Listen Up: Wednesday, October 24, 2002
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
Scott Copeland, Andy Pate, Carey Wolff

With Friends Like These ... (Rabid Dog Records)

By Ken Shimamoto

Ahh, the memory of Austin in the late 1970s, where guitar-strumming longhairs rubbed up against redneck cowboys and mohawked punks, and, miraculously, everybody got along. The spirit of that era lives on now in Cowtown, and long may it endure.

Not exactly representative of something like the Fort Worth Flatlanders, but of something pretty damn close, this disc showcases three talented singer-songwriters in a relaxed setting. The brainchild of Woody’s Tavern regular Andy Pate, it also includes worthy contributions from Scott Copeland and his frequent “solo-duo” partner and Woodeye frontman Carey Wolff. Pate and Copeland collaborated on three songs, and Copeland collaborated with his wife Shara on another. Other than that, everyone sings his own songs.

Copeland, whose performance at Fredfest a few months back was probably the most shambolic affair I’ve beheld since leaving Austin in ’79, clearly brought his good stuff to this party. His sardonic lyrics to “Screamin’ for Attention” and “Whiskey and Women” are worth a listen, while the self-explanatory “Peein’ On the Side of the Road,” with its drunken singalong chorus, sounds more like something you’d hear in one of his Wreck Room sets.

Pate’s “Carrie Michelle” is probably the most, uh, commercial track; some radio station should be playing the shit out of this song. His “Young at Heart” is a winning tale of a musician’s life cycle. His songs get sympathetic accompaniment from a small band that includes ace Craig’s Music amp tech Gerald Ray on guitar.

Wolff weighs in with two songs of busted relationships (“Our Song” and the standout “Motel Room”), while the tongue-in-cheek “Miserable” shows that he’s got more of a sense of humor than he’s usually credited with. Woodeye’s Scott Davis provides tasteful guitar, harp, lap steel, and even upright bass on various tracks.


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