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The Best of SXSW [Music Fest]

The highlight of sxsw - The Cave Singers

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion

Alejandro Escovedo

David Olney

Amanda Shires & Rod Picott

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sxsw Day 2

# of bands: 11
cds bought: 2
Mexican food meals: 0 [Usually we have Mexican food at one or both meals – late bfast and/or dinner]
Highlights: Stone River Boys, Gurf Morlix, Lynn Miles, Kasey Anderson
We planned [and did] on staying at Threadgills all afternoon.  The entire day was being filmed for re-broadcast on  Check it out. Music started at 11.20 am and we were there when the doors opened at 11 am, and scored a table front and center. 
Never heard of Kasey Anderson and his band.  They were great. 
Ray Wylie Hubbard played that dratted Snake Farm song.  Every time I see him [which isn’t often now], he plays it.  AND it’s a sing along, which means it’s long and wastes precious set time minutes.  This is the man who wrote one of my favorite love songs, If Heaven Is Not A Place, which still makes me cry…and he’s playing Snake Farm?  Hissssss.  However, I must admit, that most people seem to love it and I am in the minority.
It looks as though Joe Ely’s kid is his roadie.  I have NO idea if Joe has a son, but the roadie was a mini me version of Joe – same hair, face and clothing style.  If so, kinda sad the 30 yo adult son is NOT doing his own thing in life, but schlepping daddy’s guitar around.  However, I bet he’s popular with the ladies!
We see that Stone River Boys are playing everywhere all week…wonder who they are?  It’s Mike, the front man, from the Hollisters.  You know him…the one with the lamb chops…or are they pork chops?  Which reminds me that I read a couple years ago that they were named after a Civil War General.  I just googled this and re-learned that sideburns are named after General Burnside [switch syllables], and that facial hair configuration are called MUTTON chops.  Ha.  Kudos to Mike for putting his guitar down and doing his interpretive dance for us all.  Pure fun!
Warren Hood [Champ’s son] and his band were just delightful.  A fun surprise.  However, would someone please tell him NOT to part his hair in the middle.  I know…this has nothing to do with his fiddle playing, but it just has to be said.
To end the evening, we saw John Hiatt at LaZona Rosa.  Hiatt looked all dapper in suit jacket and tie, yet his lead guitar player looked like he was ready to clean out the garage, wearing new blue jean overalls, and gray hoodie under a t shirt.  The sweating heavily base player was wearing a brand new, stiff, drab green onesie/jumpsuit [but with a popped collar!] and looked like he should be in ghost busters video, or working under a car somewhere.
Nicole Atkins got the coveted spot before Hiatt.  I have NO idea how she managed that, but let’s just say, if someone told me she appeared on American Idol, I’d think that “yah, I can see that”.  So, save your time and money and go see someone of quality.
** Photos to be added next week **

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sxsw Day 1

# of bands: 12

cds bought: 0 [will buy David Olney’s cd when it comes out in a couple months]

Mexican food meals: 1 [dinner at Guero’s]

Highlights: James McMurtry, Jon Dee Graham, David Olney, Raul Malo

We had our traditional pre-sxsw meal at Katz’s Deli [Katz’s Never Klozes]. This time it was bfast, instead of lunch. Then we were off to listen to music starting at 11 am.

The 11 am first day gig is a tough one, but David Olney was playing, and he’s one of my favorites. there was a bigger than expected crowd there…around 50 people.

The guy next to me was from Newcastle, England and saw him in a pub with 4 other people. He couldn’t believe that David isn’t playing for 10,000 people. For me, when David is “on”, he gets maniacal. He got a bit maniacal in his short 30 set. It was great!

Since I’ve been coming here every year for probably 13 years, I tend to see the same people year after year…and all week long, Since we like the same music. I immediately saw the 2 guys from Norway. I went up to say hi, and they acted like they didn’t know who I was. every year, they act like they don’t know who I am…and I will see them every day. Later in the day I saw the 2 guys from Omaha, who told us to go see Phil Lee [good tip]. Then we saw the 3 guys from somewhere in CA.

This is the biggest crowd this early in the fest. However, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, so people tend to come out for that. There also seemed to be more people/accents from places outside of states than usual, so that is good and fun.

We ended the nite seeing Raul Malo [ex Mavericks] for free. I’m the only one who felt devious [in a good way] they we sneaked in. How can you sneak into a free event? There was a line…and we hopped a fence. THEN we managed to get right in front of the stage.

** Photos to be added next week **

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Sxsw Music Fest in Austin

I’m on my way to Austin for sxsw, a music festival.  Sxsw [south by southwest] originally started as a way for unsigned bands to get a contract.  Now it has grown and branched out.  It used to just be official sxsw nite time showcases, now there are thousands of artists/bands and unofficial day and night time activities, a lot of them are free.

EVERYTHING becomes a venue.  The parking lot of a coffee shoppe.  In fact any parking lot.  Move some furniture aside in an antique store…now it’s a venue!

For me, free music starts tomorrow/Wednesday at 11 am!

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