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White Ghost Shivers

The White Ghost Shivers' brand of bawdy vaudeville might be dismissed as mere schtick if the group weren’t so talented. Still, schtick is a label the band willfully embraces, evidenced in the members’ stage names such as Shorty Borgasm, the 7-foot-tall banjo-plucking, kazoo-blowing, nose-flute-tooting frontman. Along with lone female Cella Blue’s skirt-flinging sauciness and Smokebreak Slemda’s irreverent songwriting, the Austin septet fuses a 1920s hot jazz with Appalachian hillbilly and Western swing, digging up roots like cut-throat arborers. Since their inception in 2000, the band’s hallmark has been unpredictable live shows, including an annual Hallowe’en Ball begun in 2004. The Shivers have also released three albums with local label Chicken Ranch: 2005’s debut, Hokum If You Gottem; Live on the Radio; and 2006’s Everyone's Got 'Em. The group also released a live DVD, 2006 Flim Flam Follies, of their Halloween spectacular in 2007. – Doug Freeman

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05/23/15 @ Continental Club

High, howling, homegrown Saturday night ghost punk and Prohibition jazz.

05/09/14 @ Poodie's Hilltop Roadhouse
White Ghost Shivers

Vaudeville on the hill.

04/04/14 @ Empire Control Room
Confusapalooza II

“Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.” As such, Confusapalooza celebrates Austin’s band name word game with a thoroughly entertaining lineup at the Austin Music Poll’s Best New Club, Empire Control Room. Arrive early for rumble rock guitar/drums duo Ghost Wolves, followed by the flask sippin’, mando pickin’, scum-folk septet Clyde & Clem’s Whiskey Business, not to be confused with the Whiskey Shivers, who take a Ramones-like approach to bluegrass. At the center of the Venn diagram: old time extraordinaires White Ghost Shivers.

09/29/13 @ Sixth Street
Pecan Street Fall Festival: Day Two

And here you thought ACL avalanched the next music fest. Wrong.

Forty-five Austin acts on three Sixth Street stages – at Neches, Trinity, and Red River – span headliners (Nakia, Grupo Fantasma, White Ghost Shivers) to deep cuts (My Education, Them Duqaines, Ghosts Along the Brazos) across two days. Free. With copious arts, crafts, and munchies.

Public transit, here we come.


MetroPCS: Cilantro Boombox (noon), Cinco Doce (1pm), John Garza Band (2), Son de Rey (3:05), Brownout (4:10), Vallejo (5:30), Grupo Fantasma (6:50)

Trinity: Ghosts Along the Brazos (noon), Grace London (1pm), Lost & Nameless Orchestra (2:05), Bare Feat (3:10), Them Duqaines (4:20), Digital Antique (5:40), White Ghost Shivers (7)

Red River: Kari K. & the Stonewall Riot (noon), Third in Line (1pm), Mount Pressmore (2:05), Plastic Habit (3:10), Antiques (4:20), Mighty Mountain (5:40), Baker Family (7)

06/08/13 @ Central Market South
South of the River Showcase

Free and kid friendly: Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox (12:30pm), Son y No Son (2), W.C. Clark (3:30), Ruby Jane (5), White Ghost Shivers (6:30pm).

05/04/13 @ The White Horse
White Ghost Shivers

Old West ambience meets its local saloon soundtrack.

