This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Cactus Cafe

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017

Monday, September 18th Open Mic Night @ 7:30pm [FREE]

Open Mic is back with our Hostess Kacy Crowley!! Sign up is promptly at 7:30pm and performances are 8pm to 10pm.


Wednesday, September 20th Tom Russell @ 8:00pm [$25 Advance – $28 Door]

Tom Russell’s new recording of original songs, “Folk Hotel,” was released worldwide August 25. A year-long world tour in support of the album commences in Boston, rolls across the USA with fifty dates. The new record features 13 new Tom Russell originals and a bonus track of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” a duet with Joe Ely, featuring Joel Guzman on Tex-Mex accordion. Augie Meyers and Eliza Gilkyson also make guest appearances on the album. The album was recorded at Congress House studio in Austin, Texas.

There are songs and stories about: the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, Tom’s journey from El Paso to Santa Fe, Ian Tyson refusing to “leave his old horses,” a song for Dylan Thomas that melts into a Joycean landscape about a day in the life of Belfast, Ireland, Tom’s meeting J.F.K., and even a song using only 16th century slang!


Thursday, September 21st Austin Classical Guitar: Classical Cactus @ 7:30pm [$10]

Our favorite laid-back classical guitar series fires up again this month. Local stars Chad Ibison and Janet Grohovac will dazzle us with their amazing new matching guitars at 9, after UT and USC grad Stephen Krishnan warms our hearts with his sensitive, expressive solo playing beginning at 8.


Saturday, September 23rd Matt the Electrician w/ SouthPaw Jones @ 8:00pm [$15]

Matt the Electrician and SouthPaw Jones had a weekly residency every Wednesday night at the popular Eastside coffee shop, Cafe Mundi, for about 5 years in the early 2000s. Then rents rose, and Cafe Mundi had to close it’s doors. So Matt and SouthPaw moved their show to Thursdays, at Flipnotics at the Triangle, for a couple of years. Then rents rose, and Flips at the Triangle shut down. Matt and SouthPaw ventured South, to the original Flipnotics location on Barton Springs, and continued their wildly successful, if not ultimately destructive, residency. There they stayed for one more year until, you guessed it, Flipnotics Coffeespace went out of business due to rising rents. So, it is with much trepidation, and a dose of willful ignorance, that Matt the Electrician and SouthPaw Jones return from enforced hiatus for what will hopefully be a door opening and life affirming night of song swapping at Austin’s original listening room, The Cactus Cafe on September 23rd. Long live The Cactus!

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Cactus Cafe

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017

Monday, September 11th Open Mic Night @ 7:30pm [FREE]

Open Mic is back with our Hostess Kacy Crowley!! Sign up is promptly at 7:30pm and performances are 8pm to 10pm.


Tuesday, September 12th Views & Brews: Jazz & The Art of Responding @ 6:30pm [FREE – Suggested Donations]

Jazz and The Art of Responding, join KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, and a live jazz quintet for a night of great conversation and live music. Through the music of Miles Davis, Abbey Lincoln, Charles Mingus, and others we’ll explore what the tradition of call and response in jazz can teach us about presence, resistance, and the human condition. Views and Brews is free and open to the public.


Wednesday September 13th Spencer Branch & The Frauleins @ 7:30pm [$8 Advance – $10 Door]

An evening of early country & traditional Appalachian music – from Virginia & North Carolina to Texas.

Spencer Branch is the collaboration of Martha Spencer from Whitetop Mountain Virginia with North Carolina native Kelley Breiding. They play music drawn from their mountain heritage in addition to traditional country, bluegrass, and a healthy dose of original songs. Their vocal harmonies and exciting fiddle tunes are a powerful combination sure to keep you entertained.

The Frauleins are Austin’s newest roots trio, playing old-time, bluegrass and country with sisterlike harmony, a two-stepping beat and banjo to boot. This collaboration from longtime friends is Beth Chrisman & Jenn Miori (the Carper Family) & Amanda Chisholm (The Jankies) on bass.


Friday, September 15th – Helium Taxi @ 8:00pm [$10]

Helium Taxi, an Austin quartet that uses bluegrass instrumentation and textures as a platform to explore fun new musical places, returns to the Cactus for their second performance.

