Fire Marshalls of Bethlehem

Music Showcase

SXSW Liveshots
Photo By Gary Miller

Fire Marshalls of Bethlehem

Texas Union Theatre, Thursday, March 13 The first thing that Austin music fans will want to know about the Fire Marshalls of Bethlehem is that they're John Croslin's first band since the demise of the Reivers more than a decade ago. The band's name is purportedly the answer to the question "Two thousand years ago, who was responsible for there not being any room at the inn?" and in keeping with that bit of frivolity, this appearance was a mostly lighthearted affair. Sure, they've only played in front of an audience a couple of times, but when the sextet clicked it sounded terrific. Vocalist Julie Lowry, who some may know as a member of Michael Hall's Woodpeckers, led the way most of the time, and though the sound was less than perfect -- and positively muddy at times -- her voice came through confident and clear. It was pointed out that this was more than just Croslin's band, with Lowry and guitarist/vocalist Kevin Carney contributing songs as well. Still, it all fit together comfortably, with a sound that was heavy on the jangle, while Jenny Smith's violin added fullness and bits of color. When Croslin sang with Lowry, it was hard not to think of his old band, especially on a darker number in the middle of the set. Overall, it was an impressive beginning. The Fire Marshall's mix of folk, rock, and pop seemed sunny enough that it should have wide appeal, and their sense of humor fits right in with those who want to "Keep Austin Weird."

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
Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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