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Posts Tagged ‘Arc Angels’

Arc Angels at Antone’s

The Arc Angels live at Antone's

The Arc Angels (Doyle Bramhall II, Charlie Sexton, Chris Layton, and Dave Monsey) rocked Antone’s for a two night stand this past weekend.  Doyle and Charlie have been so busy with other projects, it’s always nice when they have time to play Arc Angels shows.  Doyle and Justin Stanley (Eric Clapton) co-produced Sheryl Crow’s new album 100 Miles From Memphis (release date is July 20).  Doyle is touring with her in support of the album this summer and fall.  100 Miles is a significant shift for Sheryl towards more funk and soul-oriented music, evoking the likes of Delaney and Bonnie, Sly Stone, and Al Green.  For Sheryl, it’s not so much a departure from her previous musical trajectory but more of a return to her roots.  I cannot imagine enlisting any better funky, soulful producing talent for such a task than Doyle.  They’ll be in Austin at The Backyard on August 28 for what is sure to be an awesome show.  Charlie is still touring with living legend Bob Dylan.  They just wrapped up an extensive international tour and will be launching their North American tour in Austin at The Backyard on August 4.  Be sure to catch Doyle and Charlie when they come through Austin or a town near you with these great tours!

Doyle Bramhall II with the Arc AngelsCharlie Sexton with the Arc AngelsChris Layton with the Arc Angels

Arc Angels, Oh Death from AustinLiveMusic.Org on Vimeo.

See Laura Lea’s full gallery of Arc Angels photos here.

Written and photographed by Laura Lea Nalle, all rights reserved.

 

Arc Angels’s at Antone’s

The Arc Angles (Doyle Bramhall II, Charlie Sexton, Chris Layton) perform live at Antone’s on July 11, 2009.

The Arc Angels live at Antone's July 2009 photo by Laura Lea Nalle

Doyle Bramhall II of the Arc Angels live at Antone's July 2009 photo by Laura Lea NalleDoyle Bramhall II & Charlie Sexton of the Arc Angels live at Antone's July 2009 photo by Laura Lea NalleCharlie Sexton of the Arc Angels live at Antone's July 2009 photo by Laura Lea Nalle

See all of Laura Lea’s Arc Angels photos here.

 

Arc Angels open for Clapton in London

London, England, May 27, 2009

Austin’s own Arc Angels (Doyle Bramhall II, Charlie Sexton, Chris Layton) open for Eric Clapton on his European tour including a two week residency at Royal Albert Hall.

Arc Angels open for Eric Clapton at Royal Albert Hall in London, May 2009, photo by Laura Lea NalleArc Angels open for Eric Clapton at Royal Albert Hall in London, May 2009, photo by Laura Lea Nalle

See all of Laura Lea’s Arc Angels photo galleries, including Live in London, here.

 

Arc Angel’s at the Continental Club

The Arc Angels live at the Continental Club, April 23, 2009.

Doyle Bramhall II & Charlie Sexton of the Arc Angels live at the Continental Club, May 2009, photo by Laura Lea NalleDoyle Bramhall II of the Arc Angels live at the Continental Club, May 2009, photo by Laura Lea NalleCharlie Sexton of the Arc Angels live at the Continental Club, May 2009, photo by Laura Lea Nalle

See more of Laura Lea’s Arc Angels photos here.

 

SXSW 2009 in Review

Austin, Texas, March 23, 2009

SXSW 2009 just wrapped up, and wow what a ride!  One of the highlights at SXSW for me this year was the Stubb’s showcase on Thursday night.  On the line up was 3oh!3, Gomez, Andrew Bird, and Ben Harper.  I had never seen any of them perform live, but I have been a big admirer of Bird and Harper for many, many years now.Andrew Bird live at Stubb's SXSW 2009 photo by Laura Lea Nalle

Andrew Bird’s stage setup is beautiful.  He has several very large phonographs and one dual phonograph that spins like a Lesley speaker.  Bird switches instruments numerous times throughout his performance, from violin to guitar to glockenspiel to his signature whistling, and he is backed by Jeremy Ylvisaker on guitar, Mike Lewis on bass and saxophone, and Martin Dosh on drums and keyboard.

Ben Harper live at Stubb's, SXSW 2009 photo by Laura Lea NalleBen Harper live at Stubb's, SXSW 2009 photo by Laura Lea Nalle

Next up is Ben Harper and the Relentless 7.  The R7 have a much harder edge and marks a departure (in a way that appears as a very natural evolution) from Harper’s previous collaborations. The group consists of Ben Harper on slide guitar and vocals, Jason Mozersky on lead guitar, Jesse Ingalls on bass and keys, and Jordan Richardson on drums.  They bring a raw and explosive energy to the stage, and Harper oozes with soul and passion.  They perform almost entirely new material from their soon to be released CD, White Lies for Dark Times.  The performance is intoxicating.

Arc Angels, Laura Lea NalleThe Arc Angels are now officially re-united!   Their re-launch just happened with a series of appearances at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.  They’re set to release a live DVD and CD sometime later this year which is rumored to include recordings of a couple of new, unreleased songs.

