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Staff Picks

San Frantastic!: Whiskerman

"When they're revved up, Whiskerman sounds like a gospel and soul band that can make you feel like raising your hands in the air in praise of its talent. In their quieter songs,...

San Frantastic!: Whiskerman

Sun Sep 21st 9:00 EDT - Folk, Indie

Spinner

San Frantastic! Sept 20th - 28th See all

  • September 22nd 9:00pm edt
    123john

    San Frantastic!: John Elliott

    San Frantastic!: John Elliott

    Mon Sep 22nd 9:00 EDT - Singer/Songwriter, Indie

    I’ve heard tell of a legend among songwriters: John Elliott. J. Wagner, who regularly writes with Gregory Alan Isakov and has worked with Elliott before, describes him as “someone who has opened a different door.” “He’s found the right room,” Wagner continues. “He’s bold and brave. He out tricked the trickster. He writes only the good parts of co-writes. He’s the real deal, an honest writer.” Wagner also jokes: “He’ll sleep on your couch then leave you stranded at a train station. I have him on speed dial. He never answers.” Amy Sue Berlin says “Elliott’s songs will take you on an emotional roller coaster. He brilliantly describes the raw realities of his unique perspectives of life. The passion behind his voice and his words makes you feel as if you are a character in his story.” Andrew Pressman, local bassist for Ben Kweller, Hayes Carll, and Raina Rose, asserts: “Elliott is a “brilliant voice in contemporary post-Seinfeld eyebrow rock. He understands the subtle differences between vibin’ and flowin’. He’s an incredible poet and performer. His shows are not to be missed.” Elliott is a mix between Steve Poltz and John Fulbright, and sort of looks like Jeff Tweedy’s younger brother. He lives in San Francisco, but Austin and the Kerrville scene are second homes. He hails from the Twin Cities, growing up on Orange Julius, the Metrodome, and Kirby Puckett. “We lived in the ‘burbs and went downtown to see the Twins or maybe a play,” he says. “It’s just brutal in the winter.” Elliott has traveled a lot, and lived in Los Angeles before a stint in Northern California. He’s in Austin tonight at Strange Brew for the release Elliott of his CD, Live in Austin. Showtime, 10pm. Austin Chronicle: How does geography affect your writing? John Elliot: One of my friends called my show the “John Elliott Geographic Experience.” I’ve been moving around a lot for eight, years so that’s bound to get in there. Certainly, I am inspired by the places I go and the people I meet. AC: Some folks say your music can’t be cast into a box? JE: I don’t even know all the genres. My albums are in different genres. My last studio album was lots of drum machines and electronica sounding. The new live album is probably folk and Americana. My 2011 album Backyards is a rock record. It varies and it’s a marketing/branding issue for sure. AC: How did you get started in music, and how would you explain where you are right now? JE: I’ve been pursuing music since I was seven years old. In terms of money, it’s a complex quilt of various strands that make it work at this point and keep the boat afloat. I have had different managers and labels and producers and bands and I’m sure I’ll have many more. I have made nice chunks of money from licensing and good gigs, and I have played for $50 and a grilled cheese and slept in a tent in Puyallup (Washington). Obviously we all have to make money, but it seems like the business stuff goes best when the creative, artistic stuff is going best. You can’t really monetize or that, but when it feels good it feels good, and when it’s happening it’s happening. AC: What do you do on days off? JE: I have really gotten into riding my bike. I love it. It makes me feel good and I can get all over. So I’ll definitely ride around, find a place to sit and eat something and read or write or look at my phone. Something like that. I really like to eat out at places. And places that serve breakfast should always serve it. AC: Could you describe your favorite times onstage? JE: My favorite moments are when everyone in the room gets on the same page for awhile and you can feel that connection. It’s a very tangible, real thing. I love when that happens. AC: Who are your inspirations? JE: People who carry on in the midst of terrible odds. I’m talking about people who live on the street and still say hello to you in the morning and somehow stay positive. The inequality thing is really getting out of control. If we’re all created equal there ought to be an agreed upon basic standard of living that we have a moral responsibility to provide for everyone. That’s not socialism, that’s being a compassionate human being. AC: How do you find happiness? JE: Achieving mindfulness and living in the moment for longer and longer stretches of time. That would make me pretty consistently happy. AC: What should we expect at the Strange Brew album Release tonight? JE: There are imperfections and rambling, unplanned spoken introductions, but that’s part of what makes this recording unique and earn it the distinction of being called an album. I’ve put live recordings on my website for free for years and called them bootlegs, but this is something special. I’m proud of it. I hope people like it.

