Big Al Anderson

After Hours (Sony / Legacy)

SXSW Records

Big Al Anderson

After Hours (Sony/Legacy)

Musician magazine nailed it in naming Big Al Anderson one of the Top 100 guitarists of the 20th century, right before Anderson left NRBQ after 22 years of blazing chicken-pickin'-fused mischief and melodic pop six-string genius. After Hours showcases Anderson's second act as a go-to Nashville songwriter, featuring his versions of hits he helped write for Jimmy Buffett and Martina McBride ("Trip Around the Sun") and a softer side on crooner ballads "Better Word for Love" and "Love Make a Fool of Me." Hints of Anderson's Q days surface in the upbeat, bluesy country-tinged tracks "Blues About You Baby" (a Delbert McClinton co-write) and "It's Only Natural," but Anderson has far better songs in his catalog than the slight throwaways "Do Nothin' Day" and "Let's Get Away for the Weekend." He still sings like a bird, which makes cameos from a pair of female vocalists maddening, and it's hard not to pine for one of his signature Telecaster blasts to give the acoustic, jazzy feel of After Hours a needed jolt. Better to catch his live act, featuring a crack band including SRV keyboardist Reese Wynans, where Anderson will surely let rip more of the fretboard fireworks that longtime aficionados still miss. (Friday, March 17, 9pm @ Parish)

**.5

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

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
Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

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

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by Scott Jordan
Too Late to Stop Now
NRBQ
High Noon: A 50-Year Retrospective (Record Review)

Dec. 16, 2016

Gift Guide 2015: The Boxing Lesson
Bobby Rush
Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush (Record Review)

Dec. 18, 2015

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