Sunday, November 28, 2010
Conspicuous name-dropping and shameless promotion
Above: The view of the Texas Union at UT by the light of the full blue moon, the building that houses the legendary listening room, the Cactus Cafe. The Longhorns had a win that day, hence the orange tower in the background (trivia note: that's the same tower where Charles Whitman made news as a sniper in 1966).
Kevin Welch "Andaman Sea"
Getting a little behind posting on current events here in the live music capital of the world. We've been doing less (as far as hitting the clubs) but have had a small flurry of activity lately. November 20 we went to see the outstanding singer-songwriter Kevin Welch at the Cactus Cafe. Check the video on the right, above, for a nice live recording done by Music Fog earlier this year in Memphis. Kevin is technically local now, living down the road in Wimberley. The Cactus gig was just him and his son Dustin, who's also one of our favorite local singer-songwriters. It was quite a treat. We had room at our table up front, and Earl Poole Ball +friend needed seats so we were happy to share. Earl plays honkytonk piano with several bands around town, and his recording résumé includes Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Marty Robbins, Flying Burrito Brothers, Byrds, Carl Perkins... but the part that stands out is the 20 years he spent in Johnny Cash's band. Really nice guy. I love this town. Anyway, Kevin has a new album out called "A Patch of Blue Sky", we just bought it on "Small Business Saturday" at Waterloo Records, and it's a good one.
Wednesday (Day before Thanksgiving) we had The Greencards show at Threadgill's. Don't watch this video unless you want to hear beautiful mandolin, fiddle and guitar acoustic instrumental music.
The weather was outstanding, balmy warm breezes blew in to where you didn't even need a jacket at night outdoors - then the next day it turned really chilly. I have been working in a supporting role for this band since 2004 (and fans of theirs since 2003), and have recently passed the torch. It was time, and it's all good. We will always be friends, and they are so talented that it's mind-boggling. Here's a jam that I caught with Phoebe Hunt (from Belleville Outfit) sitting in. I think this is Cazadero but not 100% sure (I tend to get corrected on song titles by people who know better, and I don't mind that). They are launching a new campaign to make a record on their own (without a record label being involved) where fans can "Buy a Brick" (which will get your name imprinted on the CD insert) and support independent music - from the heart in every direction. Click here for more info.
The day after Thanksgiving (AKA Black Friday) has become a new traditional holiday at Momo's, and it's the birthday of the Band of Heathens. They are one of many local bands to have been hatched in that venue. Actually, you can go to their website link above and download a free MP3 of the song "Millionaire," which was written by the aforementioned Kevin Welch and made a bit more famous by Solomon Burke. Awesome song. Anyway, back to the show. The opener was James Hyland (pictured), and he sounded great. At one point I looked around and realized that I done websites and/or CD art for 2 of the folks onstage and one other person standing next to us... and it really feels like the end of an era (kind of like what I felt on Wednesday). Changes... every five years is like an eternity. Everything comes and goes.
Back to the Band of Heathens, which we all just call "the Heathens" (even though that bandname is technically taken by someone else in another town). This is one of the best live bands you can see. They are steeped in red dirt, bayou, gospel, all kinds of soul from Memphis through Texas. This one is called "Right Here With Me" and is a fun one to watch. Gordy (in the middle) gets a little off-key on one part and cracks himself up. It's a home town crowd though, and they are among friends. It's all good.
My feet are still recovering, and all is well. Put the tickets for next year up for sale and I will buy them.