Southern Rock Opera

SXSW 02 Music Fest Wrap-up

The Yayhoos

Mother Egan's, Saturday 16 After bands like Blind Faith and Asia, the term "supergroup" has long carried a stink of hype and self-indulgence. Then, there's the Yayhoos, bringing together producer/ex-Blackheart Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, Georgia Satellites Dan Baird and Terry Anderson, and Shaver bassist Keith Christopher. Saturday night the crowd at Mother Egan's was likkered up, lacquered down, and ready for the Yayhoos' Southern-rawk swagger. The band did not disappoint. After seeing hundreds upon hundreds of stone-faced bands, it's refreshing to see four grown men grinning like monkeys onstage (with Baird wearing a singularly ugly hat over his lank hair) and having a good time with it. After all, what band is goofy enough to pull a cover of the O'Jays "Love Train" out of thin air, complete with three-part harmonies? They covered most of the bases from their Bloodshot release: "Get Right With Jesus," "Bottle and a Bible," "Monkey With a Gun" (where they tear Hank Jr./Hank the Lesser a new one), and of course, "What Are We Waiting For," with its offhand reference to Jackie Gleason. By the second song, the crowd was so besotted with the Yayhoos, it was like being at a Seventies arena-rock show, with even the most strait-laced-looking folks a-swillin' oil cans of Foster's and trying not to think about going back to work on Monday. There were no Georgia Satellites songs to be heard (though the band sounded more than a little like the GeoSats at times), but Baird did whip out "Little Bit," a rave-up from his criminally underrated Buffalo Nickel solo disc. Too soon, it was time for their soaring, tongue-in-cheek treatment of ABBA's "Dancing Queen," then they made way for the three-piece Bottle Rockets (sans Tom Parr). Given the informal nature of the lineup, it was wise to see the band while the chance was there, and it was definitely one to remember.

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