AMF Presents The Next & Best at 3TEN ACL Live

The Austin Music Foundation hosted its Next & Best FUN-raising mixer last Wednesday at 3TEN ACL Live showcasing back-to-back performances by their inaugural Artist Development Program graduates. The event and silent auction featured live performances by Jackie Venson, Magna Carda, Gina Chavez, Jane Ellen Bryant, Migrant Kids, Charlie Faye and The Fayettes and James Junius.

Austin Music Foundation (AMF) is a nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen and connect the local music industry and community with innovative programs that empower music professionals and music businesses within Austin’s creative economy. The innovative organization offers free education specifically tailored to today’s music business climate. With expert panels, consultations, mentoring, and mixers, AMF’s programs provide the necessary tools and opportunities to help the Austin music industry succeed. Since 2002, AMF has helped over 15,000 musicians and music industry professionals and remains committed to ensuring that Austin’s creative class and music industry thrive.

AMF’s Artist Development Program provides musicians with the advanced knowledge and tools they need to navigate the music industry and build their careers. The program consists of panels, workshops, networking event and career consultations. The artists can focus on being artists while AMF handles jump-starting the financial and logistical aspects of pioneering a career in the music industry.

The Next & Best silent auction granted an array of winnings from Yeti coolers to tickets to several local venues such as ACL Live, Emo’s, Stubb’s and Hotel Van Zandt that retail between $300-$500. All event proceeds went towards the Austin Music Foundation and the advancement of its mission. The event provided fans with the opportunity to see several of their favorite local artists and mingle amongst the Next & Best in Austin music.

Check out some of the event highlights below captured by Anie Walsh and listen to The Next Playlist from AMF’s Spotify at the bottom.



Photos by: Anie Walsh @aniewalshphotography

ALL ATX Back to the Armadillo Benefit Concert Recap

Auditorium Shores in downtown Austin was packed Sunday for a day full of local music and giving back to several charities benefiting local musicians. One of Austin’s most noble nonprofits, All ATX put together an incredible lineup to benefit the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), The SIMS Foundation, and Austin Music Foundation that are all dedicated to healthcare and income assistance for musicians.

The lineup headlined by Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty, featured several of Austin’s local favorites from Austin Music Awards ‘Best New Artist’ winner Jane Ellen Bryant to Texas Country star Jack Ingram. Each artist is featured on the 2017 edition of the ALL ATX compilation CD featuring covers of some of the greatest musicians to ever play the legendary former music venue, Armadillo World Headquarters.

Although sets were short, every artist came out and put on their best performance for the cause. Bastrop blues act The Peterson Brothers wowed the audience as they played one long jam session for the duration of their set. The guitar and bass duo’s sound was more like Austin in 1985 rather than 2017 with a guitar solos that would make Stevie Ray Vaughn proud. If you haven’t seen them live, you can catch them every Monday night at the Continental Club.

Later in the evening is when some of Texas’ most notorious acts came out to play with performances from 90’s rockers Fastball along with couple Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison. Followed by a set from Jack Ingram with Bruce Robison on guitar who came out to Willie Nelson and Leon Russell’s famous hit “A Song For You”. Seeing two Lonestar legends playing together in the capital city made you proud to be a Texan, and if you’re not, there seems to be plenty of people from all over rushing to sign up.

Austin’s patron saint, Shakey Graves took the stage for an intimate set with great comedic excerpts in between songs. A lone performance without any other band members, Shakey still managed to give the crowd an energetic performance showcasing his many talents.

The night concluded with a set from legend John Fogerty to cap off a day full of great music and local talent. The best part of the day was seeing that every musician was ecstatic to be playing before a hometown crowd in the heart of the city. This all shows you why Austin is such a special place and without a doubt the Live Music Capital of the world.

All ATX ‘Back to The Armadillo’ Benefit Concert

Photos by: Matthew Carlin

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Article and photos by: Matthew Carlin @yo_mtv_matt

Jane Ellen Bryant Listen at Winflo Photo Recap

Homegrown songstress, Jane Ellen Bryant, burst onto the scene early last year with her lavishly rocked-out, Americana EP, Twenties, and has been steamrolling ever since. The three-track EP saw Bryant shedding her folky roots for a rocker girl edginess and helped the singer-songwriter earn ‘Best New Austin Band’ and ‘Best Female Vocalist’ at the 2016-17 Austin Music Awards. Bryant stays busy around town and you can find her just about any night of the week rocking a venue and mingling with fans. Last night was no different as Austin’s newest sweetheart brought her acoustic to Winflo for a sold-out, stripped-down set. Check out the show highlights below captured by Mindi Westhoff and be sure to catch Jane Ellen Bryant at The Townsend for the  ‘She Factory’ song-swap on Tuesday 9/19.

