The Austin Chronicle

Eric's New Johnson

August 30, 1996, Music

When the G3 tour featuring Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Adrian Legg kicks off in Concord, California on October 11 most Austinites won't be there to take note that Johnson's rhythm section has changed. Instead of longtime trio-mates Kyle Brock and Tommy Taylor on bass and drums respectively, look for studio and tour mercenary Brannen Temple on drums and Tones-era bassist Roscoe Beck (last seen with Robben Ford) to fill those spots. Johnson says his former trio basically imploded during the making of Venus Isle (due in stores next week), but is excited to be working with Temple, who many in town regard as Austin's best drummer. As for a G3 date here in town, Johnson is still unsure, saying "I'll play here on my own regardless of what happens with this G3 tour, but they're still trying to get a date here." If a tour date doesn't happen, look for Johnson to do an Austin date in late November when G3 ends. Better start hanging around Steamboat now.

It's a Small World

When the man said that the world keeps shrinking, I doubt if he was referring to the One World Music Festival, but that seems to be the case. The Fest, coming up on September 13-15, may be without co-founders Timbuk 3 for the first time, but with acts like James Brown, Spearhead, Toots & the Maytals, De La Soul, Bunny Wailer, and the unfortunately Bernie Worrell-less George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, I doubt if they'll be hurting for attendees. What has been hurting them is the Lower Colorado River Authority, which organizer Rick Busby says agreed originally to set a ceiling of 10,000 attendees per day, then dropped the number to 7,000. Busby thinks the change was instituted when the LCRA "realized [the festival] was going to come off," and says that the festival is likely moving to the Resort Ranch, just a ways up Pace Bend Road from the original location at Camp Chautauqua. If that deal falls through, the fest will stay at Chautauqua, with overflow parking channelled to the Ranch. Either way, he says, "the bottom line is that the Festival is on and rolling."

Still Afloat

The final paid admissions to Aqua Fest added up to 57,000 this year, slightly down from last, but with most of the major bills yet to come in, the organizers say they really have no idea how the Fest did financially -- though they do know they were hurt by a bomb scare on the final night. One thing to which the Austin Aqua Fest committee has committed, though, is that there will be a 1997 Aqua Fest, no matter what...

Austin City, LTD.

Austin City Limits has found a new sponsor in the form of Ford Division and Ford Trucks. The formerly Frito Lay-sponsored show had been hurting for money, and in fact, makes it clear that they can still use more sponsors, but the Ford support comes at a vital time, with season 22 on the way. Cassandra Wilson is booked for an upcoming show, which will begin airing in January of next year, and more acts are expected to confirm within the next few weeks. Ford has also negotiated the option to underwrite seasons 23 and 24.

We're Fifteen!

No, that doesn't mean we at the Chronicle lie on the floor with the telephone all day, talking to our friends and drinking orange Nehis. It means that we have a big Anniversary Show coming up in just two weeks, with two stages and entertainment from Wayne Hancock, 81/2 Souvenirs, Guy Forsyth, Roy Heinrich, and the Jubilettes. Wait, they just handed me this: Add Kelly Willis to the line-up. As usual, we'll be having the bash at Laguna Gloria, and we'll see if we can keep the rain away for the course of that afternoon.

Earle-y Birds

According to Toronto radio station CISS-FM, Steve Earle has already written five new songs for his next album, and his work producing Lucinda Williams' next one is nearly done; she only needs to record two more vocal tracks, and then the background vocals. Earle reportedly figures this will take two weeks to finish, but considering how long this album has already been in the works (two years, at least), I can't blame him for adding, "and then I don't think I'm gonna produce girls anymore."

