Don't Tell My Friends

Known for its great Mexican restaurants and Texas bar-b-ques, Austin also is home to one Disney-like New York Deli. Time and convenience finds me eating a turkey club on rye, deli style. I can’t confess this to anyone.The Leg ManThe Leg Man

(Great connoisseurs of eclectic music also appreciate fine local cuisine. The large bar-b-qued turkey leg, for instance. Rochester's own Richard Storm is such a man.)

It’s Friday evening. To purge myself of this New York blunder, I head for the most Texas style newcomer I can find, Ryan Bingham. He is upstairs around the corner from the deli at Momos. On his latest cd, Mescalio, a large cowboy hat covers his head in a bowed pose. He is at least ten years younger than his recording led me to believe.

There soon assembled a small group of young women standing in the front, along with one of their mothers. They became nearly as entertaining as the music in their ritually competitive dance-of-the-groupies. Very reminiscent of large feathered birds caught in their mating dance for PBS documentaries. Except, for the most part, they are wearing shirts.
Ryan BinghamRyan Bingham
Bingham had a guest guitarist that night, Marc Ford, once lead guitarist for The Black Crowes and producer of Bingham’s latest recording, Mescalito. That cd has a back-country, acoustic, cowboy boot feel to it. Live that night the boots have bigger heels, the volume is pumped up and the feathered birds up front love it. Their shirts are mostly still on.

He finished with “Bread and Water”, with some dueling slide guitar riffs. The shirts somehow managed to stay on the whole show. Must have been the “mother factor”.

Uncertain where to go next, and too proud to admit to such an early burn out, we go to the obvious, Shelby Lynne at the Austin Music Hall. Having been there briefly the night My Morning Jacket played, we knew it was one cold, square, grey auditorium. It’s not hard to imagine you’re in a prison. No seats, just slabs of concrete, even in the balcony. I imagine a central flushing system that washes out the hall after each performance. Huge showers rushing through the concrete down some hidden drain below.

But this is about the music…

Next chapter, Shelby Lynne salutes Dusty Springfield.