Shawn Colvin, Timbuk 3
Backyard, Saturday 2Shawn Colvin's sweet, soothing voice, and the lone accompaniment of her acoustic, are the only gentle stirrings on the re-issue of a 1988 concert in Somerville, MA - Live '88, out now on Plump. No word yet whether Colvin will have a backing band for her first live Austin gig since the spring, but having been in the studio working on a new album, she'll no doubt have more than a few surprises up her sleeveless. Timbuk 3 open.
LATINAS Y MUSICA
Scholz Garten, Friday 1A good season for Isla Mujeres Productions, who round out their season with one last "Latinas y Musica" show, this one featuring the talents of UT doctoral candidate and traditional Spanish music archivist Rachel Cruz, and cumbias, banderas, and harangas by Brenda Hidalgo with expert backing by Henry Galarza y Los Romanticos. Baila!
Cedar Street, Friday 1Every time I go to the Elephant Room with Jay Trachtenberg, I invariably find myself asking the jazz maestro and longtime Chronicle writer "who's that?" The answer always comes back the same: "He's one of Polk's students." See for yourself why this pianist and Southwest Texas State University professor is the guru of Austin's jazz scene. Play it, brother James.
LABOR DAY BLUES REVUE
Victory Grill, Friday 1- Sunday 3Since the passing of Erbie Bowser, seems as though T.D. Bell's Blues Specialists are playing around Austin more, which is good, since many locals still have the blues over Bowser's passing. And blues is just what you can expect on this three-day stand, which features Marvin Crowe and Chicago's Charles Wilson in addition to Bell's weeping guitar.
THE GOURDS, THE BARBERS
The tag around town for the Gourds is "Austin's version of The Band," and who
am I to argue - especially after listening to their KUT "Live Set" over and over. Someone tell
Garth Hudson that Richard Manuel is back, and the two of 'em are apparently in
this fast-rising rootsy-acoustic local band. Barbers open.
Flipnotics, Saturday 2
TEDDY & THE TALLTOPS
Jovita's, Saturday 2Elvis has left the building. But fret not, his good friend Ted Roddy has come through the back door with his new Hightone release in hand, Full Circle. Just the deep-voiced, roots-rockabilly we've come to expect from this Naughty One, the new album gets a run- through at this favorite South Austin Mexican eatery, with Dancing Room Only on the tables.
SUSANNA SHARPE BRAZILIAN TRIO
Manuel's, Sunday 3Conventional wisdom sez that Susanna Sharpe's Brazilian Independence Day party at Liberty Lunch on Thursday 7 is the way to go as far as seeing the chanteuse before her maternity leave puts her out of commission for a while. Damn convention! I'm opting for an easy-going Sunday brunch at Manuels with Sharpe's swinging little alter trio. Bring kids and an appetite.
Elephant Room, Sunday 3Gentle gypsy jazz from this Dallas-based trio, who mix Django with Astrud Gilberto and Gershwin. Smoky, Euro-cafe Thirties music with a taste for gin and romance. Beatniks and poets, take note.
RITES OF STRING
Backyard, Monday 4For your Labor Day off we prescribe a generous helping of Al Dimeola's smoking fusion guitar, a dollop of Stanley Clarke's bubbling bass, and three miles of string from Jean-Luc Ponty's violin.
Regents Plaza, Tuesday 5The Downtown Management Organization's free noontime concert series re-fires its engines with Christine Albert, whose recent release Underneath the Lone Star Sky might have been forgotten in the rush for records by Betty Elders, Abra Moore, and Toni Price, which would be a shame since this C&W singer can land a lariat around your heart quicker than you can say "high lonesome." Look for W.C. Clark (9/12), Texana Dames (9/19), and Extreme Heat (9/26) to round out September's Tuesdays.
THE TOPP TWINS
Cactus Cafe, Thursday 7Hard to believe that Lynda and Jools Topp (identical twins) have never been to the land of Texas. After all, these two New Zealanders showcase a mighty love for country music, and yodeling - someone be sure to lead them to the temple of Don Walser. And with these two weaving harmony lines with a familial telepathy reminiscent of Nashville's Delevantes (brothers there), could be that perhaps Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris were brother and sister without anyone knowing it.
A NIGHT OF RECKONING
Continental Club, Thursday 7Last week, Lee Nichols profiled alternative country upstart Kevin Welch in these pages, and the Nashville singer-songwriter's new label, Dead Reckoning. This week, we get the actual label at the Continental. Featuring Welch and label signees Kieran Kane, with his blugrass rock & roll, and fiddler/mandoliner Tammy Rogers' Texas folk, this roster showcase will indeed be a night of reckoning for anyone enamored of the same ol' C&W/roots thang.
Emo's, Thursday 7Now this is alternative - to Emo's at least. Even more somber than Codeine (the group, not the drug) or lithium (the drug, not the group), and infinitely more Nico & Velvets than Mazzy Star, Low's Alan Sparhawk, and Mimi Parker (from Minnesota) define the word minimalist with their Vernan Yard release Long Division, prompting me to think that plenty of candles are in order here. Denton's Comet open. ALSO PLAYING
Friday: Robert Earl Keen, Backyard; Collective Soul, Rusty, Liberty Lunch; Dale Watson, Broken Spoke
Saturday: Omar & the Howlers, Antone's
Sunday: Fuck Emos, Tallboy, Electric Lounge
Monday: Danny Gatton Guitar-a-Thon, Continental Club
Tuesday: Troy & Scrappy, Hole in the Wall
Wednesday: Velvet Hammer, White Rabbit
Thursday: Billy Eli & Lost in America, Trophy's