Perhaps my single biggest Austin music regret – besides not having seen Townes Van Zandt more – remains missing the final Texana Dames performance closing down the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in 2011. This year, too, I’m traveling when a pair of those Dames sit in with Bill Kirchen on Christmas Eve. Legacy acts return, of course – Marcia Ball, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Carolyn Wonderland – but greet the new breed as well, like Delbert’s kid Clay McClinton and locals I consider Butch & Sundance’s Hole in the Wall gang, Sons of Fathers.
Big draws (Shinyribs), big blues (Peterson Brothers), mad roots chemistry (Warren Hood Band) – all laced among local artisans. Austin’s soundtrack bonds to the Bazaar’s communal spirit. No future holiday regrets, yo. Christmas miracles only.
Tuesday, Dec. 17 Noon: Peterson Brothers Band 3:30: Emily Bell & John Evans 8: The Eggmen
Wednesday, Dec. 18 Noon: Clay McClinton 3:30: Patricia Vonne 8: Ray Wylie Hubbard
Thursday, Dec. 19 Noon: Sarah Pierce 3:30: Carper Family 8: Shinyribs
Friday, Dec. 20 Noon: Suzanna Choffel 3:30: Eliza Gilkyson 8: Jimmy LaFave
Saturday, Dec. 21 Noon: Shelley King Band 3:30: Carolyn Wonderland 8: Alpha Rev
Sunday, Dec. 22 Noon: Sons of Fathers 3:30: Marcia Ball, with Sarah Elizabeth Campbell & Christine Albert 8: Band of Heathens
Monday, Dec. 23 Noon: Terri Hendrix 3:30: Hot Club of Cowtown 8: Warren Hood Band
Tuesday, Dec. 24 Noon: Albert & Gage 3:30: Jitterbug Vipers 8: Bill Kirchen & Friends, with Conni & Charlene Hancock– Raoul Hernandez
Nashville’s non-familial Americana sextet saw 2012 debut Kids Raising Kids reissued this year by ATO.
Who says Santa’s not real? He just got to Texas last week, and he’s hammered and scheming fresh off a nasty divorce from the Missus. Thanks to inventive and eternally off-kilter South Austin honky-tonker Wild Bill, ATX now claims a new Christmas Carol, one rife with the dysfunction, madness, and heavy drinking that should typify your holidays anyway. RSVP for the Chronicle’s free local music series.– Chase Hoffberger
Dallas’ Power Trip released one of the more impressive debuts of 2013, its Manifest Decimation on Southern Lord resetting the bar on powerhouse thrash. Chris Ulsh pulls double duty, also swirling his locks with hometown thrash deity Mammoth Grinder, who had a good year with Underworlds. Municipal Waste offshoot Iron Reagan relives its Housecore Horror triumph with cheeky metallipunk. Richmond, Va.’s Windhand is the odd band out here, yet its gracefully melodic but ribcage-crushing doom (see Relapse Records’ Soma) will dissolve drywall.– Michael Toland