"Austin City Limits" Festival Picks & Sleepers


PAULINE REESE: Reese is one of the many up-and-comers in the "Young Texas" crowd. Like Pat Green and Kevin Fowler, she sings about the common man and woman, sprinkling enough Texana throughout her music to give it a Lone Star flavor. Her blond prettiness doesn't hurt, and neither does a new CD, Trail to Monterrey, that features a rollicking version of Monte Warden's "Black Vinyl Car Seat." (Kiddie, 11:30am) -- Margaret Moser

RAMSEY MIDWOOD: ... got tired of being a self-described "B-movie actor" in Tinseltown, so he moved to Austin in February to be described as a singer-songwriter. If his forthcoming Vanguard debut, Shoot Out at the OK Chinese Restaurant, is any indication, he couldn't care less. Ragged Beefheartesque folk like Midwood's cares not about categories, only dusty, rustic tales of B-lives. (Jam, noon) -- Raoul Hernandez

GRUPO FANTASMA: Drawing its members from as far as NYC and as close as Laredo, Grupo Fantasma sounds like a little of everything. Using Latino music as a springboard, the Austin-based collective infuses it with funk, cumbia, dance hall, dub, and anything else that fits. Caliente, caliente, caliente! (Heritage, 12:15pm) -- Margaret Moser

COWGIRL SUE: Cowgirl Sue's appearance on "Austin Kiddie Limits" is as much a treat for adults as children. Last year's Giddyup/Whoa! was a delightful but not cloying collection of songs for kids to wake up to and wind down with, a concept that also made parents happy. If you've been around Austin a while, this Cowgirl will be familiar: As Suze Raff, she was a regular at the Stevie Ray Vaughan-era Rome Inn. (Kiddie, 1:30pm; also Sunday) -- Margaret Moser

WEARY BOYS: Like a certain other Northern California import, Austin's Weary Boys are potent, fragrant, and possibly habit-forming. However, although their frisky, punk-friendly bluegrass doesn't induce the munchies, the same cannot be said about cravings for cheap whiskey and Lone Star beer. (Austin, 1:50pm) -- Christopher Gray

MIGHTY SINCERE VOICES OF NAVASOTA: For a small town in Texas, Navasota has raised more than its share of world-class talent, notably bluesman Mance Lipscomb and soul shouter Joe Tex. Willie Creeks and the Mighty Sincere Voices of Navasota uphold that fine tradition with divine harmonies that have made them one of the hottest gospel acts around. (American, 2pm) -- Margaret Moser

EYES ADRIFT: This much is simple: Eyes Adrift are Curt Kirkwood, Krist Novoselic, and Bud Gaugh, formerly of the Meat Puppets, Nirvana, and Sublime respectively. Less easily explained is their self-titled debut, a quirky, intriguing set that, suffice it to say, oughtta suit Meat Puppets fans just fine. (Heritage, 2pm) -- Andy Langer

SOUTH AUSTIN JUG BAND: Neither a jug band nor a bluegrass band, the all-acoustic South Austin Jug Band is more a little of both. With their youthful energy, they make music that draws from the likes of Walter Hyatt and Bob Wills, yet it comes out sounding like Texas. Winners of this year's Bluegrass Band Competition at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. (Jam, 2pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

CAROLINE HERRING: One of the bright new stars on the Austin music scene, Caroline Herring makes plain old-fashioned folk music. But don't let that scare you. Herring possesses a rare talent for writing songs and stories that ring true, and presents them in a manner that's unaffected yet startlingly affecting. (Austin, 2:50pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

THE NEW DEAL: Like Kentucky's house band VHS or Beta, what differentiates the electro-beat rock music of Toronto's New Deal is that they dish it out live -- sample, computer, and drum-machine free. Last year's self-titled Jive release, their fourth overall, may have gotten lost in the post-millennial jitters, but their live show and the word of mouth it continues to amass has not. (Jam, 4pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

SOUND TRIBE SECTOR 9: Boldly defying categorization, this Atlanta-based instrumental five-piece has earned the respect of both the jam-band and dance-music communities with acid jazz that integrates live-instrumented improvisation and computer-enhanced sequencing. As their 2-CD live Seasons 01 suggest, it's an experiment ripe with promise and true innovation. (Jam, 6pm) -- Andy Langer

DAVÍD GARZA: Although he's been self-exiled in L.A., Garza returned home last month for a series of Sunday night shows at Stubb's that proved la-la-land hasn't sucked away any of his character and class. They also reaffirmed his status as gifted bandleader, fronting a lineup of drummer Nina Singh, guitarist Sean Mullins, and bassist Chepo Peña. (Austin, 6:30pm) -- Andy Langer

NICKEL CREEK: No sophomore slump here: This critically acclaimed alt.bluegrass trio recently saw their Allison Krause-produced This Side debut at No. 2 on the country charts. They've built a live reputation as terrifically talented instrumentalists, yet more exciting is the quirk factor: The album features a take on Pavement's "Spit on a Stranger," and their sets often features takes on Nirvana and Travis. (Texas, 7pm) -- Andy Langer

JOE BONAMASSA: As a teenager, former Bloodline guitarist Joe Bonamassa was declared as "one of a kind ... a legend before his time," by none other than B.B. King. Now 25, the New Yorker's second solo set, So, It's Like That, sports enough raw intensity and gonzo fretwork to suggest that the raves from blues legends aren't likely to stop anytime soon. (American, 7:15pm) -- Andy Langer

SOULIVE: Reaching back to the seminal soul-jazz sides of the Sixties, NYC trio Soulive is instrumentally limber, unflappably cool, and unfailingly funky. In their capable hands, the lines separating jazz, soul, funk, and hip-hop don't matter near as much as the line to the dance floor. (Jam, 8pm) -- Christopher Gray

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