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  • September 26th 11:00pm edt
    Cassata

    San Frantastic!: Ryan Cassata

    San Frantastic!: Ryan Cassata

    Fri Sep 26th 11:00 EDT - Rock, Singer/Songwriter

    "Ryan Cassata...is a seasoned performer who has toured the country, appeared on television, written for film, and has done dozens of other amazing things as an advocate of equal rights who speaks publicly (and courageously) about transgender issues. When Ryan belts out a song, every note is infused with bravery and conviction." - LI Pulse Magazine, June 2nd, 2011 Ryan Cassata is a transgender singer-songwriter & motivational speaker living in San Francisco who - all by the age of 20 - successfully cut seven records, booked and went on regional and national tours, played several of the world's biggest lesbian-gay-bisexual & transgender [LGBT] music festivals, won the Harvey Milk Memorial Award, became the youngest keynote speaker for the largest transgender conference in the world, and appeared on National & International TV several times. The Long Island-native plays guitar, piano, ukulele, harmonica, and sings. At the young age of 14, Ryan began to gig across Long Island. Now only five years later he has made over 350 appearances, consisting of tour dates from coast to coast including a date on the legendary Van's Warped Tour. Cassata performed at the world's biggest gay music festivals opening for artists such as Karmin, Salt N Pepa, Frenchie Davis, Chris Crocker, Tom Goss & more. Cassata has also performed on shows with The Click Five, Austin Gibbs, Jeff LeBlanc, Madina Lake, Kevin Seconds, Allison Weiss, Ace Enders and more. Ryan Cassata is the composer of the soundtrack for "Loop Planes", an award-winning independent film that screened in the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film & Music Festival (2010), the Tribeca Film Festival. (2010), the International Israel Women's Film Festival (with The Runaways) (2010) and over 40 other film festivals. Ryan Cassata appeared on The Larry King Live Show (2009), the Tyra Banks Show (2010), and ABC TV series "Head First" (2013) for being transgender himself. Aside from being a musician Cassata is a strong advocate for the Transgender community. He travels the States speaking at High Schools, Colleges and Conferences sharing his story with a mission to stop ignorance and bring peace to the world. Ryan Cassata became the youngest keynote speaker at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference of 2012. Cassata appeared in Hamptons Bay Magazine (2008), Go Magazine (2008), Closer Magazine (2011), and Pulse Magazine (2012), for his hard work and advocacy. Upon graduating high school in 2011, Ryan Cassata won the Harvey Milk Memorial Award for the path of equality he created within his high school and within his community. Ryan Cassata writes very passionate lyrics. His words are positive and inspirational to every generation. Cassata hopes to spread this positivity across the country and around the world in hopes to make people smile and catch on to kindness. Ryan Cassata is doing much more than the average young person. He demands peace, he demands love, and...he demands REVOLUTION.

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  • 10:30pm edt
    _mg_2278_hi

    San Frantastic!: Bhi Bhiman

    San Frantastic!: Bhi Bhiman

    Sun Sep 21st 10:30 EDT - Folk, Singer/Songwriter

    Tip Rewards: I'm offering my CW show completely free. Tips are of course appreciated but by no means necessary. Here are a few rewards I'm offering. $8 - MP3 Download of Substitute Preacher (covers EP) $10 - MP3 Download of the BHIMAN album $30 - handwritten lyrics to a song of your choice Bhi Bhiman is an American original, and yet he seems transported from an era when songs were more important than the pretty faces that delivered them. His rich, bellowing tenor can soothe or explode at a moment’s notice. His lived-in, knowing delivery belies his years. His songwriting, too, is quick to captivate. Bhi’s mix of humor and deep empathy puts him in the company of distinguished (and much older) lifelong songsmiths like John Prine, Nick Lowe and Randy Newman. And Bhiman’s technical, emotive guitar playing rises to the challenge that his striking voice presents. It’s fitting, then, that there truly is–as far as anyone can tell–only one Bhi Bhiman. His parents, emigrants from Sri Lanka, named the songwriter after Bhima, a central character in an ancient Indian text called The Mahabharata. But Bhiman’s own American experience was markedly less exotic than his name would imply–he came of age in the ’90s in St. Louis, reared on Soundgarden and Nirvana, and later relocated to the Bay Area, where he lives today. Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder may have first inspired him to write songs, but Bhiman’s approach–comical, curious, whip-smart–remains wholly unique. As a songwriter, Bhi consistently exceeds the expectations that should rightly rest on the shoulders of a well-adjusted twenty-something: He can inhabit any number of disparate characters and make them his own.

