Austin360 picks: Willie’s Picnic, Diana Ross, Village People and more

12:00 a.m. Thursday, June 29, 2017 Music
Fourth of July means Willie’s Picnic, which returns to Circuit of the Americas on Tuesday. Suzanne Cordeiro/For American-Statesman

OUR TOP PICKS

Friday: Sidewalk Chalk at Stubb’s indoors. The six-piece sound machine from Chicago blends hip-hop, jazz and soul. Their live shows unfold as an energetic explosion of booty-moving grooves. The band’s fourth album, “An Orchid is Born,” just dropped and it’s their strongest work to date, earning the indie crew a slow-building buzz from around the country. $10. 9 p.m. doors. 801 Red River St. stubbsaustin.com. — D.S.S.

Saturday: Milligan Vaughan Project, Erika Wennerstrom at Continental Club. It’s convenient that the initials work out to MVP, but this new pairing of soulful vocalist Malford Milligan and guitarist Tyrone Vaughan would have been a fine idea no matter the name. Vaughan, following in the footsteps of his blues-legend father Jimmie, recently spent a couple of years with Cyril Neville’s group Royal Southern Brotherhood. Milligan, renowned for his work with local bands Storyville, Big Cat and Stick People, has long been one of the city’s most distinctive singers. They’re working on a debut album at Arlyn Studios with ace guitarist David Grissom producing. Also soon to have a new record out, this one apart from her role as leader of the rock band Heartless Bastards, is Erika Wennerstrom, who’ll open the show. $15. 10 p.m. 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclubatx.com. — P.B.

Sunday: Village People at Empire Control Room. Hey “Macho Man” (or woman), celebrate your freedom to boogie down with the costumed crusaders from America’s favorite gay disco crew. Through the years, some of the People have left the group and been swapped with new members rocking their signature costumes, but Native American Felipe Rose (who is actually Lakota Sioux) and “G.I.” Alex Briley are founding members. Lead singer Ray Simpson who plays “the Cop,” joined in 1980 and was featured in the VP flick “Can’t Stop the Music” released that same year. $25-$100. 7 p.m. 606 E. Seventh St. empireatx.com — D.S.S

Tuesday: Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic at Circuit of the Americas. Austin’s pride and joy brings his historic Independence Day bash back to the edge-of-town racetrack’s amphitheater and plaza stages. Willie and his Family band should go on shortly before midnight, after performances by a cavalcade of compadres: Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Jamey Johnson, Steve Earle, Margo Price, Asleep at the Wheel, Turnpike Troubadours, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Johnny Bush, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allan Coe, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs. Robots, Raelyn Nelson Band and Folk Uke. $39.50-$89.50. 11 a.m. gates; music begins at noon. — P.B.

INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: The definitive history of Willie Nelson’s Picnic

Tuesday: Grateful Ball with Travelin’ McCourys and Jeff Austin Band at Empire. If you’re looking for a more modest Independence Day musical option than the Picnic, check out this fine alternative in the Red River District. Bluegrass legend Del McCoury’s songs have a great side-project going with the Travelin’ McCourys, and mandolin ace Jeff Austin will open the show with his band. Then both acts will merge for a final set of Grateful Dead songs. Might there be more weed found here than at Willie’s bash? $15. 6 p.m. doors. 606 E. Seventh St. empireatx.com. — P.B.

Wednesday: Texas Radio Live with John Inmon and Randy Weeks at Guero’s. In the last weeks of his life, Jimmy LaFave often suggested onstage that his guitarist, John Inmon, should be in the Texas Music Hall of Fame. A pretty solid case can be made: Since starring in Jerry Jeff Walker’s Lost Gonzo Band during its 1970s heyday, Inmon has backed many of the city’s finest troubadours, from Steve Fromholz to Jimmie Dale Gilmore to Bruce Robison to Terri Hendrix and many more. Joining him on this night is Randy Weeks, best-known for writing Lucinda Williams’ hit “Can’t Let Go” but also a recording artist with several fine albums. They help lead Sun Radio’s weekly live-music show into a fine summer stretch that will include appearances by Scrappy Jud Newcomb (July 12), Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few (July 19), Giulia Millanta (July 26) and Jo Carol Pierce (Aug. 2). Free (donations accepted). 6 p.m. 1412 S. Congress Ave. gueros.com. — P.B.

