As I first reported on Twitter earlier today, upstart Fort Worth booking agency Blackbox Presents is staking a big claim on South by Southwest in its first year (never mind the fact that it's only been in existence for scarcely a month).
The agency, led by former Overtone booking agent Jamie Kinser, will host two days' worth of locally sourced music at Doc's Motorworks on South Congress. Confirmed bands thus far include the Hanna Barbarians, Calhoun (also playing an official showcase in Austin March 13), Ishi (playing an official showcase March xx) and Epic Ruins (playing a couple other unofficial gigs). Kinser says more bands will be announced later this week. (Blackbox is also putting together a one-night-only "FXFW" showcase at Magnolia Motor Lounge on March 12, featuring Calhoun and the Quaker City Night Hawks, alongside out-of-towners Lera Lynn, Jenny O. and Black Taxi.)
Elsewhere in Austin, singer-songwriter Kevin Aldridge tells me he's confirmed for at least two, possibly three day parties, the first of which kicks off at noon March 13 at Maggie Mae's. He's also booked to play at 6 p.m. March 14 at Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar & Restaurant (no, really) off Sixth. For these two shows, at least, Aldridge will be joined by guitarist Don Cento, bassist Kyle Robarge, drummer Kenny Smith and guitarist Scott Davis (the latter two are both part of troubadour Hayes Carll's band).
This is largely the same group of musicians that worked with Aldridge on his solo LP, The Viper Sessions, which has been completed since last May, but is still unreleased. Part of the reason for the delay is that Aldridge, an exacting musician, is still fine-tuning the sound of his solo songs live. "It's all about nuance," he says, "and putting your own stamp on it. A lot of people think I've been being lazy, but I didn't want people to see it until it was ready."
Aldridge hopes to have a single out to local radio in the next week or so, with a tentative release for The Viper Sessions "some time in the summer." 'Til then, these SXSW day shows are fans' best bets for hearing the new material the Chatterton frontman has to offer.