JULY 2, 2005
AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL
I always try to make it to this fine festival for at least one day. As Robbie Fulks said during his set tonight, it’s like a little bit of Austin, Texas.
The discovery of the day was the Lee Boys, a Florida “sacred steel” group that plays a rousing blues-gospel-rock. The blazing star of this band is pedal-steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier. The minute I heard this kid playing, it was obvious he’s something special. And the crowd knew it, too. I’m guessing few people in the room knew anything about the Lee Boys before today, but they certainly have some new fans.
The Kinsey Report also impressed with their blues, and Tributosaurus pulled off a nice tribute to the music of the Band.
Robbie Fulks was as entertaining as always — of course, there are those who are put off by his sarcasm and tomfoolery, but I just find it amusing. He’s one of those great showmen with multiple talents — in his case, singing, songwriting, guitar playing and comical emceeing. “Georgia Hard,” the title track of his new CD, already sounds like a classic. The short set came to a rather abrupt end becase of the midnight curfew, as Fulks joked about not wanting to tick off the “Berwyn gendarmes.”
Just as Fulks finished up, the Gourds were getting ready to play inside the club. I’m woefully behind on my knowledge of this Austin band, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about them (despite the fact that President George W. Bush is apparently one of their fans … I guess you can’t blame the band for that). All I can say is they sounded good, but I didn’t know the songs and I was tired.