Day Party Crawl
By Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 16, 2012
Gram Parsons Foundation LaunchJo's Coffee, Wednesday, March 14
The Gram Parsons Foundation was founded in 2004 with a series of concerts featuring Keith Richards, Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, and many others, as well as a tribute CD, Return of the Grievous Angel. After being dormant, this party thrown by Parsons' daughter Polly, who is now a local, began to fund its goal of worldwide support for musicians and artists in need of addiction and recovery services. While financial success seemed apparent from brisk swag sales, musically it offered up the occasional tribute to Parsons in expected ways. Shurman drove the point home that it's one of Austin's premier country-rock outfits. Portland, Ore.'s Blitzen Trapper performed what they called their "country set," which featured dulcet harmonies while comfortably bringing to mind Seventies groups like the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Great Lake Swimmers from Toronto brought breezy fiddle folk that was easily digestible. A side project for Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott of Fleet Foxes, Poor Moon retained the reverb-heavy sound of their main band while adding a bit of teeth to their folkiness. With a stellar band that included David Garza, Austin's Amy Cook showed off some solid new songs. Finally, Brendan Benson's power pop was as strong and riff-heavy as ever, but his collaboration with the Animals' Eric Burdon, distilled to a hard-blues "When I Was Young," was anticlimactic.