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  • September 24th 10:00pm edt
    Rabbit

    San Frantastic!: Rabbit Quinn

    San Frantastic!: Rabbit Quinn

    Wed Sep 24th 10:00 EDT - Pop, Singer/Songwriter

    San Francisco-based pianist, vocalist and songwriter Rabbit Quinn crafts otherworldly fables reminiscent of unconventional piano rock storytellers such as Kate Bush, Nina Simone, Tom Waits and Tori Amos. History, myth and literature transform Quinn’s footprints into compositions which are delicate, dark and romantic. Born in Saratoga to a classical pianist father from Azerbaijan, Quinn’s childhood was steeped in the diverse flavors of both Middle Eastern and western classical music. Her American ancestors were members of a string band from West Virginia that traveled the Appalachians during Prohibition, and her grandmother, Quinn, passed down the tradition of grassroots and Celtic folk songs. Rabbit wrote her first song, “Diamond,” in kindergarten when she found herself humming while staring at sunlight filtering through a Mulberry tree canopy, and suddenly felt like God had dropped a glittering gem in her lap. Quinn began work on her powerful debut opus, Lost Children, while studying music at UC Davis. Skilled at drawing and painting, she also created the artwork for the album. The songs of Lost Children are cathartic, poetic snapshots exploring themes of self-worth, death, sexuality, transformation and heartbreak. She is currently performing on the west coast with percussionist Beth Wiesendanger.

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The Midweek Peak See all

  • October 29th 10:00pm edt
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    Midweek Peak: Taylor Morris

    Midweek Peak: Taylor Morris

    Wed Oct 29th 10:00 EDT - Classical, Folk

    Hailed by a class of 2nd graders as “wreely nice and kind” and “the coolest man on erth,” Arizona native Taylor Morris enjoys blurring the line between being a violinist and a fiddler. After studying classical violin at Arizona State University with Dr. Katie McLin, he spent four years touring the world as one of five fiddlers with “Barrage,” a Canadian-based, world music violin troupe. His travels, both with Barrage and personally, have led to performances in 47 states and 13 countries with musicians from a multitude of backgrounds. Off of the stage, Taylor is a passionate advocate for arts education. In addition to serving as the Artistic Director of the Gilbert Town Fiddlers, a high school fiddle troupe in Gilbert, Arizona, Taylor regularly works with students and educators around the country to explore the violin’s unique relevance to a variety of genres.

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  • October 22nd 9:00pm edt
    9r7a0337_edit2

    Midweek Peak: Wisewater

    Midweek Peak: Wisewater

    Wed Oct 22nd 9:00 EDT - Country, Pop

    WISEWATER is quickly establishing itself as a fresh voice in the country pop scene, earning praise from the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Mary Gauthier, Rosanne Cash, and others. The trio combines lyrical honesty and clarity with infectious melodies, tight harmonies, instrumental virtuosity, and a deep sense of groove. They are three young, upbeat, worldly southerners seeking to balance their love of old-school country and roots music with their enthusiasm for modern sounds and stylistic cross-pollination. Members Kate Lee, Forrest O’Connor, and Jimmy Shirey are currently in the thick of writing material for their debut album, due to be recorded in early 2015. When they aren’t writing, they’re performing – in summer 2014 alone, they’ve toured across the country, hitting venues such as The Grand Ole Opry, The Station Inn (Nashville, TN), and Joe’s Pub (New York, NY). They’ve also shared the stage with Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Mary Gauthier, Bill Lloyd (of Foster & Lloyd), Mark Volman (of The Turtles), and many others. The seeds of their collaboration were sown at an unlikely place: Harvard University. O’Connor, the son of legendary country fiddler Mark O’Connor, grew up in Nashville and from early on was exposed to some of the best in the business, including Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, and Alison Krauss. But after spending his high school years in Montana, he opted for the academic route, packing his bags for Cambridge, Massachusetts and meeting a like-minded classmate in Shirey, a transplant from Virginia. “Jim and I hit it off the day we met,” says O’Connor. “He had hair down to his ass, I had hair down to my shoulders, and it goes without saying that, in that environment, we kind of stood out.” O’Connor and Shirey were both motivated students, but they enjoyed themselves the most when they were performing as a duo together – O’Connor on mandolin, Shirey on guitar – at local venues, including the esteemed Club Passim. “I was amazed at how good a lyricist Jim was at such a young age,” recalls O’Connor. “He was only 18 or 19, but he was like a walking encyclopedia of country music. It really inspired me to start writing myself.” After graduating, O’Connor co-founded an Internet music startup called Concert Window, and Shirey returned home to teach music for a couple years. They co-wrote some songs long-distance, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2013 that the pieces of a bigger collaboration started falling into place. Nashville-based string arranger and producer Kris Wilkinson introduced O’Connor – then still living in Boston – to Lee, for whom she had produced several demo tracks. Lee’s resume was formidable: at only 20 years old, she had already recorded several solo albums in her hometown of Rochester, NY, and she had sung and played fiddle behind Rod Stewart, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Sugarland, and many other major entertainers as part of the CMA Awards and CMA Country Christmas shows. “I knew we had something special the day Kris brought us together,” says Lee. “Even though we were just sort of improvising harmonies to each other’s songs, our voices blended so well. I hadn’t really experienced anything like that before.” After meeting Lee, O’Connor decided to uproot his life as an entrepreneur in Boston to pursue music in Nashville. “Meeting Kate was definitely the tipping point,” O’Connor says of the decision. “It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.” In January 2014, O’Connor bought an old car and drove down to Nashville to start writing and arranging material with Lee, who was splitting time between finishing up her senior year at Belmont University and opening multiple tours for country giant Don Williams. In early March, O’Connor won the Tennessee State Mandolin Championship in Clarksville, TN, and two weeks later, Lee and he made their debut appearance under the name Wisewater at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. After touring for several months and self-producing a duo EP called The Demonstration, they asked Shirey to join them. “I was really excited to get that call,” says Shirey. “Forrest and Kate had established their own compelling sound, but in some ways it seemed like making Wisewater a trio was also consummating something Forrest and I had been trying to do ever since we first met. In retrospect, Kate was the missing piece. And really, there’s no two people I’d rather be in a band with than them.” The future is looking bright for Wisewater. Their song, “What Have I Been Saying?”, which was released on YouTube in March, has been lauded by some of Nashville’s top songwriters and producers, and they’ve been writing a great deal of material as a trio as well as with several Nashville mainstays, including Pat Alger and Bill Lloyd, for their first full-length album. Wisewater is rising up the ranks, and they should be generating lots of buzz in the year to come.

