Steve Winwood atACL Live at the Moody Theater Austin, TX

For more than five decades, STEVE WINWOOD has remained a primary figure in rock ‘n’ roll, a respected innovator who has helped to create some of the genre’s most celebrated achievements.

Winwood burst into prominence in 1963 with the Spencer Davis Group and since that time his celebrated skills as a composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist have developed an impressive catalog of popular music.

That extraordinary portfolio of music began at the age of fifteen as the driving force of the Spencer Davis Group. The group enjoyed a string of chart success by way of such enduring classics as “Keep On Running” “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m A Man”. The international success of these singles bolstered Winwood’s confidence and strengthened his resolve to seek out new rhythmic possibilities.

In 1967, Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group and co-founded Traffic. Beloved for their eclectic style and superbly crafted songs, Traffic routinely defied convention to celebrate a host of perse sounds and influences. Landmark albums such as Mr. Fantasy and John Barleycorn Must Die confirmed their position as one of the most important British groups of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Eager to try his hand with other creative partnerships, Winwood left Traffic in 1969 to form a new group called Blind Faith with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. The pairing of Winwood with Cream’s Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and later, former Family bassist Rick Grech, created what many critics dubbed rock first supergroup. The international popularity of Blind Faith, the group’s sole album, confirmed their special chemistry. Blind Faith staples such as “Can’t Find My Way Home” continue to rank among Winwood’s finest achievements.

In 1970, Winwood reformed Traffic and guided a highly successful run founded on such popular albums as ‘The Low Heeled Spark Of High Heeled Boys’ and ‘Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory’. By 1975, Traffic splintered as the allure of solo projects and new creative partnerships proved too tempting to resist.

1977’s solo debut ‘Steve Winwood’ signaled a bold new artistic direction. Such a shift should hardly come as a surprise for those who have followed Winwood’s distinguished career. Beginning with Traffic and extending through such landmark solo albums as the Grammy Award winning ‘Back In The High Life’ and ‘Roll With It’, Winwood has nurtured a restless creative spirit, mining rich musical traditions such as Delta Blues, English Folk, R&B, Afro-Caribbean & Brazilian rhythms, and merging these diverse influences within his own unmistakable sound.

Winwood’s solo career has yielded a rich catalog of popular songs including “Back In The High Life,” “When You See A Chance,” “Valerie,” and “Higher Love”. His most recent solo album, About Time, has continued that success, earning Winwood one of his highest Billboard chart entries.

Winwood has since renewed his creative partnership with Eric Clapton. Their expansive CD and DVD Live At Madison Square Garden was nominated for two Grammy Awards and rewarded their many fans with some of the most exciting performances of their careers. Subsequent tours of the United States and Japan make clear the lasting appreciation fans have for their unique talents.

Winwood continues to perform throughout the world and record new music, furthering his impressive legacy. In addition to his many achievements as a solo artist, Winwood remains in high demand for special collaborations with other artists. His distinctive Hammond organ has graced such classic fare as Jimi’s Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” as well as Miranda Lambert’s recent chart hit “Baggage Claim”.

It should come as no surprise to learn that many honors have been bestowed on Steve Winwood. He is a recipient of the Ivor Novello Outstanding Song Collection and the Musicians Union Classic Rock Award—honors both voted for by his peers. He has also received honorary Doctorate Degrees in Music from Berklee College Of Music, Aston University in his hometown of Birmingham, England; and from The University of Gloucestershire. On June 5th 2014, he was inducted into the Walk Of Fame in Nashville, TN.

While rightfully acknowledged for his many achievements, Steve Winwood forges ahead undaunted, continuing to create and perform new and exciting material. He remains one of the most important and influential artists in all of popular music.

Doors: 6:30 PM · Show: 8:00 PM

Fantastic Fest at Alamo Draft House Austin, TX September 21-28 atAlamo Drafthouse South Lamar Austin, Texas

Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States and was dubbed “Geek Telluride” by Variety Magazine. http://fantasticfest.com/ Twitter: @fantasticfest Instagram: @fantastic.fest

UTOPIAfestThe 9th Annual • September 22-24th atFour Sisters Ranch Utopia, TX

UTOPiAfest is a unique campout festival in Utopia, TX offering mind-blowing musical performances and West Texas Hill Country sunsets. Presented in a natural amphitheater on the 1,000-acre Four Sisters Ranch (between Garner State Park and Lost Maples), UTOPiAfest is a true alternative to the large multiple-stage festivals that often favor quantity over a quality audience experience.With only two stages and only 2000 tickets being sold, fans will have plenty of space to dance and enjoy full sets by world-touring bands from a variety of genres. UTOPiAfest is thoughtfully designed to allow creativity, music, and new friendships to flourish in a unique and intimate setting.

TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo' Band with Black Pacific atACL Live at the Moody Theater Austin, TX

TAJMO: THE TAJ MAHAL & KEB’ MO’ BAND sees Blues titans Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ share the stage with their band for an exciting night of music, performing songs from their long-anticipated collaborative album ‘TajMo’, coming May 5, 2017 on Concord Records.

While the two have known and influenced each other for decades, and Taj played a key role in Keb’s first record deal, ‘TajMo’ marks the first proper collaboration between Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’. The album was self-produced by the duo and was mixed by Grammy Award-winner Ross Hogarth and mastered by Grammy Award winner Richard Dodd. The 11-song set includes covers of John Mayer and The Who, as well as 6 original songs.

‘TajMo’ brings out the best in both artists, with the pair merging their distinctive voices, personalities and guitar styles to create vibrant, immediate music that’s firmly rooted in tradition yet ruled by a playful sense of adventure. “Don’t Leave Me Here” is a love letter to the south that sounds like an instant classic, and “Soul” interweaves world music with blues in a way that only Taj could pull off. Taj and Keb’ put a soulful spin on Mayer’s “Waiting On The World To Change”, on which Raitt lends her unmistakable vocals.

“He’s a stellar human being, just a brilliant man,” Keb’ says of Taj, who first saw him play at a high school assembly. “Making this record was a really big deal for me.”

“Keb’s really good at keeping the ball up in the air,” Taj notes. “He’s a hell of a guitar player, and I’m just amazed at some of the stuff that he put out there.”

Taj Mahal has been recording and performing his unmistakable blend of blues and world music for over 50 years, winning multiple Grammys and collaborating with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and more along the way. Keb’ Mo’, who has often cited Taj as one of his musical heroes, is a 3-time Grammy Winner who has collaborated with everyone from Raitt to Jackson Browne and Buddy Guy.

Antibalas w/ Golden Dawn Arkestra at Trees Dallas, TX atTrees Dallas, TX
The musical collective known as Antibalas (Spanish for bullet-proof or anti-bullets) was conceived of in Mexico City and formed in Brooklyn New York. The early nucleus of the group was composed of the band’s founder Martín Perna and later included several other members (Gabriel Roth, Michael Wagner, Del Stribling aka Binky Griptite, Victor Axelrod, Fernando Bugaloo Velez, Anda Szilagyi) from the Soul Providers / Dap Kings band. performing their first show in May 1998 at St. Nick’s Pub in Harlem NY.

A few months into the group’s existence, Perna and Roth, on a walk through their southside Williamsburg neighborhood, met Amayo, who at the time owned a boutique / kung fu studio / arts space where he sold his own fashion designs, held shows. They invited Amayo, who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and was fluent in the music of Fela, to see a show in the neighborhood. A few weeks later, they called again to ask him to fill in for a percussionist for a show at the Cooler (NYC) and he joined the band shortly thereafter. Within months he began composing and performing lyrics and assuming the role of the group’s lead vocalist / frontman.

The nascent group spent its early months rehearsing and composing at Desco 41st street studios and later the first Daptone Studios at Amayo’s Afro Spot. Eschewing all commercial venues for the first year, they performed exclusively in alternative spaces in lofts, community markets, parks, art spaces like Sara Roosevelt Park, Taller Latinoamericano, Brecht Forum, and the Angel Orensanz Center.

In August 1999, Greenwich Village record store owner Ayo Osinibi introduced them to the owner of the Tribeca club NoMoore, where they earned a weekly residence that ran for 18 months until the club was abruptly closed by the city. At No Moore, the group’s nucleus and repertoire expanded, as they routinely played three 75-90 minute sets every Friday.

In 2001, following their debut record (reissued independently, then licensed to Ninja Tune) they began touring internationally, from Glastonbury, Montreux to Newport Jazz and other renowned rock, jazz and world music festivals.

Around 2003, following their third album “Who Is This America,” the Dap Kings and Antibalas both became very busy, each group developed its separate full-time lineup although the groups would remain close, later reuniting with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Charles Bradley for the 2014 Daptone Super Soul Revue across summer festivals and theaters in Europe and culminating in a three night run at New York’s Apollo Theater.

