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Two Tons of Steel

Fri, January 24 / 7 PM

Online tickets sales end at 5 PM on the day of the show!

The San Antonio-based group packed the small bars and local hangouts and quickly became the Alamo City’s most-loved band, earning them a spot on the cover of Billboard Magazine in 1996. It was the beginning of a twenty year journey for Geil and the 4-piece ensemble.
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Sheila Marshall

Fri, January 24 / 930 PM

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Considering her humble raisin' on the Louisiana border in the tiny East Texas town of Nacogodoches, it should come as no surprise that Sheila Marshall's earliest — and fondest — musical memories are firmly rooted in the Three C's: church and classic country. "My parents had a really bad divorce, and I lived with my mom in a trailer park for pretty much my whole life, so the church I went to was kind of an escape," she recalls. "It was a small church, but the music had a lot of soul, and I just loved it. I think that was a huge influence on me. But I have to say that my mom really influenced me, too, because she was a big fan of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Loretta, all that stuff. And that's what we did on Friday and Saturday nights: listen to those albums over and over and over ...

"I think I knew every Patsy Cline song that was ever made," she adds with a laugh. "And I mean, all the words."

In fact, she likely still knows them all — and odds are she could probably still sing the everl-iving hell out of a gospel hymn, too. But as Marshall makes clear from minute-one on her new album, Good to Be Me, somewhere along the way that little stay-at-home-on-Saturday-nights choirgirl took a giant bite out of the devil's apple and grew up to be a bona fide badass rock 'n' roll gypsy. Or come to think of it, maybe that Sheila was inside of her all along, just waiting for the right time to break free. Because there's just something about the ultra-confident way this woman can sing a line like "I was born for trouble and trouble is all I'll be" over a snaky slide guitar groove that rings righteously true. Just ask Ray Wylie Hubbard, a man who knows more than a little about such things.

"Sheila Marshall has compelling songs, a delicious cool voice, and fire and soul," affirms the renowned Americana artist and songwriter's songwriter, sealing his approval with two little words that tell you all you really need to know about Marshall's credentials as Hubbard-certified, grade A Real Deal: "I dig."

Mind, there's also the fact that Hubbard himself happened to co-produce Marshall's new record — and also had a hand in co-writing two of its most indelibly profane and wickedly assertive songs, "Watch Me Move" and the "Ain't Gonna Cuss Your Name Anymore." But as unmistakable as that patented Ray Wylie "grit 'n' groove" imprint may be, Good to Be Me is first and foremost Marshall's record through and through: equal measures sassy and soulful, sacred and sexy, with Faces-worthy swagger to spare and uncompromising spirit to its bluesy core. And although it's not the first album she's ever made — counting EPs and side projects, it's actually her seventh — it's arguably the first one to capture the full rafter-rattling force of both her powerhouse voice and her un-compromised artistic vision.


"I hate to say this, because I wish it had been this way throughout my whole career, but I feel like I really had more control on this one than I did on any other album I've ever made," says Marshall. "I mean, a lot of times in the past, I had producers say to me, 'That's never going to be on the radio; it's good, but it's not mainstream, so why waste your time and money recording it?' And so more often than not we'd end up going in a different direction for whatever songs or ideas I had in mind, and although I do like the other stuff I've done, it was never exactly what I wanted. But with this one, from the very beginning I was like, 'I don't care about being mainstream or whatever; this is how I want it to sound!' — and people actually listened to me!"


Now, in fairness to all that aforementioned "other stuff" that comprises her back catalog, it's not like Marshall's artistic trajectory up until this point was ever characterized by missteps. By any objective standard, her career as an independent songwriter and recording artist has been successful from the get-go. She started out playing in a rock 'n' roll band while still attending Stephen F. Austin State University (on a music scholarship) in her hometown, but quit both the band and her studies after three years to try her luck in the nearest big (BIG) city. With hindsight, she admits to sometimes regretting the whole dropping-out-of-college decision, but the move and commitment to pursuing music full-time paid off remarkably quickly. Within three months of arriving in Houston, she landed her first of what would soon be many overseas gigs. "I played a club in Japan, booked by a Japanese promoter who had seen me in Houston, and then I played for the military over there as well," says Marshall, who in the 20 years since has performed for troops stationed all over the world, including Iraq and Kuwait. She stayed plenty busy closer to home, too; in 2004, she was a Top 10 finalist on the second season of Nashville Star, performing two of her original songs on national TV, and then went on to spend the next several years building a loyal Texas (and beyond) fanbase on the strength of her 2005 full-lengh debut, Makes Perfect Sense, and its 2009 follow-up, What If I Was.


