Waco’s proximity to Austin comes into play this week with the return of Austin’s South by Southwest Music Festival, the long-running and internationally acclaimed music festival that is a premier showcase for bands and musicians.
Over the next nine days, the Waco venues will host four shows featuring artists with ties to SXSW or Austin. It’s not South By, the nickname of the Austin festival, but maybe Waco By.
Friday’s free East Waco Music Fest held at Brotherwell Brewing will serve as a farewell to two Waco rappers heading to the festival this year, Pirscription (Payton Bryce) and WacoTron, and showcase other bands and artists from Waco in the Process, with Food and Brotherwell Beer Sale.
It’s kind of a rehash of what music advocates Keep Waco Loud, Creative Waco and the Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau planned two years ago in Austin to showcase the music of Waco and artists like Bryce. . Weeks of planning went up in smoke when SXSW organizers canceled the 2020 festival due to COVID-19 fears, just days before the Waco date. “I have a bit of PTSD from this cancellation,” laughed Katie Selman-Green of Keep Waco Loud.
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Friday’s music festival will feature Pirscription & Friends, WacoTron, J Soulja, Kam KT and DQ Hampton, DJ Precyse, The DiMaggios, Ben Atkins and the Tent Revival and American Merit. Doors open at 5 p.m. with music from DJ Matt At Home starting at 6 p.m.
Bryce attended SXSW for about seven years, but this time it’s different: he’s performing at The Smoke Out ATX’s official SXSW showcase and he and his supporters come armed with plenty of wristbands, flyers, t-shirts and credit cards. visit. “This time I will be networking and working with the network,” he explained. “I’m on the lookout for anything and everything.”
With a recently released album and SXSW opportunities to come, Bryce said 2022 means a step up in his game. “I feel like 2022 will be a learning year for me,” he said.
Selman-Green said Friday’s mini-fest will give Waco music fans a chance to sample and support local bands.
The Texas Music Cafe will dedicate its next two Saturday night shows at Nexus Esports, 600 Columbus Ave., to artists with ties to SXSW or Austin, though the strongest ties come with its March 19 show featuring Joshua Roberts. Trio from Houston and Tide- from Los Angeles. Eye – both of which have members with considerable ties to Waco.
Saturday’s show features well-known Waco-area musician John Dempsy, who recently moved to the Austin area, and Waco-based rock ‘n’ roll band Far From Reach. Texas Music Cafe founder and producer Chris Ermoian noted that the series in its 25th season offers Waco audiences the opportunity to see musical talent, much of it from Texas and Waco, perform live as it happens. as they are recorded for broadcast and digital distribution.
The March 19 show will bring together psychedelic rockers from LA Tide-Eye and rock from Houston’s Joshua Roberts Trio. Cannan Doty, 24, a native of Waco and a graduate of Midway High School, handles drum duties for Tide-Eye. He moved to Southern California five years ago, joining his current band, fronted by guitarist and vocalist Danny Lyons, last summer. Carter Woodson completes the trio on bass.
Although Doty can play guitar and other instruments, he is happy on drums. “It’s a lot of fun. The drums have always been my favorite,” he said in a phone interview from Los Angeles. The band are currently working on their third album, the first with Doty, and their journey to east with stops at the Texas Music Cafe and SXSW promises contact and exposure to new audiences. “It’s definitely a step forward for the band. SXSW and Texas Music Cafe are good springboards,” he said. declared.
Houston guitarist, songwriter and singer Joshua Roberts, who will open for the March 19 show, will bring his rock trio to town. Familiar Waco territory for the trio. Roberts and Caleb Jones first performed together in the band Waco Willis Brownstone in the early 2000s, with Jones joining Texas country singer-songwriter Wade Bowen’s band as bassist in 2008. The third and Roberts’ last album, “Lost & Found”, was Waco’s Chris Castaneda. , who founded the longtime Waco trio Pride & Joy and is now a fellow Houston musician. Roberts and Castaneda date their friendship and collaborations with a junior jazz band.
Chris Rivera rounds out the trio on drums and while he doesn’t have the Waco ties of Roberts and Jones, he has some impressive Texas music with a Grammy Award for his piece on the album “Viva La Revolucion by Ruben Ramos in 2009 and as a current player with Los TexManiacs.
Roberts has played largely in the Houston and Gulf Coast area since 2014. An accident damaged tendons in his left hand fingers in 2008, nearly ending his music career. Years of rehab, some of them playing bass in country music for artists such as Kristen Kelly and Josh Ward, helped him come back and he attributes his recovery to “good friends, God and music”.
Roberts’ Waco show will feature most of the eight songs from “Lost & Found.” “It’s a rock ‘n’ roll sound from three guys from Waco,” he said.
Another group from Los Angeles, the duo Junaco, will stop in Waco on Tuesday night for a Side Door to SXSW Tour show at Cultivate 7twelve. The duo of Shahana Jaffer, vocals and guitar, and Joey LaRosa, drums and guitar, met when they were students at the Los Angeles College of Music. They found they enjoyed writing music and performing together, eventually forming their own band, whose name is an amalgamation of a street from LaRosa’s childhood in Indiana and the month of a musical project who teamed up with the two. “We realized when we started playing shows we had to give it a name,” Jaffer said.
Jaffer’s warm, sweet voice is behind their sound, which she describes as “breezy and chill” and which he calls “laid-back rock”. Atmospheric also comes to mind, and that description almost came true in their EP “Blue Room,” their pandemic-era collaboration with 3D artist Hyoyon Paik. A friend’s architecture book, coupled with a pandemic shutdown that prevented them from performing in person, sparked the project. The three created songs with an environment in mind, then created a virtual digital space that reflected that meaning. “We were thinking, ‘How does the space make me feel? What does the song make me feel?’” she said.
Their performances in Waco and SXSW, however, will be in real space and time.