Two Austin charities tap the sound of our town. Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) services the body, while SIMS, named for local hard rock suicide Sims Ellison, maintains the mind. Both nonprofits soundtrack ATX in the name of all those same musicians. KGSR's Broadcasts has been doing so longer than half its audience's life span, donating six figures annually to SIMS at SXSW. Farther afield than simply local, the series beats Austin-centric nonetheless. From the sirens – Patty Griffin's plaintive "Go Wherever," Suzanna Choffel's stilling "Golden Fires," Shawn Colvin's distressed "Change Is on the Way" – to the guardians – Bob Schneider's raw "Unpromised Land," Gary Clark Jr.'s jittery "Ain't Messin' 'Round," Nakia's NOLA-like jazz funeral, "Make Up With a Gun" – these are the best years of our lives. The second disc of this 36-song live set stumbles with our times' fragmented playlist (Snow Patrol, Civil Twilight, Churchill, Saints of Valory), but Michael Kiwanuka reincarnated as Richie Havens ("Tell Me a Tale") and Delta Rae's soul cry ("If I Loved You") make good, while Iron & Wine's gently wrenching "Winter Prayers" and Steve Earle ("Invisible") forgive all. HAAM feast All ATX likewise serenades music extremists, with an exclusively live-music-capital program that fairly bursts with inspired live teamings. Christopher Cross and Eric Johnson; Eric Johnson and Malford Milligan; Malford Milligan, Marcia Ball and Van Wilks – collaborative ecstasy. Will & Charlie Sexton's affecting "Celebrate" signals it's past time for a Vaughan Brothers-like LP, while Alejandro Escovedo dazzles twice, both with Suzanna Choffel and Mother Falcon, particularly on a corrosive redo of his "Sacramento & Polk" backed by the latter. Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Forsyth back-to-back with Asleep at the Wheel highlight perfect sequencing. From the Big Boys/Dicks split to any number of long-gone holiday collections, Austin's produced decades of local comps, but All ATX hails a keeper that'll keep giving. www.simsfoundation.org and www.myhaam.org.
The All ATX concert from Sept. 24 at the Moody Theater will air on KLRU channel 18 on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 8pm.
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