Texas troubadour with the heart of a Honky-Tonk Hero

Dallas Burrow

"One of Texas' most compelling young artists." — Doug Freeman, Austin Chronicle

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If acting had been his calling rather than music, it’s not hard to imagine Dallas Burrow being a lead on Yellowstone or even landing a plumb gig as the big screen’s next Superman. But to hear the native Texan sing in that gravelly baritone voice of his that could have held its own in a round with Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash — and what’s more, to hear him singing the kind of quality originals that reveal both a keen study of his home state’s greatest songwriting heroes and the kind of honest integrity that only comes from hard-earned, first-hand experience — and it’s clear that this man was born to be a honky-tonk poet troubadour. But after spending his twenties touring relentlessly, building a career on both sides of the Atlantic supporting his 2019 debut, Southern Wind, Burrow began missing the stability of life back in his native New Braunfels. Rather than pack away his guitar for good, though, he just refocused his muse and craft on matters closer to hearth, home, and heart. His second album, 2021’s Dallas Burrow — produced by modern-day Texas legend Bruce Robison — marked both a symbolic and literal homecoming, with songs about embracing maturity, newfound sobriety, and the responsibilities of family life. Those themes carry over onto his third album, Blood Brothers, which he recorded with Jonathan Tyler. “On this record, I wanted to tell the story of my musical roots, starting with my dad and his influence as a songwriter and the artists he raised me on: Townes, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, and Willis Alan Ramsey,” he explains. “I also wanted to tell the story of my own personal journey and reframe for myself what it means to be a singer-songwriter.”

Award-winning country songwriter turned soulful roots music troubadour

Chuck Cannon

Writer/co-writer of No. 1 hits including "I Love the Way You Love Me," "How Do You Like Me Now?," and "American Soldier"

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Greenville, South Carolina native Chuck Cannon moved to Nashville in 1984, signed his first publishing deal four years later, and five years after that had his first No. 1 chart topper under his belt — and an Academy of Country Music “Song of the Year” award, to boot. The song was “I Love the Way You Love Me,” co-written with Victoria Shaw and fortuitously recorded by John Michael Montgomery on his 1992 debut album. After that, the Cannon-penned hits kept coming, including several of country superstar Toby Keith’s best-known anthems (“Me Too,” “How Do You Like Me Now?,” and “American Soldier”) and other songs recorded by Wynonna Judd, Lonestar, and Cannon’s own beloved wife, singer-songwriter Lari White (who passed away from cancer in 2018). But although his songs as recorded by other artists racked up more than 25 million plays at radio, by Cannon’s own admission it wasn’t until he “started making up songs for myself” that he really started to hit his true artistic stride, eschewing the mainstream in favor of the more roots-music path of an independent troubadour raised on classic country, rhythm ’n’ blues, rock ’n’ roll, and gospel. He released his first album, Mailbox Money, in 1999, followed by God Shaped Hole in 2006, Love and Money in 2008, Symphony of Scars in 2012, and most recently, Machine in 2018.  

A joyous mix of Latin, rock, and world music!

Del Castillo Trio

"Infectious Latin rhythms with mind-boggling solos." — Guitar Player Magazine

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Del Castillo is a cross-cultural power uniting music lovers of all ages, creeds and colors. Their original music blends rock, Latin, blues, and world music into a cinematic celebration of sound that lifts your soul. It started with the Del Castillo brothers collaborating with friends on a recording that was initially intended as a gift to their family members for the holiday season — but the magic was so undeniable that what was originally intended to be a one-off affair ended up launching one of the most exciting bands to come out of Texas in decades. They’ve since amassed 18 awards including two Austin Music Awards wins for “Album of the Year,” SXSW’s “Band of the Year” (2003) and ASCAP’s “Best Independent Group of the Year” (2005), and had their music featured in such films as Robert Rodriguez’ Once Upon A Time In Mexico and Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill II. As a full band, they can whip a packed club or festival crowd into a joyous frenzy — and that energy comes across just as powerfully when the group is pared down to a lean-and-mean trio of the two Del Castillo brothers and Ruiz, an ultra-charismatic frontman who could give the dynamic likes of Bono or Mick Jagger a run for their rock superstar money even when seated in front of a listening room crowd. The Del Castillo Trio made such an amazing first impression with their Bugle Boy debut in the summer of 2022 that we couldn’t wait to bring them back just three months later. Now coming back for their fourth time, Mark and Rick Del Castillo and Alex Ruiz are pretty much officially part of the Bugle Boy family!

