As a Texan expat living in the Bay Area I jump at any chance to catch a great Lone Star band coming through the area playing music that transports me back and reveling in the joy of raucous music and being in a crowd indulging in the spirit of the event.
Last night I braved the rain and jumped at the chance to see Austin’s red dirt heroes Reckless Kelly as well as the open and best Bay Area Americana band, Hang Jones.
Stephen Grillos has always been one of my favorite performers in this area since I first made his and hos lovely wife’s acquaintance in Nashville a couple of years back. Since adding his excellent full band – Scott Sneddon on Mandolin, Mike Andersonon doghouse Bass and Vocals, Marisa Martinez on Fiddle and Diana Lerwick on Accordion and vocals – a few months back the music has taken on a new dimension and the songs from his exceptional debut “The Ballad of Carlsbad County” as well as new numbers all sound fresh.
The crowd was a mix of Bay Area hipsters and extras from Friday Night Lights but everybody was loving the honky-tonk mood, wooting and boot stomping, created by the band.
Reckless Kelly and Cross Canadian Ragweed were mainstream face of the red dirt music movement. With the recent demise the CCR Reckless Kelly carries on the tradition with passion and love of the craft of a great song.
The show started with The Ballad of Elano de Leone from their newest Somewhere In Time and moved on to Micky & The Motorcars’ Nobody’s Girl. The set was tight, spirited and the croed was moved by the music.
One of my favorite songs, Wicked Twisted Road was on the set and it did not disappoint. Singer/guitarist Willy Braun and the band worked the club crowd like it was an arena show.
and band can also be judged by the covers it chooses and Reckless Kelly chose a couple of greats. “Castanets” by fellow Austin musician Alejandro Escovedo, “52 Vincent Black Lightning” by Richard Thompson and , in the spirit of the season, Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run,” and #
The Beatles Happiness Is a Warm Gun as an encore.
A great night of music shared with people that love it is a wondrous thing and there is no better way to end 2010 than with this one. See both of these bands whenever you get a chance.