Tex Pop Presents Robert Johnson In Texas 1936 & 1937Curated by Margaret Moser & Presented by Tex Pop atAntone's (Upstairs) Austin, TX

Robert Johnson in Texas 1936 and 1937
Traveling Exhibit from Tex Pop, the South Texas Popular Culture Center

The recording sessions made by Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson in Texas in 1936 and 1937 rank among the most important events in American music history. That those 29 essential songs were recorded in San Antonio and Dallas gives gravitas to the Lone Star state’s already unique music history. This period of Robert Johnson’s life, a man of mystery and accomplishment, is examined in the traveling photo exhibit Robert Johnson in Texas 1936 and 1937, opening at Antone’s on July 1, 2017.

With only two authenticated photographic images of Robert Johnson and a sketchy history of his short, tragic life, it’s the 29 songs he recorded between November 1936 in San Antonio and May, 1937 in Dallas that tantalize about a man dead at 27. While the Harlem Renaissance burst forth in the North during the Thirties, Texas and the South were largely the land of Jim Crow. Raw, memorable, dark, compelling, his legendary songs stoked the imaginations of blues lovers for decades.

The facts are simple and short: Robert Johnson was brought to San Antonio, Texas in November 1936 to record for the American Recording Company with producer Don Law. That session spawned a minor radio hit in “Terraplane Blues,” enough for ARC to send Johnson back to Don Law to Dallas to record again in May of 1937.

Johnson seemed to enjoy his rising success after the recordings in Texas, touring with Johnny Shines, playing outside the Delta, and
​rising as a feature act, but by summer 1938 he is back in Mississippi where trouble begins. By August 1938, he is dead.

Robert Johnson in Texas 1936 and 1937 builds first on the two authenticated images: the famous Memphis studio Hooks Brothers promo photo of a dandily-dressed Robert Johnson and the iconic photo-booth shot with a cigarette and guitar. Was that photo booth in the Kress’s next to the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio? Yet, even these photos are latter finds. In Columbia Records’ vinyl releases of the Robert Johnson catalogs in two parts in 1961 and 1970, Johnson’s face is not depicted because the photos had not been located until the 70s.

So other images tell the stories of the Texas of Robert Johnson – maps of San Antonio, Dallas, and Texas that follow from Mississippi through the South, newspaper articles of the times, images provided by the Mississippi Blues Commission of landmarks to his life, additional art reflecting a broadening black perspective. Still, questions linger:

  • Did Robert Johnson record in Room 414 at the Gunter? Or was it the Bluebonnet Hotel?
  • What became of 508 Park Avenue in Dallas?
  • What musician really claimed to sell his soul to the devil?
  • How did Johnson die in 1938 – was he stabbed? Poisoned? Murdered?
  • Why does so much mythology about RJ persist?
  • How many graves does Robert Johnson have?
  • Are “recent” Robert Johnson photo finds of value?
  • And did Robert Johnson travel to the Gulf Coast in November 1936 to recover from his jailing, and write a song with a 6-year-old Texas girl? The late blues singer Shirley Ratisseau with heavy Austin ties says he did with “Fishin’.”

Robert Johnson in Texas 1936 and 1937 was conceived and curated by retired Austin Chronicle editor and writer Margaret Moser, who founded Tex Pop in 2012. After her cancer diagnosis and retirement following a glorious waltz through over four decades of rock & roll journalism and directing the Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards for South by Southwest, Moser moved to San Antonio to continue her passionate dance with music at Tex Pop.

Antone’s Nightclub is the first stop for this traveling photo and memorabilia display, previously seen only at Tex Pop, the South Texas Popular Culture Center in San Antonio Tex Pop in San Antonio works closely with its mothership operation: South Pop, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, and operates under the auspices of the nonprofit PHOGG Foundation.

Doom Side of the Moonw/ Mountain of Smoke atEmo's Austin Austin, TX

Doom Side of the Moon
To celebrate 50 years of Pink Floyd releasing music that changed the world, Kyle Shutt (The Sword) has produced a heavy metal cover of their seminal album, The Dark Side of the Moon.

Having recruited vocalist Alex Marrero (Brownout/Brown Sabbath), saxophonist Jason Frey (Black Joe Lewis/Hard Proof), and keyboardist Joe Cornetti (Croy and The Boys), Shutt tapped his bandmates from The Sword, Bryan Richie and Santiago Vela III, to record his vision. Engineered and Mixed by Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Rocket From The Crypt), the resulting band and album have been dubbed “Doom Side of the Moon”.

Because Shutt likes to think big, he couldn’t just stop after recording the album. Doom Side of the Moon will be playing their album in its entirety along with other Pink Floyd favorites set to a spectacular laser-light visual experience performed by The Mustachio Light Show (Levitation/Desert Daze/NRMAL) as scheduling allows.

Reverend Guitars, with whom Shutt recently released a signature guitar, will be sponsoring the live show.

Michael Franti & SpearheadLOVE OUT LOUD Tour atStubb's Austin, Tx

One dollar of every Michael Franti ticket sold will go to Franti’s “Do It FOr The Love” charity.

Michael Franti is a musician, filmmaker and humanitarian who is recognized as a pioneering force in the music industry. Long known for his globally conscious lyrics, powerful performances, and dynamic live shows, Franti has continually been at the forefront of lyrical activism, using his music as a positive force for change.

“I make music because I believe it can change people’s lives and make a difference in the world,” enthuses Franti, “music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.” He and his band Spearhead, known for their authentic and uplifting music, have found global success with multi-platinum songs like “Say Hey (I Love You)”, the chart breaking 2010 release of The Sound Of Sunshine. Franti and his band guarantee a show that will be thought provoking as well as energetic.

Franti has a brand new single, “Once A Day” from his upcoming debut album on Fantasy Records. “Once a Day” was inspired by his son’s diagnosis with a rare kidney disease called FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) in the hopes that this song would inspire anyone in the world who is going through challenging times. “My belief is that through music, dance and gratitude for this life we can all ‘rise up’,” explains Franti. “Once A Day” was produced by Supa Dups (Eminem, Damian Marley, Bruno Mars) and features special guest Sonna Rele. This new song has the same feel-good, inspiring vibe as “Say Hey (I Love You),” his 2x platinum hit single.

Giving back has always been at the heart of Franti’s mission, he has dedicated his life to spreading the joy of music and positivity to millions of people.

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

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.