”.

In 2007 Kristin co-founded the non-profit Coalition of Artists and Stake-Holders (CASH Music). Over the past few years, CASH has not only completely funded Kristin’s own output, but has also powered dozens of other artist and label projects and has grown into a widely-recognized powerhouse of technical tools that enable commerce, communication and sustainability for artists — all in the open source and free of charge. Kristin’s solo and mostly-acoustic career spun off in 1994 with the release of Hips and Makers. The CD was widely acclaimed and included “Your Ghost” – a duet with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. Since then, Kristin has released a steady stream of solid and distinctly individual solo albums. 2010’s Crooked is an entirely listener-funded recording, written and demoed in public and in full conversation with the audience meant to consume it. In 2013, Throwing Muses returned again with their first studio album in 10 years – Purgatory/Paradise – published as a book and a CD. The art book is 64-pages of lyrics, essays, and photos and includes a 32-track CD that was entirely listener-supported thanks to Kristin’s Strange Angels. The book/CD is accompanied by online content including instrumentals, a commentary by Kristin and David, and digital music files in mp3 and lossless formats.Kristin began her book writing career several years ago, beginning with essays and tour diaries which she published on her own website, and as a guest blogger on Powells.com.

Since then she has published “Paradoxical Undressing” in the UK, (released as the critically acclaimed “Rat Girl” in the USA) and a children’s book “Toby Snax”. In October 2015 Kristin will release a new book “Don’t Suck, Don’t Die”, a personal account of her long friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt. A haunting ode to a lost friend, this memoir by the acclaimed author of Rat Girl offers the most personal, empathetic look at the creative genius and often-tormented life of singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt that is ever likely to be written.

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Howard Jones “The Songs, The Piano & The Stories”

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 6pm Show: 7pm General Admission: $40.00

It was in 1983 that Howard Jones first burst upon the contemporary music scene and brought his very English song-writing and pioneering synthesizers to an unsuspecting world. Anyone who was around in the mid to late eighties will remember those high energy gigs and his first two albums Human’s Lib and Dream into Action. They lived in the higher reaches of the album charts in the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Australia and many other countries in the 1984-86 period and the hits kept coming New Song, What is Love?, Pearl in the Shell, Hide and Seek,(which he performed at Live Aid in 1985), Like to Get to Know You Well, Look Mama, Things Can only Get Better, Everlasting Love and the quintessential No One is To Blame, which reached No.1 in the US.

Now Howard Jones has re-mastered those first two classic albums ‘Human’s Lib’ and ‘Dream into Action’ and played them both live in their entirety for the first time on November 6th 2010 at the IndigO2 in London’s O2 Arena Complex. The re-mastered albums are available from www.howardjones.com. A special re-mastered box set of the 12” mixes was released in March 2011 and a DVD of the IndigO2 concert will be available in the summer of 2011.

A classically trained pianist, Jones applied his technique to the early synths particularly the Roland Juno 60, the Jupiter 8 and the Moog Prodigy. He also pioneered the classic Roland 808 drum machine and the Sequential Pro-One. In the early days he was triggering sequencers live on stage whilst playing and singing, something that no one had done before.

These days he still operates on the cutting edge of today’s technology and has been one of the leading exponents of the Roland Fantom G8 and the Roland V-piano. He has also been working closely with Roland on the development of the 2011 Jupiter 80 which he will be using on stage. Many contemporary giants of the dance world have shown interest in working with Howard which has resulted in tracks such as ‘And do you Feel Scared?’ with Eric Prydz and ‘Into the Dark’ with Ferry Corsten.

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Howard Jones “The Songs, The Piano & The Stories” (MEET & GREET Ticket)

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX
SOLD OUT
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Nels Cline + Julian Lage (Early Show)

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 6:30pm Show: 7pm General Admission: $18.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door.

