Up, at 'em and on the road to the first Pilgrimage Fest. Some tough decisions about which acts to see. I predict some stage hopping in our future.
Excited to see Christone "Kingfish" Ingram open up the fest.
From there our plan is:
Holly Williams at noon;
Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear at 1:15 p.m.;
Hopefully, we'll catch some of Neko Case's set starting at 2 p.m.;
Iron and Wine or Will Hoge around the three-o'clock hour;
Really looking forward to Cage the Elephant at 3:30 p.m.;
Sheryl Crow at 4:30 p.m.;
The legend who is Dr. John at 5:45 p.m.;
And the end of Wilco's set wrapping up around 7:45 p.m.
That leaves out Punch Brothers, Nikki Lane and a whole lot of other great acts. But so far, right now, that's the plan and you know what's said about plans. Stay tuned for what really happens. And if you're at @PilgrimageFest this weekend shout at me @RadioBarz on Twitter.
The Beat Farmers almost ruined me for live music. Two dynamite shows at The Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio, July 1986 and September 1987, were the two most bombastic, wildly enjoyable live music experiences of my life. I could have stopped going to shows right then and lived off the memories of those two performances the rest of my life.
The Beat Farmers' music propelled me through mid- and late-1980s road trips, all-night listening parties and summer BBQs. The band mixed country western and rockabilly sensibilities with chunky, raw power chords. Imagine Buck Owens playing with ACDC. And they had a wild card like no other band before or since -- drummer, singer and raconteur Country Dick Montana.
I loved the originals like "Bigger Stones," "Never Going Back," "Riverside" and "Selfish Heart." And the Farmers had the best taste in covers, from Bruce Springsteen's "Reason to Believe" to Neil Young's "Powderfinger" and Country Dick's rowdy rendition of Johnny Cash's "Big River."
The Beat Farmers - Big River
Sadly, The story of The Beat Farmers ended with Country Dick Montana's untimely death on stage in 1995. But the band's legacy and my memories of two amazing nights at The Canal Street live on.
It's Friday. They are The Beat Farmers. Turn it up.
Because when you're out on the road alone and you know that you'll be alone when you arrive, the best thing to do is keep driving, even if the light keeps coming on. The original sends chills every time I hear it and it's a great live tune. Also love Kasey Chambers' cover.
Remember how I said Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walking" took me down a musical rabbit hole when I was six years old? Well, it happened again. And here I am at midnight listening to Nancy and Lee sing "Some Velvet Morning."
Talk about a song that sets a mood. "Some velvet morning when I'm straight / I'm gonna open up your gate / and maybe tell you 'bout Phaedra / and how she gave me life ..."
So trippy. So groovy.
I love the tension between Lee and Nancy's delivery in this song. There's a slight unsettling quality to Lee's vocals, like a guy coming out of a particularly good acid trip he desperately wants to return to, while Nancy or Phaedra is smooth and dreamy like, well, velvet.
Yes, "Houston" and "King of the Road" were both released a few years earlier than "These Boots...," but this was the 1960s when songs hung around longer than a wink and a whistle. One of the great things about discovering a breakthrough favorite song is that it takes you both back in time and into the future.
Written by long-time Sinatra collaborator and unsung American music legend Lee Hazelwood, "These Boots..." combined rock attitude with country sass. And Sinatra's delivery was pure rocket fuel.
Of course, I won't see them all. And they'll be some not on the list that I will see along the way. With that disclaimer out of the way, here's my 2015 SXSW Music Must-See List. Who's missing from my list? Who will you see at SXSW 2015?
This will be my fifth and Susan's first trip to SXSW. She's been gracious about accepting my showcase suggestions and today, she shared a few good ones of her own, including five from the folk list and one steel drum band.
I've been a fan of American Aquarium since my friend Kevin saw them live a few years back and sent me a couple of their CDs. A few years ago, the band recorded a great Daytrotter session with a cover of one of my favorite tunes, Miss Ohio. They make my "want to see" SXSW list for 2015.
With a a few exceptions, this is my first time going going to SXSW without any hard/fast must-see artists. Looking to stretch the my schedule to check out bands and singers from a range of genres, like gospel. Starting my list with Kirk Franklin.