A big THANK YOU to the Texas Commission on the Arts and National Endowment For The Arts for assisting with funding for this program.

Indie rock, pop, and folk with classical influences

Amy Atchley

"Her songs rumble with emotion." — New York Times

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Austin-based singer-songwriter Amy Atchley was born and raised in the Houston/Galveston, area but spent years honing her skills in the Big Apple at legendary venues like CBGB’s Gallery, the Bitter End, and the Living Room. A graduate of the University of Texas’ School of Music, Atchley draws upon a number of influences ranging from classical musings of Elly Ameling to the raw-edged provocation of PJ Harvey. Her fifth album, last year’s Sometimes a Woman is King, was recorded in the Hill Country with producer Robert Harrison of Austin’s Cotton Mather. The songs were written on piano and/or guitar, which serve as the record’s backbone to support Atchley’s signature ethereal and incandescent vocals, giving the music a moody, yet irresistible vibe.

Spirt-raising folk and gut-wrenching blues delivered with powerful gospel/soul vocal chops!

Kristy Lee

"An Alabama girl full of emotion, who's acoustic guitar and rich vocals prove she is as passionate as Aretha Franklin circa soul '69." — Ultra Underground (Australia)

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Alabama singer-songwriter Kristy Lee’s recording career began rather auspiciously, with her debut album, 2000’s Lifescapes, released exclusively through Target stores across the country. She has toured both nationally and overseas ever since, capturing the hearts of a loyal international fanbase and earning the respect and enthusiastic support of some of the biggest names in music. She has played prestigious music festivals around the world, including one of her  own — the Unleashed Women’s Music Festival in Pensacola, Florida — and toured and shared stages with, among many other notables, Leon Russell, Jack Johnson, Jason Isbell, Imagine Dragons, and most recently, the Indigo Girls. Although she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012, her creative spirit is proving to be the therapy that is stronger than the disease. Hailed by one critic as “one of Alabama’s most powerful voices,” evoking blues belters, soul shouters, and gospel divas alike, her music transcends genres, lifts heavy spirits, and promotes healing through both raw authenticity and positive messages. Her latest album, 2023’s The Olive Tree, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Chart, and was praised by Indigo Girl Emily Sailers as finding “Kristy Lee at the top of her art.” “Her Southern gothic passion, penetrating voice and lyrics rattled my bones and brought back ghosts,” Sailers raves. “Sonically and musically, it’s a tour de force: creative arrangements, pure tones, jumping time signatures all kept me alive in the album. Easy contender for my favorite album of 2023.”

Foot-stomping Americana with a bluegrass kick!

Getocowboys

Featuring members of the Sum Brothers and the original Chubby Knuckle Choir!

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The Getocowboys are Tres Womack (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Luke Adair (vocals, banjo, mandolin, guitar, steel), Josh Droegemueller (vocals, violin, guitar), and Byron Kalbus (vocals and upright bass). Many a moon ago, Tres, Luke, and Josh were all core pieces of the Chubby Knuckle Choir — as in the “original” Chubby Knuckle Choir, which reunited after years of lineup changes to play the Bugle Boy’s private 20th anniversary party earlier this year. But long before that one-off CKC jam back in April, the three amigos all pursued a host of other projects, ranging from Tres and Luke’s respective award-winning solo releases to the Sum Brothers (featuring Luke, Josh, Tres, and Tres’ brothers Tim and Drew). They also made frequent cameos on each other’s solo albums, along with longtime friend Byron, and as far back as 2005 began playing shows all together as the Getocowboys, eventually leading them into the studio to record 2008’s Hardluck Symphony. By 2012, though, it seemed that they’d hung that particular outfit up for good — until now. Officially back in the saddle after nearly a dozen years, the Getocowboys have returned better than ever, with Tres revealing that there may even be brand new studio recordings on the near horizon. 