The latter album also marked the beginning of what would be a near-decade-long musical partnership with producer Kyle Cook, best known as the guitarist for the multi-platinum ’90s hit machine Matchbox 20. After making What If I Was together, they went on to form Rivers & Rust, a duo project marrying Marshall's bluesy Texas honky-tonk/roadhouse soul and Cook's affinity for mainstream pop-rock. It was an intriguing experiment that yielded enough sparks to fuel one eponymous album and a pair of successful tours, including a 2017 run opening for Matchbox 20 and Counting Crows that found Marshall playing in front of some of the largest audiences of her life. But it ultimately wasn't built to last.


"It was fun, but we're just very different," explains Marshall. "It was the kind of thing where you know, it works, but it doesn't work. In the end, he basically wanted to take everything into even more of a pop band direction, and I was like, 'I don't want to do that.'"


What she did want, on the other hand, was the opportunity to work more with Hubbard — both as a longtime fan of his decidedly non-mainstream aesthetic and of the kindred spirit connection she'd felt with the legend the first time they wrote together, two years ago. "At the time we were trying to write songs for Rivers & Rust, but they ended up being more my style than that band's style," she says. "I just always liked that gritty, swampy, whatever-you-would-call-it style he has, and I've always written songs in that vein myself — but then I'd get to the studio and again, people would invariably be like, 'Oh, we need to change that up a little ...' But from the first time that I ever sat down to write with Ray, it just felt like, 'This guy gets what I'm really after!'"


Marshall admits with a laugh that Hubbard's approach to producing, eschewing fussy perfectionism and polish in favor of a raw, almost primal immediacy, initially took some getting used to. "When I worked with Kyle, I would usually have to sing a song like, 20 times, just to get it perfect," she recalls. "But wih Ray, you go in there and sing one take and he's like, 'You're done!' And at first I'd be like, 'wait, what?!' But he's really good at just making you feel comfortable the whole time you're in the studio, and it turned out to be really refreshing to work like that."


As quickly as that process moved things along, though, their work at The Zone Recording Studio (nestled in the Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin) was paused halfway through the tracking of Good to Be Me when Marshall had to leave for what would be her last Rivers & Rust tour. By the time she got back to Texas five months laer, Hubbard was out on the road himself, so Marshall and her husband, rhythm guitarist Scott Steinsiek, ended up finishing the production themselves. But thanks to the invaluable assistance from A-list Austin multi-instrumentalist Jeff Plankenhorn and drummer/Zone engineer Pat Manske, they were able to pick up right where they had left off — with that lowdown, gnarly vibe very much still in play, even on the handful of brand new songs Marshall brought to the table after the break: "Feels Good to Be Me," "What Do You Pray For," "Mysterious Ways," and "Hallelujah."


And no, those last two are not covers.


"I actually sent 'Hallelujah' to Ray, even after I found out he wasn't going to be able to come back in, just to get his take on it, and he said, 'Be careful — everyone's going to think it's Leonard Cohen, so you might want to use another word ...'" she recalls with a laugh. "But I was like, 'I don't think I can think of another word to use!'"


Needless to say, she left the lyric unchanged — further testament to her determination from the get-go to keep Good to Be Me 100-percent true to her own gut instincts. And truth be told, Hubbard likely would have done the same had he written the song himself, or at the very least grinned in proud, knowing approval had he still been at the production helm when Marshall stubbornly threw his one note of cautionary advice to the wind. Because as Hubbard knows better than anyone, true rock 'n' roll gypsies and dangerous spirits — especially those reveling in their first taste of complete artistic freedom — don't play things safe. Dig it.

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Pat Byrne

Sat, January 25 / 7 PM

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An Irishman who’s at least temporarily relocated to Austin this year, Byrne has quickly become an artist that everyone who goes out to hear music regularly in Austin needs to catch. The guess here is that he’ll be playing far larger rooms before long; he’s too good of a songwriter, and singer, to not reach his level.” — Peter Blackstock - Austin American Statesman


Irish Americana, by turns rollicking and resonating, that’s driven by his gruff growl of a voice — suggest that he’s one to keep an eye on.” — Stuart Munro, The Boston Globe


“Pat Byrne, “Rituals.” Released late last year, this seven-song set from the Irish singer-songwriter was recorded partly in Austin with Rich Brotherton (whose credits include extensive work with renowned Scottish expat Ed Miller). Some tracks were recorded in Ireland as well, with Brotherton mixing in his Austin studio. 


