Oh you poor little non-SXSW goers, you’re social network feeds are about to get positively inundated with South By Southwest information, riddling your psyche with scores of free music events you’re unfortunately missing out on, resulting in an experience for you somewhere between the teasings of a cruel temptress, and Chinese water torture.
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)
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