2Cellos and some steel guitars are among this week’s best Austin shows


OUR TOP PICKS

Friday: Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band at ACL Live. It’s a distant memory now, the first time I saw Ritter perform, ambling out onstage as a special guest of Glen Hansard’s band the Frames at a Boston nightclub and pin-drop silencing the crowd with a heart-stopping rendition of his song “Come and Find Me.” He’d made just two records at that point, but now he’s up to nine studio albums (including last fall’s “Gathering”), and he made an auspicious debut as an author with his novel “Bright’s Passage.” A sharp lyricist who’s also often inclined to step out with rock and pop songs well beyond acoustic singer-songwriter fare, Ritter benefits from the long and loyal support of his Royal City Band. Nicki Bluhm opens. $29.50-$39.50. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com. — P.B.

Friday: Lolita Lynne release party at Barracuda. On the new six-song EP, “Fool’s Gold,” Lynne’s voice drifts between smoky nonchalance and sultry defiance as she lilts over dreamy pop soundscapes. Smiile, Batty Jr. and Carrie Fussel are also on the bill. 9 p.m. doors. 611 E Seventh St. barracudaaustin.com. — D.S.S.

Friday: Asleep at the Wheel at Broken Spoke. The unstoppable western swing machine rolls on, with plenty of regional and national touring on the horizon as 2018 begins. Before they go, though, they’ll make a rare appearance at South Austin’s storied honky-tonk, where leader Ray Benson’s head comes in dangerous proximity with the low ceiling. Benson’s 2017 was largely about his partnership with Dale Watson on their “Dale & Ray” record, but a new Wheel album is due this summer, after they play some high-profile local gigs with the Avett Brothers (Long Center, March 3) and George Strait (Erwin Center, June 3). $25. 9 p.m. 3201 S. Lamar Blvd. brokenspokeaustintx.net. — P.B.

Saturday: Polyrhythmics, Kalu & the Electric Joint at the Mohawk indoor. The sprawling jams of Seattle groove collective Polyrhythmics will make you move, but hometown opener Kalu & the Electric Joint, the new project from Nigerian expat Kalu James, is also a big draw. The group’s latest release, ‘Time Undone,” simmers a slow burning dish of love and longing into a murky stew of muscular psychedelics, gut-bucket blues riffs and rootsy soul. $12-$15. Doors at 9 p.m. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com. — D.S.S.

Monday-Thursday: Lazy Lester at Antone’s. When Antone’s celebrated its 42nd anniversary last summer with an impressive batch of blues greats, booker Zach Ernst seemed especially pleased at having booked this Louisiana legend for an extended run. “It really feels like the anniversary to me if you have Lazy Lester at the club every night for four nights,” Ernst said. So why wait until July for a repeat? Get a midwinter fix with the 83-year-old master whose influential 1950s sides for Excello and later recordings for the Antone’s record label have made him a favorite at the club since its early days at previous locations. Lester will play at 10 each night, with closing sets by Brad Stivers on Monday, Lindsay Beaver & the 24th Street Wailers on Tuesday, and Speedy Sparks & the Koolerators on Wednesday. $10. 305 E. Fifth St. antonesnightclub.com. — P.B.

Monday: Geoff Queen at Sam’s Town Point. One of the coolest new weekly series to take root recently is “Steel Mondays,” an early-evening set of music focusing on steel guitar players. Even in a town rich with steel aces, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more in-demand talent than Queen, frequently seen with Hayes Carll, Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, Randy Rogers and Sunny Sweeney. Part of the venue’s “Steel Mondays” series. $5 suggested donation. 7 p.m. Stick around afterward for a 9 p.m. show by Jonathan Terrell and Josh T. Pearson. 2115 Allred Drive. samstownpointatx.com. — P.B.

Thursday: 2Cellos at Erwin Center. Playing the University of Texas campus arena is a big move up for Slovenia’s Luka Sulic and Croatia’s Stjepan Hauser, who sold out the Long Center when they visited Austin in 2015. They’re touring behind their new album “Score,” which focuses on classic movie and TV music from “The Godfather,” “Titanic” and “Game of Thrones,” plus a splendid version of Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” $19.50-$59.50. 7:30 p.m. 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.com. — P.B.