The group toured heavily between 2002 and 2007 with the releases of their third album, “Who Is This America”, and fourth, “Security”.
From 2007-2012 many members and former members of the Antibalas participated in the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical FELA!, including the show’s musical director Aaron Johnson, lead saxophonist Stuart Bogie, and assistant MD trumpeter Jordan McLean.

In 2011, the group returned to the Daptone House of Soul to record their most recent album, “Antibalas” produced by emeritus member Gabriel Roth. The group toured heavily throughout the US and Europe, and later that year, performed songs from the album live on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Antibalas has recorded five studio albums on the Daptone, Ninja Tune, Anti-, and Ropeadope labels as well as a number of singles and EPs. The band finishing their sixth studio album, due out in mid-2017.

Though recognized for their fluency in Afrobeat and funk music, the band is known to collaborate with diverse groups and artists, from Angélique Kidjo to Jovanotti to Medeski Martin & Wood to Public Enemy, and served as the house band at Carnegie Hall in 2014 (Music of Paul Simon), 2015 (Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads) and this year’s 2017 Music of Aretha Franklin.
The Antibalas horn section has performed on Grammy award-winning albums by Angelique Kidjo, and Mark Ronson and dozens of albums, sound tracks and live guest appearances with artists including The Roots, My Morning Jacket, TV on the Radio, Santigold, Jovanotti, Nneka, Alabama Shakes, The String Cheese Incident and numerous others.

Former members have gone on to record and perform with The Dap Kings, Mark Ronson, the Black Keys, the Arks, Menahan Street Band, the El Michels Affair, Arcade Fire, Iron and Wine, Bat For Lashes, and Imogen Heap.

Golden Dawn Arkestra

Golden Dawn Arkestra

The Golden Dawn Arkestra is an avant-garde collective combining deep grooves and cinematic textures. Adorned in shimmering regal robes remeniscent of intergalactic kingdoms of yore and featuring cosmic go-go dancers, The Golden Dawn Arkestra will keep your body moving on the dance floor while raising your consciousness past the outer most reaches of the cosmos. Come and join our journey….

Zapot Mgwana was born in Washington DC, he never knew his father but his mother, who worked for the Ethiopian Embassy, always told him Herman Poole Blount (Sun Ra) was his father. When Mgwana was nine they moved to Nigeria where he spent most of his formative years. He recently returned to the states and formed The Golden Dawn Arkestra

Tedeschi Trucks Band with Hard Working Americans at ACL Live atACL Live at the Moody Theater Austin, TX

Now in their eighth year, Grammy-winning TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND has earned their reputation as one of the premier live acts touring today. The 12-piece ensemble, led by the husband-and-wife team of guitarist Derek Trucks and guitarist-singer Susan Tedeschi, is a true collective; a rarity in rock-and-roll with every musician featured nightly while serving the band’s unified vision, pushing the boundaries of group dynamics and improvisation to inspiring new heights. Praised by reviewers for their “joy-filled blast of blues, soul and rock” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and “stellar musicianship” (Denver Post), TTB is a touring juggernaut, on the road over 200 days a year and never playing the same set list twice.

Their latest release, Live From the Fox Oakland, (2017) – a CD and film – was recorded in a single night at a show that fans and band members all regard as one of their finest performances to date.  For Trucks and Tedeschi, the fall night in Oakland represented a perfect opportunity to document the progress the band has made since its inception in 2010. “It really feels like we are hitting our stride and firing on all cylinders,” says Trucks.  The double disc live recording showcases the band’s ability to move seamlessly from blistering rock and blues to soulful ballads and includes their take on classics from Derek and the Dominos, Leonard Cohen, and even Miles Davis among TTB’s original songs. The film also gives a behind the scenes look at the band on the road, and includes footage from recent interviews with WFT! Podcast host Marc Maron and Rolling Stone critic David Fricke.
Live From the Fox Oakland, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Blues and #6 on the Rock Albums chart, follows four critically-hailed and commercially successful TTB albums, including their Grammy-winning inaugural studio effort Revelator (2011), and 2016’s Let Me Get By, the first to be solely produced by Trucks and written in house in the TTB family and called by the Associated Press “one of the great records of the year”.

Following their steady rise as solo artists, now to one of music’s most prominent partnerships, Tedeschi and Trucks have climbed to new peaks, both together and individually.  From appearances at the White House and musical tributes to Hubert Sumlin, Bob Dylan and B.B. King to guesting on albums by John Prine or Rosanne Cash, the duo are constantly in-demand. As well, they’ve frequented late-night television, on shows hosted by Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and the premiere of Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show; and hosted special all-star musical salutes themselves, including Bonnaroo’s Superjam in 2014 (with Chaka Khan, Ben Harper, Taj Mahal, and others), and leading an extraordinary assembly of musicians for a reunited Tribute to Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen set at the 2015 Lockn Festival (with Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, and many other original members.)

