- Blue Grass
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.”
Join us on the lawn!
This concert is free! Open seating is available on the lawn. Please bring blankets and lawn chairs. You also can bring your own food and coolers with beverages, including alcohol, but no glass containers, please. Parking is free. For directions to the Levitt, please see Directions & Parking.