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A tax by any other name

An Austin Home Companion

Just a quick post today to add to my list of musicians we've seen since moving to Austin (lower left column).

Garrison_keillor Last night, we went to "Late Night with Garrison Keillor," primarily because  Joe Ely was one of the show's musical guests. That afternoon, Keillor and crew had done a regular Prairie Home Companion performance in the same theater. It sold out quickly, so this second show that evening was added.

I catch at least part of Prairie Home each week via Internet (WGBH Boston) as I'm waiting for another show, Says You, to come on Saturday nights. I wouldn't say I'm a PHC fanatic, but the program grows on you. And as a fan of private detective books and the classic films based on them, I do like the Guy Noir segments.

Hubby, however, agreed to go only because (1) Joe would be there and (2) since it was billed as the late show, he thought Keillor might go blue. He did, indeed, get a bit more risqué, within Woebegon limits, than I've heard on the Internet radio -- several references to female anatomy and a nude parasailer --  but that might have been just because it wasn't a broadcast performance.

Anyway, it was a fun evening. It was more a concert than a regular PHC presentation (the Royal Academy of Radio Actors had this second, "late" -- 9 p.m.? late? -- show off), and the musical performances were all quite good.

Keillor's songs were heartfelt and amusing if not totally on key. The quartet High Flyers livened up the place with fine fiddlin' and steel guitar riffs. Keillor's own Guys All-Star Shoe Band's pianist Richard Dworsky let loose with a fabulous jazz piece.

And, of course, there was Joe.

Keillor mentioned that this was Ely's third appearance on the program. If I had known Garrison had the musical taste to include Joe even before coming down to Texas to do some shows, I would have listened more regularly!

Joe only did four songs, but two of them are among our favorites: All Just to Get to You (the hubby's pick of the night) and Gallo del Cielo (I love this song, which always makes me tear up); you can listen to snippets of both songs here. Plus, he brought Joel Guzman along and the spare instrumentation of Joe's guitar and Joel's accordian was perfect for the down-home feel of the show. I can safely say a good time was had by all.

And, to top it off, Keillor's trademark convoluted story of the night included, in addition to the aforementioned naked guy, a reference to taxes!

Yes, a perfect night out indeed.


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I'm jealous, I saw a live PHC show about 15 years ago in Fort Worth. There is nothing closer to Old Time Radio. The foley artist/special effects dude is always fun to watch.

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