16 Alabama Bands Travel to SXSW

The Yellowhammer State has a lot to be proud of–most notably, our musicians. There’s something in the water here, frequently credited to muses cooing from the Singing River in Muscle Shoals, the historic town where modern American music began. Now, we all get to take a drink.

Sixteen Alabama bands are travelling to Austin, Texas, in March to play officially and/or unofficially during SXSW Music Festival.  Read below for schedules and recent news from each band/artist.

1960’s garage rock n’ roll with country swagger and powerful Joplin-esque vocals, Banditos turn their energy dials up to “11” every damn show. Split between Nashville and Birmingham, they are finishing work on a new album, set to release this summer.

3/15 – evening @ Continental Club – Bloodshot Records Showcase
3/16 – Noon @ The Blackheart
3/16 – 4 PM @ Waller Creek Pub
3/17 – 2 PM @ Plum Creek Sound
3/17 – afternoon @ Yard Dog – Bloodshot Records day party

Belle Adair
This Florence-based band has received accolades from numerous critical outlets, including NPR Music, Paste, and Spin. Belle Adair’s records play like a comfortable forty-five minute dream, sweeping you into pop-inspired ambient instrumentals that are anchored by the acoustic roots from which it flew. Their second LP, Tuscumbia, will release via Single Lock Records later this year.

3/15 – @ Weather Up – American Songwriter/ Single Lock/ Billy Reid Showcase

The Burning Peppermints
Psychedelic garage punk from Birmingham, The Burning Peppermints turn every show into a rock n’ roll frenzy.  Their engagement with the audience naturally accompanies the heavy, creative force from which their sound originates. You might ask yourself, Is this real? Then you hear the music and think, Yes, very real. The Peppermints are busy in the studio, working on two LPs as well as their upcoming album, Glittervomit, set to release soon.

3/17 – 4:10 PM @ Spiderhouse – Bloat Records, Onward Indian Touring Presents
3/18 – 9:25 PM @ Cheer Up Charlie’s Inside – Siren Sounds PR Showcase
3/19 – 4 PM @ Cheer Up Charlie’s Outside – Onward Indian Touring Presents: Adios Austin Texas

The seminal garage, indie, country, punk, yet Alabama rock n’ roll collective, Dexateens are comprised of validated, working-class Renaissance men. They craft a workingman’s blues with an insatiable appetite for high decibels, fuzzy crunch, sweaty soul, and a penchant for Deep South traditions. Dexateens released their newest record in four years, Teenage Hallelujah, in 2016 on Cornelius Chapel Records.

3/15 7:15 PM @ Quit Your Day Job
3/15 – 11 PM @ SX Big Bang
3/16 – 10:30 PM @ Cooper’s BBQ – set by Brad Armstrong & His Dexateens
3/17 – 4 PM @ South X San Jose
3/18 – 6 PM @ Athens in Austin

The Dirty Lungs
Birmingham’s musical landscape has changed dramatically since The Dirty Lungs formed in 2006, but this staple garage-surf trio has continuously reinvented itself. They’ve shared the stage with bands such as British Sea Power, Jacuzzi Boys, The Clientele, and have continued to tour in support of their self-titled release. Their newest late-night masterpiece, Look Expensive and Smile, will release in 2017.

3/15 9 PM @ The Velveeta Room – Communicating Vessels Showcase

Duquette Johnston
Johnston has been a fixture in Alabama’s music scene for over twenty years. Coming out of ‘90s rock n’ roll (he founded and played bass for Verbena before the band signed to Capitol Records), Johnston experienced the costs of fame and the toll it can take on the creative mind. But through this exploration, three exquisite records emerged, revealing Johnston’s knack at writing songs in his own commanding voice. Duquette Johnston’s latest album, Social Animals, is set for a 2017 release on Communicating Vessels.

3/15 10 PM @ The Velveeta Room – Communicating Vessels Showcase
*Performing with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth

Future Elevators
From Birmingham, Future Elevators is a melody-driven project based on positivity and a conversion of energy. Fresh and Classic at the same time, this music is infectious and will stick to your brain. With constant touring and the use of their music in Showtime’s original series, Shameless, the band’s music and message continues to spread.

3/15 11 PM @ The Velveeta Room – Communicating Vessels Showcase

It’s a rock n’ roll thrill ride, full of pumping beats and plangent guitars, howled vocals and hooks that last. In their latest release, Beats Misplaced, the blues commingle with noise rock, and a righteous boogie pulsates beneath shoegaze distortion. Think Japandroids or No Age being born in and embracing the humid and strange American South, and you start to hear \\GT// through the haze. They have entered the studio to record their new album with David Swatzell of Wray in the producer’s chair. They will also release a split LP with NULL recorded live at Seasick Records in Birmingham.