 

Texas Music Hall of Fame rock and soul dynamo!

Patrice Pike

Performing with Hunter Hendrickson

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Known for her socially astute, literate lyrics and powerful vocals, Patrice Pike will light you on fire. She burst on to the music scene in the ’90s as the electric front woman for the seminal Austin jam band Sister Seven, and carried that momentum right into the launch of her solo career with 2002’s Fencing Under Fire, and, more recently, her recordings (as Pike + Sutton) with her Sister Seven co-founder and longtime friend, Wayne Sutton. Pike’s songwriting has taken an increasingly narrative turn, while her sound has moved steadily in the direction of an eclectic mix of rock and soul topped with a tinge of World Music flavors. She has toured relentlessly, both in the U.S. and overseas, and in 2007 became the youngest member of the Austin/Texas Music Hall of Fame. Pike is also co-founder of the Step Onward Foundation and has helped raise nearly half a million dollars for supporting education and housing and sustainability for young adult survivors of homelessness and children surviving critical illness.

The jack-of-all-trades American songster returns — this time with his electric blues band!

Guy Forsyth Blues Band

“Forsyth’s Skills as a bandleader, singer, harmonica player and entertainer remind you exactly why live music rules in Austin.” — Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman

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When Guy Forsyth first moved to Austin from Kansas City 32 years ago, he had a bandolier of harmonicas and a carnival barker’s voice that could cut through the noise of the busiest night on Sixth Street. In the mid-90s, he co-founded the Asylum Street Spankers, arguably the most raucous (and at times, randiest) blues, jazz, country, and swing band to ever rock the Live Music Capital of the World without amplification. But by decade’s end, he’d moved on to focus full-tilt on his equally eclectic solo career. Since then, he’s toured the world as jack-of-all-musical trades modern American songster. As Texas Music Magazine put it best, “The insanely talented multi-instrumentalist can put on one hell of a show, alternately dazzling and amusing audiences on a musical journey that ventures from ragtime jazz and Delta blues to socially conscious folk and rollicking modern rock.” Forsyth is equally at home as a solo artist, fronting a rock ‘n’ roll power trio, revisiting his acoustic roots with the Hot Nut Riveters, performing as a folk duo with his wife Jeska, or — as we’ll get to experience this time around for his latest return to the Bugle Boy, jamming with his high-octane, four-piece electric blues band!

A big THANK YOU to the Texas Commission on the Arts and National Endowment For The Arts for assisting with funding for this program.

Texas songwriting served with wit, warmth, and wisdom

Owen Temple

Singer-songwriter with a voice "as rich, warm and comforting as Don Williams and as dry, worn and wizened as Townes Van Zandt." — Lone Star Music Magazine

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Owen Temple is a rambler with the heart of a road warrior, the soul of a poet, and a gregarious spirit that’s as big as the blue open sky of his native Texas. He’s country to the bone, but he’s as comfortable in a coffee house as he is in a honky tonk. Temple has a finely honed lyrical sense, a wry sense of humor, and a knack for blending strong melodies with ingenious wordplay. “I’m a singer-songwriter with a love of traditional music,” he says proudly. “There’s more beauty in the lives and exploits of ordinary Texans than we’re ever going to be able to record, all the eccentric failures and successes of the human condition. My songs are an attempt to capture some of those stories for the next generation. If you’re looking for help with your relationship, ask Dr. Phil. If you want a little slice of Texas history, I’m your man.” Temple has written his share of love songs, but he’s built his reputation with tunes that tell the stories of ordinary folks living their extraordinary lives. His ninth studio release, 2023’s Rings on a Tree, was recorded with Band of Heathens founder and producer Gordy Quist, and the album unfolds with some reflective, some sweet, and some funny songs about people you know or you wish you knew. The underlying theme of the songs — written with Walt Wilkins, Kelley Mickwee, George Ensle, and Nathan Hamilton — suggests that we humans are all a big family with a rich, deeply intertwined history that we can and should celebrate together.

