Concert Reviews

Jim Pattons and Sherry Brokus have a new CD out titled Going the Distance. Pattons’ mother instilled in him his love of music and in this special interview he has been to a “million concerts over the years,” and he “just put down the first three that came to mind.”

1. Jimmy Lafave at Lubbock or Leave It, in Austin TX. We had not moved here, did not know who Jimmy was until he and Randy Glines took the stage. He played two songs: Joe Ely's "Because the Wind" and Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand" and blew us away with how soulful, honest, and real his music was. While he was playing, our host, Butch Hancock, asked if we wanted to play next. We moved to Austin five months later.

2. Jon Dee Graham at the Continental Club in Austin TX. I've seen Jon a lot, but the show that stands out is his first post pandemic show where his band was on fire and he played all of his "Something to Look Forward To" songs with enthusiasm and a sense of freedom, breaking free of the darkness.

3. I was in college and saw a triple bill of Doc Watson, Tom Rush, and Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot had played our school the year before and had stayed up late with some of us playing songs, and he was why I was there. Doc was wonderful, and I didn't know a thing about him. His music was mountain spring clear, beautiful. Merle was with him, and their playing together was masterful and intuitive. Tom Rush introduced us to songs by Jackson Browne and James Taylor, unknown to us at the time. And Lightfoot not only gave a shoutout to our school, but played "Me and Bobby McGee", the first time I heard it.

Concert Reviews

World musician, Rod Picott’s music has been compared to Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, and John Hiatt. He is a thoughtful artist in his own right, and in this brief interview he tells of some memorable shows he has seen over time.

Jupiter Index: Over the years, you have seen many musicians perform on stage, but which three concert performances have you attended that moved you for the musical ability and skill of the artist or band? What is it about that show that still stays with you?

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Venue: The Music Hall Boston
Year: 1978

This was the very first full on rock and roll show I saw. So, the bar was set very high from the beginning. The band was at the height of their power and the songs from Darkness On The Edge Of Town were made for the drama of playing live. It was everything a show can be; moving, exciting, cinematic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better show. Springsteen gave everything, just laid it all out there. The power was something to behold.

Artist: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Venue: The Ryman Auditorium Nashville
Year: 2019?

For me, Jason is probably the finest songwriter playing in a rock and roll band today. What he does is right in my wheelhouse; a great writer fronting a killer band. The Ryman is such an amazing venue to see a show. There honestly isn’t a bad seat in the entire room. There is the ghost of musical history in the air. I think they played eight or nine shows in a row. Jason fronts his band so well - giving everyone room to shine. He’s just great at what he does and there is something very convincing about his beautiful rich tenor voice. I believe him when he sings, it’s the most important thing: do I believe you?

Artist: John Moreland
Venue: The High Watt Nashville
Year: 2013?

Moreland was opening for Amanda Shires. I’d never heard of him. He came out and sat down, started playing and this voice came on the p.a. that was incredibly moving. I was sort of stunned. He was touring on the In The Throes Album. It’s such a beautiful album. I don’t think he said much of anything to the crowd. He simply played then walked offstage. Now, normally I would say this was a lazy performance, without addressing the crowd and sort of seeming in his own world but there was a vulnerability to the performance that was incredibly emotional. I knew two songs in; this guy is magic. It is hard to say why exactly something moves you. I think it happens when the singer believes what they are singing and they are speaking their truth, really giving you their heart and offering it up. As a listener you take on the depth of the performance.