The Austin music scene has been cooking for decades.
And the blistering Texas heat has only a little to do with it.
Austin has long been a refuge for the blues and country. As of recently, it has become a center for cutting-edge rock ‘n’ roll, too.
W.C. Clark is one of Austin’s acclaimed blues musicians, and for good reason. The veteran singer-guitarist plays Ugly Rumors Wednesday and Thursday.
Clark, who once co-fronted a band with Stevie Ray Vaughan called Triple Threat, has been piquing the interest of blues fans in recent years thanks to his two outstanding solo albums, “Heart of Gold” and “Texas Soul.”
What also has bolstered Clark’s reputation is his diverse repertoire. The singer-guitarist garnishes his music with the blues, R&B; and lots of soul and he does it with style.
In addition, Clark, 56, commandeers a seasoned and rangeful tenor that can make your heart sink one moment and add spring to your step the next. It’s an imagery-laden voice that’s been around the block a few times. He lends a warm and soulful voice to Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” on “Texas Soul.”
Then there’s the magic he creates with his trusty electric guitar.
Clark’s guitar work can be defined as fluid and instinctual. His dexterous fingers yield some amazing licks. The third song from “Texas Soul” - “Reminiscing” - attests to this.
He’s a bold player but not boisterous. And never do his solos outshine the song or the rest of the band.
You have two nights to catch W.C. Clark at the Mars Hotel. So you don’t have any excuses to miss him. Both shows start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Mars Hotel and Street Music.
Speaking of the blues
The Whitehorse Blues Festival returns to Spirit Lake for an eighth consecutive year on Saturday, Aug. 17. The event - one of the biggest of its kind in the Northwest - features a whole stock of gutsy blues bands, including Yo and de Cats, Fat John and the 3 Slims, Paul Brasch, Chip and the Bushwhackers and many more.
Tickets are on sale now for $12 at all G&B; outlets, the Fort Spokane Brewery in Spokane, the Waterin’ Hole in Coeur d’Alene and the Whitehorse Saloon in Spirit Lake.
Punk ‘n’ roll
Ichabod’s North will be blowing off some steam Saturday with three aggressive punk bands - Austin’s Not My Son, Ellensburg’s Pipefitter and Spokane’s Deadbeats.
This is unofficially the final show for the Deadbeats, a band that only now has really shown signs of promise.
The Deadbeats ventured onto the scene earlier this year, providing a sloppy but alluring twist to the bottom slot of shows. In recent months, they’ve cleaned up, tightened up and written a fistful of good songs.
The band borrows somewhat from Jawbreaker circa the early ‘90s. Like the defunct Bay Area trio, the Deadbeats wield gruffly sung, aggressively played pop punk. I doubt it’s ironic that the band actually has a Jawbreaker cover in its set list.
So, go cheer the local boys on.
Music starts at 10 p.m. The cover is $3. Bring ID.
Inflatable Soule at Outback’s
Inflatable Soule is high-tailing to Eastern Washington and will make yet another stand at Outback Jack’s on Saturday.
Riding shotgun with the band are two other Seattleites, Fragile Jack and 50 Paces.
50 Paces has just released a twangy album of well-crafted roots rock called “Catchin’ ‘em the Hard Way.” It’s an excellent disc and with the recent interest in country-tinged roots rock, maybe this burgeoning combo will gain some well-deserved exposure.
Tickets are $4 in advance and $5 the day of the show and are available at the club. You must be 21 to attend.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: NIGHTWATCH PICKS Best bets at area clubs: SATURDAY: Not My Son, Pipefitter and the Deadbeats at Ichabod’s North; Inflatable Soule, Fragile Jack and 50 Paces at Outback Jack’s WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY: W.C. Clark at Ugly Rumors