Blondie Chaplin and more thump Friday night at Antone's
By Margaret Moser,
3:28PM, Mon. Aug. 24, 2009
This Friday, Aug. 28, at Antone’s, it’s Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Blondie Chaplin (with the extraordinary Stephen Barber and special guests), and the Lee Boys. Let’s forgo modesty here and just talk credentials.
The Lee Boys are American treasures, a powerful six-man family band playing blues-driven gospel recently tagged as ”sacred steel” for its innovative use of pedal steel guitar. Elements of country, world music, rock, funk, and more make a soulful hybrid, taking cues from Robert Randolph and the Holmes Brothers. Of late, the Miami-based band has toured with the Allman Brothers and Michelle Shocked, testament to their wide appeal.
Dumpstaphunk’s lazy origins as a throw-together band for the formidable Ivan Neville at Jazz Fest only add to its Big Easy groove, as dependable as the Mississippi rolling to the Gulf. With roots in the Neville Bros. and the Meters (not to mention almost the entire history of modern New Orleans music), Neville and his estimable cohorts have made music alongside the likes of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Etta James, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, and Bonnie Raitt. When it comes to cool cats, Neville is on his way to being one of the chairmen of the board.
I just love Blondie Chaplin. He is one of the most down-to-earth musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting. Born in South Africa and nicknamed for his fair skin and light hair, his remarkable and supple vocals and percussion in South Africa’s the Flames got the attention of the Beach Boys, but is best known as lead vocalist for the current Rolling Stones. That he’s playing with Stephen Barber, our own Renaissance man about town, plus drummer J.J. Johnson, bassist Chris Maresh, and guitarist Derek O'Brien, is just too good to pass up.
On an unrelated but worthy note, Jean Caffeine is back in Austin, and she is also playing Friday night at the Hideout, 7pm. With a career that stretches back to New York’s punk days and winds its way into Austin in the early 1990s, she reports that with “four tracks recorded last year with Chuck Prophet and three new ones recorded last month in Hamilton, Ontario with Mike Trebilcock and Mike Bithelmer, I have been (painfully) slowly working towards a new CD.”
That’s good news from a woman who gives her albums titles like Hard Work and a Lot of Hairspray and Knocked Down Seven Times and Got Up Eight.