The 33rd Austin Music Awards sponsored by the Austin Chronicle just announced a music lineup as good as any party lineup for the event which takes place during the South by Southwest (SXSW) music week. The show will be hosted by KUTX deejay Laurie Gallardo and Rick McNulty at the Austin Convention Center on March 18. Austin Chronicle music poll winners will be announced during the ceremony.
Texas Lone Star Laureate Billy Joe Shaver will open the festivities followed by a segment highlighting local Austin High alumni including Gary Clark Jr, Shakey Graves, Eve Monsees, Phranchyze, Suzanna Chofel, Elias Hanslager and Warren Hood. A set titled Viva La Diva will include current leading ladies; Gina Chavez, Nina Diaz, Jazz Mills, Sunny Sweeney, Carson McHone, Tameca Jones, and Dana Falconberry. Those performers alone would be worth the price of admission but there are more artists planned.
A memorial performance for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ian McLagan who passed away last year with his Bump Band, Alejandro Escovedo and Patty Griffin will take place. As is the tradition at the Austin Music Awards, surprise guests will join this segment of the show. Three of the four performances planned will be backed by the awards musical director Charlie Sexton and his band – Michael Ramos, Conrad Choucroun, and George Reiff.
“All these sets are born out of stories in the Chronicle,” noted Raoul Hernandez, longtime Music editor at the paper. “Billy Joe Shaver made a comeback album reiterating he and Willie Nelson as perhaps the two finest country & western songwriters this state ever produced. Our cover story on native son Shakey Graves found him strolling along East Sixth Street and running into fellow Austin High School alums Gary Clark Jr. and Phranchyze. Another cover concerned four generations of local female artists and thus prompted Viva la Diva. Finally, Ian McLagan’s smiling face out front of our masthead happened for all the wrong reasons, but those that knew him, loved him, and played with him correct that by making beautiful music for Mac with all of South by Southwest looking on.”
The Chronicle promises more surprise guest announcements. Two years ago the AMAs scored Bruce Springsteen who made a surprise appearance so you never know who will drop in. Ticket sales will benefit local musicians mental health group the Sims Foundation. SXSW badge and wristband holders will be admitted free. Advance tickets are available online and at Waterloo Records.