Tag Archives: The Pleaser album

My story and photos about the Jan. 17 show at Saxon Pub posted to Elmore magazine

30 Jan

Elmore Magazine | Folk Uke, Hector Ward & The Big Time and Guy FFolk Uke, Hector Ward and Guy Forsyth’s band, delivered an eclectic mix of folk, blues, reggae, funk, and bluegrass music in a six-hour show Jan. 17 at Saxon Pub in Austin.

Folk Uke, (the “e” is silent) formed by Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, the daughters of iconic fathers, Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie, perform satirical and somewhat sensational music. Angelic voices often contradict edgy and authentic song lyrics from their self-titled release in 2005 and Reincarnation in 2011. Amy sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar while Cathy harmonizes and accompanies on ukulele. Favorites were “Sh*t makes the Flowers Grow,” “Knock Me Up,” and “Mother F***er.”

Hector Ward, delighted fans with a reggae-infused “Simplify,” “Whiskey Pants,” and “Taking Lightening Home,” about blues singer Sam John “Lightnin’” Hopkins. Ward fronts the Big Time band, a nine-piece Latin funk group complete with a horn section. Members included: Mark Wilson, baritone saxophone and flute player; drummer and co-songwriter Mike McGurk; and lead and rhythm guitarist Rain Cross, the son of Grammy award winning songwriter Christopher Cross. Others included cornet player Micah Shalom, trombone player, Ben Taylor, and bass player Kai Roach. Ward sang songs he co-wrote with Phil Roach: “Azucar,” “Freightline Funk,” “Nuevo Laredo” “Time Will Tell,” and “Vibro.” Newcomers included: tenor saxophone player Jennifer Nailos and percussionist David Farris. The band’s two albums include: Freightline Funk released in 2009 and Sum of All in 2011. Ward also sang the single, “Heart Full of Soul,” off the All ATX 2014: British Invasion compilation CD. An American-Cuban, Ward grew up in the little town of Damon, southwest of Houston playing football in high school and then in college at Midwestern State University and Texas State University before suffering partial paralysis in a one-car accident just outside of Houston at 19 years old.

Guy Forsyth has an unmistakable onstage energy that has fueled 25 years of touring internationally while recording 14 albums. He performed a multitude of instruments including a “singing saw,” or modified farming tool used with a violin bow to create a hauntingly instrumental version of “Over the Rainbow.” He first worked as a street musician, later as a studio session player, and then as a comic stunt man at Renaissance fairs Kansas City, MO before moving to Austin in 1990. Band members included: drummer Nina Botta, and her husband, bassist Jeff Botta, who also played on Forsyth’s 2012 The Freedom to Fail album, on the Blue Corn Music label; guitarist George Rarey, who also performs on The Pleaser, Forsyth’s new blues album to be released this April on the Lizard Disc label. The best songs of the night included “Sink ‘em Low (the Holler),” which the band sang acapella amid hand clapping and foot stomping. He also sang, “She’s Crazy Now,” an as yet unrecorded love song that features a unique third person protagonist. Lizard Discs first released his debut solo album High Temperature, CD in Hengelo, Netherlands in 1993 establishing Forsyth throughout Europe. He signed with Antone’s Records to release three more albums: Steak, Needlegun and Can You Live Without before Texas Music Group bought it and declared bankruptcy in 2010. Forsyth released Voices Inside in 2002 on his independent Small and Nimble Records followed by Love Songs For and Against in 2005, Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana, a double live album in 2006, Calico Girl in 2008, Live at Gruene Hall in 2009 and the DVD, 300 Miles from There to Here in 2011.

 Here’s the link to my story and my photos that posted to Elmore magazine: http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2015/01/reviews/shows/folk-uke-hector-ward-the-big-time-and-guy-forsyth

Here’s a gallery of my photos that I took Jan. 17 at Saxon Pub:

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