Blending bluegrass with jazz (gypsy, bebop, and beyond), Western swing, rock, and anything else that inspires curious pickers is a practice that’s been alive and well on the fringes of the ever-expanding bluegrass universe for decades now. Artists like David Grisman, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Sam Bush, and Béla Fleck have already inspired multiple new generations of musicians to learn the traditions of bluegrass as deeply as possible, but also turn them inside out and make unique new things.

Guitarist Rob Lifford originally imagined Helium Taxi as a one-off album project, recording new and old compositions with musicians borrowed from top-shelf Austin acoustic bands MilkDrive and Wood & Wire. A series of shows to promote the album with a revolving cast of players led to deeper relationships with like-minded musicians in the community, and eventually a cohesive band had formed featuring Andy Lentz (fiddle), BJ Lazarus (mandolin), and Josh Flowers (bass). Lentz relocated to California in the summer of the 2017 and the band is working with various musicians in search of its next regular fiddler.

Together, the quartet performs a wide array of material that may feature ferocious improvised bluegrass runs, intricate harmonized melodies, deeply swinging grooves, and sweeping majestic passages—sometimes all inside a single tune.


Saturday September 16th – A Night with the Women of Löwin, Belcurve, Keeper & Cari Q @ 7:30pm [$8 Advance – $10 Door]

Join us for a night of great local music featuring: Sara Houser of Löwin , Sarah Castro & Deidre Gott of Belcurve , Keeper & Cari Q


Sunday, September 17thFrances Luke Accord w/ Johnny Zachman @ 7:30pm [$10 Advance – $12 Door]

Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles. Although prevailingly a modern folk band, FLA sip copious inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul, and rock.

Since forming during their senior year at the University of Notre Dame, Frances Luke Accord’s approach to music has marked a boundless evolution. In December of 2012 the duo released their first record, Kandote, a not-for-profit, intercultural collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir of Kkindu, Uganda — an endeavor that continues to support the primary education and musical aspirations of the choir. Bringing their world/folk sound to Chicago in the summer of 2013, the duo quickly garnered local and regional attention for their captivating live performances and stunning self-produced releases, including the Queen for Me EP (April 2014), Live @ Strobe (April 2015), and, most notably, their debut full-length album, Fluke (May 2016).

Fluke, FLA’s pseudo-self-titled introduction to a national audience, is a self-produced vocal tour-de-force that leaps quickly and definitively into the canopy of contemporary art. It is dreamlike and philosophical, haunting and whimsical. Its melodies evoke a noir film, a Spanish folktale, an enigmatic egoeye. However you pin it, something in the music is turning heads. Whether evidenced by their invitation to perform on NPR’s Mountain Stage Radio Show with Larry Groce, tours with Darlingside and Anaïs Mitchell, official showcase at Folk Alliance International’s 2017 Conference, or the $16K Kickstarter that funded Fluke, Frances Luke Accord’s compositions take the listener by the ear, pull the rug from beneath her feet, and leave her deliciously airborne. Listen.

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Cactus Cafe

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017

Thursday September 7th – Little Jack Melody And His Young Turks w/ Shibboleth @ 7:30pm [$10]

Little Jack Melody formed his band of Young Turks in Denton, Texas in 1990 to take his iconoclastic brand of neo-cabaret to the world. They’ve been described as “Kurt Weill for the Tarantino age” (New York Magazine), “utterly charming, neo-Weimar cabaret (Village Voice), and ”deeply weird, utterly fab” (Rolling Stone).

Instrumental rock that will pin you to your chair and re-style your hair. “Shibboleth are smart, cosmopolitan and gloriously un-hip” – Spendidzine


Friday, September 8th – The Sanco Loop @ 8:00pm [$10]

The Sanco Loop is the latest musical incarnation of Austin native, Peter Wagner. The record (to be released at this show) is made up of fuzzed-out acoustic guitar, atmospheric pedal steel, Rhodes, synthesizers, looped drum beats, and Wagner’s surprisingly wide-ranging voice. If James Blake and Peter Gabriel tried to make a red dirt country record, this might be what they’d come up with.