RELATED: Jimmy LaFave’s friends rise to meet him at Paramount tribute concert

Thursday: Diana Ross at ACL Live. Hot off a headline performance at New Orleans’ Essence Fest, the queen diva of Motown comes to Texas. Her current tour, dubbed “In the Name of Love,” celebrates a solid string of hits logged throughout her 40-year career. No, tickets are not cheap, but the 73-year-old former Supreme is a legitimate living legend. $70-$156 8 p.m. 310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd acl-live.com — D.S.S.

ALSO PLAYING

Friday-Saturday

Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s

Friday

Gloria Trevi vs. Alejandra Guzman at Erwin Center

C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Peterson Brothers at Antone’s

Summer Jam with Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, Granger Smith and more at Nutty Brown Amphitheater

Duke Dumont at Vulcan Gas Company

Ozuna at El Coliseo

Kiko Villamizar, Gio Chiamba, Como Las Movies, Conjunto Los Pinkys at Hotel Vegas

James McMurtry, Jonny Burke at Threadgill’s South

Star Parks, A. Sinclair, Glass Grapes at Hole in the Wall

Hard Riffs EP release, Easy Cap, Hippo at Barracuda

Madisons, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub

Coffee Sergeants at Cactus Cafe

Beat Root at El Mercado Backstage

Boss Street Brass Band at Stay Gold

Saturday

Ian Moore & the Lossy Coils, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes at Antone’s

W.C. Clark at the Townsend

Bob Schneider at Nutty Brown Amphitheater

Horti CD release, Sounds Del Mar, Wolfdork at Empire

Mount Pressmore album release, Bee Gees Songbook at One-2-One Bar

Mike Nicolai vinyl release, Apopka, DiMaggios, Militant Babies at Hole in the Wall

Ringo Deathstarr at Hotel Vegas

Joe King Carrasco at Threadgill’s South

Walt Wilkins, Patrice Pike, Mandy Rowden at Saxon Pub

Cilantro Boombox at ABGB

Mrs. Glass, John Branch Trio at Blackheart

Chalkboard Poets, Lonesome Heroes at Cactus Cafe

Liquid Stranger, Luzcid, Perkulator, Widdler at Vulcan Gas Company

Sunday

Bush, My Jerusalem at Stubb’s outdoor

Jabo & the Old Dogs, Miss Lavelle White at Antone’s

Jon Dee Graham & the Lo Jinx Orchestra at Continental Gallery

Resentments, John Gaar at Saxon Pub

Wagoneers at C-Boy’s

Monday

Gary Clark Jr., Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real at Antone’s (sold out)

Strfkr, Reptaliens at Emo’s

Band of Heathens, Jonathan Terrell at Threadgill’s South

Lost Austin Band at the Townsend

Mystery Monday with Christine Albert, Bill Kirchen and Jeff Plankenhorn at El Mercado Backstage

Dale Watson, Peterson Brothers at Continental Club

Burning Years, Gold Steps, Hating Nate at Mohawk indoor

Tuesday

Grateful Ball with Travelin McCourys, Jeff Austin Band at Empire

HAAM Benefit with Horti & the Horticulture Club, Harvest Thieves, Folk Rock Family Revival at Barracuda

Guitar Legs, Toni Price at Continental Club

Drakes, Hector Ward & the Big Time at One-2-One Bar

Brad Stivers, Antone’s Big Trio at Antone’s

Soul Supporters at ABGB

Durawa at El Mercado Backstage

Garner Sloan vinyl release at Saxon Pub

Wednesday

Roselit Bone at Cactus Cafe

Albert & Gage at El Mercado Backstage

Gene Taylor Trio with Chris Ruest, Tommy Shannon Blues Band, Bill Carter at Antone’s

Ali Holder, Mignon Grabois at Saxon Pub

Born Again Virgins, Kidlat Punch at Beerland

Warren Hood at ABGB

Elsa Cross at Blackheart

Thursday

Lightnin’ Malcolm, Stud Ford, Robert Kimbrough Sr. at Antone’s

Hayes Carll at Saxon Pub

Graham Wilkinson & Katie Shore at Winflo

Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few, Betty Soo, Jaimee Harris at Continental Gallery

Unplugged at the Grove with Shane Smith & the Saints at Shady Grove

Ralph White & Aaron Blount at Cactus Cafe

Brickwaller, Hidden Indians, Solid State, Dream Suit at Sidewinder

View full experience