SXSW 2004 – Thursday, March 18, 2004 - Evening

Adrienne Young & Little Sadie @ Antone’s
Adrienne Young & Little Sadie
“Adrienne Young & Little Sadie recall Alison Kraus & Union Station in their combination of traditional country and bluegrass sounds with more contemporary tunes, topped by an expressive female singer.” -- William Ruhlmann, allmusic.com

Adrienne Young
After checking the schedule for the evening I decided that tonight would be “girls with guitars night”. First stop was Antone’s to see Adrienne Young and her 4-piece acoustic band (guitar, fiddle / mandolin, stand-up bass, and percussion). A light-hearted performance with catchy songs, guaranteed to improve your mood, evident in the smiling faces both onstage and in the audience. Check out her song “Home Remedy” here.
Adrienne Young & Little Sadie

The next few hours were spent at a bar called Coyote Ugly Saloon. If you have seen or heard about the movie of the same name, you know what the deal is: Busty bartenders maximizing liquor sales by dancing on the bar.
Bar
Almost amusing, but there were other issues with this place: the stage was haphazardly set up in one corner, lower than the rest of the room, so that the only place where you could actually see the band was from the first three rows or through the street windows from outside.

The Duhks @ Coyote Ugly Saloon
The Duhks
“Energetic 5-piece progressive folk band from Winnipeg. Their show is a pure, unrestrained and dynamic presentation of traditional and contemporary acoustic music designed to make people kick up their feet and party. Celtic, old-time, French-Canadian and alt-country influences intermingle, with Cuban percussion, to boot! 100% fun!“ -- SXSW Band Info

The Duhks
Recently signed Sugar Hill recording artists The Duhks from the current Canadian hotbed for hand-made traditional music delivered a highly energetic and entertaining performance despite the challenging circumstances.

Grey DeLisle @ Coyote Ugly Saloon
Grey DeLisle
“DeLisle crafts a chamber country gothic sound that feels like a mountain Flannery O'Connor writing for a young Dolly Parton in a string band for the Louvins fronted by a woman. Her songs, all of them, offer visions of romantic loss and longing, sin and redemption. This is country music out of space and time, reeking not one bit of revivalism or gimmick or artifice. […] Graceful Ghost is a very special album; it will appeal to anyone who has ever taken American traditional music seriously and will blow away anyone who has ever considered the craft in songwriting to be a lost art - the Grail is here.” -- Thom Jurek, allmusic.com
Grey DeLisle + Murry Hammond
Grey DeLisle at Coyote Ugly Saloon. It’s hard to imagine a starker contrast, however she seemed unperturbed by the surroundings and started off her set with an acapella version of “Sawyer”. Grey’s band included Marvin Etzioni on mandocello and husband Murry Hammond on bass.
Marvin Etzioni
Halfway through her set there was a power outage affecting backline and PA. After a few minutes power was restored and the band started where they had left off, only to be interrupted by yet another outage shortly after that. This time it took over 10 minutes to fix, so they did not get to play as long as they and the audience would have liked.
Grey DeLisle

Garrison Starr @ Coyote Ugly Saloon
Garrison Starr
“After a couple of major-label entries during the '90s and some time taken to regroup, Mississippi-bred singer/songwriter Garrison Starr reappears with a noteworthy new effort. The Los Angeles-based musician sports one of the strongest voices in town. She is also the author of affecting, emotion-baring songs that are clothed in attractive, melodic garb. The present album combines artistic and commercial elements with great poise. Adult alternative and public radio will find much to adore in originals like "Gasoline", "Sing", "Hey, Girl," "Superhero" and the title track. Starr's engaging and forceful live performances should help this solid effort get a leg up with her fan base and newcomers alike.” -- CM, Billboard

Garrison Starr
The first and only time I had seen Garrison Starr was shortly after the release of her fantastic debut Eighteen Over Me in 1997, and I was really looking forward to her SXSW appearance. Backed by a rocking band, she began with “Gasoline”, the lead-off track from her new CD, followed by “Like A Drug”, “Underneath The Wheel”, “Hey Girl”, “Superhero”, “Airstreams And Satellites”, ending with and “One-sided”. Due to the earlier delays she only got to play for about 30 minutes - much too short, as it would have been nice to hear some of her older material as well.
Garrison Starr