ALSO PLAYING

Friday-Saturday

Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan and George Rains at Continental Club

Friday

BowiElvis Fest at Continental Club

Latin Dance party with ex-Romantika, Afrofreque, Timberos del Norte at Stubb’s

Hard Proof, Tomar & the FCs, Carl Weathersby at Antone’s

Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few at Townsend

Rite Flyers, Mike Nicolai & the Stares, Austin Pop Collective, Christine Young at Carousel Lounge

James Polk & Centerpeace, Sharon Bourbonnais at Elephant Room

Beat Juice, Gladkill at Empire

Dirty Fences, Trouble Boys, Muther, Cheap Fur, Heavy Chills at Hotel Vegas

Magnet School, Jay Satellite, Ex Optimists, Cult Leaders at Beerland

Samantha Lee & the Family Tree, B.R. Lively at Hole in the Wall

Pink Floyd laser spectacular at Emo’s

Saturday

Rodney Carrington at Bass Concert Hall

Milky Chance, Lewis Capaldi at Emo’s

Dolly Parton Birthday Bash at the High Road on Dalton

Magnifico, Ole ELO, Lung Letters at North Door

Joe King Carrasco at ABGB

Dale Watson at Broken Spoke

Rob Baird, Reed Turner at Antone’s

Money Chicha, Pong & Friends, Redd Volkaert at Continental Club

Christy Hays, Altamesa, Josh Buckley at Sam’s Town Point

Pamela Hart Quintet at Elephant Room

Culture Wars, Light Wheel, Otis Wilkins at Stubb’s indoor

Atash, Seu Jacinto at One-2-One

Yumi Zouma, Blushing at Barracuda

You Vandal, Despero, Dee-1 at Sidewinder

Drew Davis at Geraldine’s

Sunday

Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod at Emo’s

Hilary York, Imperial Starlighters, Dale Watson at C-Boy’s

Lavelle White, Frank & Luci Craven at Antone’s

J.D. Clark, Teddys, No Sinner at Hotel Vegas

Peterson Brothers at Hilton Cannon & Belle

Willie Pipkin, Heybale at Continental Club

Lo Jinx Orchestra, Dave Biller Trio at Continental Gallery

Timberos Del Norte at One-2-One Bar

Purgatory Players at El Mercado Backstage

Monday

Austin MLK Festival at Huston-Tillotson University

Destroyer, Mega Bog at Mohawk outdoor

Dale Watson, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club

Church on Monday Band at Continental Gallery

Chris Gage at Donn’s Depot

Julieann Banks at Hilton Cannon & Belle

Dossey, Light Wheel, High Church at Hotel Vegas

Michael Mordecai’s Jazz Jam at Elephant Room

Matchmaker Band at Highball

Tuesday

Mean Jolene, Dirty Few, Residual Kid, Lochness Mobsters at Hotel Vegas

Ephraim Owens Experience, James McMurtry at Continental Gallery

Mike Stinson, Whitney Rose at Continental Club

Jeffrey Lewis, Folk Uke at Beerland

Dylan Bishop, 8½ Souvenirs at C-Boy’s

Seela at One-2-One Bar

Warren Hood at ABGB

Charlie Belle at Geraldine’s

Wednesday

Wood & Wire at Long Center Rollins Studio Theatre

Jake Penrod at Broken Spoke

Texas Radio Live with Sahara Smith, Steel Betty at Guero’s

Giulia Millanta with David Pulkingham at One-2-One Bar

Jon Dee Graham, William Harries Graham at Continental Club

Michael Fracasso, Blue Moon Jazz Quartet with Rosie Flores at Continental Gallery

Daisy O’Connor at Cactus Cafe

Barbara Nesbitt at Hilton Cannon & Belle

Chris Gage & Friends at El Mercado Backstage

Motel Radio, Artisanals, Ben Millburn at Stubb’s indoor

Thursday

Aimee Mann, Jonathan Coulton at Paramount Theatre

Barfield, Casper Rawls at Continental Club

Bonnie Whitmore, Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few at Continental Gallery

Peterson Brothers at Cactus Cafe

Summer Fires EP release, Matt Gilmour & the Cuckoos at Stubb’s indoor

Aaron McDonnell at Geraldine’s

Jimmie Dreams, Koolerators at Sam’s Town Point

Derailers at Broken Spoke

Fingerpistol at Highball

Nocturnal Hallucinations at Electric Church

Suzi Stern Quintet at Elephant Room

Jazz Outside Inside, Utley3, Steve McCarthy at Carousel Lounge



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