Videos by American Songwriter
The Billy Reid + Weather Up Austin Shindig is only one day away, so if you haven’t RSVP’d to the party yet, be sure to do so here. Also, don’t forget to download the Shindig sampler, featuring 15 tracks from the artists who are playing the Austin event on March 12-13.
To further whet your appetite for this musical fiesta, here’s a preview of some more artists playing Day 2 of the festivities. And check out our rundown of other Shindig artists like Jessica Lea Mayfield, Hurray For The Riff Raff and Kurt Vile.
Billy Joe Shaver
Texas native Billie Joe Shaver is proficient in two things: songwriting and badassery. After an accident at a lumber mill claimed the majority of two of the fingers on his right hand, Shaver taught himself to play the guitar without them. He then hitchhiked his way to Nashville, where he worked as a songwriter for $50 a week before his work started getting major attention. A staple in the world of outlaw country, Shaver is the main writer behind Waylon Jennings’ album Honky Tonk Heroes. Shaver’s own 1973 album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, is one of the most popular outlaw country records around – so much so that Bob Dylan will sometimes play songs from the album in concert. Artists like Kris Kristofferson, the Allman Brothers and Elvis Presley have also recorded Shaver’s songs. We can’t wait some songs from the man that Johnny Cash himself once called his favorite songwriter.
Robert Ellis, the man who used to lead a music event called Whiskey Wednesdays in his home state of Texas, is branching beyond his classic country roots. 25-year-old Ellis recently released his genre-ambiguous third LP, The Lights From The Chemical Plant, to rave reviews. While he didn’t abandon his natural twang, Ellis included a lot more folk-pop elements on these tracks than his previous records. According to Ellis, he wanted to pay tribute to songwriters like Paul Simon and Randy Newman, two of his childhood favorites. The record features appearances by a slew of fantastic musicians, including Deer Tick’s Rob Crowell, who Ellis toured with last fall, and Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith. Be sure to make it to the Shindig to hear Ellis bring his lyrically rich storytelling tracks to life.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
St. Paul & the Broken Bones frontman Paul Janeway doesn’t like to hold anything back during a show. He’s known to go absolutely wild during a set, which has earned Janeway countless comparisons to notoriously energetic performer James Brown. Born and raised in Alabama, Janeway got his start singing backup vocals and playing guitar in his church band. He spent his childhood steeped in gospel music like Clay Evans and the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and branched out to soul singers like Otis Redding in his teenage years. A brief stint in a Led Zeppelin cover band brought him together with bassist Jesse Phillips, and through their friendship, St. Paul and the Broken Bones was born. The rest of the band members were brought in by a combination of chance and minimal acquaintance, including guitarist Browan Lollar, who used to play with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. We’re excited to see the soulful six piece take the stage.
Spanish Gold, formed by members of Grupo Fantasma, Hacienda and My Morning Jacket, have yet to release their debut record, but they’re already making waves with their music, with Rolling Stone callings the band’s debut track “genre bending.” The band recently finished recording their debut album, which is set to be released later this year. Spanish Gold describes the sound of the album as a blend of several different genres, “like watching a random hour of MTV programming circa 1986-1996.” We can get down with that.