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.
Argentinian tango orchestras aren’t my strongest subject, and I have avoided – not consciously – hearing an electrotango band, until the very last act on the closing day of SXSW. I came with my son from Red 7 and real hard and dark swamp metal with Black Tusk, and he recommended we stop by Bajofondo on the Stage on Sixth before going home. I didn’t regret that at all!
In the 70’s, Rodney Crowell was a member of Emmylou Harris’ band, The Hot Band, playing rhythm guitar and sung duets with her. He also wrote Blueberry Wine that she sung on her first LP, Pieces of the Sky. Crowell quit in 1977 to pursue his own solo career, but Harris still recorded his songs. Recently they released the duet CD, Old Yellow Moon. During SXSW they performed songs from the CD and also older songs at the Antone’s in Austin.
At SXSW this year there were many father and son-combinations playing. Either together, or different gigs. One of these was Bobby Bare sr. and jr. I have seen junior some years ago, and he is definitely worth following. The last time I saw Bobby Bare sr., was at a rerun of a NRK TV recording of him, Chet Atkins, Jim Reeves and the Anita Kerr Singers in Oslo from 1964. It was definitely about time to see him “live live”.
Natalie Maines is known as the main vocal of the highly successful trio The Dixie Chicks. Now she has made a solo CD, Mother, from which she presented some of the songs at a concert at the ACL Moody’s during SXSW.
One of the good things about SXSW, is that I get to see many bands I haven’t seen before, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, since there was more than 2500 bands playing this year. But the high number doesn’t mean that all bands are necessarily very good. One of the good ones I saw, was Black Tusk from Savannah.
If you are interested in guitar playing and also steel guitar, you have to check out Junior Brown. He has played steel guitar with Asleep At The Wheel, he has taught guitar playing, and he has invented the guit-steel, a two-necked combination of a guitar and a steel guitar. On SXSW’s last day, he played at the ACL Moody.
Asleep At The Wheel is the longest living western Swing band in USA. During their 40+ years of existence, they have won 9 Grammies and numerous other awards. They have toured all over USA many times, plus extensively in Europe. Now Dan Karlok has made a documentary about the band that will premiere this summer. A 34 minutes, unfinished version was shown at the SXSW yesterday.
Dale Watson is one of the artists I like to see every time I am in Austin. He plays a gig at the Continental Club every Monday, and tonight I saw him and his band the Lone Stars there. Dale has been around the block some times in his life, but he has come down on both his feet, and got more true sorrow to sing about than many of his contemporaries.