Nels Cline is a major force as a guitarist and improviser, ever since he debuted on record in 1978 and as a leader in 1988. Named by Rolling Stone as one of 20 “new guitar gods” and one of the top 100 guitarists of all time, Cline has gained his widest fame as a member of acclaimed rock band Wilco since 2004. He’s known for a certain cranked-up experimental mayhem, the kind sometimes heard from his extraordinary trio the Nels Cline Singers, which released the well-received MACROSCOPE on Mack Avenue earlier in 2014. But throughout his career, Cline has undertaken projects, sometimes acoustic or semi-acoustic duos, highlighting an intimate and reflective approach that’s just as central to his artistry.

With ROOM, Cline returns to Mack Avenue, creating a world of melodic beauty but also hard sonic edges and technical brilliance in the company of Julian Lage. At just 26, Lage has taken the world of jazz guitar by storm. The New York Times hails the “disarming spirit of generosity” in Lage’s music and notes the young guitarist’s “roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music.” In addition to his work with Mark O’Connor, the late Jim Hall, Anthony Wilson and a great many others, Lage leads his own groundbreaking groups as documented on the albums Gladwell and Sounding Point (the latter earning Lage a Grammy nomination).

In a 2013 Q&A with JazzTimes, Lage described the Cline-Lage duo sound as “200 percent power,” and that’s exactly what comes through on ROOM: an inspired collection of originals and collaborative pieces that run the full range from intricately composed and complex to free and spontaneous. Cline builds on the strength of his previous duo work with the likes of Vinny Golia, Zeena Parkins, Elliott Sharp, Thurston Moore, Carla Bozulich, Marc Ribot and not least of all the late West Coast bassist Eric Von Essen, to which the gorgeous dual-acoustic showcase “Whispers from Eve” is dedicated. Lage, for his part, has worked in duo settings with David Grisman, Martin Taylor, John Abercrombie, Taylor Eigsti and others.

Cline and Lage remain on acoustic guitars to end ROOM with “Calder,” a reference to the visionary sculptor Alexander Calder. “I have a Calder mobile that my mom sent me years ago when I moved back east,” Lage says. “It hangs in my apartment and I just love it. So though I wrote the tune first and the title came later, I felt like the presence of the mobile fit the mode of the piece well.”

On ROOM one hears two guitar masters who span the generations, comfortable in every conceivable role, meeting the daunting challenges of these compositions while giving themselves over to the moment. In the JazzTimes Q&A, Cline credited the duo for revitalizing his playing overall: “I was burned out on touring, burned out on myself…. And when Julian and I started playing together it kicked my ass hard. At the same time it inspired me and refreshed my soul.” Lage replied, “Likewise.”

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Nels Cline + Julian Lage (Late Show)

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 9pm Show: 9:30pm General Admission: $18.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door

Nels Cline is a major force as a guitarist and improviser, ever since he debuted on record in 1978 and as a leader in 1988. Named by Rolling Stone as one of 20 “new guitar gods” and one of the top 100 guitarists of all time, Cline has gained his widest fame as a member of acclaimed rock band Wilco since 2004. He’s known for a certain cranked-up experimental mayhem, the kind sometimes heard from his extraordinary trio the Nels Cline Singers, which released the well-received MACROSCOPE on Mack Avenue earlier in 2014. But throughout his career, Cline has undertaken projects, sometimes acoustic or semi-acoustic duos, highlighting an intimate and reflective approach that’s just as central to his artistry.

With ROOM, Cline returns to Mack Avenue, creating a world of melodic beauty but also hard sonic edges and technical brilliance in the company of Julian Lage. At just 26, Lage has taken the world of jazz guitar by storm. The New York Times hails the “disarming spirit of generosity” in Lage’s music and notes the young guitarist’s “roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music.” In addition to his work with Mark O’Connor, the late Jim Hall, Anthony Wilson and a great many others, Lage leads his own groundbreaking groups as documented on the albums Gladwell and Sounding Point (the latter earning Lage a Grammy nomination).

In a 2013 Q&A with JazzTimes, Lage described the Cline-Lage duo sound as “200 percent power,” and that’s exactly what comes through on ROOM: an inspired collection of originals and collaborative pieces that run the full range from intricately composed and complex to free and spontaneous. Cline builds on the strength of his previous duo work with the likes of Vinny Golia, Zeena Parkins, Elliott Sharp, Thurston Moore, Carla Bozulich, Marc Ribot and not least of all the late West Coast bassist Eric Von Essen, to which the gorgeous dual-acoustic showcase “Whispers from Eve” is dedicated. Lage, for his part, has worked in duo settings with David Grisman, Martin Taylor, John Abercrombie, Taylor Eigsti and others.

