Austin Music Foundation presents
The Next & Best in Austin Music ft. Jackie Venson, Gina Chavez, Magna Carda, and more
Wed · November 15, 2017
Doors: 5:30 pm / Show: 6:00 pm3TEN Austin City Limits Live
Celebrate THE NEXT AND BEST in local music!
Join Austin Music Foundation at 3TEN ACL Live on Wednesday, November 15 for a FUN-raising mixer showcasing back-to-back performances by our inaugural Artist Development Program graduates! Plus, a silent auction, drinks, bites, and more!
* There is a $3.00 fee that is added to every ticket purchased at our Box Office. This includes Day of Show pricing.
“With an astonishing mix of raw soul, superb musicianship and laid back grace it was easy to believe that we were participating in the origin story of Austin’s next great export — a Gary Clark Jr. level talent who speaks boldly through her guitar while simultaneously entrancing with her gorgeous smoky voice.” - Austin American-Statesman
From their humble beginnings on a college campus four years ago, Magna Carda has steadily risen to the top of the Austin music scene as the premiere hip hop act of 2016. Described by Mashable as “Austin’s answer to The Roots,” Magna Carda is led by the city’s most dynamic MC-producer duo — Megz Kelli and Dougie Do — whose work pairs like a fine wine with the meat-and-potatoes backbone of the group’s signature live instrumentation. With their genre-defying blend of rap-meets-jazz-meets-R&B-meets-electronic, the band has quickly captured the imagination of listeners and the attention of critics alike in Austin and beyond.
The album won the praise of National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, and The Boston Globe, and topped the iTunes and Amazon Latin charts after a feature on NPR’s All Things Considered. She is the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest (JLSC) Grand Prize Winner for her song “Siete-D,” a rock-cumbia-rap mix that explores the delights and dangers of El Salvador from a window on the 7-D, the bus route she rode as a volunteer there in 2010.
Backed by a six-piece band, Chavez has claimed a prominent stake in the Live Music Capital. An eight-time Austin Music Award winner, Chavez and her band swept the 2015 awards, winning Musician of the Year, Album of the Year (Up.Rooted), Song of the Year (“Siete-D”), Best Latin Band, and the Esme Barrera Award for Music Activism and Education, while placing in six other categories. They have shared the stage with Grace Potter, Grammy winners La Santa Cecilia, Latin Grammy winner Gaby Moreno, Mexico’s Carla Morrison, Argentina’s Federico Aubele, Las Cafeteras from L.A., and Austin’s own Grupo Fantasma. In 2013, they performed for Latin rockstar Juanes as one of nine bands nationwide selected for the Dewaristas contest.
Chavez is currently promoting the June 2015 release of the official music video for “Siete-D.” The video – filmed last October in El Salvador — follows Chavez on an exciting cross-country journey to reunite with her former students — young women she considers her Salvadoran sisters and four of whom are able to attend college on scholarships from Niñas Arriba, a college fund co-founded by Chavez and her partner, Jodi Granado, since their volunteer year in 2010. Southern Living and Olay named Chavez one of 11 “southern iconic women who have left a beautiful footprint across the South,” for her continued work in El Salvador.
People have always been drawn to Jane’s spirituous voice and haunting melodies, but her fresh, bold, commanding sound and innovative lyrics have given us all something to talk about. Local audiences are buzzing about this “new rock-n-roll girl in town,” but really, Jane is not new at all. Bryant was born and raised in the Live Music Capital of the World, and she’s soaked with the mystical, rare sound that comes from the heart of Austin. It’s this new, fearless sound that attracted the attention of producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith, who has worked with Jet, Santana, and The Toadies just to name a few. “I’ve experienced many inspirational moments in record production over the last 20 years,” says Frenchie, “but she raised the bar. I had never produced a singer this strong.” He goes on to say that Jane’s music is “capturing the madness of youth, the manic perils of opening up about heartbreak, all while bringing the listener in more and more by telling the truth. What I look for in an artist is believability, and whatever Jane is performing, I believe it.”
The band is currently honing in on that sweet spot, working on their sophomore album and incorporating the likes of Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and Michael Jackson--trying to create and maintain what they have coined as psychedelic jungle rock!
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes weren’t around then, but this Austin trio are so good at building a groove rooted in that rich time, it’s as if they’re channelers. Actually, they are, but don’t think “nostalgia act”; both onstage and on their self-titled release, Charlie Faye & the Fayettes (2016), they craft smart soul-pop that merges the swinging, swaying sound and style of ‘60s girl groups with a modern vibe that’s so current, they’re dancing to the forefront of a retro revival.
With the Fayettes, leader Charlie Faye has finally found the sonic sweet spot she started seeking even before her last album, 2013’s You Were Fine, You Weren’t Even Lonely, which became the chronicle of her breakup with producer Will Sexton as they recorded it. That one reached No. 16 on the Americana Music Association’s airplay chart and earned her a “Songwriter of the Week” designation from American Songwriter magazine’s website — not to mention an out-of-the-blue email from Grammy-winning artist and producer Peter Asher, who praised her work and added, “I look forward to … hearing what you do next.”
His encouragement was just the catalyst she needed to crystallize her love of the Shirelles and Ronettes with her desire to break out of the solo singer-songwriter mold.
