Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rita Coolidge among veterans at SXSW


South by Southwest might largely be about discovering young new bands, but quite a few veteran performers come to town for the event each year as well. Here’s a dozen highlights among legacy acts:

Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The renowned New Orleans outfit has a history that stretches back more than 50 years. Tuba player Alan Jaffe started the group in the 1960s at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter, with his son Ben Jaffe carrying the torch after his father’s death.

The band is at SXSW largely in conjunction with the film “A Tuba to Cuba,” which will be shown three times during the SXSW Film Festival. It documents the band’s 2015 journey to the country whose music helped inspire the elder Jaffe to start the group in the 1960s. That trip also informed last year’s “So It Is,” just the second Preservation Hall album to feature all-original music. The album was recorded in Texas, at Sonic Ranch studio near El Paso.

A sad note: The band reported via social media recently that the signature Sousaphone tuba with its logo painted on the horn was stolen after a show in New Orleans. They’re offering a reward for its return.

The band performs at 10 p.m. March 14 at Mohawk outdoor. Film screenings of “A Tuba to Cuba” are 2 p.m. March 10 at Alamo Lamar; 3:30 p.m. March 14 at the Paramount; and 2:30 p.m. March 16 at Alamo Ritz.

Superchunk. The vanguard of cutting-edge label Merge Records, this North Carolina band still somehow feels like the new kid on the block, even though they’re now nearly 30 years into a stellar career as one of America’s best-ever indie bands. Perhaps it’s because they keep releasing vital, vibrant music. “What a Time to Be Alive,” issued last month, addresses the present American condition head-on, with all the rage and rancor the moment requires.

In addition to two early-week SXSW showcases — 10:45 p.m. March 12 at the Mohawk outdoor, and 8:15 p.m. March 13 at the Main — the band’s founding duo of Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance will be the subject of a featured panel at 12:30 p.m. March 14 at the Convention Center.

Todd Rundgren. A self-proclaimed wizard and true star (see the title of his 1973 album), Rundgren has had smash pop hits such as “I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me” and produced multimillion selling classic albums such as Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell.” He was in town last year playing with Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band, and in 2015 as the headliner of the annual All ATX benefit concert.

READ MORE: Review of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band at ACL Live in 2017

His 1 a.m. March 15 at Elysium caps a showcase of acts on Los Angeles label Cleopatra Records, which released Rundgren’s 2017 album “White Knight.” He’ll also take part in “How About a Little Fanfare,” a panel discussion about the creative process of songwriting, at 3:30 p.m. March 15 at the Convention Center.

Chris Stamey. A longtime influence on the North Carolina music scene as a producer and with rock-pop bands the dB’s and Sneakers, Stamey was at SXSW last year helming the Big Star’s Third tribute project in honor of Alex Chilton (with whom Stamey played in New York in the late 1970s).

In Austin earlier this year as music director of Alejandro Escovedo’s annual ACL Live show, Stamey returns partly in conjunction with a memoir called “A Spy in the House of Loud: New York Songs and Stories,” due out in April on University of Texas Press. In addition to his showcase at midnight March 17 at the Driskill’s Victorian Room, he’ll be part of the panel “From CBGB to the World: A Downtown Diaspora” at 2 p.m. March 16 at the Convention Center, and will be signing copies of the book immediately after.

Rita Coolidge. A star since the 1970s when she made three albums with then-husband Kris Kristofferson and scored two top-10 pop hits on her own, Coolidge published her memoir, “Delta Lady,” two years ago. At 72, she’s returning with a new album, “Safe in the Arms of Time,” that’s due out in May and features a duet with Keb’ Mo’ on the lead single “Walking on Water.” (9 p.m. March 16 Cooper’s BBQ)

Low. Begun in the early 1990s in Duluth, Minn., as a minimalist collaboration between Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, Low gradually rose to national prominence, joining the roster of renowned indie label Sub Pop and attracting the attention of Robert Plant, who recorded two of the band’s songs on his 2010 “Band of Joy” album. They’re now working on a new project inspired by Italian Renaissance painter Caravaggio’s work “Doubting Thomas.” (11 p.m. March 13, St. David’s Historic Sanctuary; 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, Stubb’s outdoor)

