Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Son Volt


Texas Platters

Lucinda Williams

Live From Austin, TX (New West)

Richard Thompson

Live From Austin, TX (New West)

Son Volt

Live From Austin, TX (New West)

Parceling out 30 years of Austin City Limits on DVD remains a no-brainer, though these three titles are only the second rollout from the archives of the internally renowned PBS staple (see "Texas Platters," November 5, 2004). The triumvirate of artists chosen for batch No. 2 cut a wide swath through the singer-songwriter field, each staking their territory with style and panache. Here's Richard Thompson in 2001 with a lifetime of hard post-folk, Son Volt's rustic gravity rising from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo in 1996, and Ms. Lucinda Williams in 1998 as her star reached ascendancy with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. The performances are pristine, classic ACL quality from the astute camera work to perfect sound, yet the whole says much less than the sum of its parts. The show's history carries some of the most illustrious names in music, but Thompson and Son don't quite represent such historical weight. Furthermore, the appeal of the DVD format is the ability to bring more to the table, and there's a distressing lack of extras on these discs. Backstage interviews with the acts, a gallery of Scott Newton's performance photos, director and/or artist commentary, discography – any one of these enrich the ACL experience. The Thompson performance rolls out with a separately sold companion CD, but truth be told, three decades of stellar programming ought to yield more dynamic names at the outset, immortals like Ray Charles, Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, and Roy Orbison. In the end, one question in particular remains: Where's Willie?

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

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