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Sunday, November 29, 2015

They wish

I'll get to that in a minute

Threadgills ( South is both wonderful outside (weather permitting) and interesting inside. The food is fantastic, and the ambiance is pure Austin,Texas...y'all. It is home to the remnants of the famous Armadillo World Headquarters (look it up) an establishment that helped establish Austin with the title of 'live music capital of the world'.

I will withhold my normal description of the venue as you really have to see it to understand. BUT...the inside stage is in the 'Threadgills Saloon'. You have to walk through the restaurant and smell the good food to get to it. Oh yes, you can order food in the Saloon as well. It seats about 90. Tonight was beyond standing room and it was glorious! The crowd was great and the music...well that's what I want to talk about.

The Cuckoos ( are a 3 piece. Vocals do the keys, there is a guitarist, and a drummer. With a packed house, these 3 young men made their way onto the stage and with little warning laid into their first track. It seemed to get oddly quite from the crowd once they started playing. Yes, there was the normal murmur, but it was mostly people saying "WHOA!", "Wait! Who is this again?" and of course the overwhelming tone I heard was "Oh my God!". Yes they weren't just that good. They were stunning. 

Once again I have designs on going to see one particular band and am blown away by something completely unexpected and sensational. The Cuckoos were just that. Everybody loved them. Though the house was packed for the headliner, I saw and heard no one exclaim anything other than joy at the sound of The Cuckoos. I even had a friend task me with hunting them down so that we could go to their next gig with less distraction than this evenings headliner.

Here is the obvious and needed comparison. WHICH I DON'T DO! I have said this before, a lot! I don't compare because what I hear and you hear would not be the same thing. I wouldn't want to jade you from seeing something you think is wonderful. These kids sounded like The Doors. Yes, if Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek had a child it would have been the lead singer and keyboard player of The Cuckoos. The sound, the voice, the keys. It was eerily bad ass! As for the Doors, THEY WISH they had a guitar player like this. I don't care what you say about The Doors guitarist, with The Cuckoos, the guitar was not buried behind they keys and the vocals, he was just as much the star, and damn impressive at that.

Much love, respect, and future/ongoing success to The Cuckoos. Do you part, feel nostalgic for that sound from a by gone time, go see The Cuckoos. Want something that is different from that 'Austin Sound' go see The Cuckoos.

Enough of that! Let me tip my hat in grand respect to the man of the hour. Van Wilks ( I can't say I don't like writing about artists over and over again, I love talking about good music. This, though, seems to be different and ever evolving each time I see him. Van Wilks has been doing his thing in Austin for a long time, but just doesn't seem to get the love here as he does in, say,.....FRANCE! 

I am glad Van calls Austin, Texas home and you really should get out and see him if you haven't. On a good night, there may be a stunning list of guests who make it onstage with him or sit with you in the crowd. If not, then you are in for just a bad ass guitarist with some fantastic blues/rock music. 

Not needing to prove himself with a new album, Van Wilks has definitively grabbed a hold of that guitar throne and declared himself King of the "21st Century Blues"( It is not just the stunning guitar work on the new album, but it's his ability to be more impressive live. Not the familiar sound we know, but the sound we love. It is comforting to know that level of talent and Vans respect for where he came from musically, is for all of us to share on the new album and see in his live performances. 

For the show this evening, it brought special guest guitarist Josh Smith onstage. Beautiful to know Van Wilks, as a guitar man, has no ego about sharing the stage. Oh yes! Legendary vocalist Malford Milligan stepped onstage for two songs. Charming, humble, and still the most notable of blues/rock vocalists and distinctive voices pretty much anywhere.

They wish they had a set list and guest list like this. They wish!


Happy Birthday to Austin PubCrawl, William Tompkins. Got a photo of him, his daughter, and Malford Milligan.