I listen to a lot of music here at KUTX, and I’ve discovered that there are three qualities that lead to a band’s success, in my mind at least.
- A sense of humor.
- Impeccable songwriting and production.
- Extreme amounts of people on stage; I’m talkin’ either 137 sweaty people in banana costumes, or 2.5 toddlers in train conductor uniforms.
Sweet Spirit has it all, and then some. The group grew out of the primordial Austin music ooze about three years ago inspired by Sabrina Ellis’ (Bobby Jealousy, A Giant Dog) disintegrating relationships. Since then they’ve been shooting up the local music charts. I actually don’t think that exists, but if it did, Sweet Spirit would be shooting up them. Their sound is somewhat familiar; female lead singer of an indie rock group. But at the same time, there’s something intangible about their tunes that push them into the realm of mythical local bands that make it big, we’re talkin’ Spoon, Black Angels, and White Denim status. Sweet Spirit has a new album, St. Mojo, coming out on April 7th, but they stopped by Studio 1A to delight a live audience with a set of tracks both old and new. Check them out below!
– James Parker
It’s an exciting time to be in the Austin music scene for a number of reasons, one of them is the emergence of the up and coming crop of local legacies, the offspring of that mythical class of folk and country musicians that defined Central texas music for a quarter of a century. Lili Blessing, the daughter of the renowned Sara Hickman, is a stand out among the freshman class. Her debut release Lifeline has garnered a lot of respect amongst the Austin elite and has set her on a path parallel to her mothers, though certainly not in her shadow. It’s folky, it’s soulful, but it also has the energy of youth, the sound of someone who is learning how the world works and finding her place in it. Lifeline a deeply personal record that runs the gamut in terms of style and energy. She splits the difference between folk, country, and indie rock to create a sound that could only come from someone born and raised steeped in the local music tradition. Lili stopped by Studio 1A to show us some of the tunes off of her recently release, including an unreleased track about a certain orange baby who might be our president. Check them out below!
– James Parker
Classical pianist Michelle Schumann has made the rounds. And when I say that, I mean she’s performed all over the world at some very prestigious festivals and has had some very notable teachers (ever heard of Emanuel Ax?). Schumann is perhaps most notable for her relationship to contemporary music, she goes out of her way to program new music by up and coming composers, putting them back to back with the classics. Even though she’s stylistically very eclectic, she always plays with elegance and sensitivity, even during the more fire moments in the music. Michelle Schumann stopped by Studio 1A to tickle the ivories for us, listen below!
UT’s own Cactus Cafe brings world class music into your backyard on a weekly basis. Here’s what’s going on this week!
Wednesday 3/29 – EMILY ELBERT & ANTHONY DA COSTA
Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm
General Admission: $12.00 in advance and $15.00 day of show
Emily Elbert: Emily Elbert weaves together a rhythmic funk-folk blend of introspection and celebration. With a global, D.I.Y. spirit, she has carried her music around the world, playing over a thousand independent shows from Peru to Palestine. Anchored by intricate guitar work and an old-soul voice, Emily’s songs offer progressive perspective while paying tribute to the timeless. She has independently released four albums, and two new singles, “Letting Go / Here & Now”, in November 2016.
Recently, Emily spent a year touring as a member of Esperanza Spalding’s experimental music and theater project, “Emily’s D+Evolution”. The group recorded an album to wide critical acclaim, and played shows ranging from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to the Sydney Opera House.
Solo, Emily has had the honor of opening for acts including Leon Russell, Victor Wooten, G. Love & Special Sauce, Richie Havens, Emily King, Robben Ford, Raul Midon, Kaki King, Nneka, Jorge Drexler, and Tuck & Patti, and collaborated with artists ranging from Ben Taylor to Dweezil Zappa. Her music has garnered praise from publications like the Washington Post, Utne Reader, and Glamour Magazine, and won awards in the U.S. and U.K.. Through authentic song sharing, she strives for a deepening sense of human and spiritual connection that is accessible to all.
Anthony da Costa: Anthony da Costa is a 26-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist living in Nashville, TN. Originally hailing from Pleasantville, NY, Anthony has been writing and performing his songs since he was 13 years old. At the age of 16, Anthony became the youngest winner ever of both the Falcon Ridge and Kerrville Folk Festival songwriting competitions. He has released 8 albums and 3 EP’s to date. His latest release is DA COSTA, which was recorded in Austin, TX and features his music in an electric format. Sing Out! Magazine once called him “an outstanding writer of plainspoken Americana.”
Anthony has opened for the likes of Loretta Lynn, Dan Bern, Judy Collins, Suzanne Vega, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), John Moreland, Kenny Loggins and other awesome folks like that. He played guitar in a band called Nancy and Beth, featuring actor/singers Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) and Stephanie Hunt. That band has played some amazing stages, including CONAN on TBS. Anthony has toured as a guitarist and harmony singer with Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still), Jimmy LaFave, and now the Grammy Award-winning songwriter Sarah Jarosz. He’s appeared at numerous festivals such as the Newport Folk Festival, Sasquatch, Tønder (Denmark) and Celtic Connections (Scotland).
Doors: 7:30pm Show: 8pm
General Admission: $15.00
Graham Weber brings together an amazing lineup including: Akina Aderley, Ali Holder, Dawn & Hawkes, Cory Reinisch (Harvest Thieves), Aimee Bobruk, Gordy Quist (Band of Heathens), Mike Schoenfeld, Nicole Wagner, Graham Wilkinson, Bonnie Whitmore, Jonathan Terrell, Randy Reynolds, Taylor Williams & Matthew Gregg (Western Youth), Christina Cavazos, Suzanna Choffel, Daniel Thomas Phipps.
Proceeds to benefit Health Alliance for Austin Musicians http://myhaam.org
Once again we partnered with the Four Seasons Hotel Austin to give you a taste of some of the best music of SXSW 2017. From 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 15th through Saturday, March, 18th, we had live performances open to the public. Get more details here and listen to highlights from some of our favorite artists: My Jerusalem, Ron Gallo, Third Root, Real Estate, Jonathan Terrell, Maggie Rogers, Middle Kids, Temples, River Whyless, OJR, Ray Wylie Hubbard, the Black Angels, Molly Burch, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Little Simz, and Spoon.
Scroll to the bottom of this post to hear audio from all four days!