01/12/13 @ The White Horse
White Ghost Shivers
Austin’s wild vaudevillian pluckers. Country Willie opens.
02/11/12 @
White Ghost Shivers
Bawdy prohibition in the Ballroom, with support from Clem and Clyde's Whiskey Business and Paper Moon Shiners.
12/16/11 @ Antone's CLOSED
White Ghost Shivers
Clarinet and fiddle crack open White Ghost Shivers’ Nobody Loves You Like We Do same as the soundtrack of clarinetist Woody Allen doing Charlie Chaplin in 1973’s Sleeper – fast and funny. What else would one expect from the local, old-timey septet and a song titled “White Trash Fast Food”? Cella Blue’s salacious double entendre on “Sweet Banana” matches Shorty Stump’s saucy banjo and Saturn’s tart saxophone. And don’t fear “The Reaper.”
05/29/11 @ Continental Club
Nick Curran Benefit
Another benefit for the local blues rattler, as Austin proves again what it does best: help its own. The guitarist’s in need of financial help after a recent bout with cancer, and he’s enlisted South Congress royalty like Hot Club of Cowtown, Moonhangers, Bellfuries, White Ghost Shivers, and Alejandro Escovedo. 2pm.
07/27/09 @ Continental Club
Anthony Locke Benefit
White Ghost Shivers, Jungle Rockers, Belleville Outfit, and more band together to help Wayne Hancock’s steel player.
07/10/09 @ Continental Club
White Ghost Shivers, Bernson & Bayless
Local flappers exorcise demons.
02/14/08 @ Continental Club
White Ghost Shivers’ Valentine’s Massacre
Having trouble expressing your affections? Let the Shivers’ swinging, retro ragtime help. Warning: may lead to bondage, bloodshed, incest, and some dubious animal interactions. Mr. Lewis & the Funeral 5 teach Murder and the Art of the Dance, like binding Tom Waits in the shackles of Tav Falco and demanding a tango. Opener Dana Falconberry’s dulcet voice sets the tone. Here’s your bloody valentine.
10/31/07 @ American Legion Hall
Funny how a holiday originating in Celtic culture to celebrate the living and the dead has morphed into a cash cow for Friday the 13th marathons and “sexy cop” costumes. Thankfully, Austin supplies enough good music to distract from the screeching hordes on Sixth Street. Friday, it’s Ruta Maya’s Raging Halloween Ball with Acid Tomb, a 13th Floor Elevators tribute stocked by members of the Alice Rose and the Jungle Rockers, plus sets by locals Murdocks, Golden Bear, Nathan Singleton & His Sideshow Tragedy, and special guest the Fearless Vampire Killers. That same night, the Victory Grill hosts Waxploitation’s Halloween Soul Happening. Saturday, catch the Diamond Smugglers’ yearly Neil Diamond exorcism at the Continental Club, featuring the suave stylings of the Ron Titter Band and killer Queen lovers Magnifico. Across town, it’s the first Halloween Bash/Hannah’s Hope benefit with the Score, Jungle Rockers, and Two Hoots & a Holler at the new Monarch Event Center. Tuesday, Toni Price returns to her old Continental stomping grounds for Hippieween, and Beerland hosts what could be its greatest cover night yet: members of Oh, Beast!; Awesome Cool Dudes; Those Peabodys; and the Chronicle’s own unstoppable Greg Beets team up as the New Drugs, a Huey Lewis & the News cover band. Pataphysics (Hall & Oates), Diamond Caverns (Roky Erickson), and Jazzus Lizard kick off the big bam boom. Wednesday, Halloween night, roll call: Ghouls Night Out II with metallurgists Children in Heat, Suicidal Failure, Iron Holicus, and Invincible Maiden (Room 710); Quintron & Miss Pussycat’s neon dance party (Emo’s); Bowie-philes the Suffragettes (Club de Ville); anti-glamsters the Dandy Warhols and Ringo Deathstarr (La Zona Rosa); mashing Car Stereo (Wars) (Beauty Bar); psychic Warlocks (Mohawk); Galactic jams Mr. Lif and Lifesavas (Stubb’s); Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat, Hug, and Foot Patrol do the freak-out (Chain Drive); and Mother’s Anthem and Spoonfed Tribe groove Antone’s. Those looking for more traditional scares should jitterbug over to the annual Black & White Ghost Shivers Ball (American Legion Hall) or shout at the devil for P.K. Waddle’s Exorcist score (Alamo Drafthouse South), just like the olden days. Visit Community Listings for more!
07/20/07 @ Parish
Lions, White Ghost Shivers, Peel
Sandwiched between Matt Drenik's Southern arena-rock masters and indie rock foursome Peel are those crazy vaudevillians you know and love, White Ghost Shivers. Instead of bringing the slap(stick) and sway to this local throw down, however, Shivers plug in and turn up for one night only. The Shivers cover the Shivers! Leave the moonshine and tommy guns at home.
04/22/07 @ Antone's CLOSED
March Fourth Marching Band
Take a marching band, throw in a few years of art school, a copy of Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces, some gypsy blood, and that’s kinda what the March Fourth Marching Band’s about. The Portland, Ore., collective incorporates unicyclists, acrobats, puppets, and more into a brassy whirlwind of rock, Eastern Europe, and funk, to name but a few of the genres the MFMB so triumphantly defiles. White Ghost Shivers and That Damned Band crowd the house.
04/01/07 @ Stubb's
White Ghost Shivers
