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For any budding musician, March is synonymous with South by Southwest. At the annual music festival in Austin, Texas, bands, labels, agents, and talent bookers convene to size one another up—in other words, it’s a highly competitive gig. One of the first acts to be officially announced for 2012 was the Chicago folk troubadour Mike Musikanto, or simply Musikanto. His latest album, Sky of Dresses, released last year by the local Grape Juice Records, earned positive reviews from the likes of NPR and Paste for its soulful reflection on traditional Americana—a style the singer-songwriter adopted after studying painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Catch him at the Hideout’s SXSW Sendoff Party on March 10 (hideoutchicago.com).
Photograph: Stephanie Bassos