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2016 Austin Music Awards

Joni Hoffman
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Robert Plant singing 1957 R&B hit song "Young Blood" with Jimmie Vaughan on guitar at the Austin Music Awards.

I have a nose for spotting raw talent. And I'm not talking about musical talent on stage. I'm talking about a young University of Texas journalism major who was sitting next to me last night at the 34th annual Austin Music Awards.

One might think, at first glance, that Cat Cardenas was just another teen with her head buried in her phone, texting and checking social media. But my gut instinct told me otherwise. After talking with her, I found out she was live tweeting and covering the show for The Daily Texan.

I found myself in awe of watching her work come to life, and started following her on Twitter (@crcardenas8). Not only were her tweets witty but she had such a mature, natural perspective on the wide variety of music played throughout the night. She provided links to previous Daily Texan articles and photos of the performers and winners.

As far as I could tell, she was one of the few journalists tweeting live. The skills needed today to cover live events is mind-boggling to me. When she jumped up to the stage to grab close-up shots of Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Plant and Charlie Sexton (she’s also a photographer), I asked her boyfriend Sean Cronen, a music production major at UT, if he thought she would be interested in an internship in Houston this summer. He told me she’ll be studying abroad and covering the Olympics in Rio. No surprise to me - Cat won a UT journalism scholarship.

This is my fourth year attending SXSW – and my second year in a row of watching the Austin Music Awards – and I’m always astounded by the talented people I have the opportunity to meet while in Austin for SXSW.

Check out Cat Cardenas’ post on The Daily Texan on the Austin Music Awards. 

Some Austin Music Award winners included Warren Hood, best string player; More Cowbell for best cover band; Ulrich Ellison and Tribe for best blues; Calliope Musicals for best new Austin band; Gina Chavez, best Latin artist; the Flatlanders were voted in the Hall of Fame among other artists; Quiet Company, best rock band. Waterloo Record won an award for best music store (note: the owner, John Kunz, went to St. Thomas High School).

Lucky for us, some of these artists will be performing in Houston soon: More Cowbell, April 1, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co; Warren Hood, April 10, The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival; Calliope Musicals, April 23, Satellite Bar; Gina Chavez, May 27, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck.

Are you in Austin for SXSW? Let us know by commenting below or tag us in your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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