SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, Fri., March 17, 2006
La Zona Rosa, Thursday, March 16Looking and sounding like 1974 strolling through the door, Anthony Hamilton wears his heart on his sleeve as he belts yearning odes to powerful loves both lost and found. With a butter voice that echoes through expanding ventricles, the North Carolina native promised the La Zona Rosa audience, "If you trust me, I'll build you up. ... Take a walk with me, I'll lead you to the truth." Swimming through crowd-favorites "Charlene" and "Comin' From Where I'm From," the humble singer led a grand instrumental production as if the Stax soul revue resurrected itself from a deep, dream-addled slumber. Drawing heavily from his latest album Ain't Nobody Worryin', Hamilton conjured spirits rather than mere ideas or feelings. Admitting that "sometimes I think I pray a little too much," Hamilton's introspective critique of his own personal demons contrasted against projected perceptions of purity in "Preacher's Daughter." With his first-ever appearance in Austin, Hamilton had his fans eagerly eating out of the palm of his hand as he touched upon what every Southerner knows all too well: that attending church together is a beautiful thing.