Following their most successful touring year to-date, the group eagerly returned to the road in 2017.  Highlights already have included another edition of the band’s Florida-based Sunshine Music Festival, sold-out multiple nights in Nashville, Chicago, and Washington DC, and an extended European run.  Additionally, this summer, TTB will anchor a third installment of a 22-date, cross-country “Wheels of Soul” amphitheater tour, once again as headliners of a bill curated by Trucks that adds The Wood Brothers and Hot Tuna to their list of “rock ‘n soul” collaborators.

HARD WORKING AMERICANS is Todd Snider, bassist Dave Schools from Widespread Panic, Jesse Aycock, Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi on keyboards, Duane Trucks, also from Widespread Panic, younger brother to Derek Trucks, on drums, and Daniel Sproul from Rose Hill Drive and Ryan Bingham’s band on guitar.

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 with Hard Proof atMohawk Austin, Tx

Seun Kuti is the youngest son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. At the age of nine, Seun expressed the wish to sing to his father. A short while later Seun started performing with his father and the band, until his father’s untimely death in 1997. Seun, then only 14 years old, assumed the role as lead singer of Egypt 80.

Ever since, Seun has followed the political and social ethos of his father. Along the way, he began to add his own twist to the music, digging deep into various African traditions to reflect the continent’s struggles and cultures. About three quarters of the current Egypt 80 line-up consists of musicians that not only played with Fela Kuti, but often were arrested and harassed alongside the founder of the Afrobeat movement.

Seun Kuti has toured the world and released several albums.

Gov't Mule at ACL Live /Moody Theater atACL Live at the Moody Theater Austin, TX

Rock ’n’ roll music has always been a reflection of the times, and the new Gov’t Mule album, Revolution Come… Revolution Go, is no exception.

With Revolution Come… Revolution Go, out now on Fantasy Records, the band again sets the tone for their legacy with its cleverly-crafted songs, intelligent lyrical commentary, and downright incendiary playing. It’s those traditions, combined with an observant eye on the present, that define their tenth full-length studio effort.

“It was very poignant that we went into the studio in Austin, Texas, to begin recording on Election Day,” Grammy Award-winning vocalist and guitar legend Warren Haynes recalls of the November 2016 recording sessions. “Like most people, we really had no idea that the election was going to turn out the way it did. That changed everything – from a lyrical perspective. It’s not a political record, per se, but there are political connotations. There are also love songs, relationship songs, and songs about working together to make this a better planet. It covers a lot of ground, but it definitely starts and ends as a rock ’n’ roll record. It’s all within the realm of what we do, but it explores a lot of territory and, in some cases, territory we’ve never explored before.”

Steeped in the roots and mystique of rock, blues, soul, and jazz, the quartet — Haynes, Matt Abts [drums], Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass] — is equally recognized for its stirring songwriting and storytelling as it is for the improvisational virtuosity that fuels their countless live performances. Their music has galvanized a fan base of millions around the world, reaching a place of preeminence as one of the most timeless, revered and active bands in the world whose spot amongst rock titans remains unshakable.

This record threads together moments of soul, country, and tried-and-true virtuosic, vibrant, and vital rock. A patchwork of styles, it proudly ushers along Gov’t Mule’s next phase.

“One of our missions has always been to stay together as a band long enough to bring all of these different influences to the surface,” Haynes goes on. “Blues, funk, and soul are a part of what we do. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, the umbrella of rock music had room for so many different stylistic approaches – bands that were worlds apart were still considered ‘rock’ bands. We’ve always taken a cue from that. And although I’ve said it previously about other Gov’t Mule releases, this is probably the most diverse record we’ve ever made. That’s really important to us.”

The first of two lead singles, the soulful “Sarah, Surrender,” sees Haynes’ simmering vocal delivery take center stage over a groove punctuated by congas, organ, a female back-up chorus, and jazz-y guitar licks. Evoking Curtis Mayfield and Al Green, it illuminates yet another musical facet of the band.

“‘Sarah, Surrender’ was the last song written for the project,” Haynes explains, “and was recorded in New York City in January [2017], after the Austin sessions were done. It seemed like the missing piece to the puzzle.”

Meanwhile, the other lead single, “Stone Cold Rage,” packs a walloping punch. An ominous riff gives way to furiously funky wah-pedal cries as Haynes screams, “Mama’s gonna be a martyr.”