Folk and pop with tinges of twang!

Nichole Wagner

"One of Austin’s most promising young singer-songwriters.” – Peter Blackstock, Austin American-Statesman

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Nichole Wagner took the long way around to answering her calling as a singer-songwriter. Originally from Colorado, she moved to Austin after college, lured by the city’s famous live music scene. She fit right in right from the start, albeit for years only observing from the periphery as a photographer and music journalist. But by the time she finally participated in her first open mic, there was no stopping her, and like wildfire her long-buried childhood dream of being a performer herself quickly became a reality. She released her first EP, Plotting the Constellations, in 2017, followed a year later by And the Sky Caught Fire, the full-length debut that established Wagner “as one of Austin’s most promising young singer-songwriters” — as noted by Austin-American Statesman critic Peter Blackstock. Even more auspicious was 2020’s Dance Songs for the Apocalypse, an eclectic covers EP that found her busting outside of the Americana/folk box with dazzling panache. This will be Nichole’s third time performing at the Bugle Boy — and her first since the release in June of her second full-length album, Plastic Flowers!

Country, folk, bluegrass, jazz and blues

Warren Hood

Multiple Award-Winning String Player & Songwriter

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A highly accomplished multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter with a voice that’s been favorably compared to crooner Chet Baker, Warren Hood is a seven-time Austin Music Awards winner who deftly blends country, blues, bluegrass, jazz, and folk into an eclectic style all of his own. The son of renowned musician Champ Hood (of Uncle Walt’s Band fame), Warren started playing classical violin at age 11 in the school orchestra, later studying privately with Bill Dick. He won classical music competitions, including the Pearl Amster Youth Concerto Competition and the Austin Youth Award, which gave him the opportunity to perform as a soloist on “Lalo Symphonie Espagnole” with the Austin Symphony. He later balanced studying at Austin High with touring with Charlie Robison and the South Austin Jug Band, and went on to attend the prestigous Berklee College of Music — where he earned the coveted String Achievement Award. Upon returning to Austin, he continued to turn heads not just as an A-list sideman (Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Bob Schneider, Kelly Willis) and member of the Waybacks and the South Austin Jug Band, but ultimately as a critically-acclaimed band leader in his own right.

A big THANK YOU to the Texas Commission on the Arts and National Endowment For The Arts for assisting with funding for this program.

Legendary Latina/Folk/Country Artist

Tish Hinojosa

"Simply put, Hinojosa is a first class songwriter." — Chicago Tribute

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San Antonio-native Tish Hinojosa is the youngest of 13 children born to Mexican immigrant parents who, as stated in her song “West Side of Town,” “made a good life the hard way.” She started playing guitar and singing at 14, influenced by her parents’ kitchen radio with its eclectic Latino programming, her older sisters’ ’60s records, and the ’70s folk rock she grew up with. By the time she started college she was playing gigs at local coffee houses and student gatherings on campus. In 1979 Hinojosa was invited to sing at the Kerrville Folk Festival, but was also required to present some original songs. Even though she had never written before, she won the New Folk Songwriters contest that year and launched her career as a writer. Since then, she has won widespread acclaim for her unique and insightful blend of folk, country, and Hispanic music. She sings and writes in Spanish and English and has many bilingual songs, including a full album of children’s songs that has often been used by teachers as a tool for teaching the Spanish language. She has recorded both as an independent artist and for major labels, been featured on Austin City Limits and A Prairie Home Companion, performed at the White House, and collaborated with such artists as Joan Baez, Booker T. Jones, Flaco Jimenez, Pete Seeger, and Dwight Yoakam. In 2018, Hinojosa was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Association’s Music Legends Hall of Fame, and the following year became only the second songwriter to ever be honored with membership to the Texas Institute of Letters. Most recently, she teamed up with fellow songwriters Patricia Vonne and Stephanie Urbina Jones to form the Texicana Mamas, whose debut album was released in 2020.

