Austin-based indie rock singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Walker Lukens has been called ‘one of the best songwriters in Texas’ (Free Press Houston). In 2013, he released his first full length record, Devoted, which received widespread praise and saw Lukens and his backing band, The Side Arms, touring all over the U.S. After meeting Spoon drummer Jim Eno in a bar, Walker & The Side Arms started recording new music with him in his studio, including “Every Night” and “Lifted” (from the EP Never Understood).
The musical collective Antibalas (Spanish for bullet-proof / anti-bullets) was conceived in Mexico City and born in Brooklyn in 1998. Inspired by the musical architecture and language of afrobeat, Antibalas incorporates elements of jazz, funk, dub, improvised music, and traditional drumming from Cuba and West Africa. Antibalas has frequently collaborated with diverse artists, from Public Enemy to serving as Carnegie Hall’s house band for their “Music of” series, including events for David Byrne & the Talking Heads, Paul Simon and Aretha Franklin. The Antibalas horn section has also performed with The Roots, Santigold, Alabama Shakes, and The String Cheese Incident, as well as on Grammy award-winning albums by Angelique Kidjo and Mark Ronson. Antibalas has recorded five studio albums, with their sixth expected to drop in mid-2017.
A tireless touring outfit, Boston roots rockers the Adam Ezra Group (AEG) are dedicated to creating music with a purpose, devoting their time and proceeds to local charities. The group, made up of lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Adam Ezra, Alex Martin on drums, Turtle on percussion, Corinna Smith on fiddle, Francis Hickey on bass, and Josh Gold on keys, do everything they can to deliver inspired performances that connect with fans. Together they create a powerful, inclusive community around AEG shows that is as much a social-movement, as it is a fan-base.
Since their formation in 2010, Milwaukee-based folk band Dead Horses have cultivated a soulful roots sensibility well beyond their years due in part to the powerful musical and literary force that is their frontwoman and songwriter, Sarah Vos. Raised on Bible hymns by her preacher father, Vos' backstory sounds more like that of an old bluesman from the Mississippi Delta than a young folk singer from Wisconsin. Despite their youth, Dead Horses have crafted a timeless sound, informed as much by early-American prose à la Whitman, as it is modern Americana music.
Most new music you’ll listen to this year is about innovating – putting something out that hasn’t been done before. But The National Reserve from Brooklyn nails a different, paradoxical kind of innovation – one that finds an authentic new way to honor the bedrock of much of today’s music. And when you see it happening live, you see the sound of that foundation lending its power to the present with a straight face, dressed in a jean vest with a peace sign on the back, pouring out of a jovial long-haired man who somehow took the L train to the show from 1968.
DJ Set, All Day Long
Vinyl Ranch is a country music lifestyle brand known for its DJ dance parties and honky tonk apparel. Since 2007, the Houston based crew have been mixing up the best of 60s to 90s classic country records from dive bars to music festivals. Vinyl Ranch has produces regular country music events in New York City, Houston, Austin and Nashville while sharing the stage with Hank Williams Jr., Lyle Lovett, Asleep At The Wheel, Robert Earl Keen, Jeff Bridges, Jack Ingram and more.
DJ Set, All Day Long
Dubbed the Temptress of Twang, Amira spins classic country music on WKCR's Tennessee Border Show. When she isn't playing dusty discs on the radio, she's digging for them at her favorite record stores.