“‘Stone Cold Rage’ represents the divide that’s going on in our country right now,” Haynes points out about the song. “Even though it was written before the election, it was written knowing that whichever way the results went, we were going to have close to fifty percent of the nation very angry. Musically, it’s an aggressive up-tempo rock song that reflects the anger of the lyrics, but with a sense of sarcasm and humor.”

Whether it’s the rustic steel guitar of the countrified road song “Traveling Tune” or the dark twists and turns of the nearly nine-minute “Thorns Of Life,” each moment of the album comprises an unpredictable journey that somehow adds to the overall flow. Says Haynes, “We still believe in the concept of an ‘album’ having its own collective personality.”

After having invited 11 guest vocalists to offer different interpretations of the songs on their last studio effort, Shout!, the band wanted to keep the guests to a minimum this time around, however, Jimmie Vaughan turns up for a sizzling cameo on the super-charged “Burning Point.” Haynes says, “When I first wrote ‘Burning Point,’ it had more of a New Orleans feel to it. But when we got into the studio in Austin to record it, it took on more of a Texas vibe, and Jimmie really added to that.”

Longtime collaborator Gordie Johnson joined Haynes as co-producer for six tunes, while the iconic Don Was co-produced the powerful and moving “Dreams & Songs” and “Pressure Under Fire” along with the frontman. The latter explodes into a lyrical guitar solo as Haynes urges, “We’ve got to get out of this mess.”

“‘Pressure Under Fire’ is essentially another political song, but it comes from the standpoint that we’re all in this together, and it’s up to us to make it work,” Haynes states. “The opening line, ‘Just another song about the same thing,’ recognizes this is a message that we’ve heard before, but it needs to be said—especially now.”

Another politically-charged song, “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground,” is the reworking of the traditional blues instrumental originally recorded by Blind Willie Johnson, to which Haynes added lyrics and the band turned into an epic gospel rock closer. “Dark Was The Night,” along with the aforementioned “Thorns Of Life” and “Revolution Come, Revolution Go,” comprise the three centerpieces of the album from a musical arrangement standpoint.

About the song “Revolution Come,” Haynes explains, “It starts out as a swinging rock song, and then it goes into this blues shuffle that feels almost like a different composition altogether. It also has a jazz improv section, but ends up where it starts out. That’s indicative of what the message is: going through all of these changes and winding up where you began.”

Haynes goes on to say, “In many ways, the chemistry between the four of us is an extension of the chemistry that the original trio had. The approach we take to the music is the same uncompromising and adventurous approach, although it’s inevitable that the music is going to grow in different directions. The common thread is the influences we choose and the way we play together, which harkens back to how important improvisation was in most of the music we all love. At the end of the day, we’re friends. Making this music is satisfying in a way that’s completely different from any other project I’ve been a part of. That’s what inspires all of us.”

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio + Ike Stubblefield Trio at Antone's atAntone's Austin, TX
Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio

Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon,” and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. Jazz Times magazine describes him as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!” Always ahead of the curve, it is no surprise Dr. Smith’s fan-base is truly worldwide.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Lonnie was blessed with the gift of music. Through his mother, he was immersed in gospel, blues and jazz at an early age. In his teens, he sang in several vocal groups including his own–the Supremes–formed long before Motown’s eventual iconic act of the same name. Lonnie also played trumpet and other instruments at school and was a featured soloist. In the late ‘50s– with the encouragement of Art Kubera, who owned a local music store that he would visit daily–young Lonnie was given the opportunity to learn how to play a Hammond organ. By completely immersing himself in the records of organists such as Wild Bill Davis, Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, as well as paying rapt attention to the church organ, a young Lonnie began to find his musical voice. “Even though I didn’t know how, I was able to play right from the beginning,” Dr. Smith reflects. “I learned how to work the stops and that was it. It’s a passion for me, so everything else came naturally.” Because of Mr. Kubera’s kindness, Dr. Lonnie often refers to Art as his “angel.”

The Doctor’s first gigs were at Buffalo’s hottest jazz club, the Pine Grill, where he rapidly garnered the attention of folks like Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson, George Benson and the booking agent Jimmy Boyd. George Benson was looking for an organist for his quartet and enlisted Lonnie. The group soon relocated to New York City, where they quickly established a reputation as innovators in Harlem clubs and throughout the area. After appearing on several Benson albums, Lonnie went on to make his first recording as a leader—Finger Lickin’ Good–for Columbia Records in 1966. Shortly thereafter, Smith was scooped up to record by saxophonist Lou Donaldson, for whom Lonnie would appear on several epic Blue Note LPs, including the million-seller, Alligator Boogaloo. Blue Note clearly liked what they heard and inked the organist to his own recording contract, a deal which would produce the soul jazz classicsThink!, Turning Point, Move Your Hand, Drives and Live at Club Mozambique (released many years later).