"A renegade songwriter with an ultraflexible Great American songbook sensibility.” — Rolling Stone

Nellie McKay

“The one thing certain about Ms. McKay is the size and range of her talent.” – The New York Times

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Nellie McKay has been described by The New York Times as “a sly, articulate musician who sounds comfortable in any era” and by The Los Angeles Times as “a Harlem Holly Golightly, a social activist with a disarming mastery of pop vernacular.” She’s “ambitious, intriguing, and clever,” adds Billboard, while fellow artist David Byrne (Talking Heads) marvels at her deft balance of a “tragic noir vibe” with a “wicked sense of humor.” All of those attributes were on full display across the ambitious sprawl of McKay’s 2004 debut, Get Away from Me, a double-album delight that landed the then-22-year-old singer-songwriter on The Late Show with David Letterman. She would go on to make appearances on Conan, Ferguson, The View, Mountain Stage, and A Prairie Home Companion, see a ballet produced of her third album (Obligatory Villagers), and have her music used in such films and TV shows as Rumor Has It, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS.  She also starred in (and co-created) the award-winning off-Broadway hit Old Hats, and has written four acclaimed musical stage biographies, including A GIRL NAMED BILL — The Life and Times of Billy Tipton (named one of the best concerts of 2014 by The New York Times) and The Big Molinsky — Considering Joan Rivers. And on top of all that, McKay is an “annoyingly vocal” (as her own bio proudly puts it) activist for feminism, civil rights, and all manner of other progressive causes, earning her both PETA’s Humanitarian Award and the Humane Society’s Doris Day Music Award in recognition of her dedication to animal rights. We first welcomed this most remarkable artist to the Bugle Boy back in late 2022, and we delighted to have back again this year — this time on the heels of a brand new album, 2023’s Hey Guys, Watch This!

“I admire any artist with the strength of vision to chart her own creative path, and it’s hard to imagine a better example than singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Nellie McKay … her performances are thought-provoking, emotionally affecting, and fun.. her sweet voice and innocent demeanor mask a singular ability to wield the catchiest popular music idioms of the last century in the service of a fiercely independent intellect.”Renee Fleming

The legendary Texas songwriter returns!

Willis Alan Ramsey

"One of the best writers I have ever known." — Jimmy Buffett

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Lyle Lovett has called Willis Alan Ramsey’s 1972 self-titled debut “one of the greatest records of all time,” and Jimmy Buffett once declared Ramsey to be “one of the best writers I have ever known.” You can find plenty of other, equally effusive accolades for both Willis Alan Ramsey and Willis Alan Ramsey — and from artists every bit as notable — but suffice it to say that Lovett and Buffett tell you all you really need to know. Ramsey was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but attended high school in North Dallas, and he was still in his late teens when he first started catching ears and turning heads playing the same regional folk rooms and college coffeehouse circuit as Michael Murphey, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Steven Fromholz, and B.W. Stevenson. By 20 years old he was signed to Leon Russell’s Shelter Records and recording the album that would make him a songwriting legend amongst songwriting legends in his own time — the same album that 50 years later is still his only album. Many a story has been written since hinting at the promise of a near mythical second W.A.R. album being ever so close to completion, the only apparent holdup being Ramsey’s own exacting high standards. In the meantime, nine of the 11 songs from his debut — including “Muskrat Candlelight” (or “Muskrat Love”), “Goodbye Old Missoula,” “Satin Sheets,” and “Ballad of Spider John” — have been recorded again and again by other artists ranging from ’70s soft-rockers America and Captain & Tennille to Jerry Jeff Walker, Waylon Jennings, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Shawn Colvin, Widespread Panic, David Bromberg, and the Bellamy Brothers.  Ramsey — who now lives in Colorado — has also delighted fans for decades now with a veritable treasure trove of equally sterling new songs yet to be released (at least by the songwriter himself) but already known and loved by those who have been lucky enough over the years to hear them live.

Voted "Best Singer-Songwriter" at the 2024 San Marcos Music Awards!

HalleyAnna Finlay

Duo performance with Mark Williams on cello!

