SXSW: The Mastersons; Intimate House Show With Austin Lucas

Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore ought to be household names at this point. Not only has Masterson played with Son Volt in the past, but the married couple also serves as a part of Steve Earle’s current band. Wednesday evening on Rainey Street, The Mastersons played a killer 40-minute set at Lucille. Throwing in new songs with cuts from their excellent first LP, Birds Fly South, the couple was in great form, choosing to play all plugged in rather than going acoustic for a few songs. The Mastersons will be playing the Heartbreak Banquet hosted at Willie Nelson’s ranch in Luck, about a half an hour outside of Austin’s city limits on Thursday evening. Also on the bill will be Shovels and Rope, Will Johnson (from Centro-matic), Diamond Rugs (which includes Athens’ own T. Hardy Morris) and others. More information on the Heartbreak Banquet can be found at

While the excitement around downtown stayed consistent throughout the day with plenty of big shows going on early, a house party north of the SXSW hubbub drew a crowd for Austin Lucas. With his dog resting nearby in Lucas’ guitar case, the Bloomington, Indiana-based punk troubadour played a 45-or-so-minute set to around thirty lucky listeners. Far removed from the cacophony of 6th Street, Lucas’ songs about class and heartbreak were earnest and endearing. At several points during his set, Lucas urged the crowd to get closer, making the small show even more intimate.