"I wanted to do something more fun — to write upbeat songs and create an entertaining show, because that's what I want to see," Faye explains. “I’ve always loved the girl groups from the ‘60s; that’s the stuff I grew up on. And I’ve always loved singing harmonies with my friends, so it was a natural progression for me to want to do a girl group.”
And what a group it is. BettySoo and Akina Adderley both have established histories as solo artists and background vocalists. The trio’s shared height (they’re all within a half-inch of 5-foot-1) and distinct ethnicities (Jewish, Korean and African-American) just adds cute to their considerable charms.
But all the cuteness in the world wouldn’t matter without songs, and here, Faye’s great ear and intelligent writing come to the fore. On her own or with co-writers including Bill DeMain and Craig Marshall, she penned 11 tracks that marry beguiling lyrics with incredibly catchy melodies. The material, recorded in Los Angeles and Austin by producer/engineer Dave Way (Michael Jackson, Fiona Apple), has already earned the band a South By Southwest 2016 showcase slot.
Two standouts, “Coming Round the Bend” and “Green Light,” pay fabulous homage to the Shangri-Las and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. “Bend’s" cantering beat and just-right production turn every second of its 2½ minutes into sheer delight (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Pete Thomas, of Elvis Costello’s Attractions, gets the album’s drumming credit). The equally strong “Green Light” could serve as an answer song to the Supremes’ “Stop! In the Name of Love.” “You’ve got the green light, baby,” Faye sings in her sweet-smooth come-on voice. “I’m saying yes, not maybe. Why are we taking things so slow?”
Every one of these songs has allure galore. In “Heart,” musical references to Elvis and Buddy Holly are punctuated with the lyric, “don’t be cruel.” “Delayed Reaction” peppers its Spector influence with horn pumps and synth tweets for a fast-paced frolic from past to present. “Sweet Little Messages” makes another seamless connection from then to now, as illustrated in a super-cool video produced by Jazz Mills.
As listeners will quickly note, Faye has another formidable influence, one Asher also picked up on in his survey of her work: the Stax/Volt sound. Like artists from Leon Bridges and Anderson East to St. Paul & the Broken Bones and Lianne La Havas, Faye is part of the new generation unearthing a mother lode of soul inspiration from that musical map point where Memphis and Muscle Shoals intersect.
On “One More Chance,” Faye’s Dusty delivery and the Fayettes’ perfectly placed harmonies conjure visions of synchronized hip swivels and arm gestures. The funky “East Side” has a similar effect; co-writer Eric Holden’s deep bass furrows and layered horns by sax great Steve Elson (David Bowie’s go-to honker) drive it right to the hip side of town. But inside its feel-good groove and lighter lyrics lies some heavier socio-political commentary about what happens when neighborhoods change.
That subject has carried particular resonance with Faye since she moved to Austin and wound up in a tightknit community of musicians inhabiting an enclave of South Austin cottages. Not only did she title her 2009 debut album Wilson St. in honor of that spot, she galvanized a movement to save the historic cottages, leading a David-and-Goliath battle against a major real-estate developer. In addition to national coverage, her effort earned her much respect in a rapidly growing city struggling to preserve its heritage.
For her follow-up, 2011’s Travels with Charlie, Faye arranged an unconventional tour; instead of spending a little time in a lot of places, she spent a month in each of 10 cities, playing and recording with local musicians she befriended. Collaborators included Kenny Vaughan, Chris Scruggs, Malcolm Burn, Warren Storm, C.C. Adcock, Ian Moore, Sergio Mendoza and Calexico’s Joey Burns and John Convertino. That album reached No. 7 on the AMA airplay chart.
Clearly, she’s an achiever — a woman who has both great ideas and the determination it takes to make them real. Now she’s feeling an urge to band together with fellow retro-revivalists to share this sound with new audiences.
Yes, Charlie Faye is ready to launch another movement. An invitation across the nation. And the time is right … for dancing.
Not one to slow down, James Junius then recorded his second album of sparse, acoustic originals in November of the same year, producing “Aged Autumn Embers”. He is often compared to, “if Morrissey did vocals and Bon Iver did instrumentals for a musical project.” James Junius has no intentions of slowing down and plans to keep working at his current, break-neck speed to continue making the music he loves.
There aren't many young singer-songwriters whose words transcend generations and geography. At 22, James Junius writes songs that come from the heartland but resonate with all of us. Songs about love, home, hope and hopelessness - eternal and universal emotions never felt more strongly than today. James has a voice that can soothe, or rattle your bones. He deserves to be seen and heard!" - Terry Lickona, Executive producer, Austin City Limits
Basking in the amber light of Salt Lake City, 22-year-old James Junius has lived as a singer-songwriter since first picking up a guitar at the age of 11. Born and raised in a Mormon household, James found his spirituality beyond the usual formal religion in unconventional ways through the likes of The Who, James Taylor and Bill Fay. His music today melds Heartland Rock, Shoegaze and Ambient music in an attempt to portray the world as he sees it in the wild, frail west and the people he has met in various late night conversations out under the firmament.
He has begun the next chapter in his musical journey by relocating to Austin, Texas, recording his debut album, partnering with the long-time executive producer of television's Austin City Limits, and preparing to showcase his new music at SXSW in March, 2017.
3TEN Austin City Limits Live
310 Willie Nelson Blvd, Suite 1A
Austin, TX, 78701