Thursday, September 25, 2008

ACL Festival Wednesday Pre-Shows

Look at this picture. Enlarge it. This was my first visit to the real Salt Lick in Austin and man what a meal we had. And then I saw this pit filled with meat. I just wanted to jump in. YUM!!!!
After dinner we headed over to the Hills Austin Cafe to see Charlie Robison. He is the white trash brother of Bruce Robison and now ex husband of Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks. Bruce is a better writer, but Charlie was a lot of fun. Bruce Joined him for a bunch of songs on this live radio broadcast. This is more Deb's kind of country folk, so that's about all I'll say here.

It was off to the Continental for a great double bill: Jon Dee Graham and James McMurtry; and all for $7.00. I love Austin! Jon Dee, as you may know, was in a horrible auto accident (fell asleep at the wheel and hit a concrete barrier) in July. With broken and floating ribs and now missing a spleen, he somehow (he says he is on pain meds) was able to get back on stage again. Jon Dee has always been a passionate performer, but he seems to be playing with an extra amount of adrenalin these days; playing like someone who is glad to be alive. It was a short but very lively set, including one new song. Enjoy the video. The image is pretty dark but the song is worth it. 

James McMurtry put on a nearly 2 hour set (we didn't get out of there until nearly 2:30) playing songs mainly from his last 2 CDs. If you haven't seen this guy live, you are missing so much. Sure he is one of the best songwriters in the biz today. He's a poet. His stories are always several levels deep. Is he talking about growing old or the effects of a hurricane or a society on the brink or all three at the same time? His songwriter really is amazing. But in concert, he turns up the electric guitars and just nails his sound into you. You're bouncing around to some of the finest lyrics either side of the Mississippi. And his fans seem to get it. A would be pole dancer jumped up on stage and gave us all a show as James sang, "Choctaw Bingo" and the girl was actually singing along to this amazingly horrifying song. All of this is laid before us with a complete lack of emotion. But that just seems to emphasize the point. He is like an angry father who is giving you that look of disapproval. Don't mess with me. 


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