I am a homebody, there is no doubt. So for someone that loves live music, I always face that dilemma. I want to see music, I want to be out enjoying it, but I want to be home at the same time. Or at least in my pajamas. That is frowned upon in some Austin bars. But yesterday I read my own calendar and saw that Audrey Auld-Mezera was highly recommended at Momo’s at 5:30. I like to take my own recommendations, so I made myself show up for this one.
I’m so glad that I did. All I knew about Audrey was that she was Australian. I had received a couple of records at the station that I liked, especially her singing with Bill Chambers (Kasey Chambers’ dad) on the classic country song “Faking Love.” I knew she could really sing country. And she could. She really knows the way a yodel and a twang should sound, even though she grew up in south Australia (in Tazmania, I think).
When I got to Momo’s there were only a half-dozen people in the place, including Eddie Wilson, of Threadgill’s, who is, apparently, a friend of Audrey’s and her host when she is in Austin. She started right at 5:30, which I SO appreciated, and played a full hour. Before she got very far into the set the place began to fill up and there was a sizable crowd by the end. It was just her and a guitar player named Andrew Hardin. Both had a beautiful way of filling a room with picking. I watched her hands, trying to see how she was getting that much music out of that guitar, but I couldn’t figure it out and had to stop myself from studying and just sit back and listen.
Not being familiar with her music, really, every song was new to me and I really appreciated how they were not the same old tried-and-true themes of love and loss or love and gain, etc. Or, when they were, they were certainly a new twist on the idea. I was especially impressed with a sweet song called “Bread and Roses” (here’s a video of it). She sang for prisoners at San Quentin and was told, of course, that she could not bring anything in to the prisoners, she could only sing. So the song is what she would like to be able to give to them. Serious, but still with humor. And an abundance of compassion.
Audrey also wrote the Sunny Sweeney song “The Next Big Nothing.” I did not know that connection and liked her version, too. She thanked Sunny for recording it and providing her some royalty mailbox money.
There was supposed to be a cover charge and there ended up not being one, so I bought a couple of Audrey’s albums to make the show worthwhile for her. She had a cute song “40″ that I was able to relate to (a few years ago!). You can hear it on her myspace.
I thought I would see some of Austin’s singer/songwriters on hand for the show, but, if I did, I didn’t recognize them. I did see a longtime friend of Mark’s, Denise. I’ve never had a long conversation with her and she entertained me with her tales of her hairless cat Butterbean. She said she missed me on the radio with my stories of Nathan Jr. and Willie. Her cat sounds like the one that needs to be on the radio. She said hairless cats are said to be a personality combination of cats, dogs, chimps, and human babies. They really demand attention and care. Her Butterbean gets a “spa day” once a week with a bath and toenail clipping. Butterbean wears a turtleneck sweater and walks on a leash! He goes with her to her office and rides in the truck with his head hanging out of the window! I have got to see this cat Butterbean.So, all in all a great evening out. I liked Audrey, a very down-to-earth, normal person, it seemed. Before the show she came by and said hello to me and commented on how much she liked my necklace. Just a little connection, but nice. She’ll be in Beaumont tonight, San Antonio tomorrow night at Casbeer’s (have you ever been there? wonderful place), and back at Gruene for the Fred Eaglesmith weekend. She’ll play Sunday afternoon if you are down that way.
I AM going to see some more live music tonight, so maybe I am getting out of my allergy-induced, housebound rut.