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Photos by: Mindi Westhoff

Kathy Valentine and The Townsend Present The ‘She Factory’

Kathy Valentine and The Townsend present “She Factory,” a special series assembling the talent of women in the arts on Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 8 to 10 p.m. The first installment in the series, “The Song Pool,” will focus on local female musicians and will feature Nina Diaz, Carolyn Wonderland, Jane Ellen Bryant, Suzanna Choffel, Patricia Vonne and Ruthie Foster. The evening will take place at The Townsend, located at 718 Congress Ave. #100, Austin, Texas 78701. The event is free and open to the public, with a donation requested at the door to benefit The SAFE Alliance.

The evening is further supported by local Austin female-owned businesses including Janifer Wheeler of Wheelhouse Learning Solutions and the Texas Business Women – Capital City Chapter, Darla Sees of Sees HR Consulting, Caroline Jones of Great American Smiles Dentistry, Grace Lanni of All About that Brand and Austin Chapter, e-Women Network, Conni Reed of Consuela, Heather Wagner Reed of Juice Consulting, Maria Groten and Stephanie Kincheloe of Love Cycle Studio and Ruel Ellis of Conversation Piece Marketing and PR. Cupprimo Cupcakery, Facial5 Dermacare, Good Life and Soul Nectar Series will provide additional merchandise for artists. Attendee raffle prizes will be provided by Mosaic Weighted Blankets, Spa Social and Trusty Oak. All types of sponsorship opportunities are currently available. For information on sponsoring, please contact

“At this ‘She Factory’ event, ‘The Song Pool’ brings together a variety of women songwriter/performers in an interactive, casual environment to play some of their songs and discuss with both the audience, and the other performers, the art of songwriting,” said Kathy Valentine. “She may discuss the specific song, what inspired it or how songwriting in general impacts, narrates or expresses aspects of her life.”

“Providing opportunities for local, female-owned businesses to support local, female musicians just makes sense, considering all of us operate in a space of entrepreneurial creativity,” said Janifer Wheeler, president of Texas Business Women – Capital City Chapter, owner of Wheelhouse Learning Solutions and founding member of Black Fret. “When women come together to encourage, empower and enlighten each other, our world is a better place.”

Valentine was inspired to start this series to highlight the talent and artistic endeavors of women and bring together the communities of women in the arts and businesses. As an investor in The Townsend, she sees the venue as an ideal place to implement innovative events, a place to bring to fruition her desire to contribute to the Austin community. She Factory gives the audience a look behind the curtain into the artistic process as part of the entertainment. It forges relationships between female led business leaders and artists, empowering and supporting each other. To enable a charity such as The SAFE Alliance to benefit from door donations brings the event into a pay-it-forward circle.
Valentine recently released a new album “Tonewrecker” with her band The Bluebonnets and is planning to play a solo show on Aug. 19, opening for Peter Holsapple at The Townsend. She is also releasing solo singles this year to benefit an Austin charity which will be announced at the end of the year. She is nearing completion on her first memoir to be published by UT Press with an accompanying soundtrack. Valentine also took on a supporting acting role in “The Transcendents,” the debut film from New York playwright Derek Ahonen.

Finally, Valentine is partnering with Conni Reed, owner of local Austin fashion brand Consuela, producing a product that highlights female musicians and provides a useful, innovative purpose: a hand bag with a detachable guitar strap. The line is currently in early stages of creation with plans soon to be announced. Valentine will be launching a brand new website in September, highlighting the various aspects of her diverse and busy life as a musician, writer, spokesperson and speaker.

“As a woman getting close to another milestone—60 years old in less than two years, I’m very focused on what I want to accomplish,” said Valentine. “I wish to leave as many statements and expressions of myself as possible, in as many mediums as possible. Raising my daughter, along with her father, is the most important aspect of my life, but there are new career chapters ahead of me as well. I’m exceedingly proud of the legacy of the Go-Go’s and our place in music history. Presently, my hope is to continue inspiring women to keep in mind that whether we are in our 40s, 50s, 60s or beyond, we can remain challenged, engaged, open and motivated. My goals are that all my endeavors be part of a platform that enables me to bring about positive change in the community, country and world.”

Kathy Valentine - photo credit Christopher Durst

Photo By: Christopher Durst

Rambler Playlist March 13th

This week’s playlist is all local and loCal artists jammed packed with funky soul and psychedelic pop.

I’ve had CAPYAC’sDisco Muse’ on repeat all friggin’ weekend. This smooth, infectiously groovy track is soul consuming and pleasantly mood altering. ‘Disco Muse’ is from the duo’s debut album, Headlunge, released last June. It’s a nu-disco slow jam doused in sexy soul and polished with a jazz coating. Slightly more mellow than CAPYAC’s usual dance-inducing flare, but just as delightful and captivating.

Los Angeles producer/vocalist Elohim is a top artist to watch in 2017. Her euphoric sound  is unapologetic and authentic, blending elements of Chopin, Hendrix and Radiohead. ‘Love is Alive’ is a brand new, collaborative track between Elohim and dance-pop duo Louis The Child. The dreamy track features Elohim’s signature euphonic vocals and an enchanting hook layered over a strumming bassline and luscious echoes.

