The Terri Hendrix Band

The Paramount Theater
Austin, Texas

When she began her first song alone on the stage, Terri Hendrix did not need to introduce herself to the audience in the Paramount Theater. She offered up her voice and harmonica to a crowd which largely knew her, and as she continued the show with the rest of her band, it was clear she knew them just as well.

As she would go on to explain, she had played the Paramount about a year ago, and over and over she thanked the crowd for braving the cold outside to be with her again. The Grammy-winning musician, producer, and songwriter Lloyd Maines joined Hendrix, and when she told the crowd how they had been collaborating since 1998, the two musicians seemed to share a knowing smile. On the wide Paramount stage, Hendrix, Maines, and their two co-musicians were spread far apart, but with every song, whether stomping roots, contemplative acoustic, or swinging flamenco, they all drew closer together as their guitars, drums, and voices blended. When Maines sat to play a guitar tribute to “America the Beautiful,” Hendrix and her bandmates listened as closely as the audience did. After all, the Austin City Limits Hall of Famer admitted he doesn’t solo anymore. Hendrix’s lyrics suggested a tight-knit community of neighbors and relatives all there for one another, and the performances of her band put it in practice.

The neighborliness of her music enveloped the audience also. She talked easily between songs, relating anecdotes, recalling memories, and even telling one corny joke which her mother once made—and the audience laughed along with her. Through out the show, there was an engaging conversation between Hendrix and her fans. The spoken words of the conversation often recurred: Hendrix spoke introductions for her song like she was introducing a friend to everyone, continuing to speak after the first gentle chords had begun. She spoke throughout “If I Had A Daughter,” singing here and there but mostly talking through her vulnerability. For “Fifty Shades of Hey,” she gave the audience a recurring part to sing along with her: “Born to be wild!” She swayed with everyone’s voices as they filled the Paramount.

It was the kind of show where one would want a smaller venue, and a closer seat to Terri Hendrix, because her music brought everyone together.

by Kevin LaTorre