The Show: Wednesday, July 30, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Collin Herring

By Ken Shimamoto

So I’m at the Saffire Lounge, watching Collin Herring give maybe the most confident and assured performance I’ve ever seen from him, when John Price and Flickerstick’s Brandin Lea crash the set. Price, who’s never met a stage he didn’t like, was up earlier blowing harp and singing backup, while Lea, as is his wont at other people’s gigs, has been taking in the passing scene like a king in exile. I couldn’t resist remarking to my neighbor, “What good is having rock stars if you can’t use ’em?”

And what good is having a room, like Danny Weaver’s Moon, that must love acoustic performers — why else would it make ’em sound so good? — if you can’t use it for that purpose? Price and Lea both know it, having played solo shows there. So does Tim Locke, who used the venue to break in material for his soon-to-be-released sophomore solo disc, Lowlights. As do Weaver himself and Joe Rose, frontman for the Action.

That’s the idea behind the Acoustic Mafia, an ongoing first-Sunday-of-the-month ritual at the Moon: Get a bunch of top local rock songsters together and let ’em pass the acoustic around. Sure, it’s hardly as folkloric as the old cowboys ’n’ hippies sitting down to pick together at Kenneth Threadgill’s Austin place eons ago. But it springs from the same impulse and highlights the fact that, today, the Fort has more of the communal spirit that made Austin’s rep than “America’s Live Music Capital®” itself does.

Whether any of the aforementioned musos ever become the “next big thing” that some of ’em aspire (or even deserve) to be is irrelevant. What makes an Acoustic Mafia show worthwhile is the chance to dig the vibe among a supportive community of local musicians. Insular? Nah, when you’re at the Moon watching the Acoustic Mafia, you’re family.

Sun at The Moon, 2911 W Berry St, FW. 817-926-9600.


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