Friday, April 10, 2009


Last month I had the opportunity to go down to Austin, Texas and play SXSW. For those who may be unfamiliar, South by South West is a huge music festival put on by the music industry. SXSW includes everything from showcasing new bands from all over the world, to hosting informational panels during the day, to promoting new companies that you’ll be hearing about in the next year or two. All the way around SXSW is a phenomenal experience for anyone (musician or music fanatic), and I highly recommend taking the trip if given the opportunity.
The entire city of Austin turns into this crazy cluster of music-driven and music-industry people, all roaming the streets on their own schedule to see as many bands as they possibly can. By the way, there are hundreds of bands that perform throughout the five day span, which makes it virtually impossible to catch everyone you want to catch. Even catching up to your own people can be difficult. Often times, people split up and meet up with other groups because everyone seems to know everyone anyways. It’s really a great thing to see that there is such a community of music people, and an incredible thing to see how the various music worlds seem to mesh and blend into one; business, art, technology, writing, parties, networking, performing, working, and more, all in one. Incredible.

It was my first time going down. I had sooooo much fun just being submersed in that energy. I played two shows (duo/acoustic with Josh on Cajon), and we had a frickin’ blast. By far my favorite of the two gigs was opening for the Indigo Girls. I mean, talk about a trip! When I was a kid I used to listen to their albums over and over and over again until my parents would make me shut it off… I must admit I had lost touch with them for several years and was absolutely thrilled to learn that they were touring once again. So you can guess how crazy it was for me to be sharing a stage with two women who had been such an influence in my early music years. They were, of course, phenomenal on stage and I got the opportunity to meet them afterward which was simply icing on an extremely delicious cake!

The music and night-life down there was a really good time. However, the best thing I did while I was there was attend the Quincy Jones panel. I got to see Quincy Jones speak for well over an hour. BLISS!!! There were probably about 1000 people in the room and I don’t think I heard one single murmur of a whisper the entire time. (There was one cell phone that went off, but honestly, in this day and age, (1000 people) + (1 hour and 1/2), usually = more than one cell phone disruption… I was impressed) Listening to Quincy Jones speak about his life experiences and working with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles… Pretty much everyone I have been obsessed with and admire. Here was the man behind it all. Everything he has ever touched turned to gold. And I got to listen to him, in the flesh, talking about how it all went down. I tried to jot things down and take some notes but quickly came to realization that I really didn’t need to. I’ll never forget it.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing opportunity!

    I'm particularly envious of your opportunity to meet the Indigo Girls. :)