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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What's Her Face - an EP review

Not my normal comfort zone, but I was asked. Even harder is knowing these guys that hand that EP off to you and ask for an honest ya go.

From the opening piano chords of this EP to the surprising crunch of the guitar moments later, I felt it was nothing compared to the voice of the piano playing lead singer, Jeff Norby. 'Naive' is probably the best way to describe your impression of this EP by the first song.

Rolling into the second track it took all of 45 seconds to flash back to a time of musical genius that was the 70's. Unquestionably, the guys that make up The Soap Boxers ( are lost souls from that era whom have found each other here.

The Piano and voice of Jeff are the pure essence of Neil Diamond. With a modern guitar and solid back line, it makes there song 'Maryanne' a comfortable classic. If you're not old enough to remember, you've still experienced this sound in the movies and tv shows around you all your life.

The 3rd track 'Monster' seemed more aggressive with the guitar work, but here again is Jeff's voice and piano work settling you right back into that groove.

Pretty hard to deny the theme of broken hearts, scandolous love, and many women running throughout the EP, but DAMMITT, by the time 'Julie' fired up, I felt like Mary Tyler Moore or Laverne and Shirley were going to bust in the door and start dancing.

Listening to the final track 'Alice' only solidified my belief of these guys being reincarnated musical souls from the 1970's right to our doorstep in 2017!

overall, the chords, mixes, and guitar work make 'What's her face' a memorable EP.

Check them out online and get the EP at a live performance!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Rebellion lives

Dozen Street ( is located on...Well...12th St. On the corner of 12th and Chicon in Austin, Texas. As a tourist I don't believe you would wander in here unless it was purposeful.

Dozen Street Bar is located in a row between a couple of other businesses and is a Shotgun style bar. As you walk into the narrow room, heading towards the back, you pass a couple pool tables and the restrooms on the right. The wall on your left is an interesting collection of 12x12 tiles of all different sorts which have to see in person to appreciate it. As you progress farther into the club, the bar is also on your right past the bathrooms and the stage is to your left in the back corner with a seating /lounge area directly in front of it next to the bar. The is also an out door area for smoking or relaxing away from the music of you so choose.

This night's musical selection was a two piece out of New York, SIRSY ( Comprised of Melanie on Drums and vocals, as well as backing herself up on bass and flute... Yes! You read that correctly. The band is rounded out with guitarist Rich Libotti, who does bass as well. They tour constantly and traverse the U.S. like champs.

The first thing I noticed about SIRSY is Melanie's beautiful smile! It is absolutely infectious and fantastic. Smiling and laughing throughout the entire performance. She just makes you happy you are there.

SIRSY's music is pop/rock based. Libboti's grooves and guitar work is uncompromising! Mixing his pedal work with his rhythm and lead solos are solid. The frightening thing is how great Libboti's work is and it takes back seat to Melanie and her performance work. By the way, the title of this blog is a nod to Libboti's guitar itself - go see them perform and you might get the back story! 

Although it was a small intimate crowd, SIRSY'S performance was even more stellar than the first time I saw them on a short set and large crowd. Every single person in the house tonight laughed with the band, cheered, clapped, and danced in their seats or across the small space in front of the stage. Although they did play a cover or two, the crowds enjoyment came directly in response to their amazing originals. It was an exciting performance to behold and for just two people to pour their hearts, souls and sweat out for this crowd like they did, I can't imagine you having a better time than a SIRSY performance!

Oh my God... And that smile!


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

in the garden of good music

The Oak Garden at Guero's Taco Bar ( on South Congress is a must do on any one's list. On a nice Saturday in downtown Austin, Texas you will always find some great local music starting at around noon. The Oak Garden is located right next door to the restaurant. With plenty of parking street side or in the parking garage behind the garden, there are only good times to be had. Under the beautiful oaks with plenty of seating, people watching with a nice cold beverage and great music is the back drop to a perfect Austin weekend and life!

On two separate occasions I have had the joy of taking in amazing local music with family and friends. Nothing but love and joy in my heart because this is what it should be like all the time.

At one point in the recent past I caught The Brew ( here at the Oak Garden. Nothing but masters at their craft, The Brew can do nothing but inspire your feet to move with their Latin infused rhythms and sounds. Whether it is acoustic, unplugged, a jazz set, or with guest singers, The Brew never cease to amaze and put smiles on the faces in the crowd. This particular Saturday afternoon was no different as it was again the stellar guitar work of Michael Rodriguez making pulses pound and feet move. Young and old, The Brew will always be a must see. Whether you are an Austin resident or visiting from out of town, with their many residencies around the city your are sure to find The Brew... and have a great time!

Yet on another occasion, I found myself purposefully and willfully at the Oak Garden on a gorgeous Saturday for Jelly ( Fronted by rock guitar virtuoso and vocalist Jonathan Ellington and backed with a stellar crew, Jelly always knocks it out of the park with his brand of bad boy blues and rock! Having seen many Jelly performances, it never gets old. Taking your father to a Jelly performance and watching the excitement grow on his face as Jelly just owns every piece of every song. Covers and originals, watching someone else enjoy this young rockstar is even better than seeing him a dozen times. Here is another faithful and wonderful performer you can gaze upon, evenings in Austin, just about anywhere. Look Jelly up and enjoy the jams!