Austin is the music capital of the world. In its streets, more musical events are organized here than in any other city on the face of the earth. In the midst of this gigantic whirlpool generated in clubs or major festivals such as the SXSW and the Austin City Limits, a handful of bands from the city shine with their own light. Their songs make it a delight to visit the nights of the Texas capital.
The musicians, whom have settled in Austin, follow the successful route of Kenneth Threadgill, Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr, Dale Watson, Bob Schneider or Vallejo. We immerse ourselves in a unique scene in quantity and quality. Their Irreverent sounds are everyday in this city.
Stealthy noises, enraged guitars and a suggestive voice roar loudly along the Colorado River. They are heirs of the legendary 13th Floor Elevators, pioneers of psychedelia. Their journey began in 2004 and soon they made a space for themselves in the scene. The sixties revival of the band is echoed in his name influenced by The Black Angel’s Death Song, the great song of the Velvet.
Their cerebral and dark music coaxed those responsible for the soundtrack of True Detective. The first season of the series raised its hymn Young Dead Man to an international level that still exists. This year it has appeared in Budweiser and BMW ads in America.
This Texan band has managed to fit into the mainstream with a style as sophisticated as it is addictive in a moment of global resurgence of psychedelia. World tours, five studio albums and participation in the main American festivals face them among the most transcendent Texan bands of the moment.
The New Lady of Soul
One of the biggest surprises you can find in the Austin nights is Tameca Jones. With her, the Soul resurfaces with a spectacular aesthetic, a sweet voice and sincere stories. The concerts of Tameca become an ode of intimacy and good musical taste. She began her career in 2005 being the voice of the local band 8 Million Stories.
Two years were enough to realize her talent and start her solo career. She found refuge in the Continental Club, a music venue in Austin where the greatest in history have played. There, a growing group of fans went crazy with her vocal games and impossible headdresses. One of them was the great Gary Clark Jr., who did not hesitate to offer her to sing on his second album, Worry No More.
In 2016, she released her first EP where she put aside her bright covers of Nirvana, Tina Turner or Jimi Hendrix to immerse herself in the Motown sound. Since then, Austin continues to shine with her unique voice.
Fire in the Garage
Pure fire. That’s the best definition of the crazy garage of Black Pistol Fire. This duo dispenses with bass in a runaway race of decibels and distortion that only lead to rock heaven. They are a couple of noisy Canadians who have settled in Austin.
Kevin and Eric met at daycare. Soon, they understood that their destiny was to beat with style a guitar and a drums. After failing with a first EP with a southern flavor, they decided to settle in Austin. The bet went round.
It was not long before they merged their passion for Blues and Southern Rock with new, more powerful rhythms that paired them with the sounds of Jack White. The result dazzled and its value began to go through the roof. After five discs wrapped in corrosive distortion, it became one of the most notable success stories within this new generation.
The Deer is a musical enchantment that you do not want to escape. Psychotropic direct to the brain. The folk of this exquisite band are not afraid to make use of electronic sounds or borrow hymns like Numb by Portishead. Always within the folk environment, the sound of Deer stands out for its depth and for giving a precious package to the irresistible voice of Grace Rowland Park. A dose of this sound substance gets you hooked forever.
Their intimate yet explosive live shows have led them to be awarded as the best show in the city in 2018, which is equivalent to being among the best in the United States. Few assistants to a concert of the band do not feel the magic of a unique moment. Since 2012 they are one of the sensations of the Austin scene.
The Street Muse of Austin
This blues diva always understood her career as a fight against the world. In 2001, she stayed on the street with no other resources than her powerful voice and a van that kept her from sleeping in the open. For several years, she used it as a house and many still remember her coming to her shows in it.
Those years when she barely had to eat tanned a character and forged an authentic blues artist. Her face began to be a reference for a new blues rock very influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan but with a fascinating personal varnish. In 2011, her emotional hardships ended thanks to her marriage to writer Whitney Brown in a surreal ceremony chaired by Michael Nesmith, absolute admirer of the street diva of Austin and a member of the mythical Monkees. Undoubtedly, she is one of the most representative faces of the underground scene of the Texas capital.
She’s not someone you mess around with. The sister of Robert Rodriguez doesn´t need her last name to make a hole among the highliners of the scene. Veteran in creating a refreshing southern rock with a lot of personality, she has toured Europe and North America with assiduity backed by five albums in which a rock music has evolved into a crossover of cultures and languages. Her shows are part of the hottest nights in the city.
Lovers of her brother’s filmography will recognize her in short roles in Desperado, Four Rooms, Spy Kids or Sin City. She also put music to Once Upon a Time in Mexico with her brilliant Traeme Paz.
A Band Without Labels
If there is an unclassifiable band in this list, it’s Shinyribs. Their shows end in a gigantic conga at the pace set by the talented Kevin Russell. The secret of its success is fun. Rarely a concert is a celebration of this caliber. They won the best band award at the Austin Music Awards, given by the Austin Chronicle.
The project was born when Kevin Russell decided to leave his previous group, The Gourds, in 2007. For years, Kevin became a man orchestra. Little by little he changes his mind and adds local musicians and former colleagues of The Gourds to his creative creations. He dares everything, from versioning to TLC to transforming classics of the Stones, Hendrix or Willie Nelson. In its eclecticism lies its charm. They define themselves as a country-soul band that makes punk from the swamp. Your feet mark it as one of the favorites to jump without stopping.
Sound Spaces to Get Lost
Watching Dallas Acid live is a unique feast for each of the senses. Their concerts have locations you won´t forget, from churches, planetariums or art galleries to Auto-Cinemas where project Nosferatu by Murnau. Its music is an oasis for fans of electronic music in Austin.