Last show ever!
03/04/07 @ East Airport Block Party
East Airport Block Party
As our Downtown is planted with one clunky loft and hotel after another, there are still outposts of old weird Austin left. An inaugural benefit for the burgeoning businesses of Austin’s near-Eastside, as well as local do-gooders Anthropos Arts and the new digs for KOOP, this Sunday afternoon show also promises some white-hot local talent. Neighborhood lip-splitters White Ghost Shivers headline, along with the Anthropos Latin Combo and country loungers Fingerpistol. Visit
02/14/07 @ The Scoot Inn
Valentine's Massacre
Hug, Jherri Signfeldt’s Atropheed Saq, Chain Drive; White Ghost Shivers’ Valentine’s Day Spectacle, Scoot Inn; TunaHelpers final show, Room 710; Cupid’s Ball with Paula DeAnda and Baby Bash, Spin Nightclub; Anti-Valentine's Party with DJ Vomitnoise, DJ Gold Tooth, DJ Rob Yazzie, MC Rattlesnake, Beerland; Mr. & Mrs. Mays, Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat, Hole in the Wall; Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Cactus Cafe See Community and Club listings for more Valentine's events.
01/20/07 @ Continental Club
Lost Bayou Ramblers
In 1927 and 2005, Louisiana nearly washed away, but not the music. Lost Bayou Ramblers (and brothers) Louie and Andre Michot grew up in deep Cajun country, where the soil itself is musical, learning fiddle and accordion from family members and Floyd’s Record Shop. Second album Bayou Perdu (Swallow) could be a Library of Congress recording, Cajun music’s 21st century rebirth, or both. Hot-jazz hooligans White Ghost Shivers close Friday and open Saturday.
01/19/07 @ Continental Club
Lost Bayou Ramblers
In 1927 and 2005, Louisiana nearly washed away, but not the music. Lost Bayou Ramblers (and brothers) Louie and Andre Michot grew up in deep Cajun country, where the soil itself is musical, learning fiddle and accordion from family members and Floyd’s Record Shop. Second album Bayou Perdu (Swallow) could be a Library of Congress recording, Cajun music’s 21st century rebirth, or both. Hot-jazz hooligans White Ghost Shivers close Friday and open Saturday.
01/13/07 @ Parish
IV Thieves, White Ghost Shivers
An online database that tailors music recommendations to user preferences – sort of like this paper – Unlock Austin takes its own advice for this Lose Your Resolution coming-out party. Headlining are IV Thieves, whose boisterous Brit-rock has doomed many a temperance pledge, plus dirty-minded vaudeville troupe the White Ghost Shivers and gravelly bluesman Seth Walker. All three acts are also designing outfits for our own thonged, erstwhile mayoral candidate Leslie. You’ve been warned.
12/14/06 @ The Scoot Inn
White Ghost Shivers
It's Festivus!
11/16/06 @ Beerland
Chili Cold Blood, White Ghost Shivers
Cold blood, hot licks
10/21/06 @ Camp Ben McCulloch
Austin String Band Festival
Sponsored by Austin Friends of Traditional Music, the first String Band Festival has the potential to be something special. Spotlighting local darlings like White Ghost Shivers, South Austin Jug Band, Sarah Jarosz, and the Grassy Knoll Boys, as well as Northern California’s Earl Brothers, Driftwood, Texas, rings with three days of jammin’, campin’, and strings, strings, strings.
08/27/06 @ Waterloo Park
Hot Sauce Festival
The heat, the beer, the hordes. The music. No, it’s not ACL Fest, it’s the Chronicle’s annual excuse to drink more beer: chips & salsa! Actually, all those leftovers usually find their way here to the paper Monday morning, but the music stays in Waterloo Park. This year, kid band NewBoy (11am) leads into the White Ghost Shivers’ raunchy ragtime (noon), Guy Forsyth’s yeoman’s blues (1:30pm), and the country honk of the Texas Sapphires (3:30pm). The event and its soundtrack are free, but best bring beer money. 11am-5pm.
06/17/06 @ Continental Club
White Ghost Shivers
For those of us who were born in the wrong decade, this local double bill turns back the clock. The Twenties ragtime fervor of Austin’s White Ghost Shivers promises some good ol’ Southern stomp and Dixieland camp. And speaking of camp, the local duo known as Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat takes Weimar-era cabaret and throws it down the velvet goldmine. The Cramps would be proud. There will be leather. There may be guns. You will submit.
03/31/06 @ Longbranch Inn
White Ghost Shivers, the Carrots
The Shivers take strings back to the Twenties; the Carrots wrap you in handclaps and Fifties doo-wap.
01/11/06 @ Emo's CLOSED
Free Week, Part 2!