Cline and Lage remain on acoustic guitars to end ROOM with “Calder,” a reference to the visionary sculptor Alexander Calder. “I have a Calder mobile that my mom sent me years ago when I moved back east,” Lage says. “It hangs in my apartment and I just love it. So though I wrote the tune first and the title came later, I felt like the presence of the mobile fit the mode of the piece well.”

On ROOM one hears two guitar masters who span the generations, comfortable in every conceivable role, meeting the daunting challenges of these compositions while giving themselves over to the moment. In the JazzTimes Q&A, Cline credited the duo for revitalizing his playing overall: “I was burned out on touring, burned out on myself…. And when Julian and I started playing together it kicked my ass hard. At the same time it inspired me and refreshed my soul.” Lage replied, “Likewise.”

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Liz Longley & Max Gomez

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 7:30pm Show: 8pm General Admission: $18.00 in advance & $20.00 at the door

Liz Longley: Liz Longley confides with you as though you’re sitting on the sofa with her in a talk that’s intimate and vulnerable. And now, the Berklee College of Music graduate and award-winning songwriter is set to share her confessional songs with listeners on her self-titled album—her first after signing with Sugar Hill Records in December 2014.

While Longley’s songs and vocals invite complimentary comparisons to Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole and Nanci Griffith—all artists she’s supported live—her latest effort spotlights a style all her own. Her voice and tone, touched with the slightest of country inflections, pours out like clean, crystalline water.

Longley first felt the magic while growing up outside of Philadelphia. A song she wrote in ninth grade—her first ever—earned a standing ovation when she performed it for the student body: “I was unprepared for that sort of reaction and it was life-changing moment,” she says. “That’s when I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.”

The track record she’s assembled since shows just how much Longley grew into her dream. She’s taken home top prizes at some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country, including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition, the International Acoustic Music Awards and the Rocky Mountain Folk Fest Songwriting Competition.

Max Gomez: The most northern of the New Mexico pueblos, the hamlet of Taos, sits approximately 7,000 feet above sea level. It is an hour and half drive north of Santa Fe, or rather, just remote enough to stave off the casually curious person. Fiercely independent, the town, steeped in natural beauty, has long attracted artists and freethinkers of every stripe. It is within this bouillabaisse of nature, art and spirituality that we encounter Max Gomez. A young singer-songwriter in the seasoned vein of Jackson Browne and John Prine, Gomez grew up splitting his time between the sloping mountains of Taos and, for a period, the rolling plains of Kansas. On his family’s ranch in Kansas, Gomez still lends a hand with chores but relishes the time he can spend out on the lake practicing the art of fly-fishing. But it is in Taos, where he was ultimately inspired to explore his art and the ethos behind it.

The son of an artisanal furniture craftsman, Gomez grew up watching his father, learning the tools of the trade while simultaneously learning his way around the frets of his guitar. The workmanlike quality of his songwriting carries over from his days spent in the woodshed through an economy of words, phrase and narrative. A blues enthusiast from an early age, the young Gomez immersed himself in the primordial Delta and traditional folk blues of Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy and, of course, Robert Johnson. Though 1,200 miles and decades removed from his Mississippi heroes, Gomez had his imagination to fill in the gaps. Having honed his chops on the blues, Max turned his interest to traditional American folk music; “I’m influenced by the old stuff,” Max admits. “To me, that’s the best music.” As the Harry Smith anthology gave way to contemporary masters Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark and John Hiatt, so did Gomez’s songwriting. “The songs I write are not real straightforward. You have to decode them. I like when the listener has to create their own story, rather than be told what’s happening.” In short, storytelling that oscillates between everyman poetics and enigma.