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“HalleyAnna takes a subtle approach to blowing people away with her music,” says Austin City Limits Hall of Famer Lloyd Maines. “She writes meaningful lyrics and her singing and guitar playing deliver her songs in grand form.” As the daughter of Kent Finlay, the founding owner of the legendary San Marcos listening room Cheatham Street Warehouse, HalleyAnna Finlay was literally born into the tradition of great Texas songwriters — and she wasted precious little time in seizing that destiny. By age 13, she was a regular at Cheatham’s weekly songwriters open mic nights and opening shows for the likes of Terri Hendrix, Sisters Morales, and Monte Montgomery — making her a hard-seasoned and fearless performer by the time she released her first two albums, 2011’s The Country and 2013’s HalleyAnna (the latter produced by Australian troubadour Bill Chambers, father of Americana favorite Kasey Chambers). At the time of that second album’s release, Lone Star Music Magazine praised HalleyAnna’s voice as “an instrument as full of expression and gnarled grit as Lucinda Williams’, wrapped in a deceptively vulnerable, fetchingly pretty drawl suggestive of Iris Dement on a whiskey bender” — and a full decade of further life and stage experience has only sharpened that instrument (and her writing chops) exponentially. The evidence can be heard on each of the four singles she’s released to date in 2024: “Where’s Ben?,” “Balmorhea,” “Go Easy Mama,” and most recently the devastating “You and Liquor” — all tantalizing teasers from her forthcoming third album, Storms Like This, due out later this year. “Every song HalleyAnna writes or sings is great,” raves Walt Wilkins. “Her voice really sends me. She’s sunshine in a beautiful package.”

A spirited, one-of-a-kind mix of folk, pop, country, blues and jazz

Terri Hendrix w/ Lloyd Maines

“Simply put, Terri Hendrix creates the kind of music that makes you feel good, conceived and delivered with utter sincerity.” — Texas Music Magazine

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Recognized by Acoustic Guitar magazine as one of Texas’ 20 essential contemporary singer-songwriters, Terri Hendrix has earned fans worldwide for her singular fusion of folk, pop, country, blues, and jazz, delivered with poetic grace, melodic flair, and plenty of wit and wisdom. Along the way, she’s also co-written a Grammy-winning instrumental (the Chicks’ “Lil’ Jack Slade”), and garnered such honors as a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame, the Art of Peace Award by Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio and induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame in San Marcos, Texas. She is also the founder of  the OYOU (or “Own Your Own Universe”), a 501 C3 non-profit organization based out of  Martindale, Texas. Its mission: “To make the arts accessible to everyone, and particularly to empower and transform lives by connecting the mind, body, and spirit through music and the creative arts.” Embodying Texas’ independent spirit, this classically trained vocalist and virtuoso guitar, mandolin, and harmonica player has done it entirely on her own, releasing every album since her 1996 debut, Two Dollar Shoes, on her Wilory Records label. Terri’s most recent record, 2021’s Pilgrim’s Progress, completed her marathon “Project 5” endeavor, a collection of five thematically linked albums that also included 2016’s Love You Strong and The Slaughterhouse Sessions and 2019’s Talk to a Human and Who Is Ann?

Appearing with Terri is Lloyd Maines, an A-list multi-instrumentalist (most famously for pedal steel) and Grammy award-winning producer (The Chicks, Terry Allen, Flatlanders, Robert Earl Keen) who has made more appearances on TV’s Austin City Limits than anyone else in the program’s history. No wonder he was one of the first artists inducted into the Austin City Limits Music Hall of Fame!

A big THANK YOU to the Texas Commission on the Arts and National Endowment For The Arts for assisting with funding for this program.

Gutsy blues & rockin' roots from Houston!

The Mighty Orq

Multiple Houston Press Music Awards winner!

