Jackie Venson

Jackie Venson is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter known far and wide for her beautifully complex music and blazing guitar skills. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Jackie has traveled the world playing to crowds both as a headliner and as support for major acts such as Keb’ Mo’, Gary Clark Jr, Aloe Blacc, Melissa Etheridge, and Citizen Cope, to name a few. In 2020, Jackie released her studio album Vintage Machine, her first studio follow up to 2019’s Joy. Music from Vintage Machine was featured heavily on Jackie’s taping for Austin City Limits’ 46th season, and she released the full set on “Live at Austin City Limits” that year. In 2021, she released Love Transcends, her first studio album centered around the blues and at the start of 2023 she released Evolution of Joy, a reimagining of her breakout album Joy, with producer Frenchie Smith (Jet, Toadies, Wild Child). With the uncertainty of the times we’re living in, one thing holds true for Jackie Venson- she’s going to play her music, speak her truth, and spread as much joy as she can doing it.

Kam Franklin

Kam Franklin is a singer-songwriter, music producer, activist, writer, orator, model, visual artist, and actress from Houston, TX. She is best known for her work with the gulf coast soul band, The Suffers, but Kam began performing gospel music at the age of five. A three-time recipient of the Houston Press Music Award for Best Female Vocalist, Kam has performed on five continents and has performed with the Suffers backed by The Houston Symphony in addition to being featured solo. Kam is also known for her unique collaborations, some of which include: her 2018 collaboration with Grammy Award winning Tejano legends, La Mafia, filling in for H.R. (of Bad Brains) during the 2016 Afropunk Festival Superjam alongside members of Bad Brains, Fishbone, and Living Colour, performing in the 2016 March For Science band alongside Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Questlove, Judith Hill, and Fred Wesley (longtime James Brown and Parliament collaborator), and repeated appearances at Newport Folk Festival where she has participated in numerous tributes and collaborations, most notably with Chaka Khan, Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell, Lucius, and Deer Tick. In 2022, she released the Bayou City Comeback Chorus EP, a social justice album funded with a grant by The Houston Arts Alliance that features the voices and musicianship of over 20 artists from around the Houston area.

Both Forbes and Vice have featured Kam for her activism and business ventures that seek to create a more equitable and inclusive environment in the arts for black, queer, and femme artists working in all mediums and from all backgrounds. In fall 2018, she joined the board for Headcount.org. Kam’s unique style and fashion-sense has also been covered by Buzzfeed, Refinery 29, and Nylon. Fronting The Suffers, Kam has performed nationally on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Jimmy Kimmel Live in addition to speaking with  Ailsa Chang and Ari Shapiro on NPR’s All Things Considered, Brené Brown’s “Dare To Lead” Podcast,  Samantha Brown’s “Places To Love”, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and National Geographic’s  “Texas: Spirit and Soul” short film.

At home, Kam remains a very active participant in the Houston music scene, producing events that have featured up-and-coming acts from around the Gulf Coast area while leveraging her and The Suffers’ international platform to represent the City of Houston and champion her entrepreneurial approach to finding success in the arts for women, minorities, and independent artists. She currently serves on the board of HeadCount.org, as Governor for the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy, and she also served as the inaugural Texas Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ambassador for the Texas Chapter of The Recording Academy.

Artist Biography by Joseph McCombs

Momentary SetbackThe son of Boogie Kings guitarist (and Louisiana Hall of Fame member) Ted Broussard, singer/songwriter Marc Broussard was seemingly destined for a life as a music man. His upbringing in Lafayette, Louisiana instilled in him an affinity for R&B alongside the Cajun trappings of southern Louisiana. Drawing vocal and stylistic influence from Otis Redding and Brian McKnight while bearing the preternaturally gruff vocals of John Hiatt and Dr. John, Broussard was barely 20 at the time of his first album’s release. Momentary Setback appeared to encouraging reviews on the independent Ripley Records label in September 2002. Soon afterwards, the young musician inked a deal with Island Def Jam.

Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce SpringsteenWith Island’s support, doors began to open for Broussard. “Just Like That,” a track from the Momentary Setback album, was culled for inclusion in the 2003 Lost and Found, Vol. 1 compilation alongside such artists as Ryan Adams and the Jayhawks; that same year, Broussard also appeared on a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, Light of Day, with the track “Back in Your Arms.” He spent the autumn of 2003 on the road, where he served as opening act for the Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, and fellow singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw. Carencro, a sophomore album named after Broussard’s hometown, was issued by Island Records in 2004, and he made the jump from Island to Atlantic Records four years later for the release of Keep Coming Back. He became a road dog after the album’s release, opening for and sharing stages not only with Maroon 5 and the Dave Matthews Band but also with Willie Nelson, O.A.R., and Bonnie Raitt.

A Life Worth LivingIn March of 2011, two songs, “Lucky” and “Only Everything,” were issued for digital download as a precursor to his Jamie Kenney-produced self-titled album, which appeared in July and also signaled his move to the Vanguard label. It was followed in 2014 by Life Worth Living, a more stripped-down effort that drew raves from critics. In September of 2016, he announced that 50 percent of the sales of his S.O.S. II album would go to charities that primarily served the homeless and hometown organizations like City of Refuge. Released in 2017 on G-Man, Easy to Love placed inside the Top 25 on the Top Independent Albums chart.

