Friday, April 8, 2011

April 2011 Music Highlights

(Courtesy Photo: Lonestar Jam)

A Spotlight on Four April Musical Celebrations

By Sean Claes
April is a beautiful time in Austin and surrounding cities. The bluebonnets are emerging, the weather is getting warm, but not too hot, the birds are singing. Ahhh.

It’s also an awesome month for music. There’s several fantastic events and festivals happening in the Austin area this month. INsite wants you to be sure you know about a few of them. Namely: Texas Music History UnPlugged, Old Settler’s Music Festival, Austin Reggae Festival, and Lonestar Jam.

There’s something for every musical palate this month. Here’s what INsite recommends:

Texas Music History UnPlugged
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LBJ Student Center Ballroom
@ Texas State University- San Marcos

601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666

I’m willing to bet you’ve never heard of this show, but for the last 11 years, the Center for Texas Music History in the Department of History at Texas State University – San Marcos has hosted some of the elite Texas Musicians. Past years have featured folks like Ray Benson, Flaco Jimenez, Cody Canada, W.C. Clark, Raul Malo and Ruthie Foster.

This unique show is a little storytellers and a little concert. It’s all unrehearsed and mostly amazing. All of the musicians sit on stage and take turns telling stories and playing songs. The amazing thing is, everyone usually joins in to help play each song. This year the line-up includes Joe Ely. Reckless Kelly’s Cody and Willy Braun, Kevin Welch, Paul Glasse, Paul Eason, Star De Azlan, Billy Curtis, Terri Hendrix, and Lloyd Maines.

It’s free. It’s open to the public. It’s where you should be to witness an amazing night of Texas Music. I’ve attended several of these and each year it reminds me why I’m an entertainment writer. Its for the love of the music. There will be a lot of love on that stage Tuesday. More information:

Salt Lick Pavillion and Camp Ben McCulloch
18300 Fm 1826
Driftwood, TX, 78619

For me, this festival ranks up there with Austin City Limits Music Festival as the area’s premier multiple-day showcase of what is awesome in music. It doesn’t hurt that my daughters were both born on what is typically OSMF weekend (they will be 4 and 7 on the 18th and 21st respectively).

I’ve seen some amazing performances here. And the best thing is, the most memorable performances have been by people I had never heard of before that day. The first time I saw Ruthie Foster was on the Gospel Stage in 2003 and she blew me away. I saw a 12 year old Sarah Jaroz win the Youth Talent Competition with a band called “The Spurs of the Moment.” The Red Stick Ramblers sang “Happy Birthday” to my oldest on her first birthday.

This year, I’m not sure who’s going to provide me with a great memory like those, but there’s a lot of acts I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m hoping to spend as much time out there this year as possible. The performers I’m looking forward to are Suzanna Choffel, Avett Brothers, Foster & Lloyd, Sam Bush, Sonny Landreth, and the Band of Heathens. A three-day pass (without camping) runs $140 and single day tickets are still available. Check out the full line-up at

Austin Reggae Festival
Friday April 15, 2011
Austin's Ashes of Babylon
Auditorium Shores
920 W. Riverside Dr.

Austin, TX 78767

If Bluegrass or Americana isn’t your bag, how about trading that steel guitar and fiddle in riddem and skank? I’m taking about the Austin Reggae Festival. Auditorium Shores will be the host to a three day celebration of the Jamacan-born and world loved genre.

Bands like Tribal Seeds, Ashes of Babylon, Taj Weeks, and Mau Mau Chaplains will be playing the main stage (along with 11 other acts) and there will be “Charlie’s Dub Corner” with some awesome DJs keeping the beats going all weekend long.

Tickets are $12.50 in advance or $15 at gate. Visit for more information.

Lonestar Jam
Saturday April 16, 2011
Courtesy Photo: Eli Young Band

Waterloo Park
403 E 15th Street

Austin, TX 78701

If you’re more of an Americana-Country listener, don't’ worry, Saturday is your day in Austin. I’m talking the Lonestar Jam. This year, the 4th this show features some of the mainstays on the Texas/Oklahoma Red Dirt scene like Eli Young, Kevin Fowler, Roger Creager, and Brandon Rhyder along with some of the newer blood like Turnpike Troubadors, Josh Abbott Band, The Casey Donahew Band.

The show will be held at Waterloo Park this Saturday, April 16, 2011. Visit to see full line-up and purchase tickets ($34.50).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

INstant Hindsite - Lady Gaga @ Frank Erwin Center

Lady Gaga @ Frank Erwin Center
Semi-Precious Weapons opens
Austin, Texas • 4/6/11
Photos by: Jay West

Opening Act: Semi-Precious Weapons

Monday, April 4, 2011

INstant Hindsite - Janet Jackson @ ACL Live

Music Icon Janet Jackson brought her Number Ones: Up Close And Personal Tour to Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater on April 3, 2011.

INsite photo editor Jay West gives you these photos for your enjoyment as an INstant Hindsite.

Janet Jackson
ACL Live