If y’all don’t know the story by now, let’s catch y’all up real quick.  The Arc Angels formed in Austin, Texas in the early 1990’s in the aftermath of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s untimely death.  The original members include Vaughn’s rhythm section, Double Trouble, which is Chris Layton on drums and Tommy Shannon on bass, and Doyle Bramhall 2 and Charlie Sexton on vocals and guitar.  These guys released one badass blues rock record in 1992 and then broke up for various reasons, namely creative differences and Doyle’s admitted heroin addiction.  Since the initial breakup, Doyle and Charlie have both put out critically acclaimed solo records and also collaborated with some of the best musicians on the planet.  Doyle has played extensively with Eric Clapton and Roger Waters, and Charlie went on to play with Bob Dylan.  Doyle has been called by some as the heir of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s throne, and he exhibits what is arguably one of the most unique sounds and styles of any living guitar player.  Part of this is because Doyle plays left-handed with his strings upside down, but mostly this is due to Doyle’s unmatched sensibility and natural brilliance on the guitar.  He sounds like no one else, and hearing him play could very well induce your next spiritual breakthrough.

Doyle Bramhall II, photo by Laura Lea NalleCharlie Sexton with the Arc Angels live at Auditorium Shores, SXSW 2009 photo by Laura Lea NalleThe Arc Angels have played a handful of reunion shows over the last few years, and fans often travel  far distances to see one of these rare performances.  With rumors of an official reunion, the guys made it official with the announcement in March that they will be opening for Eric Clapton on a number of dates in the UK.  They have also been at work writing some new material, debuting a new song at their SXSW showcase on Auditorium Shores.  Doyle has been quoted as saying there’s “an undeniable chemistry” when they get together.  Being in the audience at their shows, one thing is apparent, their fan base is growing exponentially.  You can look around and see the diehard fans who knew them in the 1990’s, and you can see younger fans that discovered them through other means, namely their solo records, their various collaborations with other musicians, or the documentary Before the Music Dies which prominently features Doyle.  These guys have a very bright future ahead, both collectively and individually, and I, for one, can’t wait to see how the years apart will inform their music now that they’re officially back together again.

A couple of lesser known but equally significant highlights were Fool’s Gold and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, both large groups from Los Angeles.  Fool’s Gold is a nine-piece multi-cultural afropop-inspired ensemble whose lyrics are all in Hebrew.  The group consists of Luke Top on bass and lead vocals, Lewis Pesacov, Matt Popieluch (aka Big Search) and Jimmy Vincent on guitar, Garret Ray on drums, Orpheo McCord and Salvador Placencia on percussion, Amir Kenan on keyboard, and Mark Noseworthy on saxophone.  When the group is playing in their hometown, they have an even larger ensemble with various other musicians and dancers.  One thing is for certain, this music makes you feel good, from the inside out.  If you’re not dancing to this music, something is wrong with you.  These guys don’t even have CDs or t-shirts to sell their fans (some fans have made their own Fool’s Gold t’s), and yet they’ve quickly acquired a rapidly growing following in LA, and I anticipate their fan base to grow with every show they play elsewhere.  Their music exudes super good mojo, and the feeling is blissfully infectious.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, SXSW 2009, Laura Lea NalleEdward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes live at SXSW 2009 photo by Laura Lea Nalle

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are probably most accurately described as a transcendental-spaghetti-western-hippie-gospel-rock band.  They are an eleven-piece ensemble with horns, werlitzer, percussion, accordian, guitar, and more.  The lead singer has an uncanny resemblence to Jesus and comands the stage with a punk rock yogi energy.  I finally caught them on the final night of SXSW.  It was 3am by the time they were set up and soundchecked, but Ed Sharpe and company quickly and effortlessly gets the packed afterhours crowd dancing with complete, ecstatic abandon.

Dan Dyer and Suzanna Choffel live at Momo's, SXSW 2009 photo by Laura Lea NallePatrice Pike live at Momo's, SXSW 2009, photo by Laura Lea NalleMike Meadows, Black Swan drum, Laura Lea Nalle

And then there’s always a long list of local Austin musicians that are worth discussing.  It’s working out to be a big year for Austin favorites like Suzanna Choffel, Dan Dyer, and Patrice Pike who have all been touring regularly and growing their already enthusiastic and devoted fan base all over the country.

One of the most notable up and coming local groups is porterdavis, a blues and roots trio who draw on a wide range of influences.  Porterdavis is comprised of Dan Barrett on guitar and lead vocals, Mike Meadows on percussion and vocals, and Simon Wallace on harmonica and vocals.  They racked up a few individual and group awards at the Austin Music Awards this year.  This trio leaves nothing to be desired, their sound is full and engaging, and they take an interesting spin on what we normally think of as blues and roots music by adding a strong undercurrent of African rhythms and gospel harmonies.  These guys have also constructed some of the best arrangements I’ve heard of classics by Robert Johnson, Townes van Zandt, and Muddy Waters.  Part of what makes their music so compelling is Meadows’ very unique playing style and rhythmic sensibility coupled with a surprising combination of noisemaking accoutrements from all over the world.  This SXSW marks the official release of his own creation, the Black Swan drum, which is an innovative contemporary design and configuration of a traditional African gombe.  The Black Swan drum is already gaining a lot of attention from some of the most in-demand drummers and percussionists around the country, and if you get the chance, ask Mike to give you a tour – it is a piece of art in and of itself.  Porterdavis is definitely worth going out of your way to see live in action, and I’m certain we can continue to expect big things from these guys in the future.  Keep an eye out because porterdavis will be releasing a much anticipated new CD (produced by Gurf Morlix) later this year.

See Laura Lea’s full gallery of SXSW 2009 photos here.

written and photographed by Laura Lea Nalle, all rights reserved