Artist Biography by Joseph McCombs

Momentary SetbackThe son of Boogie Kings guitarist (and Louisiana Hall of Fame member) Ted Broussard, singer/songwriter Marc Broussard was seemingly destined for a life as a music man. His upbringing in Lafayette, Louisiana instilled in him an affinity for R&B alongside the Cajun trappings of southern Louisiana. Drawing vocal and stylistic influence from Otis Redding and Brian McKnight while bearing the preternaturally gruff vocals of John Hiatt and Dr. John, Broussard was barely 20 at the time of his first album’s release. Momentary Setback appeared to encouraging reviews on the independent Ripley Records label in September 2002. Soon afterwards, the young musician inked a deal with Island Def Jam.

Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce SpringsteenWith Island’s support, doors began to open for Broussard. “Just Like That,” a track from the Momentary Setback album, was culled for inclusion in the 2003 Lost and Found, Vol. 1 compilation alongside such artists as Ryan Adams and the Jayhawks; that same year, Broussard also appeared on a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, Light of Day, with the track “Back in Your Arms.” He spent the autumn of 2003 on the road, where he served as opening act for the Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, and fellow singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw. Carencro, a sophomore album named after Broussard’s hometown, was issued by Island Records in 2004, and he made the jump from Island to Atlantic Records four years later for the release of Keep Coming Back. He became a road dog after the album’s release, opening for and sharing stages not only with Maroon 5 and the Dave Matthews Band but also with Willie Nelson, O.A.R., and Bonnie Raitt.

A Life Worth LivingIn March of 2011, two songs, “Lucky” and “Only Everything,” were issued for digital download as a precursor to his Jamie Kenney-produced self-titled album, which appeared in July and also signaled his move to the Vanguard label. It was followed in 2014 by Life Worth Living, a more stripped-down effort that drew raves from critics. In September of 2016, he announced that 50 percent of the sales of his S.O.S. II album would go to charities that primarily served the homeless and hometown organizations like City of Refuge. Released in 2017 on G-Man, Easy to Love placed inside the Top 25 on the Top Independent Albums chart.

More than three decades have passed since Los Lobos released their debut album, Just Another Band from East L.A. Since then they’ve repeatedly disproven that title—Los Lobos isn’t “just another” anything, but rather a band that has consistently evolved artistically while never losing sight of their humble roots.

Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy Award winning band (Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded their major label debut How Will The Wolf Survive? in 1984.
Although the album’s name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band—David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin—saw parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots. Perez, the band’s drummer, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music “the soundtrack of the barrio.” Three decades, two more Grammys, a worldwide smash single (“La Bamba”) and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well — and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. The band chronicles a key moment of their expansive journey on Disconnected In New York City, a dynamic live album that marks the band’s 40th anniversary and launches their new association with 429 Records.

Over the past 10 years, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent comprised by a gift for combining melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. His latest studio album, Gotta Get Back, produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, is yet another masterwork that further expands upon this reputation.

Growing up on a commune in rural North Carolina, the son of classically trained musicians, Seth Walker played cello long before discovering the six-string in his 20s. When his introduction to the blues came via his Uncle Landon Walker, who was both a musician and disc jockey, his fate was forever sealed. Instantaneously, Seth was looking to artists like T-Bone Walker, Snooks Eaglin, and B.B. King as a wellspring of endless inspiration. The rest is history. He’s released seven albums between 1997 and 2015; breaking into the Top 20 of the Americana charts and receiving praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Blues Revue, among others.

In addition to extensive recording and songwriting pursuits, Seth is consistently touring and performing at venues and festivals around the world. Along with headline shows, he’s been invited to open for The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.

Seth Walker is currently splitting his time between New Orleans and New York City after previously residing in Austin and Nashville. He’s used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. Perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: “If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country—just might be your poster boy.”

Jackie Venson’s “…astonishing mix of raw soul, superb musicianship and laid back grace…” (Austin American Statesman, June 2014) has been compared to the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and fellow Austin native Gary Clark, Jr. Originally a classical pianist, Jackie picked up the guitar, shortly after graduating from Berklee College of Music, and made the giant leap from the tradition of classical music to the raw and gritty blues.

Enthralled with music since the age of 8, this young singer/songwriter/musician instantly captures your attention with a vibrant musical soul and passionate control of her instruments, that reach far beyond her tender age. As she mindfully blends Blues, Rock, R&B, Soul and more, with her introspective lyrics, the message is clear. When you’re listening to Jackie you hear the “Truth in Music”.

Her live performances revisits what makes music so powerful: emotion and passion. She thrives without the flash, instead favoring a clean sound, genuine soul, and meaningful connection with her audience. Music is not only what Venson does – but also defines who she is and reminds her where she wants to be: performing.
Having finished her second tour of Europe and a declaration of “Jackie Venson Day” (May 21st) in the “Live Music Capital of the World” Austin, TX, there’s no doubt she has every reason to lead the way with the trademark smile that accompanies her magnificent musicianship.