The weather gets woolly and so does Amplified Heat and SXSW

Photo By John Anderson

Scene Stealers: Amplified Heat

Stop me if this sounds familiar: Three Hispanic brothers hit town and bowl people over with their hair-raising take on the blues. True, this could apply to a certain popular San Angelo trio, but Red River regulars know the correct answer is Amplified Heat. Northwest Houston natives Jim, Chris, and Gian Ortiz have been playing around town since 1999, but changed their name from Blues Condition when too many people showed up at their gigs with the wrong idea. "We were too loud," explains singer/guitarist Jim, the eldest at 31. "They expected Stevie Ray Vaughan covers, and we came out with the volume all the way up." With both band names referencing Cream, and the band's über-blues being filtered through childhood faves Metallica, Slayer, and Motörhead, Red River audiences have been considerably more hospitable. "People understand what we're trying to do," says Jim. Indeed, it's not unusual for the unsigned band to play several times a week up and down the street. Once they secure reliable transportation, Amplified Heat plans to tour, but for now would be happy printing more copies of their sold-out debut EP. "It went really fast," says Jim. "Before, we used to hand people CDs. Now they ask us for it."

Amplified Heat gets the Led out at Beerland, Tuesday, Feb. 24; Emo's, Wednesday, Feb. 25; and Headhunters, Sunday, Feb. 29.

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