Since the 2014 retirement of Austin Music Awards doyenne Margaret Moser (1954-2017), the Texas state capital’s version of the Grammys perfected the mash-up. 2015 Returned to Austin High (Gary Clark Jr., Shakey Graves, Suzanna Choffel, etc.), proclaimed Viva la Diva (Gina Chavez, Tameca Jones, Sunny Sweeney, etc.), and staged an Ian McLagan Tribute (Patty Griffin, Alejandro Escovedo, et al.). 2016 then spun off a fiddle duel from Alvin Crow, Jason Roberts, Carrie Rodriguez, and more, evoked Freaks & Geeks by pitting the Golden Dawn Arkestra against Mother Falcon, and tuned in Twine Time with Jimmie Vaughan, C.J. Chenier, and Robert Plant, among others. Last year’s Terry Allen and Blaze Foley tributes ruled the roost.
The 2017/2018 AMAs upend that narrative with single artist sets.
Lucinda Williams, the Black Angels, and ATX’s new Tribe Called Quest equivalent Third Root all promise to unload both barrels in their close-ups. Journeymen Magi John Hiatt and Alejandro Escovedo induct Joe Ely, while Okie song sage John Fullbright and male siren Michael Fracasso summon tears for Jimmy LaFave, but the show’s conceptional set piece boils down to a single segment. Title borrowed from Ely’s Flatlanders, Borderless Love umbrellas native spirit Adam Torres, song stiller David Ramirez, and fiddle muse Phoebe Hunt.
AND … the annual “special guest” doubles the draw of 2017’s Chrissie Hynde at half the age.
Wed., Feb. 28, 7:55pm