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

5.20.2007

last night in live music: the road to austin


"...nothin' ain't worth nothin', but it's free."
So while we were perhaps not as enthralled by the Road to Austin concert as the Statesman, last night's free show at Auditorium Shores was pretty good. Professer Deutsch is in town for the weekend, so we met up with a couple of her friends to head down to the lake. It was such a nice evening - not hot at all, and the venue was nowhere close to full, so it was a perfect evening to hang out with friends and people watch. Austinites never fail to amuse, that's for sure.

As for the music, the show was not my preferred kind of thing, but it was free, so I can't really complain. Each act played about two songs, and we were subjected to waaaaaayyyyy too much Stephen Bruton this-and-that, including a ridiculous self-congratulatory award to thank Stephen Bruton for doing such a darn good job of putting on a Stephen Bruton show for everyone to enjoy Stephen Bruton. I could have done without the opera and the seemingly endless Malford Milligan repeat performances, but all the music was good.

But I digress. I especially enjoyed getting to see James Hand, Delbert McClinton, Joe Ely, and Joel Guzman. Kris Kristofferson was one of the headliners; he played "Help Me Make it Through the Night" and a couple of others before relinquishing the stage to Ely or someone else. Bonnie Raitt's 3-4 song "set" was also good; the highlight was her dedication of John Prine's "Angel From Montgomery" to Molly Ivins' memory, sung with Ruthie Foster.

The encore began with just Kris Kristofferson singing "Me & Bobby McGee," which ended up with 30 or so performers onstage. I hate when show organizers do that. It's so unnecessary to have people wandering around behind the performer, or singing along when they only know half the words. That song is amazing, and there wasn't a better way to end the evening than listening to Kristofferson sing it solo under the stars. Maybe next time. And maybe that's not the most important thing. As the Professor points out, there was grace in it all.

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