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The Mighty Orq is one of Texas’s most exceptional and hardest working talents. Born in Houston, Orq has a sound that is as diverse and unique as his home town. His performances include songs spanning numerous genres of music including folk, blues, jazz, rock and roll, and even hints of zydeco. Long known as a stand-out singer and guitarist, Orq has matured both as a writer and arranger, as heard on his 2016 release, Love In A Hurricane, and as a solo performer on his 2019 album Solo at the Bugle Boy, a live album recorded at the famed central Texas listening room and released on YAWP Records. During the pandemic, Orq developed a live streaming series called The Stay at Home Sessions, that allowed him to continue performing. The concert series became a staple of Mighty Orq fans, and hosted Texas music greats such as  Shinyribs, Guy Forsyth, and New Orleans harmonica virtuoso, Jason Ricci.

Bugle Boy Talent Trust Awardee!

Jack Barksdale

Solo performance

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2020 Bugle Boy Talent Trust Award-winner Jack Barksdale is a folk/blues/americana singer/songwriter from Texas. He plays guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, mandolin, piano and ukulele, but identifies first and foremost as a songwriter. Barksdale started performing original music at the age of 9, and he now — just five years later! — tours nationally, wowing audiences and fellow performers with lyrics wise beyond his young years. He has been called a “musical phenomenon” (Buddy Magazine), a “Texas force” (Paper City Magazine), “a singer-songwriter well beyond his years” (Baton Rouge Advocate), an “old soul” (Fort Worth Weekly) and “amazing to watch” (DFW.com). He has already shared the stage with Wynonna Judd, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bruce Robison, John Fullbright, and Hayes Carll. In March 2022, Barksdale released his first full-length album, Death of a Hummingbird, which followed a 2019 live album (recorded at famed Niles City Sound in Fort Worth) and his 2018 debut EP, Revival. “Barksdale’s talent is rare,” enthuses Premier Guitar. “He shines with earnest, unjaded passion on a foundation of will and an ability to connect.”

Hit Songwriter and Texas Music Legend!

Radney Foster

Writer of 8 No. 1 Hits!

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Radney Foster first gained attention in the late ’80s as half of the rocking country duo Foster & Lloyd (who, with “Crazy Over You” became the first duo in history to top the Country charts with their debut single). But it was his 1992 solo debut, Del Rio, TX 1959, released on the upstart record label Arista Nashville, that really established his standing as one of the most successful (and respected) Texas singer-songwriters of the last three decades. Hailed by noted author and country music historian Peter Cooper as “an album that mines the personal to unearth the universal,” Del Rio produced four consecutive Top 40 country hits: “Just Call Me Lonesome,” “Nobody Wins,” “Easier Said Than Done,” and “Hammer and Nails.” The record had a huge impact on a new generation of troubadours back in Foster’s native Texas, too, as can clearly be heard in the music of artists like Pat Green and the Randy Rogers Band, and Foster would go on to release several more acclaimed albums, including 2017’s For You to See the Stars (which was accompanied by a book of short fiction by the same name.) All along the way, he’s also had no small amount of success with landing cuts on albums by some of the biggest names in the business, including the Chicks, Brooks and Dunn, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Randy Rogers Band, Los Lonely Boys, George Benson, and Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish fame.

Black Fret Award-winning vocal powerhouse!

Cari Hutson

A soulful mix of blues, rock, country, and pop grooves

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With a range of styles from soulful blues to pop and rock, Cari Hutson is a force of nature. After years of cutting her teeth as a powerful singer and gutsy performer fronting bands on Austin’s Sixth Street, she landed a role as the Queen of Rock and Roll herself in a touring production of the Broadway musical, One Night with Janis Joplin. She ended up making such an impression on Joplin’s old friend, Dave Getz, that the Big Brother and the Holding Company drummer gifted her the opportunity to record her own version of his previously unreleased Joplin co-write, “Can’t Be the Only One.” The song appeared on Hutson and her band Good Company’s 2016 album, Don’t Rain on My Sunny Day, produced  by Jeff Plankenhorn. Three years later, Hutson and her band were awarded a $20,000 grant at the annual Black Fret “Black Ball” in Austin. In 2022, she released the ferociously assured Salvation & Soul Restoration EP, followed a year later by a stunning cover of “Love Hurts,” a collaboration with Mark Del Castillo (of Del Castillo). Her latest single, the redemptive “Back to the River,” was released earlier this year.