Tag Archives: Austin live music

My review of Jethro Tull posts to Elmore magazine

2 Jun

Performing hit songs that stretch back more than four decades, Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson delighted fans with a classic, progressive, folk and theatrical rock show for more than two hours plus—one encore—at Austin City Limits’ Moody Theater.

The band opened with 1969’s “Living in the Past,” the title track off their 1972 compilation album. Today the song’s lyrical meaning remains as mysterious as the commercial appeal of its uncommon 5/4 time signature. Anderson, a 69-year-old multitalented musician, danced across the stage while playing flute, guitar, Bouzouki, harmonica and singing lead vocals to his original 15 sophisticated and stylistic songs.

Vintage concert footage of Anderson intermittently projected onto a video backdrop together with a plethora of colorful iconic images poetically timed to his song lyrics. “Aqualung” brought an audience of mostly Baby Boomers to their feet before the percussive encore, “Locomotive Breath,” drew the memorable night to a raucous close.

Celebrating a lengthy musical career that spans 30 albums, Anderson led outstanding younger musicians: Florian Opahle on lead guitar, Scott Hammond on drums and percussion, John O’Hara on keyboards and accordion, and David Goodier on bass. Hardcore fans and those who missed the tour will enjoy Jethro Tull — Songs from the Wood, a 40th anniversary three CD and two DVD set released this May.

 

 

My Eagles concert review posted to Elmore

3 Jun

Elmore Magazine | The EaglesFive of the original Eagles took musicianship to the limits at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Before a sold-out crowd, they performed hits from 12 albums and a career that spans four-plus decades. For over three hours (and two encores) Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh mesmerized their audience with nostalgic stories and songs synchronized to stunning videos of Southwest landscapes.

Selections from favorite albums, Desperado, Hotel California, and One of These Nights captivated Baby Boomers and Millennials alike, and introduced a new generation to the cross-genres from progressive country to rock. The six-time Grammy winners began their first set with early Eagles’ acoustic songs like “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” and “Tequila Sunrise” sitting on stage. After an intermission, band members stood and rocked the crowd to its feet. A boyish Walsh upstaged the show by inviting audience participation on “Life’s Been Good” and using a talk box to perform “Rocky Mountain Way.” With “Take It to the Limit,” Frey provided a moving tribute to guitarist Randy Meisner, absent from the two-year “History of the Eagles Tour” due to health issues. The final encore song, “Desperado,” closed the show on a magical note, with ethereal harmonies that will forever echo in the canyons of the mind.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also please see my review on Elmore magazine’s website at: http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2015/06/reviews/shows/the-eagles

My story about the Saxon Pub posted to Austin Monthly

3 Jun

New Beginnings - Austin Monthly - June 2015 - Austin, TXSince opening a quarter century ago, the Saxon Pub has served as a launching point for some of Austin’s finest musicians, from legends like Steven Fromholz and Rusty Wier to current favorites Bob Schneider (pictured) and Hayes Carll, to name just a few. Yet the venue has outgrown its roots, says proprietor Joe Ables, who intends to open a second location in an industrial area south of Ben White Boulevard on South Congress Avenue in the next two years.

The move is like a flashback to the past: When the Saxon opened on June 8, 1990, it was situated amid vacant lots and helped establish the 78704 neighborhood as its own entertainment district. Today, Ables feels the squeeze of new construction, dicey parking and a lease that expires in 2020, so his plan is to construct a $4-$8 million two-story multi-user venue adjacent to the $120 million St. Elmo Market development in an overlooked neighborhood near St. Elmo Street and South Congress. “It would be crazy of me if I don’t explore this fantastic chance to build a larger, better Saxon Pub for fans and our music family,” he says. (Ables plans to renew the lease on the South Lamar building and turn it into something else.)

While the large-scale St. Elmo complex will have a boutique hotel, condos, a 50,000-square-foot market and 200,000 square feet of creative office space, the new Saxon will feature a restaurant and theater for concerts and film screenings. Brandon Bolin, CEO of GroundFloor Development, the investors behind St. Elmo Market, describes the music venue as “the front door for the St. Elmo project.” Fans of Bob Schneider’s Monday night residency can rest easy—he’ll still have his regular weekly gig in the new space.

Moving forward is also a time for reflection. In that spirit, a yet-to-be-titled documentary about the venue will be released later this year, says Ables, who at 62 feels excited at the prospect of finally becoming a landowner. “It’s one of those things that I ask myself, ‘do I really want to do this at this age?,’” he says. “I do. I feel pretty young; I still feel good.”

Please see my article posted on Austin Monthly at: http://www.austinmonthly.com/AM/June-2015/New-Beginnings/

Doobie Brothers shine on Austin in my Elmore review

18 May

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bewitched Baby Boomer fans danced and sang along with the hit songs of the Doobie Brothers, former Eagles’ lead guitarist Don Felder and up-and-coming 19-year-old Illinois native Matthew Curry at Austin City Limit’s Moody Theater.

For “Those Shoes,” Felder used a 1970s style talk box and then dedicated “Witchy Woman” to his female audience. His band cast a spell with “Seven Bridges Road,” including: bassist Wade Biery, drummer Randy Cook, keyboardist Timothy Drury, and additional guitarist Greg Suran.

True to their hippie rock genre since 1969, the Doobie Brothers founding front men guitarists and singers Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons opened with their hit, “Jesus is Just Alright.”

Simmons sang his 1975 number one hit, “Black Water,” before fans broke into hysteria with “Long Train Running.” The band included multi-instrumentalist John McFee on guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, harmonica and vocals; Guy Allison on keyboards and vocals; John Cowan on bass and vocals; Marc Russo on saxophones, and both Tony Pia and Ed Toth on drums.

An encore of “China Grove,” led to a guitar orgy with solos by Simmons, Johnston, McFee, Curry and surprise guest Ray Benson, frontman for Asleep at the Wheel. Their instrumental blues rock medley ended Monday night’s fandango beneath a Texas half moon that seemingly shined nostalgia.

Please follow this link to read my review and see my photos posted on Elmore magazine’s website at:

http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2015/05/reviews/shows/the-doobie-brothers-feat-don-felder-and-matthew-curry

%d bloggers like this: