KUT Morning Show on the Hilton Stage - The Monahans
Vinyl Records 3.0 Challenges and Rewards
Another vinyl panel. Vinyl is surprisingly big, and records are selling. It's an amazing story, and it will interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.
And On Piano... Nicky Hopkins
This panel arranged by biographer, Julian Dawson, talked about the life and music of the late, Nicky Hopkins. Nicky's volume of work was staggering. He was a legendary touring and session player, and a formidable composer/arranger.
The panel also included other friends that had known him, and two other pianists that had shared the same sideman chair, with the Rolling Stones, Ian McLagan, and Chuck Leavell.
It was delightful to here all of the stories about Nicky, and I promptly ordered a copy of Dawson's biography from Amazon. The icing on the cake however, was having Julian Dawson and Chuck Leavell play
No Expectations, a song written by Nicky Hopkins, but credited to Jagger and Richards at the end. It's always great to have someone perform at a panel.
SxSW Interview: John Popper
This was another fantastic interview. While not a huge Blues Traveler fan, John and the other panelists encouraged the crowd to all move up front, and get close, so they could make eye contact.
SxSW Interview: Bobby Rush
My last panel of SxSW, and it was a great one, legendary bluesman, Bobby Rush.
The time went by very quickly, and I was fully engaged in this session. It was fascinating to hear Bobby's life stories, since they span an era of great change in the US. Bobby played with Muddy Waters and was known as the King of the Chitterling circuit. Looking at him today, you would never guess how old he was.
Unfortunately, in addition to cash bars, they no longer hand out party invitation envelopes in the swag bags. As a result, you have to send an RSVP in some cases, or you don't get in. Even with a badge.
I saw this band playing on the patio of what used to be the Habana, but is now called the Easy Tiger(?). They were a somewhat interesting garage rock band. Unfortunately, I came in during the last song of their set.
I then sauntered over to the Hilton, to check at the Day Stage. Neema was playing, I'm not sure if this was the female lead singer's name, or the name of the band.
Continuing my stay at St. David's, the next artist Agnes Obel was singer/pianist from the Netherlands, accompanied by a Cellist. Another fantastic set. No photos, because the venue people were cracking down.
Staying at St. David's, I walked down the hallway to Bethel Hall, to catch experimental Norwegian artist, Silje Nes. Silje played a strat, and was accompanied by a bassist and percussionist.
While the music was very avant-garde and experimental, it was very enjoyable.
Since I had arrived early to the Hilton Garden to see Bobby Rush, I decided to quickly check out the Hilton Creek venue, downstairs. Amanda Shires was an alt-country act, that was listenable enough. I caught the last two songs of her set.
This was another amazing set. Bobby Rush held a packed house on the 18th Floor of the Hilton Garden, in the palm of his hand, singing and playing solo. No backing band. It was a very special night of blues.
The Soundtrack of Our Lives
After Bobby Rush's set, I quickly turned around and returned to St. David's to join my friends Ron and Alissa, for Swedish, psychedelic band, the Soundtrack of Our Lives. Several people were surprised however, that the band had decided to play acoustic.
From St. David's, my friends and I walked down 7th street to see the Rods. They were the closet thing to Spinal Tap, that I have seen at any SxSW. They were entertaining, but I'm not sure I would want to pay to see them headlining, to be honest. The novelty wears off after one listen.
Back to the 18th Floor
Homemade Jamz Blues Band
The last band I saw of the festival was the Homemade Jamz Blues Band. The band consists of a father, his 2 sons, and daughter, all from the Hill Country in Mississippi. Dad sings and plays harp, the eldest son plays guitar, the younger son plays bass, and the daughter plays drums. In addition, the guitar, a double neck, and bass, are custom made by the father, out of racing muffler.
Let me just say, these guys were smoking. The guitar playing son sounds like a cross between Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy, and his daughter plays drums like Cindy Blackman. What a way to finish the festival.