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Austin Lounge Lizards

  • Center for the Art 314 West Main Street Grass Valley, CA, 95945 United States (map)

The Center for the Arts presents
Saturday, October 15, 2016, 8:00pm

$22 member, $24 general public
(Ticket price includes $2 facility fee.  Does not include applicable fee for online purchases.)

The Austin Lounge Lizards are arguably the perfect pairing of their hometown’s moniker, “Music Capital of the World,” and its motto: “Keep Austin Weird.” For 33 years, the Lizards have been spoofing the topics American families try to avoid at the Thanksgiving table; subjects like politics, religion, romance, the music industry, and their crazy/stupid relatives. With pointed lyrics, precise harmonies and instrumental expertise, the band has become legendary for its satirical skewering through song.

The Lizards originated in 1976 in New Jersey, when Hank Card (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Conrad Deisler (vocals, lead guitar, mandolin) met as mutual history majors at Princeton University and started songwriting together. Following graduation, both Hank, a native Oklahoman, and Conrad, a Tex-Cali-Connecticut-Venezuelan, ended up in Austin. University of Georgia philosophy graduate and banjo/dobro player Tom Pittman completed the founding-troubador trifecta in 1980, and the Austin Lounge Lizards was born.

With a series of talented fellow players and writers, the band began playing dates around Austin and across Texas. Soon, they had developed a widespread following of loyal Lizard fans, and by 1987, began appearing at festivals and concerts throughout North America and in the United Kingdom. Five-time winners at the Austin Music Awards, the Lizards have played many celebrated festivals, including California’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Strawberry Music Festivals, New York’s Grey Fox and Florida’s Stringbreak Festivals, Canada’s Vancouver and Edmonton Folk Festivals and Summerfolk, the Americana and Iron Bridge Festivals in the UK, and the Kerrville Folk Festival close to their home in Texas. They have also performed at dozens of prestigious concert venues, including The Barns at Wolftrap (Vienna, VA), the Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA), the Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), John Ascuaga’s Nugget (Sparks, NV), Eddie’s Attic (Atlanta), The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI), Calgary Folk Club (Alberta, Canada), the Bass Performing Arts Center & McDavid Studio (Fort Worth), McGonigel’s Mucky Duck (Houston) and Austin’s own Cactus Café.

After more than three decades, Tom retired from the band to Asheville, NC, in 2011. The departure of Tom, who stands about 6’4”, literally downsized the band; to honor his legacy, the Lizards chose to do so figuratively as well, continuing as a quartet, less a banjo but no less eccentric. The band is now made up of Hank, Conrad, Darcie Deaville (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) and Bruce Jones (electric bass, vocals). Darcie joined the boys in 2008, bringing a womanly perspective to the traditionally all-male revue, while Bruce became part of the group in late 2009.

With their unique amalgamation of highly literate Ivy League roots; the folk, country and bluegrass musical conventions of Appalachia and Nashville; creative influences like Frank Zappa, Spike Jones, George Jones, and Flatt & Scruggs; and an unquenchable thirst for the absurd, the Lizards specialize in musical eclecticism, excellence and extreme entertainment.

Earlier Event: October 15
Winterfaire Craft Show
Later Event: October 20
Dom Flemons