Live Music Worth Seeing This Weekend

Joey Bada$$, Clint Black, Oliver Rajamani, and more!

Levitation rules the live music landscape this weekend, but it’s far from the only show in town. Tunes ranging from Clint Black’s old-soul country to Joey Bada$$ and his nod to Nineties rap are on the docket. See more of our recommended events (music and otherwise) at


Clint Black

Nutty Brown Cafe
Fri., April 27

As country’s pendulum finally swings back to a more traditional sound, thank Clint Black and the “Class of ’89.” That year’s bow from the Katy-reared Texan, Killin’ Time, set the bar for Nashville’s new sound, and Black remained true to his sharp songwriting through 2015’s On Purpose. DFW Red Dirt troubadour Kody West opens with debut LP Green. – Doug Freeman

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

Fri., April 27

Beginning with Lenny Kravitz and playing journeyman saxophonist/flutist to jazz (John Scofield), funk (Fred Wesley), hip-hop (Blackalicious), and rock mainstays (Allman Brothers), Karl Denson embodies modern honk. Acid jazz in his Greyboy Allstars and jazz/fonk in Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the 61-year-old San Diegan blew his way to the top. His 2010/2011 tribute to Sticky Fingers led to his replacing late Lubbock legend Bobby Keys in the Rolling Stones. – Raoul Hernandez


Radio Coffee & Beer
Fri., April 27 & Sat., April 28

Moondoggies, Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, and Grizzly Bear all hail from Washington state, last bastion of indie rock Americana. Released last week on Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art, A Love Sleeps Deep rocks frontman Kevin Murphy’s ruminations on love, his new role as a father, empathy, and, surprise, the casual racism doled out to his Peruvian girlfriend where they live. – Christina Garcia
Wood & Wire


Wood & Wire Album Release

The Scoot Inn
Sat., April 28

Wood & Wire’s 2015 sophomore LP, The Coast lifted the local bluegrass quartet to national festival stages. Its much-anticipated new release North of Despair continues the trajectory with some of their best songwriting to date, mandolin and banjo-fired originals sparking a string fury. The band remains at its best on the poignant harmonies of the title track. Local psych-blues breakout Kalu & the Electric Joint fuels up first. – Doug Freeman

Scott H. Biram

Lost Well
Sat., April 28

Country, blues, and Velcro shoes: That’s the vocation of Scott H. Biram, whose nine albums of murder ballads, truckin’ tunes, and ol’ time religion make him Texas’ pre-eminent one-man band. The 44-year-old local stomper leads a bill of OMBs including gear-headed roots belter 1 Tire Fire, dark country hellion Dirty Charley, and the exciting solo debut of Joe Deuce, formerly the Whiskey Shivers percussionist and doghouse slapper for Wayne Hancock. – Kevin Curtin

Unfun Fest

Kick Butt Coffee
Sat., April 28

Rallying to replace Bull McCabe’s, Austin’s latest HQ for a new generation of punk assembled an all-day bill of pop-punk. Among speedy melodic local luminaries the Sweethearts, Butts, the Clastic, and Threes Away are the like-minded Palatines (McAllen), Kawaii AF (New Orleans), Amuse (Indianapolis), American Pinup (Yonkers), and From Parts Unknown (Dallas). Thrashcore locals Despero and Shitty Advice, and ATX post-punkers the Murtaughs offer a palate-cleansing contrast. – Tim Stegall

Denny Laine (second from the right)


Denny Laine & the Cryers

Cactus Cafe
Sun., April 29

British Invasion survivor Denny Laine not only led the Moody Blues into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame earlier this month by virtue of notching the group’s only chart-topper, 1964’s plaintive “Go Now,” the 73-year-old Birmingham guitarist remained the only constant collaborator to Paul & Linda McCartney in Wings, 1971-1981. Moreover, the group’s Grammy-winning masterwork, 1973’s Band on the Run, resulted from the Beatle and Blue largely cobbling together the album as a duo visiting Lagos, Nigeria.

“Paul played drums, I played guitar, and we got the songs that way,” recalled Laine from his home in New York last month. “Paul got robbed a few nights before we arrived and all the cassettes we had of the rehearsals, the band rehearsals for the ‘Band on the Run’ song, were stolen. We had to start from scratch and memory. So he got on the drums, we counted four, and got to the end of it. Each song. And then we overdubbed all the rest.”

Laine’s history reads like an index from rock & roll’s big bang – Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin. Michael Jackson, even. His name, originally Brian Frederick Hines, amperstands with McCartney’s on one of the single biggest smashes in UK history, 1977’s “Mull of Kintyre.”

“I still consider that to be [Paul’s] song because he came up with the chorus,” he admits. “When I heard the chorus, I said, ‘That’s a hit song.’ So the next day we went out and wrote the rest of it. He only had the chorus. ‘Mull of Kintyre’ was the biggest single of all time up until ‘Don’t They Know It’s Christmas’ by that big charity.”

Band Aid.

“Still to this day I do that song. I do all my Wings songs within the set.”

Read the entire, epic Q&A with Denny Laine online. – Raoul Hernandez

Oliver Rajamani

Zach Theatre
Sun., April 29

Oliver Rajamani fuses Spanish flamenco with Romani traditions and Indian influences. The longtime Austinite ushers the release of new album Flamenco India with a performance from a varied ensemble, including dancers, while also screening a new documentary that includes collaborator Willie Nelson articulating his gypsy guitar influences. – Kevin Curtin

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Joey Bada$$

Sun., April 29

Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott is an old soul, repping a boom bap flow and vintage beats since precocious debut mixtape 1999. Hailing from a Caribbean family like his idol Biggie, the 23-year-old Brooklyn MC grew up and woke with 2017’s second LP All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, which tributes Nineties gangsta rap, name checks Alton Sterling, and disses Trump. Scott also founded hip-hop collective Pro Era. – Clara Wang

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Live Music, Clint Black, Oliver Rajamani, Joey Badass, Joey Bada$$, Denny Laine, Wood & Wire, Moondoggies, Karl Denson, Scott H. Biram

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