A cool double bill on a Saturday night in Austin.
Jess opened the show and played for about 45 minutes. She grabbed the crowd the minute she opened her mouth and had them for the entire set. Granted, Jimmy's crowd is a listening group but still...I would guess well over half hadn't heard her before and she reeled them in straight away. Not surprising. We all appreciate well written songs and someone who plays and sings them with passion. Got to hear much of the latest cd which is called "Bound to Love" but also got a couple of older ones including a favorite of mine called "Shonalee." This was a solo performance and I think it's much harder to hold a crowd who is unfamiliar with you by yourself than with a band. She did it. Easily.
Got a pretty decent video of her doing "Travelin' Woman." See it here:
Next up was Jimmy LaFave. He is such a treasure. Hadn't seen him since March during SXSW. He was supposed to play Unplugged at the Grove this summer but that was the infamous night it got shut down during the opening act due to noise. So, we were overdue.
What can you say? He's got that red dirt voice that is so distinct and lends itself perfectly for the songs he sings. His sets flow in and out of the singer/songwriter stuff to the swamp blues boogies to the Dylan or Springsteen covers he does so well. The 1 & 1/2 hours he played flew by. The Springsteen cover he did, "Secret Garden," was a highlight for me. He had his full band including the great John Inman on lead guitar. That guy is so much fun to watch and listen to.
It's my understanding Jimmy has a new cd coming out probably in the spring. Heard he is in the studio now.
Cover for this show was $15. Another Austin bargain.