Every Monday in Austin some of the same bands play at their “own” venue. One of them is Dale Watson, who performs at the Continental Club on Monday nights, another is Chris Gage who play at Donn’s Depot. yesterday I started out at the Swedish Invasion, an SXSW event, showcasing some of their artists at the Threadgill’s, hosted by Export Music Sweden and local Austin songwriter patron, Troy Campbell, the owner of House of Songs. (Picture above: The Hot Nut Riveters at The Saxon Pub)
The Threadgill’s is a restaurant with an indoor stage, plus a garden with a music stage. There are actually two Threadgill’s in Austin, one north, where Janis Jopplin started her career, and the one south of the river, which is located almost on the same spot as the Armadillo World Headquarters were in the 70’s. Threadgill’s South have wanted to continue the legacy, calling themselves Threadgill’s World Headquarters.
The Swedish Invasion was a cool and relaxed event, and I saw two of the acts there. Üni Foreman is a young indie act, with two girls and three boys, rocking along with some great gymnastics on stage, plus hard and effective songs that were well received by the crowd.
Sofia Talvik is quite different from Üni Foreman, being a singer songwriter more in the Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell tradition. She writes some very good songs, and she also did two covers, one of a Buffy Saint Marie song, and the other one a Swedish folksong from the 15 or 16th century, The Rose and the Lily. She is on an American tour, now, and she also did a one and a had year tour in 2011-12 all over the US, which resulted in a book and a live CD.
From the Swedish Invasion I went up to the Saxon for an early show with Guy Forsyth. Little did I know that he performed with one of his newer bands, The Hot Nut Riveters. The first time I saw Guy Forsyth, was with the Asylum Street Spankers at the Antone’s in 1997, and the Riveters are a kind of comeback for the same kind of music. They mix traditional songs with new songs, written in a traditional way with some excellent playing and vocal harmonizing, and everything is acoustic, or at least acoustic sounding.
Their instruments are accordion, trumpet, different guitars – slide and all, stand up bass, washboard, banjo, mandolin, musical saw, and all the members sing and harmonize. On their website, they describe their style as: “traditional bluespop folk countrygrass. Wait, no. Call it traditional alt-bluespop folk country grass”, which is as close as you can get to a usable definition. My advice is, check them out, buy their album “Leadfoot Larry”, but first of all, see them live! Great musicianship and lots of humor.
From Saxon and The Hot Nut Riveters, the next stop was The Continental Club and Dale Watson. He performs there every Monday night, and I did a report on one of his concerts on this blog last year. Dale Watson has had some ups and downs earlier in his career, but luckily it seems that he is on a good track that has lasted for many years and that he gets the recognition he deserves.
Dale is a dapper person, always stylishly dressed, if it is jeans and denim jackets or leather, like last night. He all does some funny live commercials for Lone Star beer, which hints to that he is sponsored by the same. Live he is always fun, and his albums are well worth listening to. One of his signature songs is I Lie When I Drink (and I drink a lot).
The last stop last night was Donn’s Depot and Chris Gage. I did a story on Chris and the venue last year, and it literally hadn’t changed since then. Donn’s Depot is a timeless backdrop to older times, and Chris does his high quality show as the piano host for friends and colleagues who join him. Last night I saw a singer songwriter that I unfortunately didn’t cath the name of, plus John Emery and a very talented flutist. I recommend every one who wants a unique Austin experience to visit Donn’s Depot, specially Monday nights.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.