The raspy melodic soul of Byrne’s voice recalls the emotional spells the late Austin troubadour Jimmy LaFave used to cast, though Byrne’s songwriting bears a more distinctive Irish stamp. He’s more contemporary than strict traditionalists, putting him more in the league of Glen Hansard or Luka Bloom, perhaps; yet at times he conjures a deeply old-school feel — especially on the spectacular “Hills of Killedmond,” which features Irish legend Kevin Burke on fiddle. ” — Peter Blackstock - Austin American Statesman

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Shelley King

Sat, January 25 / 930 PM

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Superlative, powerhouse, smart and savvy are only a few of the adjectives used to describe Shelley King, who is debuting her 9th album, Kick Up Your Heels. 

 

The blues, roots-rock, gospel singer stands out in the crowd as an award-winning songwriter, steeped in Americana music. Born in Arkansas, and raised back and forth between Arkansas and Texas, Shelley has surrounded herself with A-list mentors from Marcia Ball to John Magnie and Delbert McClinton. 

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Open Mic

Mon, January 27 / 630 PM

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No cover charge.


This little gem might be a bit easily overlooked in Houston’s typical bar scene, but that’s because it’s an entirely different kind of place. McGonigel’s Mucky Ducky is an Irish pub that features a very popular open mic night every Monday at 7 p.m. (sign up by 6:30 p.m.) You’ll hear plenty of folk, country and acoustic renditions by performers that spent their afternoon in classes at Rice or a long day at the office. Not only does the pub feature an impressive array of live music almost every night, but the Mucky Duck has been listed by Billboard Magazine as one of the 20 best acoustic venues in the country. - CBS HOUSTON


The Duck stage is open for you to present your original compositions or a favorite song made famous by someone else. 


Comedians, poets, jugglers and mimes also welcome.


Don't be shy. Come on out ~ It's your turn to be a Mucky Duck Open Mic Star.


Each performer has 3 songs or 15 minutes for their performance. 

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Lost Austin Band

Tue, January 28 / 730 PM

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Cosmic Austin: that edgy intersection where the best of the Texas songwriters meets Folk-Rock & Roll. And who was there for a lot of it, who helped make that music and who continues that tradition with their own songs and the iconic tunes of that time?


The Lost Austin Band, that's who!


If you've heard the music of Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Martin Murphey, Rusty Wier, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Willis Alan Ramsey, B.W. Stevenson, the Lost Gonzo Band and other song-oriented Texas artists, then you've heard the music of The Lost Austin Band.


Today’s Americana and Texas country artists owe a debt of gratitude to the stalwarts of what the media of the day called “Progressive Country.” All members of the Texas Music Legends Hall of Fame, Bob Livingston, Bill Browder, Dave Moerbe, Patterson Barrett, Ernie Gammage, and Craig D. Hillis return to their musical roots as The Lost Austin Band with the songs and stories that created this special time in Texas’s musical history. It’s quite a trip!

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Game Night - Irish Session

Wed, January 29 / 730 PM

What is it about Wednesday?


Wednesday is Game Night at the Duck.   What is Game Night, you may ask? 

It's an informal night of fun, no reservations, no cover charge, just come on by.

We put out our collection of board games like Checkers, Backgammon, Monopoly, Risk, Jeopardy, Operation, Clue, Trivial Pursuit etc, (or you are welcome to bring your favorite) and folks bring their families and friends to have a bite and play games. 


In keeping with the spirit of Game Night, you can roll the dice and try your luck.  Roll any combination that equals four, or  two fours, and your entree will be on the house.  


Wednesday is also Irish Session Night at the Duck which usually starts around 7:30pm

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Joe Ely

Thu, January 30 / 7 PM

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Joe Ely blew in from out of West Texas like a blue norther 50 years ago and changed the sound of Texas music.  Born in the Panhandle, raised in Lubbock, and a key player in the emergence of Austin as a music capital, Ely has created a life’s work of singing, songwriting, playing guitar, performing, leading a band, swapping songs in guitar pulls, telling stories in songs and in prose about rambling around a larger-than-life world. 

