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SXSW Review, Ponderosa Stomp, Lincoln Journal-Star, 2007

03/17/07, 01:19:03 pm, Categories: Music by L. Kent Wolgamott
SXSW: Old friends and new

I've been coming to Austin on a regular basis for more than 25 years and, to say the least, the city has changed dramatically over that time. Not only has it grown and sprouted a bunch of multi-story buildings downtown, the music scene is no longer close to what it was back then.

But once in awhile I catch a hour or two of old Austin at SXSW. Such was the case last night at the Ponderosa Stomp showcase at Opal Devine's Free House. Put together by a New Orleans non-profit, the Ponderosa Stomp features little known or long forgotten pioneers of rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues, zydeco and country.

To back Ray Sharpe, best known for his hit "Linda Lou," the Ponderosa Stomp folks put together a classic old Austin band with my old friend Mike Buck, of the Fabulous Thunderbirds and LeRoi Brothers on drums, Speedy Sparks of the Sir Douglas Quintet on bass, Augie Meyers, Sir Doug's longtime keyboard collaborator and Charlie Sexton, former teen guitar prodigy who had a stint in Bob Dylan's touring band.

It was great to hear the old rockin' r&b and blues done well and even more fun to hang out wth Mike, who I hadn't seen in several years.

The other highlight of the Ponderosa Stomp was getting to see Herb Remington, one of the greatest steel guitarists ever play a few songs. How good is Herb? The instrument he plays bears his name.

Starving -- it was 10 p.m. and I hadn't eaten since noon, I walked across downtown Austin, probably about a mile, to Habana Calle 6, a great Cuban restaurant. After a fine meal, I went downstairs, saw a bizarre German cabaret act, an Austin parody punk band called Yuppie Pricks, The Clutters, a good garage outfit from Nashville then ended the night with the greatest live rock 'n' roll band in America -- The Woggles.

I spent a good bt of time before The Woggles set talking to the Mighty Manfred, thei band's singer and a Sirius radio d.j. , making a new friend in the process. Laid back and funny in conversation, Manfred's a wild man when the show starts, testifying, racing around in the audience and making sure everything is fun, fun, fun and shakes, shakes, shaked.

Fully microwaved, I walked back to my car down Sixth Street where drunk people waited in half block lines to get a brat or slice of pizza, then outflanked the traffic by going west to get south then back east to get back to the hotel and collapse

Now, I'm off to take a break from the constant music -- I saw 12 bands yesterday -- and going to the Convention Center to see a panel on the Monterey Pop Festival, then go see the movie and do an interview. Then its off for the final night of music.
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