Bluegrass tunes meant to last
The Texas songwriter tradition casts a long shadow today, and Austin-based Americana roots juggernauts and 2018 Grammy Award nominees, Wood & Wire, could easily rattle off a long list of songwriters who inspire them from Willie Nelson to James McMurtry and everyone in between. But ask them what it is about Texas that brought that produced so many great songwriters, and they stop cold. That’s because they don’t romanticize their culture or their past, they’re too busy making new music and writing new songs. Respect for honest labor is a central theme in Wood & Wire’s 2018 Grammy-nominated album for Best Bluegrass, North of Despair. The songs are populated by people like songwriter Tony Kamel’s own grandfather, who built the family’s hunting lodge in Llano with his own two hands. The characters on the album live large and aren’t afraid to share their opinions about the modern world. This kind of vivid, haunting songwriting focused on lives spent deep in the countryside is a hallmark of Texas songwriting. But it’s the melding of this hard country songwriting with high-octane bluegrass instrumentation that creates Wood & Wire’s signature sound. Artists like John Hartford have mixed up great songs with bluegrass virtuosity and a strong sense of place, and Wood & Wire aim to pave the way for Austin’s roots scene with a fully-fledged vision for a new Texan sound. Wood & Wire considers itself fortunate to exist “south of rich and north of despair,” buoyed by family and friends. Never ones to shy away from hard work, Wood & Wire rely on their humble acoustic instruments and their own hands to make music meant to last. As Kamel sings “I ain’t trying to be the kingpin, I’m just trying to make a living.”
Levitt Pavilion General Information:
Concerts are family friendly and free! If a concert requires a ticket, it will be indicated. The Levitt Pavilion is located at 100 W. Abram St. in Founders Plaza on the corner of Abram and Center streets. For directions and parking, please see Directions & Parking. The Levitt is an open-lawn seating, outdoor concert venue. Visitors to the FREE concerts should bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Picnics and coolers are welcome to the FREE concerts. Please do not bring glass containers to the Levitt. Concessions are sold at the Levitt, including beer and wine. For additional information, please visit our FAQs, call the 24-hour information line at 817.543.4301, or email [email protected].