AMFM Magazine in collaboration with the John Lennon Bus, Elevated Minds Music, Aussie’s Beachbar and Sports Grill,, The Lowell George/Little Feat Legacy Project, Jeremy Parker’s Musical Services, and Karen Brown of KB’s Contacts managed in less than six weeks to pull off an incredible four day event March 14th – 18th during SXSW 2013 that included 40 bands and multiple celebrity sightings.

The event was held at one of Austin’s best kept secrets, Aussie’s Beachbar and grill, which is tucked away on Barton Springs catty-corner from the iconic Threadgills. The atmosphere was more laid back than the epicenter of SXSW just across the bridge – musicians entertained while volleyballers played in the sand court as restaurant patrons imbibed spirits and feasted on comfort food.

The first day opened with a band from San Francisco Bay area called the The Sam Chase, and the last day closed with a local band called La Guerilla. In-between times there was a plethora of exemplary musicians, some from as far away as Ireland, like the Autumn Owls. There was magic in the air as the unexpected became commonplace – like the surprise show with Rami Jaffee, who is the keyboard player in such iconic bands as Foo Fighters and The Wallflowers. Rami performed with part of the band (Fauntella Crow) from the larger Foo Fighters show at Stubbs.

Hugh Padgham and Reno Perez

Hugh Padgham and Reno Perez

Magic – such as Hugh Padgham, one of the top ten music producers in the world, wandering over from across the street after spotting the Lennon Bus and becoming totally absorbed in the Texas Blues of Reno Perez. He listened intently as Reno (resident composer at AMFM Studios) sang, and asked to keep Reno playing long past his allotted time – then asked to be contacted later. It’s a dream come true for any musician.

Omar Lopez played his violin with fiery intensity, drawing a large crowd in from the street that stayed to hear breakout band Alabaster perform as the last band of Friday night.

Donnie Price, host of AMFM Magazine’s “Tales From the Texas Hill Country,” played Lowell George’s guitar as Debbie Walton belted out her gritty, heartfelt songs from her new CD. Luke George (son of Little Feat Founder Lowell George) accompanied many of the musicians on the keyboard. Crier Records lent us the incredible Andrew Cole and Shawn Pander, who coincidentally was a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Award in 2007. Shawn said “That bus keeps showing up in my life.”

Magic – such as suddenly realizing actress Daryl Hannah is on the side of the stage, enjoying the music with Luke George. Pleasure – to realize that familiar face playing the congas with newcomer Dana Ray is none other than Hartt Stearns, co-founder of One World Theater. Appreciation – to hear El Charro Negro, the first black American Tejano singer, perform “Papalote,” a ’70s hit from 3X Grammy Nominees The Tortilla Factory.

Every performer invited to play brought their A-game, and you will be hearing more about each of them in the months to come with individual interviews. Some you may have heard of, some you may never have heard of, but will be hearing much more about. AMFM Magazine is pleased to serve as incubators, curators, and fans of music of all genres, and it was a privilege to listen to the music play for four awesome days.


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