Old Austin Magic: Uncle Walt’s Band Live

Performance archive reissued with bonus tracks

For a moment in the Seventies/Eighties, the virtuosic roots triad of Walter Hyatt, David Ball, and Champ Hood alchemized the hottest act in Austin. Although their run proved brief, intermittent, the influence of Uncle Walt’s Band reached deep, counting fans in everyone from Lyle Lovett and Jerry Jeff Walker to Nanci Griffith and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

Waterloo Sunset: (l-r) Walter Hyatt, David Ball, Champ Hood

The trio officially disbanded in 1984, but their blend of string band, progressive country, and jazz swing tied together by distinct, three-part harmonies remains captivating. The band’s sparse discography received re-issue in recent years, most notably with 2018 Omnivore Records anthology Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Enough Could Sing. Yet Uncle Walt’s Band sounds best live, and a new generation can get a taste of the old Austin magic next week with the release of Recorded Live at Waterloo Ice House.

The album resurrects the group’s 1982 platter Recorded Live, which only came out privately on their own Lespedeza imprint. Seven tracks recorded at their legendary Austin residency get re-upped on the new live album. The real draw is 10 previously unissued performances, along with four alternate takes.

Check out the full cull below, as well as the newly unearthed video of UWB at Waterloo Ice House in a 1990 reunion show, laying down Fats Domino’s “Honest Papas Love Their Mamas Better.” Video comes courtesy Ivan Brown.

Recorded Live at Waterloo Ice House track listing:

1. “If I Don’t Stop Crying”
2. “Mock, Mock, Mockingbird”
3. “Love Has Laid Me Down”
4. “Stagger Lee”
5. “Since I Fell For You”
6. “Honest Papas Love Their Mamas Better”
7. “Bye, Bye Baby”
8. “Motor City Man”
9. “The More I See You”
10. “Desiree”
11. “I Gotta Know”
12. “What Have You Done With My Love”
13. “I’m Going to Break My Heart in Two”
14. “Snowing Me Under”
15. “Country Boy”
16. “Lose Me Baby”
17. “Eddie’s Girl”
18. “Georgia Rose”
19. “Diggaroo”
20. “Just A Little Understanding”
21. “Early Morning Love”

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Uncle Walt’s Band, Walter Hyatt, David Ball, Champ Hood, Ivan Brown, Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nanci Griffith, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Fats Domino, Omnivore Records, Lespedeza

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