Mindy Smith @ Coyote Ugly Saloon
Mindy Smith
One Moment More may be Mindy Smith's debut album, but you probably wouldn't guess it's the work of a novice on first listen — Smith's first extended trip into the recording studio finds her displaying the sort of confidence, intelligence, and emotional range you'd expect to hear from a veteran performer. Smith's voice is rich but open, covering a broad musical and emotional range without a lot of pointless showboating, and suggesting Alison Krauss' clean vocal style but with a more naturally limber instrument. […] Many artists spend years working up to the point where they can make an album as graceful and telling as One Moment More, and Mindy Smith managed it in her first time at bat — makes you wonder what she has up her sleeve for an encore.” -- Mark Deming, allmusic.com
Mindy Smith
Mindy’s showcase was one the most-talked about this week, usually in combination with the phrase “next-big-thing”. Which leads to the question why did she get to play in this dump, where even those who managed to get in couldn’t see her unless they were upfront? The place was packed, a long line of fans looped outside, and the Fire marshals were circling the building. Of all the performers here, she seemed to be the most nervous and uncomfortable with the circumstances. Her ace band (including Lex Price on mandolin, Kenny Vaughan on guitar, David Jacques on bass and Shannon Forrest on drums) played like the cracks they are, but her voice sounded tiny and fragile. The songs (including the some which are not on the album) are certainly good, but they were lost in this place. Only when she played her single “Come To Jesus”, which some folks recognized from the radio, did she manage to connect with the crowd during this somewhat underwhelming performance.
Mindy Smith

Allison Moorer @ Coyote Ugly Saloon
Allison Moorer
“After three studio efforts and a live set for MCA Nashville, Allison Moorer has moved to Sugar Hill, her next disc,
The Duel, due in mid-April. With a classic vocal style and knack for writing songs that range from hard-hitting to sultry, Moorer's music veers from soul to country to folk with a master's touch.” -- Jim Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle
Allison Moorer
“Where Allison Moorer’s last studio album was an elegant, sophisticated update on classic southern country soul, her Sugar Hill Records debut The Duel is heedless and blunt, and a little bit rough around the edges. […] But The Duel isn’t exactly a rock record. It’s simply the newest installment in the series of deeply personal and profoundly beautiful albums Moorer has made. It’s a wee bit louder, that’s all.” - Sugar Hill release info
Allison Moorer
Since I had a pretty good spot up front, I decided to stick around for Allison Moorer’s set. I expected a performance similar to the one on her 2003 CD/DVD Show. But I was in for a surprise: Allison and band weren’t in Austin to play southern country soul. They didn’t whine about the conditions, they just cranked it up and ROCKED. Yes, rocked. Adam Landry (ex Stateside) on lead guitar, John Davis (ex Superdrag) on guitar, dreadlocked Eddy Zappia on drums, and Jared Reynolds on bass laid the foundation for Allison’s new sound.
Allison Moorer
The Setlist (all songs from The Duel): "I Ain't Giving Up", "Baby Dreamer", "Louise Is In The Blue Moon", "One On The House", Believe You Me", "When Will You Ever Come Down", "Melancholy Polly", "Once Upon A Time She Said", "All Aboard".
Allison Moorer
In a post on the Allison Moorer forum Adam Landry called this "quite possibly the best show I've ever played", stating that they "were finishing the run of days we had done and we were leaving that night" and that "the energy was at it's highest". This was clearly the best show this week, I forgot all about my schedule, where I was and where I should go next. At least until until Guns and Roses started blaring from the PA again and the girls started to dance on the bar…
Allison Moorer

Nini Camps @ Pecan Street Alehouse
Nini Camps
“New York City's Nini Camps released one of last year's best indie CDs in
So Long, filled with lush production, smart hooks, irresistible melodies, sultry vocals and captivating songs. Live, Camps is a fireball seductress who stuns audiences with her slide-guitar prowess, magnetic stage presence and a "no fear" approach to performing.” -- Blake Guthrie, Creative Loafing
Nini Camps
I'm not sure why, but over the last few years the Pecan Street Alehouse has always had good Singer-/Songwriter showcases during SXSW. However, unlike other Austin venues, the layout of the Alehouse, the lo-fi sound system, the single purple beam and its noisy clientele are just not made for acoustic performances. Nini Camps had some problems getting her pedals to work, and ended up playing without any effects. On any other day I might have enjoyed her set a lot more, but my mind was still busy processing the jaw-dropping show I had witnessed before, so after a few songs I decided to end
“girls with guitars night” and to go back to the hotel and call it a night. Check out one of her songs here.

Reckless Kelly @ Antone’s
Reckless Kelly
“The Reckless Kelly boys have come a long way, with a whole new level of maturity on their Sugar Hill release
Under the Table & Above the Sun. These Austinites bang out some good, unpretentious twangy rock, less concerned with gloss and fashion than with honest songwriting and solid playing.” -- Jerry Renshaw, Austin Chronicle
Reckless Kelly
On the way back I decided to make one more detour: Reckless Kelly were playing Antone’s and got the crowd moving as they always do. Braun Brothers Cody and Willy were joined by Micky Braun of Micky & The Motorcars for the last encore, and then it was really time to start planning for the next day…
Reckless Kelly

Continue to next day...
Return to previous day...

Return to A-Z photo index
Return to 2004 photo page
Return to the TurnItUpOrTurnItOff.com homepage

All pictures (c) Steffen Paulus 2004