Mixed Notes

Lyle Lovett fought a battle against Texas weather and won -- sort of. After being delayed by rain at his Backyard gig Sunday, he went ahead and did an hour-long acoustic set with opener Lisa Loeb joining in on "North Dakota". Despite the fact that the crowd was clearly delighted, he declared that the set wasn't good enough, and decided to stay an extra day and play a gig for the ticket-holders on Wednesday. Owner Tim O'Connor missed out on the proceedings, unfortunately, as he was off in Santa Fe, taking the first baby-steps towards possibly expanding the Backyard empire out of state... Pete Thompson of the Attractions dropped in to guest-drum at the end of the Big Foot Chester show at the Hole in the Wall last Thursday. In keeping with the "no hero worship" motto of the club, the employees (who were rather impatient to leave) ended the evening rather harshly with Barb the barmistress yelling at Thompson, "Hey, drummer boy! Go home!"... Music festivals abound, and this weekend is no exception. Call 303-1637 or 303-4620 if you don't know how to find Zendik farm, where ST-37, Texas Philistines, Brown Hornet and a bunch of others play "Plywoodstock" this Saturday starting at 5:30pm. That same day, the Mt. Zion Music Festival launches with Tribal Nation at the Flamingo Cantina and continues with shows at the Victory Grill on Sunday and all day Monday outside the Cafe Armageddon... Also, Tribal Nation will be doing the Waterloo Records in-store thing this Friday at 5pm for their debut CD Our Thing... Think you're Grammy material? Send a demo to Grammy Showcase, 3402 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA. 90405 before October 15 if you want to be one of 60 bands chosen for a Regional Showcase here in Austin and maybe even the National Showcase in New York... Reunions abound at the Hole in the Wall this month. Shoulders will play their first gig in two years there on Sept.14, and the Flying Saucers will be having a special reunion gig on the 22nd... The Borrowers, currently with two members calling Austin home and the rest in L.A., have signed with EMI subsidiary Guardian. Their self-titled debut album hits the streets on Sept.17... Like Don Walser and Junior Brown, Jimmie Dale Gilmore has been generating lots of ink these days, with positive write-ups popping up everywhere, including in the current Goldmine. If you've been looking to see and hear, rather than read about him, he'll be at the Backyard this Sunday (see "Recommended") with Dale Watson and labelmates the Old 97s... The spirit of late outlaw comedian Bill Hicks lives on in the song "Third Eye" by Tool. The song, featured on the band's Aenima album, which is due on October 1, ends with a passage by Hicks. In the current Billboard, Tool singer Maynard James Keenan cites Hicks as a friend with a belief "in choosing compassion over fear, and that pretty much sums up our record."... "This has gotta be the only house that gets phone calls from both the hippest and the least hip bands in the world." So says Kevin Carney, referring to Guided By Voices and Hootie and the Blowfish, respectively. Carney's roommate John Croslin produced tracks recently for the former, and the latter have now recorded a second song, "Araby," by Croslin's old band the Reivers... Former Chronicle receptionist Elizabeth Hahn seems to be enjoying her production job on the Porno for Pyros tour -- a position she got after chatting with Perry Farrell for about five minutes -- except possibly the part where she deals with a certain opening act. The story goes that one of the guys from Orb kept following her around so now she keeps him busy licking envelopes and doing other menial jobs until moments before he hits the stage in front of thousands of people... I mentioned Sheri Lane, other sources noted Thor, but I don't think anyone pointed out that Lisa Germano's entire touring band now consists of Austinites. Former Swine King bassist Diana Jackson completes the foursome, who will soon be off to Europe for three months... Texacala Jones is talking with Sympathy for the Record Industry about releasing a new 10-inch EP or maybe a full album. Expect some members of the Gay Sportscasters to play on the project... Advance copies of Doyle Bramhall II's new album are floating around town. You can expect to hear tunes penned by Will Sexton and Malford Milligan on the Wendy and Lisa-produced disc when it hits the streets... Also in at the Chron is an advance of the new one from the Paladins. The San Diego band, previously on Austin's Sector 2 label, make their 4AD debut on September 24 with the commercial release of the live Million Mile Club album. SRV clones on 4AD? What are they thinking?... The latest New Yorker is a special all-music issue, and their "Web Sighting" of the ish is the "mythical one-horse town" in cyberspace dedicated to Joe Ely ( After a four-year delay, Pail's 1992-recorded Volume One has made it onto CD. Look for it on the local Pinche Gringo label... Eddie Wilson will be signing copies of his Threadgill's -- The Cookbook this Monday at Central Market at 11am. Champ Hood and the Threadgill's Troubadors will be playing... Looks like the Butthole Surfers' next Austin show will be at Liberty Lunch in October. MTV's Week in Rock ran a brief "Buttholes answer the critics" section this week, and when asked what's made the Surfers a "hot property" in '96, Gibby Haynes replied, "Beavis and Butt-head made "butthole" a safe word for the United States to say. They brought buttholes out of the bathroom and onto the dinner table." Paul Leary added that "Everybody else decided to really suck this summer and give the Butthole Surfers the chance that they deserve," and King Coffey attributed their success to sucking the blood of young bands... Correction: How did I manage to call last Tuesday's Hormones gig the debut of the new lineup? It was actually the last gig for the old lineup (That's still no excuse for your on-stage epithets, Mr. S!). They'll be back soon when the new guys are all practiced up.

-- Contributors: Christopher Gray, Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser

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