Before the Rains - Day One
After the Rains - Day Three
If they had a Lifetime Achievement Award for weather at music festivals ACL Fest would be giving acceptance speeches for eternity. From record heat to threats of hurricanes, from dust bowls to mud bowls, each year Austin never lets us down, and 2009 was no exception. Ironically, the work they did on the grass that made the first day
so great was what made the last day so...yech! But I'm talking about the field, not the music, which was terrific. As I've been trying to do all weekend I passed on most of the headliners and opted for artists that...uh...well, aren't
headliners. How's that for digging deep?
--An Austin favorite, Garza had the crowd singing along with his rock/blues/latino sounds, closing with one of the best unknown hits of the 90's
. (I HATE that I missed his Friday afternoon bluegrass jam with John Paul Jones and Sara Watkins.)
State Radio--I can't help but think of The Clash when I see State Radio. Social, political, raw, high energy. And they put on a helluva show.
Jesse Woods--After hearing something from his only recording, a homemade demo, everyone (including me) has been asking about this guy. Playing on the BMI Stage with a strong, supporting band I got some answers. He's a new, extremely talented singer/songwriter who will be getting a lot of attention.
--Don't let their bouncy, sellable video
fool you. They are every bit as bouncy and sellable live. What really surprised me was their chops on their respective instruments. These chicks aren't just whistling dixie.
Sons of Bill
--I love the fact that they continuously record their live gigs and post them on their website
. A hard working, great Americana band.
Here We Go Magic--Adequate performance of some interesting songwriting. The magic was a no-show.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
--Outstanding show. Whereas Raphael Saadiq had many of James Brown's moves on Friday, Black Joe Lewis has the Godfather's voice as seen on The Late, Late Show
Brett Dennen--Upbeat singing from an awkward moving, big old kid who just happens to be an incredibly talented songwriter.