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It was my first SXSW. 1,500 acts selected from over 8,000 submissions, all performing at various venues throughout Austin in four days. Many acts played multiple shows.
Clips 1 & 2: Tie A Knot and Swept Away
by John Dee Graham
At the great party co-sponsored by publicist Cary Baker of Conqueroo, some of the memorable moments were supplied by one of Austin's favored sons, John Dee Graham. These clips are songs from his latest record, Full.
Clips 3 & 4: Nobody's Rose and West Monroe
by Pieta Brown
A personal high point for this writer was seeing one of our favorite acts, Pieta Brown and Bo Ramsey. Absolutely hypnotic in their usage of the space between the notes and the beats, they are one of the most tuneful and unique duos to be found anywhere, up there with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Enchanting.
(In this show sponsored by the enlightening Utne Magazine, the stage lighting at Momo's was abominably dim. To make things worse, I'm a novice behind the camera, but game enough to get good shows on tape. Bo is rather ghostly on this tape, but we like it a lot.)
Clip 5: This Afternoon
by Joe Henry
We consider Joe Henry to be in the national treasure category. Here he's doing the opening song from his latest record Tiny Voices.
Clip 6: medley
by Joe Henry and Billy Bragg
A memorable event. There are a number of segued songs here, "Girl From The North Country," "Tupelo Honey," "People Get Ready," and a verse or two I didn't recognize.
Clip 7: Prayer Without Words
by Mary Gauthier
Mary and her guitarist Thomm Jutz tore it up at The Cactus Cafe. Mary is featured in the playlist of Bob Dylan in his XM radio show! Here is an audio snapshot from that set.
Clips 8, 9, 10, & 11: Man About Town and solo 1,
solo 2, and solo 3
by Tony Gilkyson
After a terrific interview the previous day with his utterly charming sister Eliza, I was very excited to run into a roadside set at a popular establishment, featuring Tony Gilkyson, formerly of X. It was loosely fashioned, but the brilliance of this guitarist singer pulled me off the street by the ears as I strode by. Along with a full song, I include a few solos that I thought were totally cool. We're going to review his new record in an upcoming issue.
Clips 12, 13, & 14: The Unseen Hand, Somebody Saved Me, and The Gospel Story of Noah's Ark
by Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives
This is one of the most talented bands working today. Marty has been on the road since he was 12, and this is the best band of his life. Kenny Vaughan is on guitar (along with the mighty guitar of the leader), Brian Glenn on bass, and Harry Stinson on drums. And everybody is absolutely singing their asses off. These clips tell the story. Get the latest CD, Soul's Chapel.
[For more about SXSW, visit sxsw.com, and be sure to drop by turnituporturnitoff.com where the inimitable Steffen Paulus has his annual photo report--his 11th pilgrimage to SXSW.]
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