SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Michael Bertin, Fri., March 19, 2010
Pegi YoungMaggie Mae's, Wednesday, March 17
For someone embarking on a solo career relatively, oh, late in the game – her second solo album will be out on Vapor later this year – Pegi Young has a few things working decidedly in her favor. She's got decades worth of experience on the road as a backup singer. Her fivepiece backing band has probably three centuries of combined living under their belt (and some of it visibly hard). And, oh yeah, she's Neil Young's wife. The latter probably gets people in the door, if for no other reason than to see if the unsubstantiated rumor of a cameo by Mr. Soul might come with the package (it didn't), but ultimately, the missus' songs have to be judged on their own merits, and if you subscribe to Sturgeon's Law – that 90% of everything is crap – then Young's material easily clears the bar for the upper decile. Songs like "I Like the Party Life" and "Blue Sunday" aren't the anthems of this or any generation – they're straight-up roadhouse Americana – but they don't pretend to be anything else, and the unassuming comfort with which Young consistently delivers her material makes it hard to dismiss her as just a curiosity.