Even with South by Southwest prices in full effect, drinks at the Creekside Lounge on 7th Street were pretty cheap. A healthy glass of Jameson on the rocks cost only $4.50. As of right now, I wish they were a little more expensive.
Wednesday afternoon, though, a couple glasses of whiskey seemed like the perfect accompaniment to a performance by Joseph Arthur, who was playing out back. Starting March 18th with Could We Survive, Arthur will release five albums in 2008. Though the artist is known for his tinkering with electronics, Arthur’s set at the Creekside was very stripped down, performing only with a harmonica and an acoustic guitar.
The tall, lanky singer/songwriter, complete with dark sunglasses, proved that his songs were just as strong in these simplified forms. Arthur was somewhat aloof in his delivery, but very colloquial in his rapport with the audience, relating his frustration with some of the new equipment he was using during the set even dedicating the final song to a fan in a Styx T-shirt who had shouted out a request. Though the sound mix was a bit uneven depending upon where you stood, Arthur’s warm, raspy voice held a packed patio’s collective attention through out.
[Photo by Ryan "Daddy" Prado]