SXSW is back in Austin! The past two years were cancelled because of Covid, but SXSW is once again on. And, boy howdy, did I miss seeing live music. Not only that, it was plugged-in live music, and it was the first time I went and did that since I was hit by Drunky. It was glorious.
Not only that, I went to a pre-SXSW event sponsored by the Black Austin Musicians’ Collective because the line-up was so good that I didn’t have a choice. I had to go. Period. For those of you who have followed SNT, you’ll see some familiar names on this here list.
This was the only artist with which I wasn’t very familiar with their work, and I was sold immediately when I listened to his work earlier in the week. There are some artists who just exude joy and excitement when they perform, and Jonny is one of them. Here’s the funny thing about that performance: it was like 37 degrees and gusty during the show, and the dude is out there in character wearing these badass pink pajamas. The devotion to his art was amazing, especially since my old ass was out there wearing like five layers.
When the song in the video below was released, it ear-wormed the heck out of me. Diving into their music, you get this awesome feel of great 80s rock (think The Cure), old fashioned rock, and just an all-around great groove. Don’t stop with Simple Love Song: make sure you dig down to find more diamonds.
For those of you who have been reading for the over 10 years I have been erratically writing SNT, you know that, sometimes, I just fall in love with a voice. I can hear a Sharon Jones or Aretha Franklin or Dolly Parton or Kevin Russell song a thousand miles away.
The very first time I heard Alesia’s voice, I was, once again, aurally smitten. At the show, it was just her and a guitarist (whose name I missed but was a blast to listen to). The performance really highlighted Alesia’s voice, vocal range, and her personality shined throughout.
Featuring Deezie Brown and Jake Lloyd, both from Bastrop up the road down yonder, I’ve been wanting to see these guys for a couple of years now. With them, it’s the lyrics. These guys are poets, and it shows in their music. Seeing them live was even better as they bring a ton of energy and passion for their music. I was borderline scared to watch Geto Gala because my expectations were sky high, but they are incredible.
Let’s put it this way: they started with an amazing cover of “Word Up,” and their music showed it up. That’s how good they are.
Jake? I’ll forgive the Rangers jersey this one time. Just once, though.
I believe my love for Jackie Venson’s work is slightly documented on this here website, so I won’t belabor the point.
How she could play the guitar like she did (by this time, it was like 34 and still windy as heck) was astounding on its own. Then, she was talking about how cold it was while she was playing?
The thing about Jackie is she’s about one of the best guitar players around, and she plays with such contagious joy and energy. I want more people to know this, you know.
Then, there is her passion.
Most of all, I would like to thank these five artists and the Black Austin Musicians’ Collective for putting together a show so amazing that I had to go. I had no choice. I had to attend this event, and it cleared some mental hurdles for this stupid brain of mine.
I’m feeling a little verklempt, so why don’t y’all take over for me in the comments section below and let me know what you’ve been listening to.