ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Oct. 9, 2009
Alberta CrossOct. 3, Zilker Park
After the gold rush of new indie folk at ACL over the past several years, it's pretty easy to size up Alberta Cross. The Brooklyn transplants have roots in Sweden (singer Petter Ericson Stakee) and the UK (bassist Terry Wolfers), looked like the Black Crowes, and mined an Americana sound that at times recalled Band of Horses. There was also a squall of Crazy Horse fury and 1990s noise from lead guitarist Sam Kearney in barn burners "Leave Us and Forgive Us" and "Song 3Three Blues" that helped set Alberta Cross apart from its contemporaries. Where others such as Dead Confederate seethe, Stakee's high tenor soothed, confident and clear throughout, mirroring My Morning Jacket's Jim James on the song introduced as a gospel number ("Rise From the Shadows"), his a cappella falsetto giving way to a brooding organ groove then back again. Warming up the main stage, the quintet kept the small audience's attention as it worked through the majority of its Mike McCarthy-produced ATO debut, Broken Side of Time, before ramming it all back home with closer "ATX," an anthemic romp of slide guitar and dirty south boogie. It would have killed inside Stubb's.