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  • October 15th 9:00pm edt
    Mollieobrien_richmoore_b-w_2013

    Midweek Peak: Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore

    Midweek Peak: Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore

    Wed Oct 15th 9:00 EDT - Comedy, Rock

    Sometimes the story is just about the ordinary. No big bang, no big gig, no big promoter or writer hearing the band and telling the rest of the world. Sometimes the story is just about doing what you do and keeping at it. In the case of Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore it means 30 years of marriage, two kids, numerous day jobs, and making music together and apart. They met in 1981 at the Denver Folklore Center on April Fool’s Day and married a few years later. At the time they were involved in their own bands and working solidly all over Colorado - Mollie was singing with Prosperity Jazz Band, a vintage swing band which featured local luminary Washboard Chaz among others; Rich was playing bass with the rock-steady blues band, The Late Show. Within a year Mollie joined The Late Show, and they attracted notice outside the bar band scene and began playing Colorado blues festivals and concerts. A few years of marriage and two daughters later, things began to change. O’Brien quit the blues band and Moore got a day job that he held until both of their daughters graduated from college. Now, here’s how things turned out. Grammy Award winner Mollie O'Brien became known to the rest of the world as a singer's singer when, in 1988, she and her brother Tim released the first of three critically-acclaimed albums for Sugar Hill Records (Take Me Back, Remember Me and Away Out On The Mountain). Eventually, Mollie recorded five equally well-received solo albums (Tell It True, Big Red Sun and Things I Gave Away for Sugar Hill Records, and I Never Move Too Soon and Everynight In The Week for Resounding Records). Additionally, she was a regular on the nationally-syndicated radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion” from 2001 through 2005. She's long been known as a singer who doesn't recognize a lot of musical boundaries, and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles. O’Brien has primarily focused her efforts on the fading art of interpretation and the end result is a singer at the very top of her game who is not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the material she chooses. Husband Rich Moore has busied himself in the Colorado music scene for many years. While staying home with the kids when Mollie & Tim toured, he held a day job and continued to perform locally with a variety of Colorado favorites, including Pete Wernick and Celeste Krenz. Not only is Moore known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, he's also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O'Brien's twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership. O’Brien and Moore’s first duet CD, a live recording titled 900 Baseline (Remington Road Records) was released in 2006. Their first studio project, Saints & Sinners (Remington Road Records), was released to nationwide acclaim in 2010. In January 2014 they'll release their followup, Love Runner (Remington Road Records). Both studio projects were produced by Lyons, CO ace arranger and bassist, Eric Thorin, who often joins them onstage for their live shows. All three CDs showcase their talent for unlocking the secrets to a diverse array of songs in authoritative yet very fun and unusual arrangements. For their latest release, Love Runner, they again enlisted their talented friends, Glenn Taylor (pedal steel), John Magnie (piano and accordion), Eric Moon (piano and organ) and Marc Dalio (drums). When one song called out for a musical saw, they were lucky enough to discover the wondrous Lesley Kernochan. 
Irish fiddler Jessie Burns put her lyrical stamp on a few folk songs. And, happily for O’Brien and Moore, 
their daughters Brigid and Lucy were able to make the date for the background vocal session.
