Shindig Preview: Kurt Vile, The Felice Brothers, The Apache Relay And More


Videos by American Songwriter

The Billy Reid + Weather Up Austin Shindig is only a few days 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 and Hurray For The Riff Raff.


Kurt Vile

Listen to any of Philadelphian’s Kurt Vile’s songs and you’ll be wondering one thing: “How high is this guy?” The singer-songwriter is known for his dark, moody stoner rock, though Vile says the association with weed is a total misconception; as he mentions in his song “Goldtone,” Vile doesn’t “touch the stuff.” In 2005, Vile formed the duo The War On Drugs with Adam Granduciel. Following the release of their first record, Vile left the band to focus on his work as a solo artist. He released his fifth solo album, Wakin On A Pretty Daze, last year. Though he’s no newbie to SXSW, this will be Vile’s first performance at the Billy Reid Shindig.



What started as a duo between Charlotte-based husband and wife team Ashlee Hardee Brown, a native of North Carolina, and Jimmy Brown, an Irish ex-pat, has since evolved into a full on family band. The two now play with Hardee Brown’s brothers Jordan and CJ. Matrimony released their first EP, Montebello Drive, in 2013, and will follow that with their debut full-length on Columbia Records this May. Preparation took a lot longer than anticipated – in the middle of a session, a strike of lightning set the roof of the studio on fire, and the band had to delay the rest of the recording until it was repaired. 2014 marks Matrimony’s second year at SXSW. We’re stoked to hear some of the amazing harmonies that Brown and Hardee Brown do so well.


The Felice Brothers

The Felice Brothers are a folk rock band from Upstate New York. Siblings Ian and James Felice got their start playing in subway stations in the city before recruiting their backing band and embarking on tour. The band paid their dues on the festival circuit, with appearances at several festivals across the US, including Clearwater Festival and Bonnaroo. During one particularly eventful appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in 2008, the band played an hour long unplugged set that included a sing-a-long to “This Land Is Your Land” after thunderstorms knocked out power to the generators. While we certainly want everything to go smoothly at the Shindig, we’re hoping to see the Brothers bring some of that same magic to their set.

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Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves is the stage name of Texas folk singer/songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia. He’s somewhat of an enigma in his hometown of Austin. So much so, in fact, that he has his own holiday. By decree of the mayor of Austin, February 9 is officially Shakey Graves Day. If you’re a fan of Friday Night Lights, Garcia may look a little familiar to you: he had a short stint as “The Swede” on the show in 2007. Garcia performs as a one man band with a kickdrum made out of a suitcase. He’s known for his captivating live shows, with tons of tempo changes in his songs that keep concertgoers paying attention. This will be his second SXSW appearance.

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The Apache Relay

The Apache Relay, whose name comes from a suggestion by Gabe Simon of Kopecky Family Band, formed in their college dorm in Nashville after singer Michael Ford, Jr began a search for musicians to help him perform his solo material. The band is often associated with Mumford & Sons, who they accompanied on the Gentleman of the Road tour in 2012. The Apache Relay have been called folk rock, Americana, and roots, among countless other genres, but the band rejects all of those labels. Violinist Kellen Wenrich says the Apache Relay are simply “a rock and roll band.” This will be their second time playing the Billy Reid shindig. We’re stoked to hear them perform their song “Katie Queen of Tennessee,” the lead single off of their upcoming album The Apache Relay

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