Since leaving the Blue Note stable in the ‘70s, Dr. Smith has recorded for a slew of record labels, including Kudu, Groove Merchant, T.K., Scufflin’, Criss Cross and Palmetto, ascending the charts many times. His unpredictable, insatiable musical taste illustrates that no genre is safe, as Lonnie has recorded everything from covers of the Beatles, the Stylistics and the Eurythmics, to tribute albums of Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Beck–all by employing ensembles ranging from a trio to a fifteen-piece big band. Moreover, many of Doc’s recent compositions reflect dramatic ethereal qualities and orchestration that elicit movie scores or soundtracks.

Dr. Smith has been amused to find himself sampled in rap, dance and house grooves while being credited as a forefather of acid jazz. When questioned about his consistent interest in music some consider outside the jazz “mainstream,” Lonnie shrugs. “Jazz is American Classical,” he proclaims. “And this music is a reflection of what’s happening at the time… The organ is like the sunlight, rain and thunder…it’s all the worldly sounds to me!”

In 2012, Dr. Smith launched his own record label Pilgrimage Inc., and in 2015, resigned with the iconic Blue Note Records label. Dr. Lonnie Smith’s latest CD has been released on Blue Note. (2016)

Many awards have followed since 1969, when Downbeat magazine named Dr. Lonnie Smith “Top Organist” of the year. 2003-2014 he was awarded “Organist/Keyboardist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalist Association. The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and Jazz Organ Fellowship have also inducted Dr. Lonnie, and in 2015 he received the Village Music Legends Award. He received the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the highest honor in jazz, on April 3, 2017.

Ike Stubblefield B3 Trio

Ike Stubblefield B3 Trio

Hammond B3 virtuoso Ike Stubblefield is a music industry legend. With almost 50 years in the business, you may think he’s seen and done it all, but he’s just getting started.

He cut his teeth backing Motown legends like the Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder and Rare Earth. He lent his soulful R&B style to Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Curtis Mayfield, B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters and George Benson, and helped create the classic B3 sound that others would imitate for generations to come. In 2010, he collaborated with Grammy-winning Atlanta soul man Cee Lo Green, recording organ and keyboards on 9 tracks.

These days, the B3 icon and mini-Moog master stays busy jamming with Papa Mali in New Orleans, rocking with Big Hat in Nashville and producing out of his Atlanta studio. Drawing from his recent time with the Derek Trucks Band and years on the road as a musician-for-hire, Stubblefield is finding his true passion collaborating with old friends and bringing the loose ends of an illustrious career together on his new project, The Ike Stubblefield Trio.

“I’m combining all elements of my 46 years of playing,” said Stubblefield. “My style’s kind of all over the place so it’s not a jam band, or jazz or funk necessarily, but it has all those elements.”

Vieux Farka Touré with Kalu and The Electric Joint & Money Chicha atEmpire Control Room & Garage Austin, Texas

Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006. Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father dissaproved due to the pressures he had experienced being a musician. Rather, he wanted Vieux to become a soldier. But with help from family friend the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician shortly before Ali passed.

By June 2010, Vieux was performing at the opening concert for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. That month Vieux also released his first live album, LIVE. His live performances are highly energized and Vieux is known for dazzling crowds with his speed and dexterity on the guitar, as well as his palpable charisma and luminous smile, both of which captivate audiences from all audiences in spite of any language barriers (though Vieux does speak 8 languages).

In 2011 Vieux released his 3rd studio album, The Secret, so named because the listener will hear the secret of the blues with a blend of generations from father to son. It was produced by guitarist Eric Krasno(of the Soulive trio) and features South African-born vocalist Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks on electric slide guitar and jazz guitarist John Scofield. The title track is the last collaboration between Vieux and his late father. With the heralded release of The Secret, Vieux Farka Touré has clearly established himself as one of the world’s rare musical talents and guitar virtuosos with a distinct style that always pays homage to the past while looking towards the future.

Vieux released The Tel Aviv Session (Cumbancha) in April 2012, a collaborative project with Israeli superstar Idan Raichel dubbed ‘The Touré-Raichel Collective’ that has been hailed by fans and critics alike as a masterpiece and one of the best collaborative albums in the history of international music, drawing comparisons to Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder’s legendary Talking Timbuktu album.