3/14 – 5 PM @ Hotel Vegas, Inside – Spring Break Boogie
3/14 – 10:15 PM @ Spider House – Spring Fever Smack Down
3/15 1 AM @ The Velveeta Room – Communicating Vessels Showcase
3/17 – 6:30 PM @ Spider House – Bloat Records, Onward Indian Touring Presents
3/19 – 4:30 PM @ Cheer Up Charlie’s Inside – Spider House & Onward Indian Touring Present: Adios Austin Texas

In Snow
A four-piece instrumental band from Birmingham, In Snow manifests a tenuously balanced atmosphere on stage. Their heavy experimental-indie-rock composition is balanced and kept cool by ominously dreamy distortion and transitional noise. Their new full-length, Four Lines, is set to release in March through Step Pepper Records.

3/14 – 3:30 PM @ Hotel Vegas – Spring Break Boogie
3/14  7 PM @ Spider House – Spider House & Onward Indian Touring Present: Spring Fever Smack Down

Jay Dot Rain
Hailing from Tuscaloosa, Jay Dot Rain weaves genuine Southern rap with a sophisticated production style. Smooth flows and beats dope, with lyrical attention to detail — Jay Dot Rain’s music operates like a fine companion, working your body and your mind. Look out for his debut album, Thank God For the Rain, coming soon.

3/16  @ 512 Rooftop

Lady Legs
Based in Birmingham, Lady Legs reveal an explosive and polished indie/surf/garage rock sound. Their more modest side spins inward with a contemplative control. The most recent signing to Communicating Vessels, they are currently recording their debut album to be released in 2017. Lady Legs will be releasing a limited edition 10-inch record as well, touring the US in June.

3/14 – 8 PM @ Spider House – Spider House & Onward Indian Touring Present: Spring Fever Smack Down 
3/15 8 PM @ The Velveeta Room – Communicating Vessels Showcase
3/13 – @ Spiderhouse – All the Friends Ball

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Split between Birmingham and Atlanta, their music is both a celebration of and confrontation with the culture of the American South. With accolades from the New York Times, Paste, NPR, and others, their high-energy, high-volume rock n’ roll is gritty to the core. They recently joined the Don Giovanni Records roster, having completed an East Coast tour earlier this year, and continuing to travel through the South until late March.

3/14 – 3 PM @ The Blackheart – Clif Bar, Noisetrade, Pledge Showcase
3/15 – 8:10 PM @ Cooper’s BBQ – Americana Showcase
3/16 – 9 PM @ Cooper’s BBQ – New West Records Showcase
3/17 – 8:10 PM @ Cooper’s BBQ – Americana Showcase
3/18 – 9 PM @ Cooper’s BBQ – New West Records Showcase


Little Girl
Indie-synth-pop from Birmingham, Little Girl adds a theatrical dimension to her shows, incorporating light projectors, costumes, stage props — it’s like a magical mermaid trance party under a moonlit seafoam disco ball. She’s busy in the studio, too, collaborating as well as working on a new EP, set to release in late spring 2017.

3/13 – @ Spiderhouse – All the Friends Ball

Royal & Toulouse
Raised in Texas and Alabama, bound by way of New Orleans, this is rock n’ roll built on the Delta blues sound. A jam band at heart, Royal & Toulouse take delight in the build-up, garnering a Seventies psychedelic-blues swagger. They’re newest album, Shake That Reputation, is a heady mix of distorted guitar work, steeped grooves, and romantic grit. They are working on a new music video this spring, with numerous tour dates throughout the year.

3/15  @ Hole In the Wall – Chicken Ranch Records Showcase
3/18 – 2:45 PM @ Lustre Pearl East
3/18 – 12:35 PM @ Whip In – Nine Mile Records Showcase

The Secret Sisters
Country roots-rock from Florence, The Secret Sisters’ honeyed voices and acoustic guitars exert a raw, simplistic songwriting style that helps audiences find not just beauty in their melodies, but from the silence in between. Sweetly Southern with serious talent, this homegrown elegance catapults the duo into national fame, one song making it onto the Hunger Games soundtrack. They’ve recently signed with New West Records, with their next album releasing soon.

3/15 – 3 PM @ The Blackheart – Clif Bar, Noisetrade, Pledge Showcase
3/15 – 8:10 PM @ Cooper’s BBQ – Americana Showcase
3/17 – 9 PM @ Cooper’s BBQ – New West Records Showcase

Wray effortlessly blends smart sonic pluralities into a seamless whole without losing any of their DIY grit. Based out of Birmingham, the trio have a shared history that reaches back over a decade in the Birmingham music scene. Having received accolades from everyone from the New York Times to MOJO, their penchant for adventurous music-making is evident. Wray’s latest album, Hypatia, is a shining light for progressive music coming out of the Deep South.

3/14 – 7:45 PM @ Spider House – Spider House & Onward Indian Touring Present: Spring Fever Smack Down
3/15 12 AM @ The Velveeta Room – Communicating Vessels Showcase


Compiled & edited by Lindsay McDuffie for MusicBham.com