After a near-week of rock & roll debauchery, we near the finish line with a second dose of super local, utterly fun, and totally free shows. Now is not the time for a breather. Friday night is fast and furious with the emo metal of At All Cost, D.C.-inspired hardcore of America Is Waiting, mindfuck heavyosity of Cardinale, Vise Versa’s popcore, and the clanging sludge of SteerS on the outside stage. Inside, Emo’s opens up the garage door with the Stepbrothers, Rev. Ray Pride’s Crack Pipes, the Ugly Beats’ go-go-rama, and the electric sliding Nervous Exits. Saturday night, local bigwigs I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness hit the outside stage, out of the studio and into the night. Local college rockers Zykos support with the flashing Lemurs and Strokesian Lord Henry. Inside, What Made Milwaukee Famous gain a little stardom of their own with the beautiful Glass Family, the Fall Collection’s power pop, and brand-new rockers Crash Gallery. Sunday is all about the ass with dance-punkers Things That Go Pop!, Loxsly’s squealing swirl, a big poppy Magic Surprise, and Tacks, the Boy Disaster. And don’t give us any BS about having to work in the morning, because Monday’s even better. The Awesome Cool Dudes/Tuxedo Killers conglomerate When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth throw down proggy with Blonde Redhead followers AM Syndicate, the Chapters’ Eighties jam, and the “punk rock” of the Midgetmen. Momentum, baby. Tuesday is hardcore night with the tightass Games & Theory, Bitter Tongues, and Triumph of Gnomes, while Wednesday is for the truly excessive and strong of liver. Chicken Ranch Records messes the barnyard with the White Ghost Shivers, Willie Heath Neal, and travelin’ man John Schooley & His One Man Band. We feel your pain. Buck up, SXSW is right around the corner.
11/30/05 @ Saxon Pub
White Ghost Shivers
It was inevitable that the White Ghost Shivers and Buster Keaton films would end up together, as they did with Cops at last month’s megapacked Halloween Ball. From the Tin Pan Alley threads to the smokin’ tempos, the Shivers belong in their own black-and-white keystone kaper. Live on the Radio, the octet’s new Chicken Ranch LP recorded on KUT and KVRX, is a night at a bawdy gin joint with a carnival out back. Or a night much like Wednesday.
10/31/05 @ American Legion Hall
When Halloween falls on the day of the Mon, the weekend before holds a whole lot of fun. For the flops that do flip and the shirts made of cotton turn to witches and warlocks and things that are rotten. Saturday’s broomstick soars to the Oasis where Asylum Street Spankers run vaudevillian bases. While whizzing down Sixth Street, do stop at the Parish, where N.O.’s Drums & Tuba will jam something garish. Flaco Jimenez at Jovita’s doth hoard a Halloween Bash & Costume Awards. Further down Congress at Ruta Maya, live, jumps 3 Balls of Fire and Freddie Steady 5. They come with the legends of Roky and Sal, Valentino that is, Beau Brummels’ old pal. If blackness and leather is more of your style, zip over the freeway a couple of miles. The Back Room entrances with all local metal: some Drifter, Ignitor, and more to unsettle. Onward to Whisky with seatbelts a-fastened, the tables will spin with both Mel and Prince Klassen. As Sunday arrives and the dark day draws nearer, Gogogo Airheart makes disco punk clearer. To Emo’s they drag Single Frame and the Joggers, while the Southside whisps tunes from the likes of Todd Potter. He lurks down at Threadgill’s, and over the freeway, the River of Harmony takes up any leeway. The Flatlanders, Rowan and Russell and Rhodes bring roots to Fiesta Gardens in loads. Further north still, our Stella starts dancing at a Carousel benefit that needs no enhancing. Over on Fifth the amps start to roar and Funeralizer hurls on the Whisky Bar floor. With one set of currents and the other all Sabbath, the Swordman traverses a Reality warpath. The death knell is ringing on All Hallows Eve as the White Ghost Shivers pull an ace out their sleeve. Bluegrass and costumes at their Halloween Ball transform the will of the American Legion Hall. Galactic and Mofro jam out down at Stubb’s, while La Zona’s Yngwie Malmsteen’s guitar gets its rubs. Attic Ted arrives at de Ville with their masks, as Elysium hosts Nosferatuian gasps. If twang and a two-step make Halloween fare, Dale Watson & His Lone Stars take the Continental there. When everyone’s finally asleep in their beds, the goblins and ghouls shall take heed in your heads. For when the flops start to flip and we’re all sheathed in cotton, those witches and warlocks are all but forgotten.
07/07/05 @ Alamo Drafthouse Downtown
The White Ghost Shivers & Keaton/The Yuppie Pricks & Judge
The White Ghost Shivers score Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. and Cops live at 7:30 & 9pm, while the Yuppie Pricks meet Office Space at midnight with a cash-filled copier just waiting to be smashed.
03/04/05 @ Central Market North
Genuine Recordings Showcase
Genuine Recordings is a local collective cultivating Austin’s still-flourishing old-time/bluegrass music scene. To that end, the stages at both Central Markets will be ringing with banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and that high lonesome sound from some of the latest and greatest in local acoustic-based bands. Featured at the north store are White Ghost Shivers, Onion Creek Crawdaddies, Boxcar Preachers, and Cooper’s Uncle, while down south, Laura Freeman, Brother James & the Choir, the Double Eagle String Band, and Giant City Jazz mow down the local faithfuls.
01/19/05 @ Broken Spoke
Cella Blue, the White Ghost Shivers
Old-timey tracks so you can shuffle your feet.
Last Updated: March 10, 2008