 Love Runner features three songs written by Mollie and Rich - the rocking title track, the autobiographical 40’s swing-like “Went Back Home,” and a powerhouse turn at the traditional gospel song, “Don’t Let The Devil Ride.” Once again, they have unearthed some hidden gems: Tom Paxton’s newly-written “Central Square” is about first love; Robin and Linda Williams’s and Jerome Clark’s “Green Summertime” is a gorgeous paean to a small town world called home; Hal Cannon’s “Just Go” places the listener squarely in the front seat next to a woman leaving a ruinous relationship in the dust. O’Brien and Moore also put their stamp on the inimitable Dave Van Ronk’s “Sunday Street” and on Randy Newman’s eerie “Suzanne” - both songs normally sung from a male point of view but, when given Mollie’s gimlet-eyed take, become even more unique for their devil-may-care breeziness and swagger. The band assembled for these sessions (all old friends), are listeners and never let their parts overshadow the lyrics and guitar sounds. Minimal preproduction rehearsals made for fewer preconceptions and once they were all together playing live in the studio the band made bold leaps to create the mood Mollie, Rich and Eric wanted. There’s definitely a locked-in feeling you get with each track - something that can only happen live and only with such intuitive and responsive musicians. And as for Eric, sitting in the producer’s chair, he found that sometimes departing from the master plan can create unique outcomes for every take. Says Thorin, “Every time Mollie sings you'd better be recording. There are no scratch tracks. Rich is a favorite co-conspirator and sublime orchestrator on the guitar. They don't take themselves or anyone else too seriously or let anyone else ride that train. The studio banter is cutting, joyful and in the moment and they carry that to the stage with astonishing ease.” Most of the tracks on Love Runner have to do with the universal theme of home: leaving it and family behind; missing it; never wanting to go back; finding it in surprising places all over the world; wondering what kind of “home” awaits us in the life after this one. O’Brien and Moore let us know via their choice of material that they are not afraid to take risks. It’s almost as if they’re telling us that at this stage in their lives, they are at home with their musical selves - they can do whatever they want and they don’t care if the rest of the world agrees with them. To quote the one and only Cher, "In this business, it takes time to be really good." Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore are proof that age is no obstacle to making timeless, original and inventive music.

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  • October 8th 9:30pm edt
    Hannekemike

    Midweek Peak: Hanneke Cassel Trio

    Midweek Peak: Hanneke Cassel Trio

    Wed Oct 8th 9:30 EDT - Folk

    "EXUBERANT AND RHYTHMIC, somehow both wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness," says the Boston Globe about Hanneke Cassel's playing. Such charismatic fiddling has brought the native Oregonian many honors and awards. She is the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, she holds a Bachelors of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music, and she has performed and taught across North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and China. IN ADDITION TO HER SOLO ACT, Hanneke tours regularly with Baroque/Celtic group Ensemble Galilei, and has performed with the Cathie Ryan Band and Alasdair Fraser.

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Broadcasting on Concert Window See all

  • Tiprewards

    Tip Rewards

    Tip rewards are a great way to engage your audience and reward them for tipping a little higher.
  • Lightingblog

    Lighting

    “Fool around with the lights until you don't look like shit.” - Chas Justus, The Revelers

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    Adam Levy

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    The Steel Wheels

    The Steel Wheels have captured audiences across the country with their heady brew of original soulful mountain music and their deep commitment to roots and community. Base... more

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    Matt the Electrician

    Matt the Electrician crafts sharp narratives with equal measures heart and home. Evidence: It’s a Beacon, It’s a Bell. The longtime Austin resident’s excellent new album s... more

From the Artists See all

  • Mairtin2

    From the Artist: Máirtín de Cógáin

    I'm gearing up for my 3rd Concert Window show and my 4th, too, on the very same day this coming Thursday the 19th of December.
  • Sethgliercropped

    From the Artist: Seth Glier

    To be honest, when I first heard about Concert Window I had my doubts about it. I make my living by creating moments in a room full of 200 people at a time with music. Concert Window came along with a simple idea and technology to match & I feared that this online medium would replace the live music experience I love so dearly.
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