10 Artists to Check Out Even If You’re Not Going to SXSW
So in the spirit of wanting to bridge the SXSW haves and have not’s, here’s a list of artists that all happen to be attending SXSW (and their appointed set times), but are worthy of being checked out more in-depth even if you can’t make it down to Austin, TX to get raped for parking and sit in lines for 7 hours a day.
Saving Country Music’s reigning Artist of the Year, this country music savior has a hot new album out in High Top Mountain, and another one on the way called Metamordern Sounds in Country Music out May 13th, and might be the most worthy up-and-coming country music personality to see at SXSW 2014. Sturgill Simpson is so good, even if you consider yourself more of an Americana or roots fan, he’s still worth checking out.
- Sat. 15th 7PM, St David’s Historic Sanctuary, 304 E 7th St.
If anyone is showing up to SXSW with tons of positive momentum behind him, it would be Shakey. It probably helps that he cut his teeth in Austin, playing regularly at places like The White Horse and Hole in the Wall. He’s now reportedly transitioning from a solo act to a full band sound, and whether you get Shakey solo or Shakey 2.0, he’s certainly worth rerouting your SXSW itinerary to catch.
- MONDAY, 3/10: 10:00pm Spider House Ballroom (2906 Fruth St) Mother Falcon’s All The Friends Ball
- TUESDAY, 3/11: 6:30pm KLRU Studio 6A (2504-B Whitis Ave) Premiere screening of PBS documentary on Shakey Graves “Not Alone” + live performance
- WEDNESDAY, 3/12: 1:00pm Cedar St. Courtyard (208 W. 4th St) FILTER/Lagunitas Party
- THURSDAY, 3/13: 12:50pm Weather Up (1808 E. Cesar Chavez) Billy Reid Showcase
4:00pm Licha’s Cantina (1306 E. 6th St) Audiotree Showcase
7:25pm Heartbreaker Banquet at Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX Ranch
- FRIDAY, 3/14: 12:30pm Spotify House (901 E. 6th St)
5:05pm The 512 (408 East 6th St) Colorado Music Party
1:00am The Gatsby (708 E. 6th St) Pandora / Americana Music Association Showcase (official SXSW)
- SATURDAY, 3/15: 11:00pm Holy Mountain Backyard (617 E. 7th St.) New Frontier Touring Showcase (official SXSW)
Possessed by Paul James
The school teacher by day turned music savant by night will be plying his craft at SXSW on the heels of being featured on NPR and CMT, and ahead of an appearance at Pickathon and many other festivals this summer. This high-energy and enigmatic solo performer is spiraling up the music world staircase with songs that resonate deeply with fans from all across the roots music landscape.
- Mon. 10th, 8:00 PM, Hotel Vegas, 1500 East 6th Street
- Wed. 12th, 5:30 PM, ABGB, 1305 West Oltorf Street
- Fri. 14th, 11:30 PM, Austin Moose Lodge XSXSW 7 2103 E M Franklin Ave.
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Hurry for the Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra, and sometimes other accompanying musicians, who evoke the musical traditions of Appalachia with a newer, Americana approach mixed in. Critically acclaimed and a favorite of her musical peers and fans of songwriting and traditional music alike, she just released her latest album Small Town Heroes and will be one of the rising roots stars attending SXSW in 2014. Gillian Welch for a new generation.
- Wed. 12th, Mello Johnny’s, 2:00 PM
- Wed. 12th, Weather Up, 1808 E Cesar Chavez St., 5:50 PM
- Fri. 14th, Hotel San Jose, 4:00 PM
- Fri. 14th, The Gatsby, 10:00 PM
This former and founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show is now out to make his own name as a solo folk singer, and will be attending SXSW ahead of the release of his David Rawlings-produced debut album Folk Singer, Vol. 1 out May 6th that features standard and obscure roots songs. Those who’ve followed string bands for a while will recognize the name, and most lovers of sincere music soon will with the way Willie Watson engages crowds and weaves his craft.
- Wed. 12th, 11:00 PM, St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th St.
- Thur. 13th, Heartbreaker Banquet, Luck, TX.
The former Turnpike Troubadour who surprised everyone in 2012 when his debut album From The Ground Up was nominated for a Grammy, John Fullbright is one of Americana’s brightest future stars and a top shelf songwriter to boot. And as you can see from his SXSW schedule, he’s willing to put the sweat equity into career. We all pray that the traffic sea parts for you often this week, John.
