ACL Live Shot: Latasha Lee & the BlackTies
Austin rhythm and soul upstart leaves ’em talking
By Chase Hoffberger, 8:34AM, Sat. Oct. 5
Don’t look now, but Latasha Lee performed one of the first three shows of the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival on Friday.
The local rhythm and soul upstart strutted out into the morning sun like she owned Zilker Park. Her 12-person BlackTies revue – organ, horns, back-up singers, and even a baritone sax – assembled and locked in before she laced her turquoise pumps tight and proceeded to win over a couple hundred locals who showed up not knowing they could claim her as their own.
Lee’s a natural under the spotlight, eons more confident and in tune than she was one hot August night at the Sahara Lounge when the Amy Winehouse devotee wrestled with sound issues and a cramped stage. Given the resources – an ample stage, giant P.A., and enough warm bodies to matter (plus her mother in the audience) – she’s a dynamo, a sassy songstress delivering Sharon Jones & the Daptones-type soul with a snappy R&B flair.
Her renditions of “So Blind” and a fortified “I Hear You Knockin,” two standouts from this year’s eponymous introduction, were both tough and endearing, like Lee might chat you up at a bar before delivering a kick to your shins just for fun.
It didn’t even matter that she played “Left Hand Side” twice – once early and again as a reprise at the end of her set. The girl nobody knew left having got Austin talking.
For more ACL Fest coverage, see austinchronicle.com/acl. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.