In 2013, Vieux Farka Touré’s beautiful and critically acclaimed latest album Mon Pays was released as an homage to his homeland. Being that his native Mali had recently been splintered by territorial fighting between Tuareg and Islamic rebels since January 2012, Mon Pays was devoted to reminding the world about the beauty and culture of his native Mali. Translated as ‘My Country,’ this predominantly acoustic undertaking transformed into an artifact of cultural preservation. Two songs on the project -Future’ and ‘Peace’ feature Sidiki Diabate’s kora leading an emotional charge complemented by Touré’s spectacular guitar work. Both tracks represent an important generational “passing of the torch” as Sidiki’s father, Toumani is considered one of the greatest living kora masters and was a close friend of Vieux’s father Ali. Mon Pays has been widely hailed as the most mature and lovely record yet from one of this generation’s most exciting artists to come out of Mali and one of world music’s true rising stars.

Vieux reunited with Idan Raichel in Paris to record, release and subsequently tour their 2nd collaborative album as The Touré-Raichel Collective in 2014. The result was yet another musical and critical triumph, titled ‘The Paris Session’ (Cumbancha) revered by many as not just a musical gem for the ages but a powerful testimonial to the power of art and fraternity to transcend vast cultural and political divides. In 2015, Vieux released another unexpected, genre-bending collaborative album, this time with New York-based singer Julia Easterlin, aptly titled ‘Touristes’. The album shot to the top of the iTunes World chart and earned critical acclaim, including that of John Schaefer (NPR) who called it “brilliant.” On April 7, 2017, Vieux released his latest album ‘Samba’, recorded live in front of a small audience at Applehead Studio in Woodstock, NY. The album is already being hailed by critics as Vieux’s finest, most well-rounded and mature album to date. With each new project, Vieux expands his horizons, embraces new challenges and further entrenches his reputation as one of the world’s most talented and innovative musicians.

An Evening with Pete YornYou & Me Solo Acoustic Tour atThe Parish Austin, Tx

It’s hard to think of anything more starkly reliable than the ticking of a clock, but time is an untrustworthy thing. It feels like ages since we’ve had a proper Pete Yorn LP to dissect, though it’s been just five years. And it seems like only yesterday that we first heard musicforthemorningafter, which came out back in 2001. Yorn’s brand new album and Capitol Records debut, ArrangingTime, plays with the elasticity of the years both in between and since — it’s not only a culmination of the Los Angeles by way of New Jersey artist’s adventurous latter-day projects, but a return to his original leaner methods.

 

For the first time since 2003’s Day I Forgot, producer R. Walt Vincent returns to help Yorn execute his most poised and diverse set of songs yet. ArrangingTime runs the gamut from elegiac folk to wasteland blues to upbeat, synth-kissed rock. Of course, some things never change. Yorn still plays the observer, stepping into characters — or his past selves from previous years — routing wistful poems and beatific visions through the weather-beaten voice of a man who’s seen a few things in his time.

Prekindle © 2017

Austin Film Fest October 26-November 2 2017 at

Admit it. Writers are sexy. Writers are dope. Writers buy pain and sell it as hope. And that, my friend, is how all stories find a heartbeat. Want to know more about how that formula works? Well, we’ve got a Film Festival & Writers Conference down here in Austin that will get you as close as you’ll ever get to that process, and the writers who do it best. Great movies, great television, great theater – it all begins with words and stories and the people who write them. And the AFF Writers Conference is where they all gather. And guess what – they share! It’s the greatest Festival ever if you want to be a screenwriter, a TV writer, a playwright, or a podcaster.

For 24 years now AFF has fired up its spotlight and pointed it directly where the Hollywood sun don’t always shine – the writer. We offer hundreds of films, TV premieres, and informative panels that will inspire you to the max and help you boost your own ideas. And there are parties and spirits galore in which to enhance or drown any emotion or reaction that manifests itself in you. Not to mention a ton of networking with other writers and filmmakers. (Yes, including the famous ones.) These opportunities are what make it all worthwhile and achievable when the circus leaves town. You’ll take home priceless knowledge and insight, and maybe even a few leads.

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band & Todd Rundgren at ACL Live/Moody Theater Austin, TX atACL Live at the Moody Theater Austin, TX

A man who needs no introduction—as a member of The Beatles, Ringo Starr is a legend in the music world! Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band are hitting the road this fall, including a stop at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. The band features multi-instrumentalist Todd Rundgren, guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), singer Richard Page (Mr. Mister), keyboardist Gregg Rolie (Santana), and drummer Gregg Bissonette.