Linda Perry. After rising to stardom with the San Francisco pop band 4 Non Blondes in the early 1990s, Perry went on to become a songwriter and producer of hits for artists including Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys. Her latest project is the recording/publishing/management company We Are Hear. (1 a.m. March 12 at Townsend)

Wedding Present. Singer-guitarist David Gedge has been the one constant in this English alt-rock band whose origins date back to the mid-1980s. The group’s 2016 album “Going, Going…” was a multimedia chronicle of a North American tour that included videos for each of its 20 songs. (9:45 p.m. March 13, Barracuda Backyard; 12:30 a.m. March 15, Seven Grand; 10:10 p.m. March 16, Barracuda Backyard)

Terminal Mind. A recent reissue of this pioneering Austin punk/new-wave trio’s songs from the late 1970s has sparked renewed interest in their music. Original member Steve Marsh has recruited a new rhythm section of drummer Coby Cardosa and bassist Lucky Santiago. (7:45 p.m. March 12, Sidewinder outdoor)

Janiva Magness. At 61, the dynamic singer has become a widely respected figure in blues music, with Blues Foundation awards and a Grammy nomination among the highlights from a career spanning more than a dozen albums for labels such as Alligator and Blue Elan. (10 p.m. March 16, Cooper’s BBQ)

Veldt. Rising stars in the fertile early-1990s North Carolina indie-rock scene, the Veldt never quite broke through despite a couple of major-label deals. But their sound, which draws upon British shoegaze influences while adding elements of urban grit and rhythm, still sounds relevant and perhaps even predictive of contemporary pop acts. 10:30 p.m. March 15, Seven Grand)

Bubble Puppy. The 1960s psychedelic band scored one of Austin’s first pop hits with “Hot Smoke and Sassafras.” While they never reached that level of notoriety again, they’ve continued to perform after a 2011 reunion when they were voted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. (7 p.m. March 15, Hotel Vegas Patio)

MORE SXSW

Party Guide: Check out the unofficial events in our searchable database

On 512Tech.com: SXSW will return to crowds, criticisms and lots to talk about

Watch: The only SXSW tips you’ll need



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Music

This week’s music picks: Haley Heynderickx, Night Glitter EP release
This week’s music picks: Haley Heynderickx, Night Glitter EP release

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyvYIYwLzTw&w=492&h=307] Tuesday: Haley Heynderickx at Cactus Cafe. Portland, Ore., has consistently produced noteworthy indie acts for some time now, and Heynderickx (don’t try to spell it without a program) is the latest from the Rose City to attract nationwide attention. Her full-length...
The man who turned underdog grapes into Virginia's star wines
The man who turned underdog grapes into Virginia's star wines

Virginia's wine community is celebrating the life and achievements of one of its giants, Dennis Horton, the maverick vintner who defied conventional wisdom by planting grapes few people had heard of and in so doing convinced many skeptical oenophiles that Virginia could make great wine. Horton died June 19 at his home in Madison, Virginia. He had been...
'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines welcome baby boy, reveal his name
'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines welcome baby boy, reveal his name

The latest addition to Chip and Joanna Gaines' family has arrived. The "Fixer Upper" stars took to social media Saturday to announce the birth of their fifth child, sharing a photo of the baby boy and revealing his name. "Our baby boy, Crew Gaines, is here and we couldn’t be more in love," Joanna wrote Saturday night...
World's Ugliest Dog Contest: Zsa Zsa the English bulldog slurps up 2018 title
World's Ugliest Dog Contest: Zsa Zsa the English bulldog slurps up 2018 title

An English bulldog has fetched the crown in the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California. According to The Associated Press, Zsa Zsa, a 9-year-old pooch from Anoka, Minnesota, won the pageant Saturday, beating out more than a dozen less-than-pretty pups for the $1,500 grand prize. According to the event's website, Zsa Zsa "...
Summer TV: ‘Sharp Objects,’ ‘Yellowstone’ and other shows worth a look
Summer TV: ‘Sharp Objects,’ ‘Yellowstone’ and other shows worth a look

What to read, where to go, what to watch: Summer can be rather bossy, culturewise, but it’s still mostly a no-pressure proposition where TV is concerned — especially since “Game of Thrones” isn’t expected back until next year. Aside from a few big-ticket temptations like HBO’s “Sharp Objects” (premiering...
More Stories