SXSW Music Festival 2011 - Day 2 - Afternoon
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion [Jump], The Mastersons [Jump], The BlueBonnets [Jump], Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers [Jump], Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 [Jump], The Baseball Project [Jump], Marianne Dissard [Jump]
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Austin, Texas
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17-March 2011
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Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion @ Jo's

Bright Examples doesn't explode their folk background so much as push it to the side in favor of a dreamy roots pop that falls somewhere between She & Him and Neil Young's Harvest. Co-produced by Andy Cabic of psych-folk disciples Vetiver and Thom Monahan of Pernice Brothers, Bright Examples also features guest turns by Jayhawks Gary Louris and Mark Olson. With all that, it's still the close harmonies of the husband-and-wife duo that make the disc float. Irion's songwriting again allows them each their own space. […] Bright Examples is a bold step forward for Guthrie and Irion, but one soundly tethered to their folk roots.” – Jim Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle
I started this warm and sunny day in South Austin at 1pm and was off to a perfect start with a band that I had not had a chance to see before. Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion were joined by Charlie Rose on up-right bass and members of Vetiver on pedal steel and drums for a good portion of their all-too-short 30 minute set. They ended up on my list of "must-see-again-this-week" acts.
Watch a video of "Target On Your Heart" on Carson Daly here.

The Mastersons @ Jo's

“Chris Masterson and wife Eleanor Whitmore may live in Brooklyn these days, but like many New Yorkers, they are avid snowbirds. So much so, their new album will be titled Bird Fly South. This year they decided to record an album at George Reiff's home studio in Austin. While Masterson and Whitmore have both released solo albums, this will be the first album as The Mastersons.” - William Michael Smith, Houston Press
The last time I had seen Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore at SXSW 2008 they did not yet have a name for their band yet. A lot had changed since: Eleanor was playing more guitar than violin and they sounded more like band this time around, with George Reiff on bass. They will be on tour with Steve Earle this summer - check them out if you have the chance.
Watch a video from SXSW 2010 here.

The BlueBonnets @ Taco Xpress

“If Lucinda Williams didn't really come into her own until she had a few years under her jeans, the same is true for the BlueBonnets, the Texa-Cali female fourpiece pumping pure rock refreshingly free of embellishment like "roots" or "alt." Fronted by bassist/vocalist Dominique Davalos and Go-Go's guitarist Kathy Valentine (who also produced) and featuring secret weapon guitarist Eve Monsees, Boom bursts with attitude as self-referential as it is cheeky, […], all while rocking nonstop like modern-day Shangri-las armed with electric guitars instead of go-go boots.” – Margaret Moser, Austin Chronicle
I stayed in South Austin and headed over to Lamar to see The BlueBonnets at the SinCity party. The last time I saw Kathy and Dominque they were still in the Delphines - was that really ten years ago? Not sure about the name change, but it’s always fun to watch the two together on stage. For the last song, kid’s were dancing on and in front of the stage…
Watch a video from SXSW 2010 here.

Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers @ Jovita's

“We rarely talk about country music as being "soulful" or having "soul", but thank god Zoe Muth is here to change this. The gentle truth of her songwriting and the softness of her voice lend a weight to the music that gives Starlight Hotel, a true feeling of soulfulness. An astonishingly good songwriter.” - No Depression
The city of Austin cracked down on a number of party locations this year which resulted in Jovita’s losing the permit for their outdoor stage. The Twangfest party had a full schedule for both stages, and losing 1 of 2 stages created a big issue as everyone had to play inside the. Even with shortened set times this resulted in delays and changes, and while this ruined my schedule for the rest of the afternoon I got to see Zoe Muth and band…
Watch a video from another performance during SXSW here.

Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 @ Jovita's

“In his Eighties band the Dream Syndicate, singer-guitarist Steve Wynn subverted Sixties psychedelia with droning guitars and tangled skeins of lies and treachery, like a Velvet Underground score to a Fifties-noir film. Northern Aggression, made with his long-running Miracle 3, is a new peak in that hard-boiled moral aggression. In "Colored Lights," Wynn sounds like Tom Petty stuck in a desert town with only feedback and attitude to shoot his way out. […] You don't argue with the guitars, either.” – David Fricke, Rolling Stone
By the time Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 finally hit the stage a large crowd had assembled in front of the stage, resulting in one of the sweatiest and hottest shows of the week. Set list: “Bruises”, “Resolution”, “Colored Lights”, “Consider The Source”, “Death Valley Rain”, “That’s What You Always Say”, “Amphetamine”
Watch a video of “Death Valley Rain” from this show here, and of “Resolution” here.

The Baseball Project @ Jovita's

“The Baseball Project had its origins way back in 1992 when musicians Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows) and Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Gutterball) met and discovered they shared a passionate interest in baseball. The plan to make an album of original modern rock songs about the fascinating stories and stars of America's pastime sat on the back burner, though, until 2007, when the pair sat down in earnest to write and record the project. Drafting in drummer Linda Pitmon (Miracle Three, Golden Smog) and longtime friend and guitarist Peter Buck (R.E.M.), McCaughey and Wynn recorded The Baseball Project, Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails […], and the result was an often tongue-in-cheek set of narrative songs about baseball legends Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige, and others.” – Steve Leggett,
After a very short break Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon were back on stage – this time joined by Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Josh Kantor (Red Sox organist at Fenway Park) on keyboards and accordion. Mike Mills also got up on stage adding percussion and vocals for one song.
Set List: “Past Time”, “Ted Fucking Williams”, “Panda And The Freak”, “The Death of Big Ed Delahanty”, “Please Don't Call Them Twinkies”, “Jackie’s Lament”, “Harvey Haddix”, “Ichiro Goes to the Moon”, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”.
Watch a video of “The Death of Big Ed Delahanty” from this show here.

While most people left Jovita's, Marianne Dissard took the stage at Jovita's without band and sang to pre-recorded music.

Continue to evening...

All pictures (c) Steffen Paulus 2011