SXSW Music Festival 2012 - Day 4 - Afternoon
Great Lake Swimmers [Jump], The Parson Red Heads [Jump], Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express [Jump], The dB's [Jump], Brad Dunn & Ellis Country [Jump], Sons Of Bill [Jump], Amanda Shires [Jump]
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Austin, Texas
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16-March 2012
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Maybe one year I will spend an entire SXSW just taking photos on the streets of downtown Austin during the festival. There is always something interesting going on somewhere - like the three young ladies doing their morning exercises on the sidewalk of Congress Avenue...

Great Lake Swimmers @ Trinity Hall

"New Wild Everywhere, the group's fifth full-length outing, offers up another solid, if predictable batch of warm, contemplative, country-folk pop that seamlessly blends the rootsy, sunset melancholy of Gram Parsons, the smoky, Adirondack sheen of Joe Pernice's Scud Mountain Boys and the earthy grace of the Cowboy Junkies." - James Christopher Monger,
Vegetables. "Canada House" aka Trinity Hall was the perfect first stop of the day: they had breakfast and even some veggies, a rare sight during SXSW as far as free party food is concerned. Tacos? Sure. BBQ? Yup. But veggies? Almost never. So this turned out to be a win/win - great food and great music by the Great Lake Swimmers, who have graduated to larger venues in Canada, so this was a good opportunity to see them in a relatively small club.
Audio:  Great Lake Swimmers - Easy Come, Easy Go (from SXSW event page)
from another performance during SXSW

The Parson Red Heads @ Ginger Man Pub

"The Parson Red Heads latest single "Burning Up the Sky", a richly textured, harmony–soaked stunner of comely, gentle psych-folk. [...]  have fashioned a shamelessly happy sound, but one that no matter how celestial and irenic, manages to ground itself in an earthy Americana undercurrent." - Miss Dolly Mod, My Old Kentucky Blog
First band up in excellent bill. Hot day, and as always the wooden fences around the patio area seem to amplify the heat, but the band was well worth braving the heat.
Audio: The Parson Red Heads - Burning Up The Sky (from SXSW event page)

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express @ Ginger Man Pub

"...sounds like Tom Petty without the edges sanded off. Another glittering accomplishment from a hell of a consistent artist." - Jim Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle
Any tiredness was blown away by Chuck’s rocking set.
Despite the early hour the venue was packed, and early on it was clear that this set would be one of the highlights of the day: "Storm Across The Sea", "Balinese Dancer", "Castro Halloween", "The Left Hand And The Right Hand", "Willie Mays Is Up At Bat", "Doubter Out of Jesus (All Over You)", "White Night, Big City", "Little Girl, Little Boy", "Temple Beautiful" and "You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp) with Peter Buck from R.E.M. sitting in on guitar.
Audio: Chuck Prophet - Castro Halloween (from SXSW event page)
Video: Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express - You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp) from this show

The dB’s @ Ginger Man Pub

Stuck around for another performance by The dB's, which was fun again.
Video: The dB's - The Adventures of Albatross and Doggerel (from this show)

Even with countless hours of planning and mapping out the various options for the event it's quite likely that at some point things don't work out as planned. Parties often run late, artists cancelling at the last minute, or shows entered in the wrong timeslot on the calendar. After the dB's show I went back to the hotel, got the car and drove out to a residential neighbourhood in South Austin to see Collin Herring, Thrift Store Cowboys and Doug Burr. Found a parking spot right across from the address, but couldn't hear any music or see a group of people in the backyard. Hmm. Double-checked address - it was correct. Odd. Checked the event page online and discovered that the party was scheduled for the day after. Ooops.
Having a Plan B is vital as SXSW, so I headed back downtown. The Rattle Inn in a new place co-owned by Ray Benson (Asleep at The Wheel) near the now defunct and sadly missed Momo’s. Nice place with excellent sound. However, things were behind schedule there, so I got to see a bit of Brad Dunn & Ellis Country. Not bad, but material like "Song About Beer" and "Red White And Blue" sounded about as one-dimensional as the titles suggest. There was no food served at the bar and I was hungry again, so it was time to grab a bite b4 the next band.

Sons Of Bill @ Rattle Inn

"The band name Sons of Bill is a literal one - the Charlottesville quintet features three brothers - pianist/banjo player Abe and guitarists James and Sam - all of whom are the sons of a man named Bill Wilson. Not surprisingly, the brothers' vocal synergies add a lot to the twangy brand of guitar-driven alt-rock showcased on their third album, Sirens. [...] The best moments are the catchy, up-tempo numbers: "Siren Song" and "Santa Ana Winds," which blend the toe-tapping drive of a radio hit with the charm of a memorable narrative." - Catherine P. Lewis, Washington Post
Saw them last year, when they played quite a few songs from the David Lowery-produced album which was just released recently. This was another fun show...

Audio: Sons Of Bill - Santa Ana Wind (from SXSW event page)
Video: Sons Of Bill - The Rain (from this show)

Amanda Shires @ Scholz Garten

"A Lubbock native some may remember from the Thrift Store Cowboys, Amanda Shires has delivered a second disc that finds her balancing dusky overtones with occasional buoyancy. In the process, the fiddler and singer-songwriter lands somewhere between the perkiness of Dolly Parton, whom she resembles vocally on occasion, and the disquieting poetry of Richard Buckner. Consider the haunting and dynamic "When You Need a Train It Never Comes" a late candidate for song of the year." - John Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle
Parking was easily available one block away from the venue for the Texas Music Mag reader appreciation party - sometimes it's a good idea too get away from downtown or South Austin for a bit. This was the Amanda Shires trio again with Rod Picott on guitar and Todd Pertell on pedal steel. Tough, very chatty audience, but she made the best of the situation and delivered a great set.
Video: Amanda Shires - Detroit Or Buffalo from another show in March 2012.

Continue to evening...

All pictures (c) Steffen Paulus 2012