Ray Benson‘s birthday party as a fundraiser for HAAM is an Austin tradition during SXSW. The passes are sought after, and there are always some big name surprise guests on stage with Ray and his house band, Asleep At The Wheel. Through the years I have seen many great artists at this event, Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers, George Strait, Carolyn Wonderland and many others.
SXSW is still one of the world’s largest music festival and conference, even if the technology part has surpassed the music part in the number of attendees some years ago. At the music festival more than 2000 bands play and fight for the attention of the total of about 8-10000 music industry people, press and the fans. On top of all the official showcases, there are partiers with live music all over town, many of these more like small festivals in themselves.
The week after the SXSW conference and festival was over, Asleep At The Wheel staged a tour to old Texas dance halls. The tour had a double purpose – one was to hold concerts with Asleep At The Wheel with musical friends, the other was to put the focus on a Texas tradition that is threatened by obsolescence. I visited Luckenbach for a daytime concert during the tour. Continue reading
Nile Rodgers is one of the most successful musician, producer, composer in our time. He is also one of the artistically greatest. Through the work of CHIC, David Bowie, Madonna, Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and countless others he has been part of the soundtrack for several generations in the Western world. This year Nile Rodgers was the keynote at the SXSW Music Conference.
This year’s Barn Dance after SXSW is over, was my 19th Barn Dance so far. They have all been different, but all have had the same kind of ingredients: great bands and artists, great food, great surroundings, and most of all, great people from South Austin and the world around. A lot of things is happening in Austin that slowly takes away what makes it my favorite city. I just hope the Barn Dance will survive those changes for many years still to come. (Photo above: Darling West with Leeann Atherton)
Every year for the last 35 years, Austin Chronicle has hosted the Austin Music Awards, celebrating the best local music and musicians. But what might sound like a “local” award show to those not knowing the Austin music scene, is a fierce competition to win among some of the best musicians and artists in the USA. This year the award show was held at the ACL Moody Theatre, the home of the weekly TV show Austin City Limits.
Saturday was the last day of this year’s SXSW, and it was a good end to ten days of Interactive and Music for my part. I have attended seminars at both festivals with themes like transparency in the music business, data ethics, the right to be forgotten, Copyright in EU vs. the US, etc., and seen a lot of concerts every night. I also got to see and photograph President Obama and Michelle Obama. The last day of the festival I started at the Yard Dog with Churchwood and Jon Langford, and continued at the Continental Club with six other acts, among them Patricia Vonne, Jon Dee Graham, Tameca Jones and Linda Gail Lewis. (Picture above: Patricia Vonne)
One of the good things about SXSW is the mix of all kinds of styles. There is a misconception among some of my fellow Norwegians that in Texas, everything is about country music. They can’t be more wrong, and specially during SXSW. I’d rather say there could be a little more country at the festival. On Wednesday I managed to see two metal bands – one sludge metal, the other doom metal – two country/Americana acts, a psychedelic pop act, one old time rock hero, a pop and rock singer songwriter and a modern pop artist. (Picture above: Aurora)
This year’s Full Moon Barn Dance at Leeann Atherton’s house is my 18th since she invited me the first time in 1997. It has been one tradition I have really enjoyed, and this year as much as always. The music, the food, all the good people of South Austin and from around the world, plus the special South Austin atmosphere is a winning combination. (Picture above: Leeann Atherton and Torgeir Waldemar)
Thursday night at SXSW I went for country music and Americana. Loretta Lynn played at Stubb’s, so I started there. Then I went over to The Gatsby and saw Sam Outlaw, Wynonna Judd, Hayes Carll, Asleep At The Wheel and Jack Ingram. That was not the worst way to spend a night in Austin.