In the span of its ten songs, the Jeff Trott (Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow) produced Rule The World traverses varying themes of heartbreak, regret, young love, desperation and, ultimately redemption. “Run From You”, the album’s first single and co-written with Trott, reveals Max’s story telling skills. Gomez explains, “Sometimes I refer to this one as an anti-love song. We all come across trouble and often take the wrong road even when we know we should turn back.” With his smoky voice, Gomez sings of desperation for change on “Rule The World” and on “Never Say Never”, young love is likened to a “cool kiss in the August summer heat,” as the protagonist laments its fleeting nature. While the LP’s pop instincts are evident, Rule The World is balanced by Gomez’s love of roots music; see the blues-driven “Ball And Chain.”

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Jay Farrar Performing the Songs of Trace

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX
SOLD OUT
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Shawn Phillips

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $25.00

Shawn Phillips is one of most fascinating and enigmatic musicians to come out of the early-’70s singer/songwriter boom. The mere fact that he was a musician as much as a singer and songwriter made him stand out, and helped him attract a dedicated following. His refusal to shape his music - which crosses between folk-rock, jazz, progressive, pop, and classical - to anyone else’s expectations allowed him to hold onto a large and dedicated cult following, without ever achieving the stardom that his talent seemed to merit.

Phillips was born in 1943 in Fort Worth, TX, the son of best-selling spy novelist Philip Atlee, who moved the family around the world at various times, including the South Pacific. After hearing “Malaguena” at the piano, he took up the guitar at age seven, and by the time he was 12, he was playing the chords to Carl Perkins songs. Phillips’ musical experience transcended rock & roll, however. In the course of his family’s travels, he got to live in almost every corner of the globe, including Tahiti, and absorbed the music that surrounded him wherever he was living. He returned to Texas in his teens, with some training in classical music but a love for performers like Jimmy Reed and Ike & Tina Turner, among other blues and R&B performers. He did a hitch in the Navy, and then went back to Texas before retreating to California, where he played around the early-’60s folk circuit.

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Carlene Carter

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 7:30pm Show: 8pm General Admission: $30.00

With Carter Girl, Carlene Carter once and for all proclaims who she is. Her first album for Rounder, it features songs spanning the Carter Family generations, including celebrated Carter Family songs like “Gold Watch And Chain,” and others written and performed by the descendants of the original Carter trio—including Carlene herself. Not that she’s ever shied away from being the heiress to the legacy of country music’s foremost family. “I always include at least one Carter Family song, or one written in the Carter Family spirit,” says Carlene, citing as a pertinent example “Spider Lace,” which appeared on her deeply personal last album, Stronger (2008). “I wrote it thinking of the Carter Family’s flowery lyrics and romantic themes,” she says, noting, too, that the Carter Family catalog is heavy both on songs of faith and far darker fare. Turning to Carter Girl, she notes that all these facets of the Carter Family’s pioneering work which are reflected in a stunning album achievement that honors her ancestors while confirming her proud place among them. She is, of course, the daughter of 1950s country superstar Carl Smith, and June Carter Cash, who was herself the daughter of Maybelle Carter—“Mother” Maybelle Carter of the original Carter Family trio that formed in 1927 in the tiny Southwest Virginia hamlet of Maces Springs. Along with Mother Maybelle’s brother-in-law, A. P. Carter, and his wife and her cousin Sara, the Carter Family recorded such seminal country music songs as “Can The Circle Be Unbroken (By And By),” “Wildwood Flower” and “Keep On The Sunny Side,” and forever influenced the development of bluegrass, folk, pop, gospel and rock music genres, as well as country music. Mother Maybelle Carter and her daughters June, Helen and Anita, later performed as Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters, and after Maybelle’s passing, as The Carter Family, of which Carlene was a part for a time in the late ‘80s. But with the 1978 release of her self-titled debut album, Carlene Carter established herself on the edgier end of the country music spectrum, having recorded it in England with Graham Parker’s band The Rumour.

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Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Cactus Cafe
Austin, TX

Doors: 8:00pm Show: 8:30pmpm General Admission: $30.00

One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is considered one of the country’s legendary foundations of folk music.

Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar — before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin — Ramblin’ Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today’s fancy.

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