Origin: 2000
Genre: Experimental, Jazz and Pop/Rock
Upcoming shows:
Fri., Oct. 21, 5 p.m. @ Sat., Oct. 22, 9 p.m. @ Sat., Oct. 29, 12 a.m. @ Sat., Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m. @
Austin Music Awards:
2011: Best None of the Above
2007: Best None of the Above
2006: Best Novelty Band
2005: Best None of the Above
Full Discography:
Hokum If You Gottem
Chicken Ranch (2005)
Live on the Radio
Chicken Ranch (2005)
Everyone's Got 'Em
Chicken Ranch (2006)
From the Archives:
Playback: Triple Crown Ends Historic Streak (Music Column December 17, 2015)

San Marcos' Triple Crown ends its live music streak, White Ghost Shivers lose a founder, and Twine Time host Paul Ray hospitalized
Playback: FREE WEEK! (Music Column January 3, 2014)

2014, you're up
Playback (Music Column June 1, 2012)

Storm (Thorgerson), Chaos (in Tejas), and gender dysphoria: Welcome to summer music!
Trouble Puppet Theater Company (Arts Story March 19, 2010)

Situation normal: all 'Fup Duck'
Theatre Action Project: A birthday bash for your inner grownup (Arts Story February 22, 2008)

The arts organization serving youth marks its 10th year with a party for the adults among us
TCB (Music Column August 25, 2006)

Music news
Cultural Benefits (Arts Story May 12, 2006)

Once in a Blue Moon comes an OoBenanny
Austin Lyric Opera (Arts Story March 24, 2006)

Ready for its close-up
TCB (Music Column November 4, 2005)

Music news