I rushed out of my evening seminars to catch Dow Jones and the Industrials’ reunion show at The Spot Tavern in Lafayette.

I needn’t have worried. They started the show an hour and a half late. It was worth the wait, though. The Lafayette punk icons were sharp.

Chris Clark, the bassist, and I go way back. I was managing editor of the student paper at Purdue when he was the mischievous student body president. We even went to the 1980 Democratic National Convention together.

Chris and his partner in punk, guitarist Greg Horn, are a lot older now, but they still make me laugh when they sing their dopey songs and they still play as hard and as loud as any band I know. I’ve lost some hearing since the late ’70s and early ’80s (probably because of their shows), but the earplugs I wear at concerts now didn’t keep my mind from drifting back to my youth.

Vess Ruhtenberg of The Zero Boys and The Lemonheads filled in on keyboards and, occasionally, on guitar for Brad Garton (Mr. Science), who couldn’t attend. Ruhtenberg donned a lab coat, just as Garton used to do, and married weirdness and rhythm with each note.

Mike Doskocil filled in for drummer Tim North, who died several years ago. His rockin’ beat incited the youngsters around me to start slam dancing. Thirty-five years ago when I caught every Dow Jones show I could, I might have joined them. But with a bag full of expensive camera equipment and an aging back, I took it as my cue to leave.

I did bop all the way to the parking lot, though. Thanks for the memories, guys.

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Dale Watson at The Continental Club

by Carl Abernathy on September 6, 2016

Before his set Monday at The Continental Club in Austin, Dale Watson worked his way through the crowd, pausing to chat with friends, old and new.

On stage, he’d stop playing for a moment if he saw someone posing for a shot in front of the stage and photobomb them.

There aren’t many musicians who are friendlier than Watson.

There aren’t many musicians who are funnier, either. Watson related an amusing story before almost every song. And every 10 minutes or so, he’d pause for a campy ’50s-style plug for Lonestar Beer. He even grabbed a hairpiece from the audience and donned it for a song. Hilarious.

And, yes, his music is funny, too. “Truckin’ Queen (I Got My Nightgown On),” “Phillip at the Station” and “I Lie When I Drink” poke fun at the absurdities of life and celebrate characters others often ridicule.

His playlist, peppered with covers of his heroes – Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Hank Williams… – is raucous, beautiful and poignant. It cuts through the Saccharine-filled country pop coming out of Nashville and reminds folks why classic country music is one of America’s great art forms.

I hadn’t seen Watson for almost 10 years when he performed a show at a Friends of Bob concert in Lafayette, Indiana. That show was one of the best ones I’d ever seen. Monday night’s set at The Continental Club was even better.

Watson brought one great guest after another up to the stage, including the great Gary Nichols, members of Cash’d Out, Celine Lee and our waitress, Stephanie.

And then there was “Call Me Insane.” Close your eyes and picture Elvis at his best. Try to hold back the tears. And don’t try to persuade the folks who hear Dale Watson live that he’s not the best real country singer left standing.

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Redd Volkaert at the Continental Club

by Carl Abernathy on September 4, 2016

I try to see Redd Volkaert at The Continental Club whenever I’m in Austin. There are few things I’d rather do on a Saturday afternoon.

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Photos: J.B. Beverley at People’s Brewing Co.

August 10, 2016

My relatives are from the mountains of north Georgia, but I spent my formative years looking out my bedroom window at the Appalachians in southwestern Virginia, not far from where J.B. Beverley grew up. The mountain air whisked the same old-time music – bluegrass, country and gospel (especially gospel) – straight into our souls. Beverley, […]

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Photos: The Dead Batteries in Lafayette

July 26, 2016

The Dead Batteries, a rock and blues band in the Lafayette area, are always fun. Great show at People’s Brewing.

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Photos: The Snyders at Purdue Summer Concert Series

July 20, 2016

Nice show by The Snyders, a blues-oriented family band, at the Purdue Memorial Union today. The band features Denny Snyder on guitar and vocals, Lorrie Snyder on bass and vocals, and Philip Snyder on drums.

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Photos: Ford Theatre Reunion at People’s Brewing

July 5, 2016

Ford Theatre Reunion will shake your bones and rattle your soul. The band from Lexington, Kentucky, is certainly a lot of fun. They remind me a bit of Gogol Bordello (my favorite live act) filtered through the South rather than Europe. Ford Theatre Reunion’s set was one of my favorite shows at People’s Brewing, which […]

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Photos: The Matchsellers

June 14, 2016

Nice set by The Matchsellers, a bluegrass-oriented duo featuring Julie Bates and Andrew Morris, at People’s Brewing Co. in Lafayette tonight. Fun set by Stephen Lee, too.

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Photos: Rick Barton and Continental

June 7, 2016

I closed my eyes for a moment tonight as I listened to Rick Barton and Continental and my mind wandered back to all the great rock ‘n’ roll shows I heard in the ’70s and ’80s. Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, David Bowie, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen … even The Ramones. Don’t get me wrong, Continental […]

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Photos: The Dead Soldiers at People’s Brewing

June 1, 2016

Two weeks ago at the 2016 Muddy Roots Spring Weekender in Nashville, Indiana, The Dead Soldiers’ set was one of the highlights of the weekend … even though they played only a few songs. They didn’t know that part of Indiana is on Eastern time and traffic was heavy. As a result, they arrived late […]

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Doug Duffey and The Louisiana Soul Revival

May 28, 2016

I don’t remember how I discovered Doug Duffey, a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. Probably a college pal from Louisiana who clued me in. I do know I’ve been a fan for almost 30 years. I’d planned to spend a quiet Friday evening at home with […]

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