Leading a band that reinvented honky tonk music in Lubbock in the mid 1970s, then inventing a whole ‘nother kind of Texas rock and roll while spearheading a wave of songwriters articulating the progressive country sound that put Austin on the map as the alternative Nashville, Joe Ely screams Texas.


It’s all here: the Flatlanders, the folk trio formed in 1970 with Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore that tried and failed to make a dent in Nashville in 1972, only to be “rediscovered” in the late 1990s;  the Joe Ely Band with steel guitarist Lloyd Maines, guitarist Jesse Taylor, and accordionist Ponty Bone that created their own synthesis of honky-tonk, western swing, and rock and roll;  subsequent live ensembles featuring guitarists David Grissom and David Holt and guest stints from  West Texas sax legend Bobby Keys whenever he wasn’t playing with the Rolling Stones; working as a duo with the classical flamenco guitarist, Teye; becoming a distinctive borderlands troubadour through his collaborations with conjunto accordionist Joel Guzman; taking home a Grammy as part of the Tex-Mex supergroup, Los Super Seven, along with Los Lobos, Freddy Fender, and Doug Sahm.


With 26 albums to his credit, he was declared the State Musician of Texas by the Texas Legislature in 2016. He’s shared microphones with Linda Ronstadt, the Clash, the Crickets, Waylon Jennings, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, David Byrne, and the Chieftains. He’s swapped songs with Guy Clark, John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett, and Robert Earl Keen in songwriting circles, while continuing to tour and record with Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore in the Flatlanders, and with their Lubbock mentor Terry Allen.

Music is only part of the mix. Ely has authored the books Bonfire of Roadmaps and Reverb and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. He’s acted in the theatrical musical Chippy. His drawings, collages, prints, and paintings have been exhibited nationally. He’s earned his reputation as a genuine storyteller. 


Within all these media are larger-than-life tales filled with characters too unreal to make up – The Crazy Lemon, CB Stubblefield – Stubb of Stubb’s BBQ, Little Pete the Midget, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, and Norman Odam, aka The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, the Lubbock artist behind the World’s Worst Record “Paralyzed.”  From a shark in a bathtub to picking up Townes Van Zandt hitchhiking across Lubbock to letting Townes and his songwriting running buddy Blaze Foley backstage at Aqua Fest to see what kind of trouble they could stir up,  Joe Ely has seen it all and managed to sing about a whole lot of what he’s experienced. 

Come on in, look around, and sit a spell.

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Madeline Edwards

Thu, January 30 / 930 PM

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With singles such as “Wait by the Line”, “Killin Me”, and an EP released in 2016 titled “Light Out,” Madeline is always emulating the challenge to be real through vulnerability and passion. 


Madeline has worked with the Houston Symphony as well as opened up for American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, played at South by Southwest, opened up for Houston rap artist, Tobe Nwigwe, and performed at the 2018 NBA playoffs.


MADELINE EDWARDS DROPS HER SECOND SINGLE,“MIRROR” OFF UPCOMING SEVEN-SONG ALBUM

Houston musician debuts emotional ballad that touches on standards of beauty and the impact on mental health for women in today’s society 


WHO: Madeline Edwards has released the second song, “Mirror,” off of her seven-song album “Made” which is scheduled to hit all streaming platforms November 2019.


WHEN: The song and accompanying music video was released Thursday, August 1. This new single comes on the heels of Edwards’ first song released off of the album, “Tryna Make Sense,” which debuted on May 2nd. The remaining songs on the album will release one by one each month until the album launch in the fall, each accompanied with a full music video.


WHAT: “Mirror” is the powerhouse ballad of the entire album. What is an emotional experience for the listener was also an extremely powerful journey for those that created the story and the video. “Mirror” takes the listener through the journey of a women in present day society – feeling trapped by trying to be someone she’s not and maintain societal standards of beauty; thus neglecting her emotional and mental well-being. The words and story of the song bring awareness to this challenge that many women face each and every day. The music video was produced by Madeline herself along with her team of talented creatives and visionaries.


WHAT IS BEING SAID: “This song is the best I’ve ever written,” says Madeline Edwards. “The video is conceptually appealing and so emotionally artistic. Multiple times on set, myself and the crew would tear up while creating these scenes. Too often, women try to be something they’re not and lose themselves in the process, and I wanted to convey that in a really powerful way. I am so excited for everyone to experience this story.”