Wonderland Weds, Austin’s SXSW Approaches

Facebook friends and fans were able to follow the wedding day of Austin’s Carolyn Wonderland long-distance. The locally popular blues and roots artist married A. Whitney Brown of “Saturday Night Live” and more recently “Daily Show” fame on Friday, March 4. The a ceremony was on Doug Sahm Hill in Austin’s Butler Park. They were married by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees fame, who became ordained as a mail-order minister to officiate. The duo met at one of Nesmith’s Video Ranch concerts about a year ago when Wonderland performed and Brown was the master of ceremonies. "We wouldn't have met without him, so it seemed the most appropriate," Wonderland said in press statements. Earlier in the week Wonderland eloquently posted to Facebook “I am marrying A. Whitney Brown, the man of my dreams and waking life.” Facebook friends including renowned Austin photographer Todd Wolfson posted photos of the pair, beautifully dressed in white for the occasion and, more importantly, beaming with happiness. SXSW Ramping Up Those heading to Austin for SXSW next week have plenty of live music options. One don’t-miss roots event is the 11th Annual Guitartown/Conqueroo kick-off party on March 16, co-hosted by Los Angeles roots publicist Cary Baker. The party takes place this year at The Dogwood, 715 West 6th St. The Guitartown/Conqueroo party joins the many unofficial events, free and open to the public, that have sprung up around the monster music extravaganza. The day-long Guitartown/Conqueroo event includes performances by Jon Dee Graham and his new project, The Hobart Brothers & Lil’ Sis Hobart (Graham, Freedy Johnston and Susan Cowsill) plus Graham’s Austin quartet. Also performing are artists like Kevin Welch, Syd Straw, Ian Moore, Slaid Cleaves, The Hotclub of Cowtown and The Silos. SXSWblog.sched.org offers the promise of creating your own virtual SXSW schedule and Austin360.com also offers a compilation of listings. Longtime Austin musician John Jordan, notable to Midwest listeners for his long stint as bassist with the Chris Duarte Group, is among the artists promoting a special Million Musicians March For Peace and rally at 3 p.m. on March 19 outside the Austin state capital. Carolyn Wonderland, Sara Hickman, Eliza Gilkyson, Guy Forsyth and Michael Fracasso are among many artists scheduled to participate. “Be an instrument for peace” is one of the group’s mottoes. Find out more at instrumentsforpeace.org. Brostad in Austin Speaking of Austin, former Omaha musician Cass Brostad has been landing plenty of gigs in the city since moving there after Thanksgiving. She’s won regular solo slots at established venues like The Hole in the Wall and Momo’s and has formed a band called TigerMega. They recently played for Balcony TV in Austin, and their performance is now available for viewing online at balconytv.com/v/tigermega. Music fans need to look up BalconyTV.com, which offers live and recorded performances and interviews from balconies all over the world. It’s one more way cool music can go viral. Nebraska Blues Challenge Deadline Bands must submit entry forms to the Blues Society of Omaha by March 15 for the first Nebraska Blues Challenge. See omahablues.com for entry forms and rules. Visit blues.org for more on the Blues Foundation and the International Blues Challenge. This showcase and competition gives many promising regional bands a springboard to the national spotlight. The winner of the Nebraska Blues Challenge will represent the BSO in the 28th International Blues Challenge in Memphis from Jan. 31 through Feb. 4, 2012. 21st Amendment Needs You Music at The 21st Amendment Saloon, formerly The New Lift Lounge, at 96th and L, continues on a trial basis. The new owners are basing any long-term commitment to the early Thursday shows on audience support. Former owner and Blues Society of Omaha president Terry O’Halloran remains involved with booking the bands; so as O’Halloran often says, “Get out and get into it” if you want these shows to continue. On Thursday, March 10, catch one of the most applauded female blues guitarists, Debbie Davies. On Thursday, March 17, get ready for the Louisiana party sounds of the horn-heavy and guitar-driven Josh Garrett & The Bottomline. World-famous horn band Roomful of Blues hits the stage Thursday, March 24. Thursday shows begin at 5:30 p.m. Hot Notes Willie Nelson plays the Orpheum on Friday, March 11. The Brad Cordle Band gigs at the Old Market’s Havana Garage Cigar Bar on Friday, March 11. Kansas blues-rockers The Terry Quiett Band open for Keller Williams at the Whiskey Roadhouse on Friday, March 11. (See 8 Days). The Terry Quiett Band also plays Your Mom’s Downtown Bar (formerly Downtown Blues) on Saturday, March 12. Dana Cooper plays The Folkhouse on Saturday, March 12. See FolkHouseConcerts.com. You can get your green on early and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with free music at Louis Bar in Benson on Saturday, March 12. Headliners are acoustic guitarist George Burl and the mighty fine Travelling Mercies from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. See LouisBar.com for the full schedule.

posted at 11:58 am
on Friday, March 11th, 2011

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