Bukka Allen

Music Showcase

SXSW Live Shots
Photo By John Anderson

Bukka Allen

Ruta Maya, Thursday 14 They may have taken most of the other worldly funkiness out of the newly renovated Ruta Maya Coffee House, but for this show at least, local pianist/songwriter Bukka Allen managed to get some grit back in the place. Allen was backed by some of the best players in Austin: Rob Gjersoe and Will Sexton on guitar, George Reif on bass, and Brian Standafer on cello. They managed to lend his songs an admirable cinematic quality, even more impressive as Allen's songs crossed several genres. Opening with an instrumental that could have been a theme from some long lost spaghetti western, they moved into a bit of Americana that recalled the orchestral side of Randy Newman. At times, Allen's songs were reminiscent of those of his father, renowned Lubbock songwriter Terry Allen, in their rhythms and melodies. But where the elder Allen's tunes possess a country tinge, Bukka's bear a definite rock edge. This was especially true on the loud and defiant "Confidant," where Gjersoe let loose a fiery solo. It was unfortunate that the vocal mix was so muddy, making Allen's lyrics generally unintelligible. But his music, filled with power and soul, spoke of emotions and desolation and was moving on its own. He finished with a bit of boogie that had the scent of his dad's pals Little Feat all over it, nicely rounding out a set that proved Allen an interesting and effective tunesmith.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
Metallica
... And Justice For All (Deluxe) (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Dec. 7, 2018

Texas Platters
Portrayal of Guilt
Let Pain Be Your Guide (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Nov. 23, 2018

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle