Charles Walker & the Dynamites
By Raoul Hernandez, 12:06PM, Fri. Sep. 14, 2007
A local media outlet that will remain nameless wanted the Chronicle to comment on the differences between ACL and SXSW. Duh: a week and at least 1,000 bands.
More and more, though, ACL is picking up steam. Not so much in numbers, but in all the activity surrounding ACL. Last night, for instance, I knocked down a trio of Zilker Park performers some 12 hours before the first act - Sahara Smith, who was lovely - played her first note.
Crowded House, which taped an Austin City Limits episode, was at its droll, rollicking best. Paris' Gotan Project - two DJs and enough violins for the Austin Symphony - came off... Euro. As in, it probably goes over like gangbusters in a continental disco, but outdoors at Stubb's it was a snooze. Finally, Ryan Shaw at the Parish, a 26-year-old R&B act from Georgia, performed "Let It Be," everyone's least-favorite Beatles song. Enough said? Go see him anyway. Modern R&B acts kicking it old school are about as rare as STAX.
Then there was Charles Walker and the Dynamites this morning at the Four Seasons.
A Nashville native, Walker kicked around NYC for 35 years, spent another five in Spain, and has finally landed back home in time to hook-up with the Dynamites for this year's James Brown fill-in, Kaboom! And go off they did for KGSR, two songs that did more to wake-up a sleepy room than the 12 cups of coffee everyone was letting run down their shirt fronts.
An eight-piece that included three horns (the bass player's afro should count as another person), the Dynamites rumbled like 1968 at the Apollo, Walker having to grit up twice as loud to be heard over the band. Between songs, when asked by KGSR's Bryan Beck if he'd ever played Austin before, Walker replied, "Long time ago, when I came through with Jackie Wilson." Now that's old-school! Oh, to be 20 years older. (Okay, not really.)
Catch Walker & Co. today at the WaMu stage, 3:15pm, and get "Higher & Higher."