The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Margaret Moser, February 18, 2011, Music

Bob Livingston

Gypsy Alibi (New Wilderness)

If Bob Livingston's name doesn't pop to mind when recalling Austin's cosmic cowboy years, that's okay by him. The Lubbock-raised singer-songwriter hand-tooled the era with the Lost Gonzo Band and kept the cosmic part handy, thank you. Livingston's Gypsy Alibi wanders the realms and far-flung genres of Texas music with disarming ease and whimsy ("Oklahoma Girl," "Middle Ages Rockabilly Blues"), navigated by his beautifully crafted, world music-inspired songwriting ("Ruby's Shoes," "Android's Lament," "Blind Love"). Even the gypsy cabaret of the title track is rife with a cast of characters who might otherwise inhabit Tom Waits or Randy Newman tunes but have their fortunes told Livingston-style. Lloyd Maines co-produced this gem of an album, and his own High Plains imprint stamps Gypsy Alibi as Texas gold. Don't overlook the bonus track, Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," recorded in Bangladesh 20 years ago and belted with a young man's passion and fervor.


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