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This is a couple of minutes of Sixth St. on Saturday night during SXSW, around midnight. This is just a block and a half. It was like this in a number of parts of town. I thought it was going to be a lot more outrageously inebriated than it was, but like Kevin Russell of The Gourds said to me about their music, it was "nothing but a pawty."
1. Sixth St. during SXSW
There was a nice pub where the classy Signature Sounds label had an all-night showcase. There was a lady working for SXSW who was threatening to toss me out, or prevent me from shooting any video. She said I need a tag on my camera I hadn't been given with my press pass. Luckily, Jim Olsen, the label founder, came to my rescue. In the interim, I missed the chance to capture any of Mark Erelli's excellent set, but did catch this song of Kris Delmhorst, with Mark Erelli playing
2. Kris Delmhorst : "East of the Mountains"
Garrison Starr is not only a powerhouse singer, but a great songwriter. She's a superlative melody writer, with lyrics both catchy and deep. Unfortunately, guitarist Brian Becquette was in a really dark spot on the edge of the stage, but he sounded great. Don't know the drummer's name, but the keyboardist who also debuted on bass is the respected pop producer & songwriter Neilson Hubbard.
3. Garrison Starr : "Gasoline"
4. Garrison Starr : "Superhero"
YepRoc had a party going outdoors under a tent in back of a great art gallery called Yard Dog. It was very interesting to see how well the bluegrass set of Chatham County Line stood right up to the many rock bands on the bill.
5. Chatham County Line : "I Was Born To Be With You"
There was an all day outdoor gig co-sponsored by L.A. publicist Cary Baker of conqueroo.com that had all kinds of great shows. Two of my favorites follow. Check out the explosive sounds of Steve Wynn and The Miracle Three. I was blown away by drummer Linda Pitmon, she's an incredible rocker. Wynn is best known for his work with Dream Syndicate.
6. Steve Wynn & The Miracle Three : "Bruises"
Straight out of the van and on to the stage, Tom Freund and his two cohorts played a fantastic set. First Tom's on acoustic guitar for "Sweet Affection" and then switches to upright bass for an inspired rendition of an old favorite.
7. Tom Freund : "Sweet Affection"
8. Tom Freund : "For What It's Worth"
I'd heard a lot about Marah, so I wanted to check them out at Jovita's, this Mexican restaurant and bar that hosts a lot of SXSW shows. They were a super high energy band, but louder than hell up front. I got a song or two, and then beat it out of there before my ears started bleeding.
The last three clips of SXSW 2006 belong to an Austin band who are in a class no one else knows how to find. They are a deeply whacked bunch that jump to no one's tune but their own, called The Gourds.
10. The Gourds
11. The Gourds : "Miss You"
12. The Gourds : "Shake-a-Leg"
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Here's one of those Folk Alliance moments. I chanced upon Abigail Washburn and her cellist Ben Sollee running a tune down with The Duhks guitarist Jordan McConnell that he played on her solo debut, Song of the Traveling Daughter. A piece of very friendly brilliance, and lovely interplay. Three really nice people, as well.
1. Abigail Washburn, Ben Sollee, and Jordan McConnell
I ran into this smokin Bluegrass outfit from Alsaka several times, but cannot recall their name. (Someone who does, please fill us in, and we'll inject it here.) (Bailey Jones from sundilla.org writes in to say, "I believe that's Bearfoot." Thanks, Bailey. bearfootbluegrass.com) The fiddlers are on fire, and it seems completely effortless. We'd like to hear a record by this group, if anyone can put us on to one.
I walked into a hotel room to see my friend Dana Cooper in the middle of a favorite song of mine, "World of Hurt," that he wrote with Michael Lille. Dana is one of the great solo performers out there today, and should not be missed. We have reviewed him on several occasions. Michael Lille just came out with an overdue record, and we hope to cover him in an imminent issue.
3. Dana Cooper : "World of Hurt"
Look out for this chick. Vicki Genfan is one amazing guitar player. I was hanging out with Erika Luckett (talk about amazing guitar players) and Vicki said, "I want to play you something new" and took us out to the stairwell. I whipped out my camcorder and got it here for your enjoyment, a piece called "Atomic Reshuffle." Wow. Look for a review of her soon-to-be-released CD in an upcoming issue.
4. Vicki Genfan : "Atomic Reshuffle"
So, that winds up our videos from SXSW and Folk Alliance in Austin for 2006. We are grateful to our hosts at both events for the press passes that allowed us to attend and to shoot some video of the artists involved. We invite your comments on the footage or the artists, and always welcome your suggestions.
For more video from SXSW & Folk Alliance, see Part 1 of the Austin video coverage. Thanks to Casey Weaver for the vintage postcard of Austin from his collection--get a cool view of the history of that city at Casey's site, austinpostcard.com.