Crosstalk: Plains Brings Out Hoyt Van Tanner, DIA on Día Centers Live Music Funds, and Black Pumas' Eric Burton Teases His "Own Work"
Austin music news headlines of the week
Plains, new project of Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson, played Scoot Inn Tuesday on their maybe-only-one-time duo tour. After Asheville's MJ Lenderman, Plains' "Abilene" catchphrase "Texas in my rearview, Plains in my heart" kicked off audience sing-along. Also off new I Walked With You a Ways, "Bellafatima" marks the album's only guest pen by Lockhart's Hoyt Van Tanner – who joined the stellar group harmonies (including prolific indie touring bassist Eliana Athayde) and soloed a verse onstage. Alongside Williamson, who launched her career in Austin, Alabaman Crutchfield said the sixpiece band realized their covers were "all iconic Texan songs." Waylon & Willie's "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" and Terry Allen's "Amarillo Highway" followed, where Williamson gave a perfect diva point with the line "I'm [as] big a Texan as you are." Just like pop-country predecessors the Chicks last month at ACL Fest, Plains wrapped their variety show – of oldie odes, new duo material, and respective solo favorites – with "Goodbye Earl." – Rachel Rascoe
DIA on Día: For rowdy work parties, the cardinal rule remains – Don’t get fired. At EQ Austin’s fourth anniversary shindig, the game aligned similarly, if with less foreboding – Get hired. Or so it seemed when, like a hallucination, all-star musicians played in completely new arrangements for a crowd in glittering calavera face paint. Between politicians stumping and a final mention of money, this Día de los Muertos-themed event stitched a euphonic corpse esquisse: Stunning R&B singer Quentin Arispe with blazing fellow genre inferno Grace Sorensen; Latina trio the Tiarras with reggae singer Lady Shacklin and bittersweet romance miner Lolita Lynne; East-Indian soul singer Nagavalli with the titan-voiced Patrice Pike; classical, Grammy-winning vocalist Sangeeta Kaur; then roots musician Carrie Rodriguez. Mayor Steve Adler accepted a plaque of appreciation and a piñata in his likeness, then things got down to brass tacks. As announced onstage, millions of dollars from hotel occupancy taxes head to Austin’s Live Music Fund, and then directly into musician’s pockets. On the city-proclaimed Day off Diversity and Inclusion Awareness, at a fiesta for an nonprofit keen to keep Austin’s minority musicians in the spotlight, featured musicians made likely award applicants. Frankly, they also help keep Austin hotel bookings bustling.
– Christina Garcia
Eric Burton of Black Pumas flubbed the national anthem's lyrics to kick off the first game of the World Series, swapping "gleaming" for "streaming," among a few alterations pointed out by sports media. The performance last Friday at the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park follows the Pumas' unexpected cancellation of remaining 2022 tour dates in August. With the breakout Austin group on indefinite hiatus, singer-songwriter Burton posted a lengthy update on October 19 where he talked about recording his "own work" at Dallas' Furndware studio and collaborating with Erykah Badu's musical director RC Williams. With no mentions of Pumas producer/guitarist Adrian Quesada, the Instagram post said: "[I'm] just learning how to produce the sounds and get the sounds that I want to hear and having fun with the process … I hope that we can start releasing some more music very soon as we wrap up this project, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of my own work." – Rachel Rascoe
Two Step Inn, new two-day gathering by ACL-makers C3 Presents, announced for April 15-16, 2023, at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, Texas. Anchored by new-school country headliners Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers, both in huge font, the assorted lineup includes legacy staples like Tanya Tucker, Wynonna Judd, and Mavis Staples. Further, the press release also promises "country inspired sets from Diplo, T-Pain and more." About 30 minutes outside of Austin with one-day tickets (on sale tomorrow) at $99, the effort follows C3's September launch of FORMAT Festival in Arkansas. – Rachel Rascoe