The Latest Shows We've Recorded

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quotes From The Show, Part IV

"Scott Miller's only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time who only Scott can see and hear. And so Scott finds himself leaping from town to town trying to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time his next leap will be the leap home...back to Knoxville."
-Shane Walker, 2008.05.17

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happenings This Week In the ATX

Friday (5/23) at the Continental Club Dustin Welch (myspace) kicks things off at 10p followed by the Lost Bayou Ramblers (site, myspace). Highly recommend both of these bands.
Satuday (5/24) at Threadgill's South, Corb Lund (site, myspace) brings it back to the ATX.

And of course, it's also Memorial Day weekend which means I will be hunkered down in a theater at some point catching up on the latest installment of the Indiana Jones series. I can't wait.

Gonna be a great weekend, Austin. Get out there and see some live music.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two New Records You Need

Read reviews of these two records on any Americana or Country music site. But I'm not reviewing them. I'm endorsing them. I wouldn't steer you wrong. Just finished one listen to each and I can say with some certainty that I'm going to have them on my iTunes all day long. And probably all day tomorrow too. What records, you ask?

James McMurtry's Just Us Kids (site, myspace, order the record)
Eleven Hundred Springs' Country Jam (site, myspace, order the record)

You won't regret it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

There's Danny Schmidt And Then Then There's Everyone Else

Being an Austinite, I have the privilege of seeing Danny Schmidt (site, myspace) perform on a fairly regular basis. I know Paste had that reader poll last year about the best living songwriters. Generally, I tended to agree but there were some that just left me shaking my head. I would bet that 99% of the folks who voted on that poll have never heard a single note of any Danny Schmidt song. In a perfect world Danny would get the recognition he's due as an genius songwriter.

Danny's poet-perfect word choice, multi-layered narratives, gentle yet powerful melodies and superb guitar work all mesh perfectly to create art that jumps off the record or rushes up off the the stage and directly engages the heart and mind. I've not seen someone before combine all the tools of the singer/songwriter so perfectly. No one.

Steve Earle said "
Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." I feel that same way about Danny Schmidt. And I'll stand in the Paste Magazine editor's office and say it.

There's no changing that. Making comparisons to other songwriters, living or dead, is wholly unfair to those on both ends of the comparison. Danny is that good.

Knowing that to imitate the living Is mockery And to imitate the dead Is robbery There are those Who are beings complete unto themselves"
-Johnny Cash, From the Nasvhille Skyline liner notes

Check out a few of Danny's newer songs on this recording from the Cactus Cafe.

#10 Better Off Broke
#12 Southland Street
#15 Swing Me Down
#21 Serpentine Cycle of Money
#23 Company Of Friends

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Reason #18 Why I Heart The Cactus Cafe

The Cactus Cafe (site) in UT's campus union building is one of the best places to see an acoustic show. I discovered a new reason to love them last night. Max Stalling (site, myspace) was performing with his guitar player, Bryce Clarke, in an intimate acoustic setting. There wasn't a packed house (they had the tables out instead of rows of chairs) and the crowd was laid back and appreciative of the performance. Half way through the first set, a pair of ladies took seats in the back of the house and immediately started yelling out requests (for some songs that had already been performed). The Cactus' acoustics are such that even a small noise gets amplified, let alone a yell. On top of the obnoxious requests, one of them decided to "whoooooooooooooot" her way through the next couple of songs which lead up to the set break. During the set break, my wife and I debated leaving due to the presence of the obnoxious ladies who don't know how to conduct themselves in an intimate setting such as last night. Fortunately, the Cactus' manager Chris took care of things and did not allow them back in for the second set. A thousand thanks to you, Chris, a thousand thanks.

I'm not against showing enthusiasm for an artist or a song but there is a time and place for everything. The Cactus is not Gruene Hall or Stubb's or Antone's. The Cactus is more like going to church.

And, yeah, Max's show was excellent. Check him out when you get a or no, you won't be disappointed.