Announcing the 2011 No Depression SXSW Showcase Lineup
Come mid-March, we’ll be heading back down to Austin, TX, for the annual behemoth festival of music industry mayhem better known as South by Southwest. Once again, we’ll be throwing a showcase featuring some of the year’s finest roots/alternative/country/Americana/whatever artists around. If you’re heading to Austin too, be sure to mark your schedule for Thursday, March 17, 2011, at the Soho Lounge on 6th St. The lineup for this year’s ND Showcase is as follows:
8 PM – ZOE MUTH (Seattle, WA)
Since arriving on the Ballard Ave. scene a few years ago, Zoe Muth has become one of Seattle’s finest Americana exports. Her country roots come straight out of Western Washington, and her music has been compared to the likes of John Prine and Iris DeMent. She has a rather remarkable new record due on Signature Sounds in April, and will no doubt be opening this night with some of those great new tunes.
9 PM – COBIRDS UNITE (Seattle, WA)
Also from Seattle, this collaborative effort from Rusty Willoughby (Pure Joy) and Rachel Flotard (Visqueen) comes after a history of great rock records from both. Together, though, Willoughby and Flotard create a lower-fi sound which is driven heavily by their perfectly suited harmonies and Willoughby’s simple, direct lyrics. The band includes other musicians of note Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) and Johnny Sangster (renowned producer) making this a Seattle super group of sorts.
10 pm – OR, THE WHALE (San Francisco, CA)
At seven members, San Francisco’s Or, the Whale is a rather large band, but their sound is hardly a crowded cacophony. Instead, they rely heavily on richly layered vocals and a ripping rhythm section. They’re just as capable of ripping a Neil Young-style rock tune or pulling it back on a stripped-down acoustic number.
11 pm – EILEN JEWELL (Cambridge, MA)
Eilen Jewell’s 2010 tribute to Loretta Lynn (Butcher Holler) was well-loved by many in the No Depression community, and wound up on a number of readers’ year-end lists. Perhaps that was due to her uniquely smooth vocals or the particularly tight musicianship of her backing band (or both). Regardless, Jewell’s music has certainly become a force in the Americana world.
12 AM – PONDEROSA (Atlanta, GA)
Ponderosa’s particular brand of southern rock sounds like someone threw a little AC/DC into the Creedence Clearwater Revival. You’d be hard-pressed to not get on your feet and move, for example, when they bust into “Old Gin Road” – the tune which opens their 2011 release Moonlight Revival.
1 AM – J RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS (Baltimore, MD)
Speaking of unleashing your moves, we couldn’t think of any better way to end this night than with the piano-driven groove rock of J Roddy Walston & the Business. They ride that fine line between nostalgia and innovation, pulling in elements of soul, roots, rock, and blues for music that’s just downright cool.