- 3/11 The Oklahoma Showcase @ The Buffalo Lounge (set time: 1:00am)
- 3/12 Thirty Tigers Showcase @ St. David’s Historic Sanctuary (set time: 12:00am)
- 3/13 Heartbreaker Banquet’s Chapel Stage @ Willie Nelson’s Ranch in Luck, TX (set time: 4:15pm)
- 3/14 Live Vibe Presents The Listening Room @ Winflo (set time: 1:15pm)
- 3/14 Sin City Social Club SXSW Bash @ St. Vincent’s (set time: 4:00pm)
- 3/14 Hill Country Live SXSW Showcase @ Saxon Pub (set time: 10:30pm)
- 3/15 Twangfest Party @ Broken Spoke (set time: 2:30pm)
- 3/15 Folk Alliance Showecase @ Threadgills (set time: 5:00pm)
- 3/16 Music City Texas Showcase @ G&S Lounge (set time: 6:30pm)
One of the strangest projects you can probably partake in at SXSW that would still fall within the big tent of the “country” world, but also one of the coolest and most creative, is steel guitar player Spencer Cullum Jr.’s Steelism band. You may recognize Spencer, as well as Steelism guitar player Jeremy Fetzer from Caitlin Rose’s band. Essex-native Spencer Cullum has also played with Jonny Fritz, and many others from the current east Nashville scene. Others you may see fleshing out the Steelism lineup at any given time are Mike Rinne, Matt Rowland, Jon Radford, and Andrew Combs. Who said the steel guitar was dead?
- Wed. 12th, 11:00 PM, Tap Room at The Market, 311 Colorado St
- Fri. 14th, 8:00 PM, Shotguns, 503 East 6th St.
Texas native and current Nashvillian Robert Ellis is certainly a candidate to take that critical acclaim baton from Jason Isbell and run with it as an artist who seems to effortlessly deliver songs with cutting emotional moments in an awe-inspiring display of deft creativity. His much-anticipated new album Lights From The Chemical Plant is full of those instances that give you shivers from their bold illustration of wit and self awareness.
- Wed. 12th, 7:00 PM, Paste Party @ Swan Dive, 615 Red River Street
- Thur. 13th, 5:20 PM, Weather Up, 1808 E Cesar Chavez St.
- Thur. 13th 7:00 PM, Threadgills, 301 West Riverside Drive
- Thur. 13th 8:00 PM, Red 7, 611 E 7th St
- Fri. 14th, 5:00 PM, Hotel San Jose, 1316 S Congress Ave
Artists that just released albums seem to flock to SXSW light moths to the lamp, and such is the case for Bloodshot Record’s cowpunk princess Lydia Loveless that has many singing her praises after the release of her latest album Somewhere Else. Lydia Loveless isn’t just empowered, she’s uninhibited. Subtly and coyness are shades she rarely paints in. Instead she opens her mouth and the truth comes out unfettered, refreshingly honest, and many times, R-rated, revealing her sinful tendencies and struggles with self-admitted inadequacies that sometimes veer her towards self-destructive behavior.
- Tue. 11th, 8:00 PM, Hole In The Wall
- Wed. 12th, 10:00 PM, The Continental Club
- Fri. 14th, Yard Dog Art Gallery
- Thur. 13th, Noon, The Broken Spoke
- Thur 13th. 2:00 PM, Swan Dive
- Thur 13th, 6:30 PM, Hole In The Wall
With a gift for poetry like Townes Van Zandt, and a penchant for the whimsical, progressive approach to bluegrass akin to John Hartford, Robbie Fulks isn’t your typical up-and-coming SXSW attendee, but a wily veteran coming back for the action. His recent album Gone Away Backward from Bloodshot Records was a Saving Country Music Album of the Year candidate in 2013.
- Wed. 12th, 9:00 PM, The Continental Club
- Thur. 13th, 4:00 PM, The Broken Spoke
- Fri. 14th, Yard Dog Art Gallery
- Sat. 15th, 2:00 PM, Brooklyn Country Party @ Licha’s Cantina
March 10, 2014 @ 9:19 am
Do you know if these artists are wristband only entries or if they are everyone allowed?
March 10, 2014 @ 9:29 am
90% of the days show, so anything before about 7 or 8 PM, are generally free at SXSW, no wristband or badge required. Everything after that is usually SXSW Official, which usually means wristband or badge IS required, unless it says that it is unofficial. I have never had a wristband or badge, and aside from a few shows here and there, have been able to attend everything I want to see.
