Saturday, June 02, 2007

Live music in Austin

Catching up on our live music shows for the past week or so. Let's see... on the 23rd we caught The Texas Sapphires at Maria's Taco XPress. Rebecca brought her big puppy for his first public gig, and he was a big sweetie except for trying to steal one person's taco. They've got a new player who plays mandolin and banjo that looks like a mandolin, he's from a broke-up Sacramento band called The Beer Dawgs (you gotta check out their home page pic!!), and he's called Slim Bawb, and maybe Bawb Dawg if it sticks.

Saturday the 26th we saw a great show by The South Austin Jug Band at Momo's. It was Will DuPuy's last night with the band, he plays the doghouse bass, but here he is (center) during the part of the show where, if it's long enough and the band is having a good time, they switch instruments. And being a bunch of really good pickers they all play the other instruments well. Will has been a vital part of SAJB sound since they formed ~7 years ago, so it was sad to see him go... he is going for a more settled lifestyle.

Next night, Sunday, we are back at Momo's for Warren Hood, who happened to have Cindy Cashdollar for a guest player. She's a world-class player who recently toured as part of Van Morrison's band. Warren is one of the best fiddlers anywhere, and has a long resume as a sideman. He's currently part of The Waybacks when he's not playing solo or in other people's bands... he's a local legend. Warren's band's music is all over the map: swing, jazz, blues, folk, lots of Walter Hyatt stuff.

Thursday we saw the Jug Band again at their free show at Shady Grove. It was a relatively short show and more laid-back than the Momo's in the family atmosphere of Shady. We were sitting next to another older couple, discussing beer and other fun topics, when my husband brought up the topic of the Wal-Mart store that has weaseled its way into their neighborhood through legal but unethical methods and now it's created waves of protest and activism... all went to hell after that. The guy supports and wants Wal-Mart, said that corporations do the right thing and if not they are punished to the fullest extent of the law, but the corker was saying that he wouldn't care if they paved Barton Springs since he doesn't use it anyway. The conversation was getting heated and loud, so when the band took the stage I issued a loud "Both of you shut up!!! The music is starting!!". So... a mostly pleasant night at Shady except for that -- with apologies to anyone sitting nearby.

Last night (Friday) we went to a fantastic free show at Antone's. It was the live DVD taping for The Band of Heathens, and I have raved about them here before. Just an outstanding band on the edge of hitting it big maybe, or at least becoming "almost famous". Their following is still fairly small, but that is changing rapidly. EDIT 6/8/07: My friend John Grubbs from Rockslide Photography has a great slide show up of this show.

Tonight (Saturday) it's back to Momo's for Kara Grainger (it's a Flash site) (here's her MySpace). She's an Aussie who just *might* be moving here. She's toured, recorded and worked lots of Austinites, including Eric Johnson. Tonight we expect to see Chris Maresh (Eric Johnson) on bass and Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Double Trouble) on drums.

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Mariamariacuchita said...

Hey, I think you guys were sitting near me at Shady!! You have really long hair?? you have the best Austin music reviews in the net....

Blueberry said...

I have shoulder-length brown hair and we were sitting on the front row center aisle on the left of the aisle. I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't overhear the whole Wal-mart debate!

Blueberry said...

and thank you for the compliment! I don't really try to do reviews from a critical perspective, just my impressions.

Mando Mama said...

Austin sounds like a wonderful place. It seems people actually appreciate the difference between buying a new cd and hearing someone perform live. The experience of hearing and seeing musicians play and being part of an audience that interacts with them is really important.

I have to agree you are a very strong reviewer! Hm, if only you could turn that into a dollar!

Dontcha hate it when you're having a good time and suddenly Wal-Mart enters the picture? Or immigrants? Or anything else? You just never know what lurks beneath the exterior of an otherwise normal, pleasant human being. I hate it when that happens.


Blueberry said...

MM: those charged debates... I think they should be reserved for the proper forum/outlet: City Hall, activist marches, online forums, etc. A person like that is not going to be changed one iota by the loud exchange of opinions -- not any more than the other person in the debate will be -- so I see it as pointless. And unpleasant. There's no point in having an un-winnable argument, but if you can't stop it, do it elsewhere.

Ellie said...

I do like the SAJB. First time I ever saw them was at the very first, I think, ACL Festival. Do you happen to know who will be replacing DuPuy?

Blueberry said...

Hi ellie: Yes, it is Matt Mefford (I think I got that right). Don't know his history yet. They have really changed since that first ACL festival.