This Week at the Cactus Cafe

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.

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