Saturday September 9th – David Dondero w/ Real Live Tigers @ 8:00pm [$8-$10]

David Dondero has done all kinds of work in his life. He’s been a carpenter, a cook, a trucker, a bartender in Alaska, a drummer in This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, a solar panel installer, a day laborer, a record store clerk, and a gas pumping attendant in New Jersey, but at the end of the day he’s a songwriter. In October, Austin label Keeled Scales will reissue David’s second album Spider West Myshkin and a City Bus on double-vinyl for the first time ever.

Real Live Tigers has been the main music project of Tony Presley since 2004. Over 50 musicians have played in the band, which has logged over 1,000 shows in the US, Canada, and Europe. For a long time it was lonely Greyhound tours criss-crossing the US and Canada, but nowadays it’s Presley touring in whatever cheap car he owns, occasionally with a bassist and drummer in tow.

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Cactus Cafe

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017

Monday, August 28th – Open Mic Night – 8:00pm [FREE – 7:30pm Sign Up]

Return of the Open Mic Night hosted by Kacy Crowley!


Tuesday, August 29th – Views & Brews: “The Performance of Prayer” @ 6:00pm [FREE]

Join KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with playwright and novelist Kirk Lynn and Rabbi Neil Blumofe, to talk about the role of prayer today, and what the idea and act of prayer teach us about how we understand our world, one another, and ourselves. Views and Brews is free and open to the public, but donations are always welcome. Doors at 5:30pm.


Thursday, August 31st – Pulkingham Layne @ 8:00pm [$15]

PulkinghamLayne is the nylon string acoustic instrumental guitar project of Darin Layne and David Pulkingham. Both artists are top-notch performers, whose careers have placed them on stages around the world with luminaries ranging from Moby to Bruce Springsteen. Their second album, “Stringology” (August 2017), is in turns giddy, with playfulness and heartbreaking in sweet sadness. The 11 tracks on “Stringology” traverse styles from Brazilian Choro to Jazz to Classical, with nods to Flamenco and Klezmer music. PulkinghamLayne is a heartfelt expression of joy in music and camaraderie from two world-class players who have every intention of moving the listener.

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Cactus Cafe

This Week at the Cactus Cafe

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017

Thursday, August 24th Christina Cavazos @ 8:00pm  [$8]

Austin singer-songwriter Christina Cavazos just turned 17, but she’s been dedicated to making music for as long as she can remember. Her musical maturity is fully evident on her second EP, Cold, released in Feb., 2017. Showcasing her clear soprano and accomplished songwriting, producer Louie Lino (Nada Surf, Ume, Matt Pond PA) layers Cavazos’ vocals over lush sonic collages, creating an elegant dream-pop mix full of allure.


Friday, August 25th – American Dreamer w/ Misimplicity @ 7:00pm [$15]

Comprised of three classical musicians and two former rockers, Austin orchestral folk ensemble American Dreamer has over 30 years of collective music school experience. Members can be found performing with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and teaching at the University of Texas at Austin. Not surprisingly, the band’s sound mirrors the generosity apropos of educators. In performance they selflessly let each other share the spotlight as much as they commingle in it, obviously in appreciation for what they do as individuals and as a group. From the rocker “Start-Stopping” to the more introspective “Apollo,” American Dreamer’s songs flow easily with intricate, lush harmonies and expressive instrumentation reminiscent of October Project. With one foot in classical music and the other comfortably in folk, the common thread that runs through every song and each member of the group is the natural urge to share sounds, emotions and stories through music.

Misimplicity is a collaboration between singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Grace London and bassist Zoe Cz, two 16 year old musicians hailing from Austin, Texas. Elements of alternative-folk, indie-rock, and 90’s emo fuse together on the duos first self-titled EP, a six song reflection on the difficulty of existing comfortably as expressed through Grace London’s uniquely poetic stream of consciousness writing style. The album is a testament to the enormity of introspective thought in all its strange loops, a dissection of the wishes and regrets we hold on to; feverishly communicated and beautifully performed.


Saturday, August 26th – Dawn & Hawkes @ 8:00pm [$10 Advance – $15 Door]

Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes met when he crossed an Austin barroom floor and asked her to dance. The first time they sang together their voices and guitars combined into a sound Texas Monthly calls “undeniably intimate”. Dawn and Hawkes return from a Southwest Tour to the Cactus Cafe and will showcase material from previous albums and newest songs that are being recorded for their next album The Other Side. “The audience caved for their interplay, romance, and music. They won everyone over by being raw, real, and original.