The Waco Brothers’ Family Affair
Continental Club goes SXSW for one night only
By Jim Caligiuri, 1:00PM, Thu. Oct. 17, 2013
Every fall, bandleader/singer-songwriter/visual artist Jon Langford brings new art work to the Yard Dog Art Gallery on South Congress and ends up celebrating with a show across the street at the Continental Club. He repeats that Friday with as strong a musical lineup as he’s ever hosted there outside of South by Southwest.
The Waco Brothers, one of several bands that Langford leads – including English roots-punk pioneers the Mekons – make a rare non-SXSW appearance tomorrow. Shockingly, given the band’s SX staple status, they’ve played a lot less official festival showcases at the famed South Austin speakeasy than you’d guess, according to their mandolin player Tracey Dear,
“This South by Southwest was the first time the Waco Brothers ever played there, if memory serves me right,” reveals Dear, dubbed “the World’s Greatest Living Englishman.”
Dear will be traveling from Chicago, where most of the Wacos reside, with his wife, former Austinite Laura Fowler, and their twin sons. The incestuousness of the bands on the bill makes the show truly a family affair. New local and veteran Waco Bro Dean “Deano” Schlabowske counts off a show line-up that includes the ATX “Beefheart blues” of Churchwood, Langford’s acoustic Far Forlorn, and Deano & the Pervs, whose members includes local Meat Purveyors.
The package follows the template of other tours the bands have done together. Austin post-punk linchpin Bill Anderson plays guitar with all parties except the Waco Brothers.
“It’s a really rare thing for the Waco Brothers to play Austin when it’s not South by Southwest,” Schlabowske agrees. “It’s long overdue. My living down here now, that’s probably part of it. But we’ve done a lot of things like that over the years, with side projects where we all play together.”
Aside from a collaboration with Nashville songwriter Paul Burch on last year’s Great Chicago Fire, the Wacos haven’t released any new music under their name for several years now.
“Jon and I have been tossing ideas back and forth,” says Schlabowske. “There’s no new Waco Brothers record that’s set for imminent release, but I don’t think it’s very far off.”