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13 Texas Women Playing at Austin City Limits Music Festival

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Don’t miss these hometown honeys because girls support girls.

By Brianna Caleri, Photo by Sydney Gawlik

The Barton Hills Choir

Weekend One: Friday, 12:30 p.m. 

Weekend Two: Saturday, 11:30 a.m. 

Returning to the festival for the seventh time, the youth group (Third to sixth grade) is back with an impressive repertoire of surprising hits, from Stevie Wonder and the Cure to Wilco. As in past years, look out for special guests from well-known bands playing alongside them.

Asleep at the Wheel

Weekend One: Friday, 12:45 p.m. 

Six years into playing with the venerated western swing band Asleep at the Wheel, Katie Shore both diversifies and upholds an important Texas tradition. The outfit that’s resided in Austin since 1974 has played at the Broken Spoke with Willie Nelson, appeared in the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame show, and has won nine Grammys. The only woman in the group, Shore sings jazzy lead vocals and plays the fiddle.

Shore on growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, for Rolling Stone: “It means so much [to be in the band]. I didn’t even listen to a lot of the Beatles growing up. I was learning fiddle at the same time Asleep at the Wheel was putting out a lot of those songs.”

Alesia Lani

Weekend One: Friday, 1:15 p.m.

If you’re looking for some space to chill during the festival this year—and you will be—Alesia Lani will hold that space. Lani brings sultry soul grooves perfect for lounging in the grass, occasionally interspersed with infectious dance beats to keep you on your toes. Lani’s bio promises a “blue-collar work ethic” but her sound is all polish.

Lani on being influenced by Texas for Vents: “The way of living and the music influenced with dirty south style is what I grew up on!! You know UGK, Fat Pat, Rap – A – Lot and all!! They would sample the same music my mom had me listening to. The good old r&b, soul & funk!”

Kacey Musgraves

Weekend One/Weekend Two: Saturday, 6 p.m. 

A woman who needs no introduction in her home state, the alternative country singer appears triumphantly in the very first slot of supporting acts on ACL Fest’s 2019 poster. Kacey Musgraves sings in a country-accented soprano over unique pop arrangements of acoustic guitar and drum machine and should provide a calm country ease-in to both of Mumford and Sons’ weekend-closing sets.

Musgraves on her hometown, Golden, Texas for Texas Monthly: “Coming home, you realize people are starved for live music. So it’d be lousy to come back and act like I’m tired of it. This is everything Nashville isn’t, in all the right ways.”

Lizzo

Weekend One/Weekend Two: Saturday, 7 p.m. 

Lizzo puts the sing in single, scoring the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with her single “Truth Hurts” and staying there for five weeks. The empowerment anthem has been on the chart telling scrubs off for a total of 21 weeks so far. With multiple viral performances in the past few months, Lizzo continually steps up her live game and might grace the ACL stage with a dizzying flute solo.

Lizzo on her home since age 10, Houston for NPR: “There was a lot of freestyling on the bus, there was a lot of freestyling in the cafeteria, and there was a lot of freestyling on the radio. And I would call into this morning show and try to get through so I could do the freestyle.”

Jane Ellen Bryant

Weekend Two: Friday, 1 p.m. 

Austin’s darling country singer gone wild, Jane Ellen Bryant swept the 2017 Austin Music Awards, winning Best New Band and Best Female Vocalist. Bryant’s sound ranges from sweet country ballads to cheeky, funky pop with a little twangy attitude still shining through. Bryant could offer a diverse future to a genre that seems to have hit a wall; watch out for Bryant’s version of pop country as it evolves.

Bryant on playing ACL in the past for TBA with Felicia and Jane: “I had a moment where I got to do a Crosby, Stills & Nash song at Austin City Limits Theater. It was my first time performing on that stage and we got a standing ovation. I’ll never forget that moment when everybody in the huge room stood up.”

Pike and Sutton

Weekend Two: Friday, 1:15 p.m.

Patrice Pike and Wayne Sutton, founders of the jam band Sister 7 (formerly Little Sister), have played with a staggering collection of legendary groups including The Allman Brothers Band, John Fogerty, Blues Traveler and Dave Matthews Band. Pike’s power vocal range packs even more of a punch and in 2000, Billboard called her “one of the finest contemporary rock singers in America.”

Pike on growing up with her guitarist father in Fort Worth, Texas, for The Austin Chronicle: “With a grin, she recalls being in the country and singing heart-wrenching blues ‘about how the cows can’t cross the road because of all the cars.’ Pike also recalls witnessing the nightlife firsthand, well before she lost her baby teeth.”

Wesley Bray and the Disciples of Joy

Weekend Two: Saturday, 11:45 a.m. 

The Disciples of Joy can be found at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q once a month hosting Gospel Brunch and playing cheerful contemporary tunes. The group is all about spreading positivity, love and a little bit of musical fusion.

Megan Thee Stallion

Weekend Two: Saturday, 1:15 p.m. 

If you’ve posted about hot girl summer, you’d better be sweating in the audience when Megan Thee Stallion takes the stage in the Austin heat to rap about it. The rapper spits fast rhymes with an almost unnerving level of calm and confidence, all while twerking. She has trademarked the phrase just in time for the end of summer across the country and however long you feel like being bad in the hot, hot Lone Star State.

Megan Thee Stallion on hailing from Houston for Complex: “But I definitely just want more people to know about me and my music, and I just want it to spread. I don’t feel like my sound is similar to any female artist that’s out right now, so I definitely feel like we just need some Texas flavor.”

Kady Rain

Weekend Two: Sunday, 11:45 a.m. 

It’s not Coachella, but if you’re missing the glitter, Kady Rain has plenty. The colorful singer offers pure bubblegum pop in a PVC skirt and is known for her onstage storytelling and bubbly melodies that will stick in your head all day. Just don’t take your eyes off the show, or you’ll be missing half of it.

Rain on living a creative and balanced life in Austin for All Access Music: “If I’m not working on music I’m most likely sleeping, but when I do manage to get away for a second I really enjoy swimming at the Greenbelt here in Austin. I’m a big believer in taking walks, I feel more centered when I walk every day.”

The Gospel Stars

Weekend Two: Sunday, 11:45 a.m. 

No stranger to Stubb’s Gospel Brunch, standing on the more retro side of gospel traditions, the Gospel Stars grace the stage (and the church) while belting soulful blues. Festivalgoers can take a break in the gospel tent to appreciate the sheer power of the human voice.

Ley Line

Weekend One: Sunday, 12:45 p.m. 

A multi-lingual, four-part harmonizing group that met while traveling, Ley Line continued exploring the globe together. The band’s first release was a collection of Brazilian folk songs and originals in an ethereal folk and contemporary Bossa Nova blend. Since then, Ley Line has spent an additional three months in the country to capture more Brazil-inspired material.

Kate Robberson on living in Austin for Come To Life: “A lot of artistic and creative people can feel what’s happening in the world and in society and that’s an integral part of creating deep work…. I’m very grateful to live in Austin where creativity is inherent in the culture.”

Resonate

Weekend Two: Sunday, 2:30 p.m. 

“I rock, you rock” is the affirmation guiding the percussion group Resonate, who involve audiences in high-energy performances and workshops for all ages. The goal is to encourage team building and self-confidence through powerful percussive music.

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