I think I spend more time trying to ignore SXSW than actually thinking about it.  Because I’m jealous.  I’m not shy to admit it.  I mean like holy smokes today from noon to 7pm there’s a party with John Hiatt, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Corb Lund, and ♥Austin Lucas♥.  Do I want to be sitting in my office, whining about how cold it is in Nashville and wishing today was Friday already, or do I want to be drinking bourbon in Austin and seeing a damn show like that?  Why did I even ask that as a question?  Sigh.  So maybe I’ll suck it up and go see some Nashville music tonight.  Raise a glass with my fellow music lovers who for one week a year are in the wrong town.  Tomorrow’s hangover hopefully will come with enough perspective to realize why Nashville is the best the other 51 weeks of the year.

Because I’m not the only one feeling left out, there’s the awesome Couch by Couchwest.  Which has the exceptional John Phelan from Truckstop Darlin’ singing and exclusive song called, “Remember Me.”  The last time John was on my couch I did not get a song out of it.  Something that will need to be rectified the next time he’s down this way.

CXCW also has my friends, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper, singing a new song, “Ancient History.”  If you aren’t familiar, I highly recommend catching them live if they ever show up near you or follow the Red Beet Records site which often has live, streaming concerts from these boys.

There’s also my neighbors, Doug and Telisha Williams (though by this definition, Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, and Austin Lucas are also my neighbors) playing, “Kitchen Light,” in their car right before heading out to SXSW.  My jealousy is only alleviated by the fact that I know they have to come back home and I’ll see them soon, hopefully right around the corner from me.

Sam Lewis, oh Sam, come back to Nashville and break my heart.  It would be totally worth it. Sigh. Sam might be on his way to stealing the hearts right off Austin Lucas’ name in my posts (never!)  Sam’s been recently out with the Kenny Vaughan Trio for but you can see him sing “In My Dreams,” on CXCW.  In my dreams indeed.  Come sing for me, Sam.

Plus CXCW has all these bands waiting for you to discover them.  I’m falling all over some kids who aren’t my neighbors, who I don’t know, from Florida, Have Gun Will Travel, singing my favorite Muppets song, “Rainbow Connection.”

And bonus, ♥Austin Lucas♥ (who kicked off the first ever CXCW) singing “Alone in Memphis.”  Sigh.  Oh to be at that party in Texas today.  But if you can’t go lose a few hours at Couch by Couchwest, they’ve got you covered.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Okay, well it’s actually grim and rainy in my neighborhood, but it does smell more like spring than winter so that’s something. It is however and beautiful day for music being created.  Austin Lucas and Amanda Shires are both celebrating birthdays today.

Austin is probably considered country by the punk folks and punk by the country folks, but he’s a really shockingly good blend of both.  And we all know there’s plenty of that to go around, but Austin’s brand is exceptional, so if you haven’t discovered him already, get to it.  He’s on tour in Europe soon with Glossary, so even more of the world will hopefully discover, embrace and adore him like I do. (Buy directly from Last Chance Records.)

Amanda “Pearl” Shires is perhaps one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.  It doesn’t hurt that she sings like an angel, writes great songs and is charming and funny too.  I’ve never seen anyone introduced to her music (or her personally) that wasn’t completely taken with her.  I Love her last two albums, but most especially the song “Mariann Leola” off West Cross Timbers, because it makes me remember my own grandmother and feel both weepy and joyful.  Even the saddest of her songs uplift me in someway, even if it’s just knowing someone else once felt the same way.  She has a new album in the works and I can’t hardly wait for it!  (Buy from iTunes or Amazon.)