This fabulous outstanding band rescues the pioneering electronic of Tangerine Dream or Kraftwerk while making a nod to ambient, minimal and Kraut Rock through two cult LPs. A delight that dares with sensory and gastronomic experiences while experimenting with Moogs, vintage synthesizers or modular systems. This journey of musical acid is unmatched. Undoubtedly, one of the most delirious and fascinating shows of the Austin scene.
Carats of Pop
Pop also has many carats in Austin. Palo Duro is perhaps the band with the most refined sound of the Texas indie. Their melodies fit in any ear and demonstrate the excellent work of promotion carried out by Black Fret. This non-profit organization offers discographic contracts and dissemination to local bands that it takes under its protection. Each year, their awards select the best of the best.
One of its favorites is the band formed by Michael Winningham, who was already one of the pop icons in Austin with Gold Beach. In Texas, many compare them with Arctic Monkeys, although Palo Duro is pure Austin.
Hip Hop is not a genre that is associated with Austin although in the neighborhoods of the city beats a new trap that stands out for its acid rhymes and urban rhythms. The Teeta is one of the visible heads of an increasingly notorious movement. This Texan rapper has already produced more than 80 songs and has embarked on four musical projects and various video clips.
His style is part of the new urban wave that the United States is experiencing, although his songs have nuances that make him an innovator of the genre. The rhymes also burn in the capital of Texas.
The Latin Queen
If there is a genuine artist in Austin, it is undoubtedly Rosie Flores. Rosie is an icon of country and Rockabilly, not only in Austin but in the United States. It is usual to see her in the main clubs of the city, since she is an assiduous to the Austinian concert circuit, but she has toured all over the world. Her tour with rockabilly diva Wanda Jackson took her from coast to coast sold-out after sold-out. In her career, she has gone through rock, punk, country and almost any genre associated with the guitar without forgetting his Tex-Mex roots.
In 2006, August 31 was called the day of Rosie Flores, a tribute given by the city council.
If you listen to the Octopus Project, you are likely to locate them in the British countryside rather than on the banks of the Colorado. Its sound experiments with unusual instruments and electronic devices creating a unique style. They have won a prominent place in the Austin scene based on creativity since 1999. Their talent and desire to innovate are latent in their colorful clips and shows.
The coolest pop also has a place in Austin with a band that knows festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, SXSW or Austin City Limits and what it means to tour with Devo or Explosions in the Sky,
The wizard of the ‘59 Fender Stratocasster has been burning Texas nights with his unmistakable style since 2000. Eric was born to own a guitar with his devilish speed that he began to discover thanks to the insistence of his father and grandmother. Already installed in Austin he tried to follow in the footsteps of his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan, managing to stand out in a city full of good guitarists.
At the dawn of the twenty first century was a mere guitar accompaniment of various bands. In 2003 he founded a trio called Eric Tessmer Band. It is then when he begins to look back inspired by the great guitarists of the 60s and 70s, adding a repertoire that has led him to explore nights in Canada, Europe and the United States. One of the hidden gems in Austin that you can find in places that leave an unmistakable taste of bourbon on your lips.
The Girl of the Guitar
She is the fresh wind that runs free. Her talent and her voice scream youth. With 28 years old, she has lived fast. Her father, Andrew Venson, was a musician during the 80s and showed her a path that Jackie has filled with flowers.
Austin has seen her grow up with her guitar and multi-rhythmic pedal when acting solo. After studying classical piano at the prestigious Berklee School Music in Boston, she returned to her city to make it her own. Sweetness, stories that are lost in the nights of Austin and that guitar that caresses you became very present in the main marquees. But Jackie never forgets those who have not had her fortune. The City of Austin declared on May 21, 2014 the day Jackie Venson organized a concert to benefit local music school.
One of her most curious anecdotes is that Jackie has publicly lamented a curious allergy to marijuana.
A Self-made Guitarist
David Garza is an imperishable Austin classic. A living legend that continues tirelessly touring the city’s premises every night. This talented guitarist who loves Donovan’s music, Robert Plant or Jeff Buckley is one of Austin’s Latin references.
At the Institute he led different bands until he left his native Fort Worth to enroll at the University of Texas in Austin. There, he created Twag Twag Shock to Boom generating a great stir with his vocal style related to Robert Plant and his runaway guitar.
He soon began touring through Texas alone in 1989. Despite having a musical scholarship at UT, he devoted himself full time to music selling his records at $10. In 1996, a major label took him from the streets of Austin to the Olympus of Rock coming to be considered, behind Stevie Ray Vaughan, the best artist of Austin of the 90s. Even today, the charisma of his guitar continues to howl at the moon of the Texan Capital.
This Texan band is the triumph of the strange. The band was formed through Craigslist and was consolidated by the Whiskey. That naturalness and good vibes are the essence of the group.
Andrew Van Voorhees, bassist of the band, responded to an announcement on the platform leaving Oregon to embark on one of the most surrealist projects on the Texas scene. The Whiskey Shivers are very fun live. They admit their rural point although they dont consider themselves a band of Bluegrass although they seem it.
Theirs is more twisted. They flip punk and it shows in their attitude on stage and in some rhythms. In the background, going to a Shivers concert is a passport to an old dance in the barn. In addition, they have the merit of self-financing or generating Crowdfundings to promote their albums while creating their own video clips with remarkable expertise.
A unique experience in the middle of a scene that evolves looking forward, experiencing unique sounds, while making a nod to the past vindicating myths of yesterday. Austin and their bands await you to seduce you with new rhythms and a smile.