"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

11.14.2005

last week in live music: laura cantrell and walt wilkins

It was a busy week for me, what with trying to finish the long-overdue African military research project for Committee Member 5, deal with 4/5 of my committee and their comments on my proposal, and getting ready to leave town for two weeks. So, naturally, I saw three live shows and went to a football game. Without further ado....

Laura Cantrell, Waterloo in-store, 11/9
Cantrell hosts a popular radio show in New York that consists of a lot of "found" folk music, much of it from Appalachia. She released an album over the summer that got really good reviews. I'd read about her EVERYWHERE and wanted to see what all the fuss is about. And after two songs at an in-store that started 20 minutes late, I have to say that I'm not sure. The songs were fine, but her delivery was mediocre, her voice was unexceptional, and on the whole it was pretty boring. So boring, in fact, that I left ten minutes into the set to go to Emeralds, where I bought some fabulous shoes before heading off to the GA's.

About the only good thing about wasting half an hour at Waterloo was running into a friend who's in the film industry and is fixin' to pick up to go to Waco for four months to work on the "Texas Cheerleader" pilot that TLC is filming. They're following around four Midway High senior cheerleaders and hoping for a reality show a la Laguna Beach. That will be somethin'. My friend is somewhat less than enthused.

Walt Wilkins, Cheatham Street Warehouse, 11/11
I adore Walt Wilkins. Not just because he was raised a liberal Baptist (although he was). Certainly not because Pat Green keeps recording his songs. No, I love Walt Wilkins because he survived Nashville and came out a better songwriter than ever. Friday night's show was awesome. We had the table up front and were treated to more than two hours of his best songs from Rivertown and Mustang Island, along with lots of new stuff and some covers. He took requests for the last twenty minutes or so, including one from the mysterious "Terry" who wanted to hear "So Linda, Surrender." It was an amazing set, backed by Marcus Eldridge and another singer-songwriter named John Greenburg who played a great song about an old blue suit towards the end of the night.

Really, though, Walt could've sung the phone book and I would've been happy. Getting to hear him sing "Poetry," which is one of my favorite songs ever, was an added treat. You should definitely catch Walt at one of his Austin-area shows now that he's back in town.

More to come on Dwight Yoakam and my wacky Washington Sunday dinner soon.

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