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...
"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,
"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)
Video from another performance during SXSW
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)
like Tom Petty without the edges sanded off. Another glittering
accomplishment from a hell of a consistent artist." - Jim Caligiuri,
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
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.
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,
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)
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
was easily available one block away from the venue for the Texas Music
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.
(c) Steffen Paulus 2012