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My Favorite Austin Artists

 

 

I love Austin music, and though I don't dig every single act around town, checking them out at least once is usually necessary. Some of the bands in Austin come and go, while some have been around for a long time, but they all have one thing in common- They are Austin, TX.
Here are few of my favorite local acts and some others to check out.

Guy Forsyth

This man is fierce! Nah, actually he's the nicest guy you would ever meet, but he's got some pipes! Probably my second favorite singer after Ian Moore, Guy is extremely fun to watch and listen to. He plays many instruments, from slide guitar to harmonica, but his signature instrument is the "singing saw" pictured here. It's safe to say that Guy is in a large part "blues", but he's so different that it's not just your average man's blues. Listen to the album "Can You Live Without" to get a taste to see what this man can do. Then go see him at Antones or Saxon Pub and watch him ignite the crowd. He's got attitude to spare, and while listening to him bellow out those intense vocals, it's impossible not to be taken along for whatever story he's singing about at the given moment. Complete and utter badass.

 



www.guyforsyth.com

 
 
 
 
 

Steamroller

In your face rock and roll. Mostly party songs, but they totally rock out. With Mike on vocals/guitar and Kevin Dodds on lead guitar, they make for quite a duo.....but the whole band is good. The combination of the extremely high energy they provide and the fact that they can completely jam out on their instruments produces quite a fun show. They play Antones and Lucy's a lot, so go check em out, but only if you are prepared to rock out...
In fact, check em out on MP3.com right now. http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/134/steamroller_austin_tx.html


www.steamrollermusic.com

 

Jeff Klein

ASCAP calls him one of the top unsigned singer/songwriters of today. They're right. Very smart lyrics, coupled with cool melodies and various instruments. He's also one of the funniest guys around, a definite big believer in sarcasm! He's part of the new India Records record label here in Austin, so go see one of their weekly showcases. Also, get his new cd, it's fabulous. I'm a big fan of his because he's so honest, both in his music and what he says during shows. There is definitely no doubt that he believes in what he is singing and playing. The Austin Chronicle agrees- "These are songs in which Klein appears to be not just baring his soul, but ripping open his chest so we can see his guts." That's the perfect way to decribe him! And he's got a lot of talent to boot. Pretty amazing, since he's only 24.

 

Bob Schneider

Bob Schneider is the current "it" man in Austin, TX because of his band The Scabs, his solo music career, and his relationship with Sandra Bullock. I've seen The Scabs and think they are decent, but what I like most is Bob Schneider on his own (with his own band). Lonelyland is a great cd and I think it will become popular nationwide now that it has found a bigger label. He also came out with a mellow acoustic cd called "Underneath the Onion Tree" that proves diversity is one of his strengths... That's what I like about him, he's got a lot of different sides and seems to change a lot. I think he is going more away from the Scabs and more toward pursuing a career on his own, and I think that's a great move because that's the better music. He plays all the time in Austin, usually at Antones and Saxon Pub. Also, take a look at his cool webpage!

 

Chris Duarte

Eddie Van Halen called him the best guitarist he's ever seen, and I can see why he made such a statement. Duarte plays blazingly fast blues licks, with kind of a jazzy undertone. I'm not a huge fan of his recordings (they are good, but not great), but seeing him live is an experience. The guy just goes insane and his fingers burn up the fretboard. It's quite shocking to see, so be ready.


www.chrisduarte.com
 

Eric Johnson

The reclusive Eric Johnson just happens to be one of the best guitar players on the planet. He lives in Austin and resurfaces from his cave once in awhile to wow some more people. The rap on him is it takes him forever to put cd's out because he is such a perfectionist, and this is true, but there's no mistaking this guy's ability. I'd say Venus Isle is his best recording, even better than Ah Via Musicom. He just came out with a live cd with his side band "Alien Love Child" and word has it that a new Eric cd is coming out later this year. This is "Eric time" though, so expect it by 2005. Even though I've gotten a bit out of instrumental guitar rock, I still listen to him fairly often and his playing never ceases to impress me.

Others to Check Out

  Goudie - Good pop. These guys are pretty tight musically and their debut cd is really solid. They play Antones occasionally.
  Golden Arm Trio- Very experimental music, but it's a different show and lineup any time. The only constant is Graham Reynolds who plays piano and drums. Catch them at Emos or Mercury usually, and check out their cd "Why the Sea Is Salt".
  Vallejo- They've become a little too trendy lately, but still a good Latin Rock band. Also catch them when several members dress up and play 80's metal tunes under the band name "Bang"... For that, they're pretty cool.
  Toni Price- She's been around Austin for quite some time, but I just recently saw her and heard her for the first time and she's not bad! Bluesy soul singer who currently holds court at the "Hippie Hour" at The Continental Club on Tuesdays.