Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mike Stinson -- Hill Country - Sep 6 2014

Mike Stinson - Mr. Stinson is a singer songwriter guitarist from Houston, Texas. He has a sharp as nails band with him from Houston and Austin and that is mostly why I am here. After finishing up at an early 9:30 show featuring Bob Mould (keep scrolling below this post), I get to see yet another friend from back in the fun days of punk rock. Mark Patterson is a great drummer for hire out of Austin, and he has been playing there many years. But he was in some bands too, including one that I worked with back in 1980 in Dayton, Ohio called Toxic Reasons. So my night was made right away when we had plenty of time to reminisce and catch up with current events (like him playing with Wanda Jackson!). But when it was time for Mike Stinson to hit the stage, both myself and the sizable crowd here had a great time. And what is not to like? This is a free show in the downstairs club at this fine BBQ restaurant in Penn Quarter. Hill Country offers some cover charge shows, but the majority are free. They showcase fine local bands and also very sharp professional touring bands like this. Everything really clicked tonight with a superb rhythm section and a highly active and sensitive lead guitarist. Stinson adds some rhythm guitar and the steady vocals. The vocals were a bit fuzzy in the mix, otherwise the sound was balanced well among the instruments. There was a nice variety to the set with roots music at... well, the root of it all. They could slow it down with a bit of western twang, rock it out with the best of alt country (and beyond) or increase the toe tapping with a quick honkytonk stomper. Stinson's songs have the creativity to allow 90 minutes to flow by with nary a distracting thought. There was quite a bit of dancing and everything was clicking between band and audience. It was a long night of music for me, but I enjoyed every note, and would have had fun even without having friends in the bands.

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