Congratulations to the just crowned Austin Music Awards’ ‘Best New Band/Female Vocalist’ Jane Ellen Bryant. The Americana-rock songstress has had somewhat of a meteoric year since dropping her debut EP, Twenties, back in July. Her latest track, ‘All In My Head’, is a little more thick and soulful then JEB’s rockier hit, ‘Twenties’. However, her spirituous voice is as bold and sultry as ever.

Psychedelic rockers, Foxygen, lit up Conan O’ Brien’s stage when the duo consisting of singer Sam France and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado performed their latest hit, ‘Follow the Leader,’ backed by a total 16-member ensemble. This funky 70’s-era American Bandstand-esque jam from the duo’s Hang album is packed with a symphony orchestra and textured to the core. It’s a lavish arrangement feature big brass, popping percussion and sweet backing vocals behind France’s leading sass.


Posted by: Douglas Leach (


Photo credit: Daniel Cavazos (Jane Ellen Bryant)

Black Fret: The Peterson Bros., Eric Tessmer, Jane Ellen Bryant

Black Fret flooded the banks of Onion Creek Saturday evening pouring muddy, rock-filled blues from the historic home of Austin’s Music and Entertainment Manager, Don Pitts. Iconic Shady Grove was on hand serving partygoers Tex-Mex pork and chicken tacos while Ben E. Keith kept the Alaskan Whites, Moscow Mules and Merlots flowing from the bar.

Teenage blues phenoms and 2016 Black Fret nominees, The Peterson Brothers, set the party off and got the crowd rocking early with ‘Don’t You Lie to Me.’ The Bastrop boys, Glenn (Guitar & Lead Vocals) and Alex (Bass) Peterson, have an infectious on-stage chemistry and infuse the blues with a lively, outgoing energy that shoots through the crowd. “They deliver more smiles per measure than any band in Austin” as they sway back-and-forth in unison, play to the crowd and even hop off stage to play through the crowd. The brothers paused a 30 second freeze-frame before soloing right into crowd favorite, ‘I Gotta Go’ then delivered a bluesy, central Texas version of The Spinners’ classic, ‘I’ll Be Around’. Alex Peterson cooled the crowd of the late July heat with a chilling, fiddled rendition of ‘Amazing Grace.’ The Peterson Brothers’ set was so captivating even the residents of Onion Creek took to the skies with a couple of ‘V’ flyovers to capture a birds-eye of these funky blues brothers.


Black Fret founders, Matt Ott and Colin Kendrick filled the break between sets with interesting news and updates regarding the organization and its artists. In Ott’s words, “I’m really good at killing time up here” However, when it comes to Black Fret, that statement couldn’t be any further from the truth. Over the past two years the organization has raised more than $280,000 and helped local musicians schedule 198 national tour dates. Black Fret artists have also contributed to 44 fundraisers for other local organizations and charities. Oddly enough, the next musician that took the stage was not a grant nominee…not yet at least.

A breeze finally blew through the blanketing humidity when Austin’s own guitar prodigy, Eric Tessmer, unleashed a cyclone of lightning fast riffs from his personalized “Tessmer” Fender. The vibrant blues-rocker electrified the crowd with an intense, solo-filled performance packed with several new tracks from his upcoming EP; check out the release party, Friday 7/29 at Antone’s. Tessmer opened his set with howling vocals on ‘See You Tonight’ and nearly caused the amps to short-circuit with a wicked solo midway through blues-groovy ‘Ms. Fortune Teller’. He plucked flute-like squeals from his Stratocaster and laid down powerful, string yanking licks reminiscent of…dare I say…Stevie. Tessmer paid homage to another guitar legend with a sweet cover of Jimi’s ‘Are You Experienced’ and closed the set with a brand new track and a rapid-fire drum solo.
“The depth of talent in this town is amazing,” proclaimed Ott. And after witnessing Tessmer’s high-octane performance, this assertion, I believe, is an understatement made even more evident when talented newcomer Jane Ellen Bryant closed the evening with a 3-song set that included hot new single ‘Twenties.’ Bryant is a rare singer whose singing capacity, somehow, someway, stretches further during her live performance. However, that’s an opinion I dare not voice with Bryant’s super-producer, Frenchie Smith, standing a mere few feet away. There’s no denying her vocal range is utterly mesmerizing on the assumed harmoniously tame ‘Want it With You.’ The Austin songstress took the crowd home on a “high-note” with a vocal rich cover of Prince’s ‘Kiss’.

Black Fret continues to host listening sessions showcasing the best of local talent. The depth of that local talent, in my opinion, is fan-friggin-tabulous.


Written by: Douglas Leach (

Photos courtesy of: Becca Kadison and Black Fret