Guy Forsyth is one of my all time favorite Austin musicians. I have written about him on this blog before, and Friday night I saw him at another pre SXSW late night show at the Saxon Pub. I can’t count all the different settings I have seen and heard him in, everything from solo, with a tuba, with the Asylum Street Spankers to a pop band setting some 10 years go. This time he was reunited with his old compadre George Rarey, and he played one of the best sets I have ever heard from him.
Everyone know about Bruce Springsteen, and his songs are well known throughout the western world. He has also toured extensively with his E Street Band, so many have also seen him live. September 23rd Bruce Springsteen turned 64 years old, with no plans to stop making and performing music. (Picture above: Bruce Springsteen with Th E Street Band at the Telenor Arena in Oslo, 2013.)
Amy Winehouse is one of the most talented and also one of the most successful British artists in the first decade after 2000. She was nominated for six Grammys for her second CD, Back in Black, and won five. When she died in 2011, the same album was the best-selling album in the UK after 2000. September 14th it is 30 years since she was born.
In 2008 Shelby Lynne released the CD Just A Little Lovin’, her homage to Dusty Springfield, still one of the best British singers of all time. I saw Shelby Lynne do the songs from the CD at the Austin Music Hall during SXSW in 2008, and it is still one of my favourite albums.
One of the good things about festivals like SXSW is that you both get to see artists you have never heard of, and also that you get too see artists you have heard on CD, but never seen live. James Hunter is one of these, with some critically acclaimed CDs, plus one of the best songs after 2000, People Gonna Talk. I saw him at the Americana Association night at Antone’s.
Richard Thompson has been named one of the best guitarists in the music world, and also the one with the most characteristic sound. It is not that he plays everything very fast or loud, but more that his style is so personally unique and with influences from an eclectic range of sources.
I have written about Carolyn Wonderland before, and will probably do it again. During SXSW she played two official gigs, and I saw one of them, the closing act on the Continental Club Friday March 15th. Carolyn is playing the Blues in Hell festival in Norway in September, and for my Norwegian readers who are going there, look forward to it and be prepared for an even better show than the last time.
A musician’s musician is someone who every other musician and artists wants to play with, but who isn’t always known to the general audience. Buddy Miller is a musician’s musician, but fortunately he has been acknowledged and gained more popularity during the years. Jim Lauderdale is a great singer songwriter who has written songs for artists like Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and other artists, but who also has got more and more recognition for his own work the later years. Now the two have released a CD together, and they played Antone’s during SXSW.
Every year I have been in Austin for SXSW, I have attended Leeann Atherton’s Barn Dance the day after SXSW is finished. This year the weather was perfect with sun an temperatures in the 80’s, there were more people than I have ever seen there, and everyone were friendly and seemed to have a great time. (Picture above: Leeann with Karpe Diem.)
Sometimes I see bands that I have never heard about, and because of that, my expectations are usually quite low. And often the expectations equals the experience. But not in the case of JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. Their concert at the Continental Club during SXSW was far above my expectations.