Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ARMADILLO WORLD HEADQUARTERS 40th Birthday Party at Threadgill's 8-7-10 featuring PAUL RAY and The COBRAS

What a night!  Got to see a little Austin musical history come to life!
This was a tough Saturday night in Austin as far as deciding who to go out and hear.  We had Matt the Electrician at Wyldwood House Concerts and Steve Forbert at the Cactus Cafe.
Opted for what sounded like one heckuva party at Threadgill's.  First off, the owner of Threadgill's South opened the Armadillo, a club that survived for 10 years and brought the best, most diverse music in the world to Austin.  It's one of the places where a fella by the name of Stevie Ray Vaughan cut his teeth.  One of his first Austin bands was The Cobras.  So, their reunion for this gig was a Big Deal!
Admission was $20.  I have never seen Threadgill's more packed!  We got there around 8:15 for a 9pm show and got 2 of the last remaining chairs available.
There were 3 bands on the bill.  First up was Hank & Shaidri Alrich.  I don't know the history but Eddie Wilson, who opened the Armadillo and has Threadgill's, said during the introduction that without Hank there would've been no Armadillo, so there you have it.  Without the Armadillo, you don't have Austin, Live Music Capitol Of The World so you can bet I will be reading up on the history of Hank and his ties to the Armadillo.
Back to the show.  Hank, his daughter Shaidri and a cellist, played about a 1/2 hour, bluegrass, folk music.  
Really good.
After them came Larry Lange and the Lonely Knights.  Seriously got the joint jumping.  They had horns and brought up this singer from San Antonio by the name of Joanna Razmirez who has a voice that will make you stop dead in your tracks.  I pulled out my phone and wrote her name down.  Did not want to forget it as I would love to see her again!  What a voice!  Turns out she and the band played the night before about a 1/2 mile from where I live.  That news about killed me!  Anyway, she and Larry Lange and his band were so good and so much fun.  They are billed as a Chicano Soul Revue and that pretty much says it all.  They'll be playing in a couple of weeks in far South Austin at the Red Shed and we plan on being there!
Headlining was Paul Ray & The Cobras.  Larry Lange played bass in this band.  Turns out he was an original Cobra and along with Paul, played beside Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Really weird for me as I know Paul Ray as a dj only, from KUT here in Austin.  It's our local NPR station.  On lead guitar was Denny Freeman who, I'm not sure, but may have replaced Stevie Ray when he left The Cobras.  I really need to check this history out.  At any rate, he's a guitar slinger extroardinaire and played in Bob Dylan's band up until about a year ago.  Paul did probably 45 minutes with The Cobras.  Many blues standards, Bobby Blue Bland and such.
When Paul left the stage, the one and only Angela Strehli took over the vocals with The Cobras.  As one friend said, a timeless voice.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed listening to her belt it out for the rest of the evening.  If you own Stevie Ray's "Live at Carnagie Hall," you know Angela.  She sang often with Double Trouble.  A classic blues voice.
Pretty good video of Angela and The Cobras here:



hank alrich said...

Nice review, Debbie. Denny Freeman preceded Stevie Ray Vaughan in The Cobras. Denny was also the guitarist for the band back in 1979 when I produced a fabulous live album of them that never got released. That will come to market sometime in early spring next year.

Deb said...

Thanks for straightening me out, Hank. Much appreciated. I have found an article online from the Chronicle and plan to read it soon. Think it's going to clue me in on the Armadillo and your history. After seeing that show Saturday night, I know I need to have that understanding. And even though I don't know all of the details yet, thank you for everything I'm about to learn. Saving the Armadillo saved Austin music, that much I do know.
Take care,

Stu said...

Right, as Hank said, Denny was the original guitar player. He and Paul formed the band.
Also, Larry only took over on bass after original bass player Alex Napier left. Al was the bassist in the band when Stevie was there