Artist Spotlight: The Red White & Blue Ball 6/30

The Red White & Blue Ball is an intimate music and camping event taking place on Saturday, June 30 at The Ball Farm, a beautiful outdoor venue located 25 miles southeast of downtown Austin. The event will offer free camping, tasty offerings from local food trucks, a giant water slide, a late-night fireworks show, and more. The main attraction will be performances from some of Austin’s most exciting new talent. Check out these artist spotlights to learn more, and be sure to reserve your tickets at


With an engaging sound and performance that combines the twang of Texas folk with Americana and the blues, Wheeler Brothers have quickly become one of Austin’s most exciting new bands. The band is comprised of three brothers (Nolan, Tyler and Patrick Wheeler) and two lifelong friends (Danny Matthews and A.J. Molyneaux.) Backed by Texas swing legend Ray Benson and his label Bismeaux Records, the Wheeler Brothers released their debut album ‘Portraits’ to rave reviews in 2011. Since its release the band has gone on a national tour supporting the likes of Bob Schneider and Drive by Truckers, took home the award for Best New Band at the Austin Music Awards, and are lined up to play KGSR’s Blues on the Green as well as the 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival.


The Austin-based “outlaw country” band Crooks was chosen in The Austin Chronicle’s Critics Poll as one of the Best New Local Acts of 2011. The band consists of rugged frontman Josh Mazour on vocals and guitar, Andrew Vanvoorhees on stand up bass, Rob Bacak on drums, and the multi talented Sam Alberts on trumpet, banjo, mandolin, blues harp and more. Together they boast a whiskey-soaked sound inspired by classic country, rock, blues, and good old-fashioned honky tonk.

Crooks’ debut LP, The Rain Will Come, was produced by Danny Reisch (Bright Light Social Hour, Okkervil River, White Denim) and released in May of 2012. The band recently sold out their album release show at Antone’s, and the title track was chosen as KUT’s “Song of the Day.” They were also selected as the Texas band to “score big” in 2012 by Texas Music Matters, and labeled a “Must-See Austin Band” by MTV’s The Hive. Crooks also performed at Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2011.


Shakey Graves is the moniker of Austin’s own Alejandro Rose-Garcia. Over the last five years he has traveled the states and met new friends while writing and recording music. Hailed as one of the best one-man shows in Austin, he captivates audiences with feverish finger picking and a dramatic vocal style, all while keeping time on a handmade kick drum. A multifaceted artist, Rose-Garcia wrote, recorded, and produced every element of his debut release ‘Roll The Bones’ which received rave reviews and was listed as one of the top ten albums of 2011 by The Austin Chronicle.

Recently, Shakey Graves was named one of the 12 Artists to Watch in 2012 by KUT, and was bestowed with the distinct honor of having February 9th proclaimed “Shakey Graves Day” by the City of Austin. He’s also held down a residency at the Hole In The Wall, played an official SXSW showcase, and been invited to perform at just about every reputable music venue in Austin.


Evan Styles and Christopher Balcom (formerly of Earle Brown) joined forces with Lindsey James (of Olive Street) in June of 2010 to create a dynamic indie/folk/rock trio. Comprising their sound is a strong foundation of Evan’s rich keys and Chris’s melodic/rhythmic guitar combined with Lindsey’s powerful yet minimalist percussion and permeating melodies from the electric mandolin. In September of 2011, Pete Martin joined the group bringing his bold and colorful trombone style that elevated the band to a fresh new level. And the icing on the cake came a month later when Ephraim “Sam” Wickline joined with his cello.

This band, being constructed of individual songwriters, has a diverse list of influences ranging in and out of nearly every genre. This, along with the non-traditional rock setup used to create high-energy tracks as well as deep soulful melodies, is what sets Those Nights apart from other bands. And it’s the haunting vocals, constructed harmonies, and occasional hip-hop flavor that creates the formula for this unforgettable show.


Hello Wheels is a four strong stomp-folk act from Austin, TX. Harmony rich and driving, their songs boast dynamic arrangements, thoughtfully woven into the stories they tell. The result has been called ‘a new sound with an old soul’. In their second year together, the group’s debut EP, Baby John the Fox, was released to a sold out crowd at the Cactus Cafe and contains a KUT featured Song of the Day. Keep an ear to the ground, this sound you won’t want to miss.

“Self-described as a “stomp-folk band,” the group is barely into their second year, but they’ve already nailed down complex, multi-part harmonies. Banjo and acoustic guitar lead the melodic charge, but upright bass, percussion, and bubbling organ round out the driving sound. Baby John is a varied debut, featuring the dirge-like “Gone Away,” the golden country-folk of “Interlude,” and the dreamy “Summer Song.” But it’s the soulful love ballad “A Woman Is A Well” that truly caught our ear.” – KUT


Henry + The Invisibles is an amazing one-man funk band best known for electrifying audiences with high energy dance music and explosive live performances. Multi-instrumentalist Henry Roland records live loops using his vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion and other random objects such as coffee cans, chairs and water jugs to create music that sounds like it is being performed by a 5-piece funk outfit. To be more specific, Henry’s music sounds like Sly The Family Stone meets James Brown meets Jimi Hendrix meets Prince – yet has a unique and original sound that is definitively Henry + The Invisibles. He has opened for many musical greats including Maceo Parker, Ozomatli, Medeski, Martin & Wood, The Wailers and many more.

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