From the SXSW to DC; Lionel to Legend

Howdy Folks!

An apt way to greet y’all today ’cause we’re talkin’ Texas.  That’s because the SXSW (‘South by South-West’) music festival has kicked off in Austin, Texas.  A plethora of bands – up-and-comers to established acts – will ply their trade in Austin.  It’s musical mayhem down there with a band in every bar and a party on every patio.

Yesterday, a few bands opened at one of the upscale venues for the star of the show, Lionel Richie.  He wowed the audience, both fronting a band and comping himself on the piano (the true test for a singer).  Lionel Richie, a musician’s musician, doesn’t need to hide behind a mixer or a console, or rely on overproduced tracks – he’s the real thing.  That said, I think Richie forgot he was in Texas: he said (and sang) ‘Hello’.  Lionel, that should’ve been ‘Howdy’!

On the subject of ‘real things’, another one is Bruce Springsteen.  Springsteen is also at the SXSW and is slated to keynote.  Now whaddaya know— the veteran rocker also did in the U.S. what he did in the U.K.: he stormed onto the charts.  His ‘Wrecking Ball’ debuted at no. 1 on Billboard’s album charts, ‘wrecking’ any hopes Adele may have had for setting a new Billboard record.  ’21′ has finally been bumped off the top spot.

While some top names in music are in Austin, one was at (or, more correctly, just outside) the White House yesterday, mixing and mingling with the Obamas and the Camerons – that’s the Prime Minister of the U.K. and his old lady.  Barack Obama hosted a State Dinner for his counterpart from the U.K. at the White House Lawn.  Mumford & Sons, a little-known British band, was present to open for the headline act; apparently the Camerons’ taste runs to this band, which sounds more like a grain merchant in some village in Olde England.  The headliner was John Legend, who came with arm-candy Chrissy Teigen in tow.  It appears Legend was left alone to do his thing – unlike three weeks back, the President did not pick up the mic.  Perhaps he’s already got a record deal!

See ya,

Shane