Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

August 11, 2011

Live Music

Filed under: Austin,Music — Janice @ 10:38 pm

It has been so long since I’ve gone out to see live music and reported on it, I know I’m going to be a poor reporter. I wrote this in my head as each act went on and off, but now you’ll only get the condensed version.

Tonight was the 5th anniversary celebration of Jenni Finlay Promotions. Jenni is a great friend and I knew her when she was promoting records from a record company in Houston. She used to call me at the radio station and we finally met when she was in town and she met me at TC’s on the east side to see Mark play. Since then she’s moved to Austin, started a business, and become my neighbor!

Her anniversary party always occurs on the Thursday before my reunion. It seems like I’m always crazy busy the week of the reunion (and this week has been no exception), but it was great fun to go with my friend Denise and see a great line-up of acts that Jenni works with and promotes. It all happened at the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos and it was great music at a great pace. No lag time, no changing of the bands, just 30 minutes from and artist, mostly solo, one right after another.

I got to see Owen Temple, who I hadn’t seen in a long time and I really like. He made an impression tonight with the song with the lyric “one day closer to rain.” I decided that is how I’m going to look at this drought. Instead of counting how long is has been since that last tiny shower we had on June 5 (67 days), I will see the glass half full and say we are one day closer to rain.

Next up was Betty Soo, accompanied by Will Sexton. I have heard some of her music on the web and on KUT, but I have never seen Betty Soo live. She is beautiful and has a fabulous voice and clever songs and lyrics. A winner.

Matt the Electrician played. I had booked him at the Shady Grove a few years back and that was the only time I had seen him before. This was a better setting where he could be heard so clearly. I was really in awe of how good his guitar sounded (and I don’t normally notice such things) when he commented that this was a brand new guitar that had just been completed (custom made) the day before. He also has witty lyrics and a cute song about needing a battery and having to go to WalMart to get it.

Will Sexton played and I have never heard him do a solo show, surprisingly. He is always the go-to guy for musicians to want in their band as a guitar player, but he was a great singer on his own. I liked his version of “All Just To Get To You” (Joe Ely’s).

Ray Wylie Hubbard played and you can’t ever go wrong with Ray. You can’t listen to Ray Wylie Hubbard’s albums and know who he is. You have to see him live and hear those witticisms that I’ve heard before, but they always make me laugh again. Commenting after an “singalong” song:  Maybe you need to take some of that money you spend on beer and get yourself a metronome and a pitch pipe.

Next up was Joe Pug. I have played his music in my current job. He is from Chicago and making a name for himself in Americana and sort of “adult pop.” He is living in Austin, now, Jenni tells me. He was nothing like I expected. I expected maybe a short bald, 40-ish, studious fellow, but he was a young, handsome, blue-eyed, folk singer. And I liked him too!

Finally James McMurtry to wrap up a stellar line-up. My bedtime and reunion preparations were calling me so I had to call it a night without staying for James, which is a shame because I knew he could bring the house down.

It was fun. And now I’m off to the reunion that has kept me from this blog for the last week or two or three or ten.

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