Expect to hear Ringo classics such as “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Photograph,” “Little Help From My Friends,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Wings”—from Starr’s 17th solo record, Ringo 2012—and much more!

Don’t miss RINGO STARR & HIS All-STARR BAND for what promises to be a night to remember!

Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Flow Tribe at Antone's atAntone's Austin, TX

Celebrating 40 years since their founding in 1977, New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band has taken the traditional foundation of brass band music and incorporated it into a blend of genres including bebop jazz, funk and R&B/soul. This unique sound, described by the band as a “musical gumbo,” has allowed the Dirty Dozen to tour across five continents and 30 countries, record 12 studio albums and collaborate with a range of artists from Modest Mouse to Widespread Panic to Norah Jones. Forty years later, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a world-famous music machine whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances.

In 1977, The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club in New Orleans began showcasing a traditional Crescent City brass band. It was a joining of two proud, but antiquated, traditions at the time: social and pleasure clubs dated back over a century to a time when black southerners could rarely afford life insurance, and the clubs would provide proper funeral arrangements. Brass bands, early predecessors of jazz as we know it, would often follow the funeral procession playing somber dirges, then once the family of the deceased was out of earshot, burst into jubilant dance tunes as casual onlookers danced in the streets. By the late ’70s, few of either existed. The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club decided to assemble this group as a house band, and over the course of these early gigs, the seven-member ensemble adopted the venue’s name: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Mahavishnu John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring: Meeting of the Spirits atParamount Theatre Austin, TX

In a career that spans more than five decades, John McLaughlin has honed a personal vision that transcends all boundaries, becoming one of improvised music’s most influential guitarists, composers, and bandleaders. McLaughlin will be joined by the remarkable Jimmy Herring, who has been in the creative forefront of the thriving American rock-jam band movement for 25 years, for what has been dubbed The Meeting of the Spirits tour. Highlighting this musical adventure, will be John McLaughlin revisiting the pioneering music he introduced with his deeply influential, genre-defying Mahavishnu Orchestra.  McLaughlin will be backed by his current band, the 4th Dimension – Ranjit Barot (drums), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), and Etienne M’Bappé (bass) – each an established composer and recording artist in his own right.

Jimmy Herring, best known for his inspired contributions to the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, The Dead, and others, will be co-headlining each show with his own band. “Herring possesses the heart and soul of a rocker, the chops and harmonic awareness of a jazz artist, and the simpatico personality of a jam-band player,” according to Guitar Player magazine.  2017 also marks the return of Jimmy Herring as a bandleader since touring after his widely acclaimed “Lifeboat” (2008) and “Subject to Change without Notice” (2012). On The Meeting of the Spirits tour, separate sets by Herring and McLaughlin will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. The tour will feature the first extended collaborations between two of world’s foremost improvising guitarists. Expect special surprise guests to be added when available.

“The music of Mahavishnu is part of my personal and musical history, and as such it is inseparable from me,” McLaughlin reflects. “To return to these pieces with the experience I’ve had for the past 45 years, since the majority of those pieces were played all those years ago, is very exciting.” Herring adds, “John’s influence on me is far-reaching. When first hearing him, I was struck by the raw emotion and technical prowess he has. If you listen to John long enough, the layers of all the things that make him unique will reveal themselves…Inner Mounting Flame changed my life and the way I heard music. By the time I heard it in 1980, John had long since moved on and recreated himself, as he has done many times throughout his career. It is an honor and a privilege to do this tour with John and the 4th Dimension.”

McLaughlin’s first extensive U.S. tour in seven years, The Meeting of the Spirits also marks his first extended exploration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra material from seminal albums such as Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, Visions of the Emerald Beyond and more since the band’s original heyday in the 1970s.

“To play the music of Mahavishnu is not for the faint-hearted,” says McLaughlin, who celebrates his 75th birthday in 2017. “In fact, among the only people I know who have succeeded in interpreting Mahavishnu music are my two all-time favorite guitarists: Jimmy Herring and Jeff Beck. Jimmy is simply a great guitar player, and since we see so eye to eye in music, I know we will have some extraordinary musical experiences touring together.”

McLaughlin strongly feels that this will be his last American performances. He is hoping that all of his friends who have supported him over the years can come out to celebrate this tour with him. After all, it was in America that he met Miles Davis and Tony Williams and played on such trailblazing albums as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. America was the true birthplace of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.