Texas two-step 

Robison, Reckless Kelly at Sticky Fingerz; New Orleans’ Astral Project returns Oct. 11.

Texas troubadour Charlie Robison, who always draws a big crowd whenever he comes through town, performs Friday, Oct. 8, at Sticky Fingerz in the River Market district. Robison says his fifth recording, "Good Times," is more personal and introspective than his others, like the swaggering and party-hearty releases "Life of the Party" and "Step Right Up." "Good Times" includes guest appearances from his wife, Emily, the dobro and banjo player for the Dixie Chicks, and her bandmate Natalie Maines. And according to his new press agency, Robison is trying to shed the bad-boy, raucous image that he has developed over the years; he claims that marriage and fatherhood have changed his creative direction. Of course there is a band behind the man in the form of the EnablersKevin Carroll on guitar, E. Scott Esbeck on bass, Keith Robinson on drums and Kim Deschamps on pedal and lap steel and mandolin. Local cowboy outlaw Greg Gardner will open at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $15. Reckless Kelly, unquestionably one of Austin’s favorite bands, will follow Robison into Sticky Fingerz on Saturday, Oct. 9. Reckless Kelly opened for ZZ Top during a summer tour, and in July recorded Alejandro Escovedo’s "Paradise" with Steve Earle in a compilation entitled "Por Vida" — a tribute and benefit for Escovedo, who is living with hepatitis C. The two-disc set is available now, and there’s more information at www.alejandrofund.com. Reckless Kelly is re-releasing 1998’s "Millican," due in stores early November. Jackson Taylor will open at 9 p.m.; the cover is $8. The New Orleans-based jazz combo Astral Project gets surreal at the Afterthought on Monday, Oct. 11, for the nightclub’s monthly Monday Night Jazz Project. Together since the late ’70s, the renowned quartet — sax man John Vidacovich, drummer Tony Dagradi, guitarist Steve Masakowski and bassist James Singleton — completed its latest effort, "The Legend of Cowboy Bill," in May. The show starts at 8 p.m. and admission is $10, with tickets available both at the Hillcrest venue and at Capitol Keyboard (228-9998). Contemporary singer/songwriter Tim Harrison, who draws strongly from traditional spiritual and Celtic folk music, performs at Acoustic Sounds Cafe (located in the Second Presbyterian Church’s Great Hall, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive) on Friday, Oct. 8. Michael Kelsh, founding member of the theatrical rockabilly band Southern Culture on the Skids, will open at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the non-smoking, alcohol-free event in $8, $7 for students. Newly opened art gallery Mediums, 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd., hosts a spoken word event every Friday starting at 9:30 p.m. (poets sign up at 8:30 p.m.). Cash prizes will be awarded, and guest poets are scheduled for the coming months. Admission is $5. That velvet Elvis painting you secretly covet comes to life with a kooky Hispanic twist on Monday, Oct. 11, at Sticky Fingerz with latino Elvis impersonator El Vez. El Vez is considered one of the best in the teeming pool of King wannabes. His act is a rendition of the "Rein of Rock," con queso; El Vez is known for dressing like a mariachi and engaging in hilarious stage antics while doing Elvis covers. Mary McBride opens the 9 p.m. show, cover is $8. If you like your rock ’n’ roll country, Southern and on the skanky side, Drive By Truckers appear with Centromatic on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Ernie Biggs, Chicago-Style Piano Bar has opened a 1920s-style "speakeasy" on its second floor, giving patrons a place to get away from the loud first-floor piano show and have a little more lounging area, with couches and more tables and chairs. The River Market district bar built its stairwell offsite and put it all in place during a recent weekend.

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