March 10, 2014 @ 9:36 am
Thanks. I will definitely check most of these artists out this week.
March 10, 2014 @ 9:47 am
The SXSW page is showing Sturgill playing from 1100 – 1140 Saturday night.
March 10, 2014 @ 10:39 am
The only good part about living in Los Angeles for the past couple of years has been getting to see Willie Watson a lot. Old Crow isn’t the same without him and his solo stuff is great. I cannot wait for his album. Go see him.
March 10, 2014 @ 10:47 am
Here is Shakey Graves’ full schedule this week, if anyone is interested. Some of these require RSVPs but are open to the public, other than the two that say official SXSW. You can find RSVP info for most everything on http://www.rsvpster.com/
SHAKEY GRAVES SCHEDULE:
10:00pm – Spider House Ballroom (2906 Fruth St) – Mother Falcon’s All The Friends Ball
6:30pm – KLRU Studio 6A (2504-B Whitis Ave) – Premiere screening of PBS documentary on Shakey Graves “Not Alone” + live performance
1:00pm – Cedar St. Courtyard (208 W. 4th St) – FILTER/Lagunitas Party
12:50pm – Weather Up (1808 E. Cesar Chavez) – Billy Reid Showcase
4:00pm – Licha’s Cantina (1306 E. 6th St) – Audiotree Showcase
7:25pm – Heartbreaker Banquet at Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX Ranch
12:30pm – Spotify House (901 E. 6th St)
5:05pm – The 512 (408 East 6th St) – Colorado Music Party
1:00am – The Gatsby (708 E. 6th St) – Pandora / Americana Music Association Showcase (official SXSW)
11:00pm – Holy Mountain Backyard (617 E. 7th St.) – New Frontier Touring Showcase (official SXSW)
March 10, 2014 @ 11:12 am
Thanks for the additional Shakey Graves times Tyler, I added them up top. I can’t tell you how painful it is to attempt to find the show times for many of these artists. I wanted to feature many more artists here, but completely lost my will and ran out of time trying to run down set times and specifics. Once again not having a clear, concise, and universal format for live show times is the biggest challenge technology has yet to find an all-encompassing solution for.
March 10, 2014 @ 11:16 am
Thanks! Feel free to delete my comment if you’d like so it doesn’t take up the whole feed.
March 10, 2014 @ 10:51 am
Obvious bias aside, these are great recommendations. I can’t wait to see Sturgill.
I’d recommend checking out my buddies Crooks, who have been featured on SCM in the past: https://www.facebook.com/CrooksCountry
I think SCM readers would dig them. They’re playing at KVET and KOKE-FM free parties as well as a few others. They have a poster with info on their Facebook page.
I’ll shut up now!
March 10, 2014 @ 12:12 pm
Nice comment on Hurray for the Riff Raff. I don’t have the ‘Small Town Heroes’ CD yet, but I’ve heard it (“The Body Electric” is probably my favorite track). 🙂
March 10, 2014 @ 2:04 pm
Just noticed that Shakey Graves played The Swede in Friday Night Lights.
March 10, 2014 @ 6:34 pm
What, no Black Lillies? 😉
March 11, 2014 @ 12:45 pm
I am happy for all you folks who can attend this festival.
Pea green with envy, but nonetheless happy for you.
If I weren’t fulfilling my obligations as a NASCAR fan at Bristol Motor Speedway, I would find myself a way to get to SXSW.
March 11, 2014 @ 7:28 pm
I’m a sucker for stuff like Steelism. Reminds me of Los Destellos, crossed with Dick Dale and Davie Allan. Thanks once again, reason why I read this site is the occasional gem like this.
March 14, 2014 @ 4:14 am
I would suggest The Cactus Blossoms too. Not 100% sure of their activities but I know their appearing at various venues tomorrow (15/03), including the Broken Spoke. Would LOVE to be there!!
March 14, 2014 @ 9:30 am
Saw them at Pickathon. Great band!
March 15, 2014 @ 7:08 pm
Coolies! Thanks for the heads up and links, Trigger. Will check them all out. Would have been green with envy at not being at SXSW this year, however in light of the horrible tragedy, I’m glad I wasn’t there.
March 15, 2014 @ 7:31 pm
Don’t forget Winnipeg’s Scott Nolan. There is a huge country/roots scene in Manitoba, and it’s a treat when the folks down there get to check them out.
March 15, 2014 @ 8:28 pm
Great article and review! I am excited to listen to all the new upcoming country music talent!