BMI, the leading performing right organization, is proud to present and sponsor a stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival September 14-16, in Austin, Texas. The namesake of the long-running PBS series, ACL fittingly invades the Live Music Capital of the World each year with eight stages and a myriad of the world's finest live performers. Over the festival's three-day stint in Zilker Park, BMI's stage will showcase an enticing line-up of auspicious up-and-comers and renowned singer/songwriters.
- Jeffrey Steele
- Patterson Hood
- Adam Hood
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
A 15-year-old Sahara Smith placed second in A Prairie Home Companion's "12 to 20" talent contest; now 18, the Austinite's forlorn voice cries, seduces and whispers, wrapping itself around her ageless lyrics.
Alabama's Adam Hood released Pete Anderson-produced Different Groove in May 2007 -- a collection of truckstop poetry parlayed into soul-swaggering roots rock by Hood's rich vocals.
Amy LaVere's tiny frame juxtaposed with her train-chugging upright bass and smoky vocals creates a definitively sui generis combo, aptly displayed on the Memphis girl's blithe sophomore album, Anchors and Anvils.
Lake Worth, Florida native John Ralston's Needle Bed (Vagrant Records) features lush pop arrangements and melancholy vocals that sound more Transatlantic than Southern. The troubadour will spend most of the Fall opening for Dashboard Confessional.
The New York Times called San Diego-based Louis XIV "very sexy and really glam" while Blender praised the group's "catchy send-up of retro-rock sleaze;" the group is hitting the road with the Killers this fall.
- Amy LaVere
- Mario Matteoli
- Jennifer Niceley
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
Youthfully exuberant Austin quartet The Steps swim in self-imposed '60s British rock exile, venturing out every now and again to nod towards post-punk exuberance.
Former Weary Boy Mario Matteoli's solo work reveals an introspective yarn spinner, and prompted the Austin-American Statesman to proclaim Matteoli's debut, Hard Luck Hittin', "would make his songwriting idols Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt proud."
CARY ANN HEARST & The Gun Street Girls
South Carolina's Cary Ann Hearst takes ghosts and angels from her native South and channels them into cogent lyrics; her musky voice plays nicely with her country, blues and punk-tinged combo, resulting in raucous treats.
TRENT SUMMAR & The New Rob Mob
Trent Summar's farm rock smirks at expectations and the status quo; whether penning Jack Ingram's brassy single "Love You" or belting out his own "Pink John Deere," the native Tennessean packs an inimitable punch with every syllable.
While 2003 BMI Country Songwriter of the Year Jeffrey Steele churns out hits dipped in twang for mainstream country stars like Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw, his own live sets reveal an energetic performer who rocks against the grain instead of growin' it.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Tennessee native Jennifer Niceley's voice huskily combs through her dreamy reflections and intimate poetry set to a soothing balance of country and jazz, while sultry attitude simmers just below the surface of her beguiling tunes.
Australian chanteuse Kara Grainger's moody debut Grand and Green River features ace players who've worked with Stevie Wonder and Jackson Browne, among others, plus a duet with Amos Lee, but newcomer Grainger's smoky vocals serenely claim the spotlight. Several tracks from the album are featured on Starbucks stores' in-house programming.
Rock guru Robert Christgau has called Patterson Hood a "new master of the vanishing art of literal, narrative songwriting," thanks to songs exploring themes like heartbreak and organ transplants; in short, the Drive-By Truckers front man embraces the life's quirks and imaginative pitfalls.
Antone's Records artist Guy Forsyth crafts lyrics that exhale and meander through cantankerous melodies; poetically organic and decisively Austin, Forsyth's blues are worth catching.
The Austin City Limits Music Festival is produced by C3 and Capital Sports & Entertainment. For more information on ACL, please visit www.aclfestival.com.