It’s always interesting to take a close look at the careers of longtime Austin musicians to see where their roots are, what roads they’ve traveled, and where they are now. Suzanna Choffel has one of the more interesting stories we’ve come across. Named after a Leonard Cohen song and born right here in Austin, Suzanna began her career in Austin as part of an R&B group. From there she moved into blues jams, being inspired by Patty Griffin and eventually the rhythmic guitar stylings of Peter Tosh before moving on to various latin rock and hip-hop/jazz fusion groups. From all that she’s somehow made it to some unknowable coagulation of all of these things; we don’t know what to call it, but whatever it is, we love. it. Suzanna has a new album coming out this week called Hello Goodbye. It’s a series of reflections on major life events, everything from returning home to Austin after 3 years in New York to the birth of her first child. They’re personal songs, but with an accessible feel that makes the listener feel welcome in Suzanna’s world. Suzanna Choffel dropped by Studio 1A to preview some of the tunes on the album, check it out below!
– James Parker
5/12 – Album Release show w/ Dan Dyer and Jonathan Terrell, 3TEN, 8:00pm
UT’s own Cactus Cafe brings world class music into your backyard on a weekly basis. Here’s what’s going on this week!
5/8 – Cactus Cafe Open Mic
SIGN UP: 7:30pm Performances: 8pm
Open Mic is back with our Hostess Kacy Crowley! Sign up is promptly at 7:30pm and performances are 8pm to 10pm.
Come be apart of a great Cactus tradition!
5/10 – Scott Miller
Doors: 8:00 p.m. / Show: 8:30 p.m. – General Admission: $15
Feisty, funny singer/guitar-slinger Scott Miller is not a simple study.
Raised on a cattle farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where he expects to return before too long, he writes songs full of rural imagery, and his trademark is the mule. But he also has a degree in Russian and Soviet Studies from William & Mary and can write a rock song with the best of them.
TEXAS GUITAR QUARTET
Doors: 7:30 p.m. Show: 8:00 p.m. / General Admission: $10.00
Hang on to your hats. Some of the shiniest stars in our musical universe – Gabriel Santiago and the Texas Guitar Quartet – have released stunning new CDs, so we’re throwing an Austin CD release party and concert double header! Come out and celebrate these amazing artists with us – and bring some cash, because after this show you’ll want to take their music home with you.
5/12 – Sam Outlaw
Doors: 8pm / Show: 8:30pm General Admission: $12 in advance and $15 at the door
Outlaw is a southern Californian singer-songwriter steeped in the music and mythos of west coast country, absorbing the classic vibes of everything from ’60s Bakersfield honky-tonk to ’70s Laurel Canyon troubadour pop and refashioning them into a sound that’s pleasurably past, present and future tense.
5/14 – Bonnie Bishop
Doors: 8pm Show: 8:30pm
General Admission: $15 in advance and $18 at the door
It’s only a matter of time until Hollywood snaps up the story of how singer-songwriter Bonnie Bishop connected with Dave Cobb, one of the hottest producers in the business, to unlock her inner soul singer and record the best album of her career: “Ain’t Who I Was” out May 27.
Even though Bishop can barely believe it herself, it’s a story that will need no dramatic embellishment, because every twist of fate — and faith — is absolutely true.
Justin Townes Earle is everything we love about new “country” music. We say “country” because it isn’t even the right word for it, it’s a healthy mix of folk, blues, rock, outlaw country, and everything in between. Justin is a legacy, son of well-known musician and songwriter Steve Earle, and his music carries all of the baggage that comes with having a touring musician as a father. He’s had peaks and valleys, from stints in rehab to angry breakups with record companies. Through it all he’s always had music to help him through the tough times. These days he’s happily married, happily sober, and happily releasing his 8th album. Justin Townes Earle stopped by Studio 1A to show us some of the tracks off of the new album, which comes out on May 26th.
– James Parker
Austin-based indie group Carry Illinois is making music for the right reasons. In the wake of a personal tragedy, the band set to work on a six-song EP, their third major release, that explores issues surrounding death and mourning as a way of coping with loss. At its core, Garage Sale is a very personal collection of well-constructed, well-produced, and well-performed indie rock songs. They’re not busy, clunky affairs; the songs are clean and pared down, a move that elegantly frames singer Lizzy Lehman’s poetic and touching lyrics. The songs feel like little glimpses into the life of a person who’s growing in the wake of a tragedy, the album has an emotional narrative that gives new depth and meaning to the songs. Carry Illinois is making music for the right reasons, and that sort of honesty and transparency makes its way into the band’s sound, to great effect. The band stopped by Studio 1A to gives us a preview of the album, which comes out next week. Check it out below!
– James Parker
5/12 – Album release party w/ Star Parks and Lex Land at the Mohawk, 10pm
Listen, I know you’re all thinking it, “when is this Classical music fad going to be over? I mean, we’ve been hearing Brahms for 150 years!” Well, bad news, It’s here to stay. And for good reason, especially if we have Marcin Halat & Michal Korzistka as it’s proponents. The Polish pianist and violin duo are playing a show the presents the music of their homeland, along with some non-polish composers to round out the program, including Bartók and Gershwin. It promises to be a great show, and best of all, it’s free! Marcin and Michal stopped by Studio 1A to give a little preview of their repertoire, check it out below!
– James Parker
5/6, 4pm – Oak Hill United Methodist Church